8 Great Stealth Games You Can Play on PC

If you like sneaking around the world, creeping up behind people and knocking them out (or taking their life), we’ve got some games for you to check out. These eight PC games let you indulge your inner thief, without all the pesky run-ins with law enforcement.

styx-master-of-shadows

Styx: Master of Shadows

Styx is a goblin thief who can use nooks, crannies, and shadows to conceal himself until the time is right to strike. You’d better bring your “A” stealth game as well, as the combat is a bit of an afterthought, and being forced to resort to it often leads to your demise. Luckily, the world is well-designed, with plenty of options for concealment and vertical movement. You can also check out the sequel, [i]Styx: Shards of Darkness[/a].

Here’s When You Can Play the Arms Global Testpunch for the Nintendo Switch

 

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The Arms Global Testpunch demo begins this weekend
  • It is a 1.4GB download for the Nintendo Switch
  • It is only available in one hour timeslots

Much like Splatoon 2’s Global Testfire for the Nintendo Switch, Arms is having its own demo with the Arms Global Testpunch. The full game is out on June 16 and in the run up to that, you check out its multiplayer.

ALSO SEEArms for Nintendo Switch: Everything You Need to Know

Arms Global Testpunch for Nintendo Switch timings

    • May 26 – 5pm PT (May 27 – 5:30am IST)
    • May 27 – 5am, 11am, 5pm PT (May 27 – 5:30pm, 11:30pm IST, May 28 – 5pm IST)
    • May 28 – 5am, 11am PT (May 28 – 5:30pm, 11:30pm IST)
    • June 2 – 5pm PT (June 3 – 5:30am IST)
    • June 3 – 5am, 11am, 5pm PT (June 3 – 5:30pm, 11:30pm IST, June 4 5:30am IST)
    • June 4 – 5am, 11am PT (June 5 – 5:30pm, 11:30pm IST)
 Here's When You Can Play the Arms Global Testpunch for the Nintendo Switch

How long does Arms Global Testpunch session last?

Like Splatoon 2, Nintendo has confirmed that each session will last for an hour a piece. With the game out in a few weeks this is the best way to get a taste of what to expect to make up your mind.

It’s surprising that there will be only twelve hours of playable time in total — a far cry from weekend long play sessions we’ve seen from other publishers like Ubisoft with Rainbow Six Siege and Ghost Recon Wildlands. Perhaps Nintendo isn’t as confident about the Switch’s online capabilities as it would like us to believe? After Splatoon 2’s resoundingly positive demo we don’t think so.

The Arms Global Testpunch is a 1.4GB download and you can get it via the Nintendo eShop.

We discussed Arms on our weekly gaming podcast Transition. You can subscribe to it via Apple Podcasts orRSS or just listen to this episode by hitting the play button below.

Tencent to Limit Honor of Kings Play Time for Kids Amid Addiction Worries

 

Tencent Holdings, China’s biggest gaming and social media firm by revenue, said it would limit play time for some young users of Honor of Kings from Tuesday, amid claims that children were getting addicted to the popular mobile game.

Parents and teachers have complained that children were becoming addicted to the multiplayer online battle game, which, according to the company, has more than 200 million users, making it the world’s most popular game of its kind.

Users below 12 years of age will be limited to one hour of play time each day, while those aged between 12 years and 18 years will be limited to two hours a day, Tencent said.

The firm also plans to ban users under 12 years from logging in after 9pm (1300 GMT or 6:30pm IST) and will impose further restrictions on how much money younger users spend on the game, it added.

“There are no rules to prevent indulgence in online games in China, but we decided to be the first to try to dispel parental worries by limiting play time and forcing children to log off,” Tencent said on its official WeChat account.

Tencent, which has a portfolio of over 200 games, also said it would upgrade a parental-control platform rolled out earlier this year that makes it easier for parents to monitor their children’s gaming account activities.
It will also step up the requirement of real-name registration for all users, it said.Tencent to Limit Honor of Kings Play Time for Kids Amid Addiction Worries

The fantasy role-playing game based on Chinese historical characters raked in a revenue of more than CNY 5.5 billion ($810.47 million or roughly Rs. 5,247 crores) in the first quarter, Chinese gaming industry database CNG estimates. China’s mobile gaming revenue grew by CNY 4.5 billion to CNY 27.5 billion (roughly Rs. 26,232 crores) over the period, the biggest growth in two years.

Tencent, which declines to provide a revenue breakdown of its games, made CNY 12.9 billion from smartphone games in the first quarter, according to its financial report.

According to mobile data intelligence firm Jiguang, Honor of Kings has become China’s most popular game in recent months, doubling its monthly active users to 163 million in May compared with December. More than half of its users are below 24 years of age, including more than a quarter below 19 years, it said.

China is the world’s largest gaming market by revenue, and is expected to account for roughly 25 percent of global game sales in 2017, according to research firm NewZoo.

 

More Android apps from dangerous Ztorg family sneak into Google Play

 

For the second time this month, Google has removed Android apps from its Google Play marketplace. Google did so after a security researcher found the apps contained code that laid the groundwork for attackers to take administrative “root” control of infected devices.

“Magic Browser,” as one app was called, was uploaded to Google’s official Android App bazaar on May 15 and gained more than 50,000 downloads by the time it was removed, Kaspersky Lab Senior Research Analyst Roman Unuchek said in a blog post published Tuesday. Magic Browser was disguised as a knock-off to the Chrome browser. The other app, “Noise Detector,” purported to measure the decibel level of sounds, and it had been downloaded more than 10,000 times. Both apps belong to a family of Android malware known as Ztorg, which has managed to sneak past Google’s automated malware checks almost 100 times since last September.

Most Ztorg apps are notable for their ability to use well-known exploits to root infected phones. This status allows the apps to have finer-grain control and makes them harder to be removed. Ztorg apps are also concerning for their large number of downloads. A Ztorg app known as Privacy Lock, for instance, received one million installations before Google removed it last month, while an infected Pokémon Go guide racked up 500,000 downloads before its removal in September.

Earlier this month, Google removed a game called colourblock after Kaspersky Lab’s Unuchek found it contained code dubbed DVmap that attempted to gain root. To evade detection by Google, DVmap developers initially uploaded a clean version of the game to Play and later updated it to add malicious functions. Unuchek has warned that the rooting processes used by malicious rooting apps can often harm the phones because the apps can overwrite crucial files and folders.

Magic Browser and Noise Detector didn’t actually root the phones, but the Ztorg digital fingerprints in both apps led Unuchek to theorize that the app developers were in the process of adding the capability to one or both of the apps gradually in an attempt to evade detection. In the meantime, the researcher said, the developers were using Magic Browser to either test or actively use malicious text-messaging functions. The app had the ability to send premium text messages to attacker-controlled numbers. To keep users in the dark, the app could also delete incoming texts and turn off the device sound.

“So I think that the authors are still testing this malware, because they use some techniques which can break the infected devices,” Unuchek wrote. “But they already have a lot of infected users on whom to test their methods. I hope that by uncovering this malware at such an early stage, we will be able to prevent a massive and dangerous attack when the attackers are ready to actively use their methods.”

E3 2017: Sony’s PlayLink for PS4 Will Let You Play Games Using Your Phone

 

HIGHLIGHTS

  • PlayLink lets you play games on your PS4 via a smartphone
  • Titles vary from crime thrillers to quick-fire quizzes
  • PlayLink titles include That’s You!, Hidden Agenda

At the ongoing E3 2017 in Los Angeles, California, Sony announced some of its most anticipated games for PlayStation for the year including God of War, Spider-Man and Uncharted: The Lost Legacy, to name a few. Console titles aside, the company also introduced PlayLink, which allows users to play games with family and friends using their smartphones and tablets.

PlayLink is aimed at creating a fun, interactive way to play games in a social setting. Based on a video Sony released showcasing the feature, PlayLink requires a smartphone or tablet, a TV, and a PlayStation 4 console, which, when set up, lets you and your group of family or friends play interactive PlayLink titles.

“PlayLink games turn your smartphone or tablet into a versatile controller – you can swipe, pinch, drag, tilt, rotate or even snap selfies and draw crafty doodles, depending on the game. No matter which title you choose from our PlayLink collection, it’s guaranteed to be a slick pick-up-and-play experience,” Sony said in a blog post.E3 2017: Sony's PlayLink for PS4 Will Let You Play Games Using Your Phone

PlayLink titles range from crime thrillers to quick-fire quizzes. In one of the videos, for example, you see a group of people playing That’s You! – a quiz-based app that “challenges you and up to five friends to get personal and find out what you really think about each other.” This will be one of the first titles for PlayLink and will be available for PlayStation Plus members for free starting July 4.

Another video shows a crime and narrative-based game called Hidden Agenda that allows up to six people to join in. The game requires the players to make tough, quick decisions as the story progresses, which will also influence the way the game moves forward.

Sony sees PlayLink as something that can come in handy during social gatherings as well as rope in new players to video games. It also reminds one of Jackbox Games’ Party Pack multi-platform social games. Some other PlayLink titles that can be expected soon include Knowledge is Power, Frantic, and SingStar Celebration.

 

Google Play Music’s New Feature for Samsung Galaxy S8 Isn’t That Exclusive

 

HIGHLIGHTS
New Google Play Music feature now rolling out
Samsung Galaxy S8 users getting the New Release Radio station
Some users able to use the new feature on non-Samsung devices
For Samsung Galaxy S8 users, Google Play Music is the default music player and streaming service. Now, Galaxy S8 users are receiving a brand new feature dubbed New Release Radio, which is a personalised radio station with new music releases and updates on a daily basis.

The latest New Release Radio feature has steadily been popping up on Galaxy S8 devices with “Samsung Exclusive” tagline. The pop-up describes the new feature, “Listen to brand new music, personalised to your tastes and listening history – with new recommendations every day.” The feature was first spotted by a Reddit user, and was reported by Sammobile.Google Play Music's New Feature for Samsung Galaxy S8 Isn't That Exclusive

Engadget, however, points out that the feature may not be limited to Samsung Galaxy S8 users as some users have been able to add the “New Release Radio” station to their libraries. Some Reddit users also claim that they were able to add the new feature to their libraries while using Google Play Music Web interface as well as on non-Samsung devices. Unfortunately, there’s no word whether the feature will be kept as an exclusive for Samsung Galaxy S8 (and Galaxy S8+) devices or to be made available to all users in the long run.
We can expect an update on the status of availability of the “New Release Radio” station for non-Samsung devices.

Samsung and Google jointly announced their new partnership back in April, and it gave some benefits to Samsung users. They were allowed to upload 100,000 of their own songs to Google Play Music for free, which is almost double the limit for owners of non-Samsung devices.

 

Google Play Hit by More Ztorg-Based Android Malware, Says Kaspersky Labs

 

HIGHLIGHTS
Google has removed Magic Browser and Noise Detector apps
These apps belonged to the Ztorg Trojan family of Android malwares
Kaspersky researcher spotted these apps and their attack course
In a bid to increase security on its Android platform, Google has reportedly removed more Android apps from its Google Play store for the second time this month. Google has taken strict action against two malicious apps – Magic Browser and Noise Detector – acting as conduits for attackers to remotely ‘root’ control the infected devices after a researcher from Kaspersky Lab pointed out the threat in his report. The Android malware carried by these apps belongs to the Ztorg Trojan family, which is notoriously known for bypassing Google’s safety controls to root infected Android devices.

In a report published on Kaspersky Lab’s Securelist website, senior researcher Roman Unuchek presents extensive analysis on the new Ztorg-based malware. Kaspersky Lab says Ztorg malware bypassed Google’s malware checks almost 100 times since September last year, and the malware family is best known for gaining ‘root’ privileges of infected devices to completely control them. Ztorg apps like Privacy Lock and a false Pokemon Go guide raked in huge download numbers before they were recognised as malicious and deleted from Google Play.Google Play Hit by More Ztorg-Based Android Malware, Says Kaspersky Labs

Coming to the current batch of apps, the first one is Magic Browser that pretended to be a Chrome browser alternative in Google Play. It was published on May 15 and had been downloaded over 50,000 times before it was finally removed. The other app is Noise Detector that was meant to allow users to measure the decibel level of sounds and had more than 10,000 downloads before its removal.
Both the apps, as we mentioned, belonged to the Ztorg Trojan family, but didn’t root affected devices before their removal. Unuchek says the app had the Ztorg digital fingerprint, and speculates that the developers may soon have added the root ability if the apps hadn’t been removed.

Unuchek says the Magic Browser app was being used by developers to either test or use malicious text messaging functions. The Magic Browser could send premium text messages to infected phone numbers and leave no traces behind by even deleting the incoming messages and muting the notification sound. “In total, the Magic browser app tries to send SMS from 11 different places in its code. Cybercriminals are doing this in order to be able to send SMS from different Android versions and devices. Furthermore, I was able to find another modification of the Trojan-SMS.AndroidOS.Ztorg that is trying to send an SMS via the “am” command, although this approach should not work,” reads Unuchek’s report.

 

How to play PC games on your smartphone?

 

PC games are more resource intensive and take up more space.

Cross-platform gaming is still in a nascent stage. Most attempts at it have been unsuccessful. The few options include the Bluetsacks emulator, which allows Android games on PCs, and Sony’s Play Station Now platform, which can run PS3 games on a Windows PC.

But getting a PC game to run on a smartphone is a different ball game, as PC games are more resource intensive and take up more space.

Cloud gaming companies such as OnLive have tried and failed at it. Now a New York, US-based gaming company LiquidSky has come with a cloud-based app which can run any PC game on your smartphone and surprisingly you don’t need a OnePlus 5-like device to run it.

The minimum system requirement for the smartphone is just 1GB RAM and 30MB of storage. The games will be downloaded on cloud, so you don’t have to worry about the storage on your smartphone at all.

LiquidSky recommends wired controllers for the best gaming experience.LiquidSky recommends wired controllers for the best gaming experience.

Needs steady internet connection

However, it requires an active internet connection with minimum bandwidth speed of 5Mbps and recommended speed of up to 20Mbps for the best gaming experience. Online gaming is not new to the mobile ecosystem. Many Android games require active internet connection to work, however getting the 20Mbps mark consistently is going to be a challenge, especially on mobile networks in India. This makes it heavily dependent on WiFi networks.

How does it work?

Liquid Sky works by connecting smartphones to a virtual PC running on cloud. The actual game will be downloaded and run on a remote server, which will then compress and stream the game on users’ smartphone at frame rate of 60fps.

LiquidSky is available only for Android devices right now.LiquidSky is available only for Android devices right now.

Once users sign up in the app, and take a subscription plan, they can browse and download any games from their existing library of purchased games or buy new ones on Steam, GOG, Origin, Blizzard or Humble Bumble. These are online stores for PC games and their API (application programme interface) is built into the app, so one doesn’t have to download their apps separately.

How much does it cost?

LiquidSky is available only for Android devices right now and can be downloaded from the Google Play Store (there is no news on the iOS app yet). Users in India can download it for free but to access the games, one of the subscriptions is required. Basic Pay-as-you-go plan starts at $9.99 (approximately Rs644) and provides 100GB of storage.

The monthly subscription, which offers 500GB of cloud storage and the option to change data centres, starts at $19.99 (approximately Rs1,289) per month. There is a free model too, with in-app advertisements and 100GB storage, but its only available to users in the US and Canada.PC games are more resource intensive and take up more space.

How is it different?

LiquidSky uses IBM’s public cloud infrastructure which is more robust, easy to scale and has got data centres spread across the globe. One of the reasons for the failure of services such as OnLive was that it used its own servers to host the games and was unable to put up with the cost. Also, they failed to acquire top-tier games form leading game developers such as EA Sports and Activision.

The biggest highlight of Liquid Sky is that you can purchase, download and play any PC game that is available on one of the linked game stores.

Why do you need controllers?

Technically. PC games are not designed for touchscreen devices. You need a controller or a mouse and keyboard to play them. Smartphone users won’t be able to run them through on-screen controls and will require a compatible Android controller, which can be connected to the phone with an OTG cable or wirelessly over Bluetooth. LiquidSky recommends wired controllers for the best gaming experience.

 

Samsung Makes Google Play Music the Default Music App and Service on Its Devices

 

Samsung and Google have jointly announced a new partnership that will make Google Play Music the default music player and streaming service on Samsung mobiles and tablets. The announcements coincides with the global retail launch of the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+, Samsung’s latest flagship smartphones.

The deal also benefits Samsung users as they’ll be able to upload 100,000 of their own songs to Google Play Music for free, double the limit for owners of non-Samsung devices. Additionally, new Samsung phones and tablets will come with a free three-month trial of Google Play Music. Post the trial period, those who plan to subscribe for it will get over 40 million songs on-demand and access to YouTube Red (where available), just like other subscribers of the service.

Google in November launched a revamped Play Music service that is powered by Google’s machine learning and contextual tools. Machine learning allows the service to understand the music the user likes based on location, time, weather, and activity, to name a few.

Google’s Play Music service competes against the likes of Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora Premium, and others. The tie up with Samsung, one of the leading smartphone manufactures in the world, will help Google expand its reach and give it the right amount of boost it needs to take on other streaming giants.Samsung Makes Google Play Music the Default Music App and Service on Its Devices

Having Google Play Music as a default music player means Samsung will not have to worry about dedicating resources towards developing its own music player, though it’s still available to download from Google Play Store. Samsung has tried in the past to get into the music streaming game with Milk Music, but its attempt at competing against Spotify and Apple failed, and the company in August decided to kill off the service.

Interestingly, Google’s Play Music service will support Samsung’s own personal assistant software, Bixby. Users will be able to ask Bixby to look up a song and play it similar to how it works with Apple’s Siri. The Bixby support will kick in once the digital assistant comes out later this spring for Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+.

Samsung’s latest flagship Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ will go on sale in India from May 5.

Moto Z2 Play Tipped to Sport Smaller Battery; Moto ‘Productivity’ Tablet Rumoured

 

If you remember Moto Z Play smartphone from last year, you will remember that its thickness was never pointed out as a flaw by critics as the device’s thickness was slightly more than some of other phones by the company to accommodate a large battery capacity of 3510mAh. As per a new leak, Lenovo has decided to go ahead with reduced battery life on Moto Z2 Play to cut down on thickness of the smartphone. Separately, the company has been tipped to be working a Moto Android tablet for the first time in many years.

As per the leaked details of Moto Z2 Play smartphone, shared by Venture Beat, Lenovo’s upcoming smartphone will feature a 3000mAh battery, downgraded from its predecessor’s 3510mAh, which will result in a drop of maximum listed usage time from 50 hours to 30 hours. While the exact thickness of the smartphone has not been leaked yet, VB suggests that the upcoming phone’s thickness will be close to matching Moto Z’s thickness (5.19mm).

The Moto Z2 Play leaked details suggest that the phone will run Android 7.1.1 Nougat out-of-the-box and sport the same 5.5-inch full-HD (1080×1920 pixels) Super AMOLED display as its previous generation. However, the phone is expected to see an upgrade in internals as it has been tipped to be powered by a 2.2GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 626 processor coupled with 4GB of RAM and Adreno 506 GPU. The Moto Z2 Play is expected to come with 64GB of built-in storage.Moto Z2 Play Tipped to Sport Smaller Battery; Moto 'Productivity' Tablet Rumoured

In terms of optics, the upcoming Moto Z2 Play is expected to come with same 5-megapixel front-facing camera as its predecessor but Moto is expected to reduce the resolution of the main camera to achieve increased imaging quality, as per the report. This is why the Moto Z2 Play has been tipped to come with a 12-megapixel primary rear camera with f/1.7 aperture, featuring dual autofocus pixels, compared with the 16-megapixel sensor with f/2.0 aperture on the Moto Z Play. The Moto Z2 Play is expected to be made available in Lunar Grey and Fine Gold colours.

Moving to the Android tablet by Moto, Lenovo has been tipped to be working on a tablet with screen size of around 9 to 10 inches, as per a report by Android Police. While there aren’t any specific details shared about device, it is expected to come with “productivity mode”, which is similar to a multitasking feature on Lenovo’s Yoga Book. Productivity mode essentially allows users to pin apps to the navbar and easily move between them without having to use multitask UI or go back to the homescreen, as pointed out in the report.