New Android apps worth downloading: Instapaper update, Gene Effect, Tupsu-The Furry Little Monster

by Phil Hornshaw

Instapaper’s latest update adds new features to the super-popular article-saving app. We’ve also got some quality games in the offing: Gene Effect, a game where you explore the mines of Mars and unlock the mysteries within, and Tupsu, a side-scrolling puzzle-platformer about a strange creature that gets around with sticky tentacles.

Instapaper update ($2.99)

What’s it about? Article-saving app Instapaper lets you save articles to read later, whether you’re using a computer or an Android device.

What’s cool? The premise behind Instapaper is already one of the coolest available in any app store, just for its sheer usefulness. I have articles open in browser windows every day, and the ability to send them to my smartphone and read them while in line at the bank is phenomenal. Instapaper’s new update adds the ability to scroll through articles curated by editors in a list known as “The Feature.” You can also now see inline footnotes, scroll by full pages or by tilting for easier navigation, and even switch the display to a sepia tone.

Who’s it for? If you find yourself with interesting articles all day at work and no time to read them, download Instapaper.

What’s it like? Another great app for reading stuff later (as well as watching videos later) is Pocket.

Gene Effect ($3.49)

What’s it about? Players uncover a mystery deep within a Martian mine, while avoiding crashing and dying in Gene Effect.

What’s cool? Gene Effect is a side-scroller in which you control a mining vehicle that you have to carefully guide through the tunnels. Your goal is to discover what happened to a larger, missing mining vessel, and along the way you can solve puzzles and unlock bits of the story, while you gather resources from the mine to keep your ship upgraded and puttering along. Gene Effect is a slick-looking sci-fi game that’s not too tough to control, but offers an engaging story to go with its alien setting.

Who’s it for? Gene Effect is for science fiction fans and players who enjoy exploration.

What’s it like? Waking Mars is another quality title that’s all about exploring tunnels on the Red Planet. For more science fiction, try Galaxy on Fire 2.

Tupsu-The Furry Little Monster (Free)

What’s it about? Tupsu is a side-scrolling puzzle-platformer in which you control a fuzzy alien guy who sends out tentacles to pull him along in various levels.

What’s cool? Tupsu is one of those simple titles that can be easy to pick up, but hard to master. In Tutsu, you slide your finger from the creature to different surfaces to send out tentacles and move through each stage. Careful selection of what you stick to is instrumental in solving each level, and you’ll soon find yourself climbing and avoiding obstacles along the way.

Who’s it for? If you like low-intensity puzzle-platformers that are good for killing a few minutes, try Tupsu.

What’s it like? Both Contre Jour and Cut The Rope offer similar mechanics and comparable fun.

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