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New Android apps worth downloading: RunKeeper update, Aralon: Sword and Shadow, Shapes & Sound: TheShapeShooter

by Phil Hornshaw

Get your workout on with RunKeeper’s fresh update, which adds a new user interface and more features that track running, biking and other endurance activities. We’ve also got a couple of games to help you waste some time: the enormous 3-D role-playing title Aralon: Sword and Shadow, and the addictive minimalist shooter Shapes & Sound: The ShapeShooter.

RunKeeper – GPS Track Run Walk update (Free)

What’s it about? Exercise tracking app RunKeeper helps you log routes and keep track of your workouts.

What’s cool? Though it’s called RunKeeper, the app isn’t just relegated to keeping track of your runs. It’s actually great for biking and walking, too, and uses your device’s GPS to map routes when you go out for a run. It keeps track of the distance you’ve traveled and the time it takes. RunKeeper tracks other workout stats, and its big new update not only introduces a user interface redesign, it adds things pace-per-mile tracking and a progress tab.

Who’s it for? Runners, bikers, hikers and workout enthusiasts, RunKeeper is a great app for tracking all your activities.

What’s it like? You can get more running help with Nike+ Running and MapMyRun.

Aralon: Sword and Shadow ($4.99)

What’s it about? A huge role-playing game, Aralon: Sword and Shadow is a favorite from the iOS side of mobile gaming that has finally jumped to Android.

What’s cool? A 3-D role-playing title along the lines of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Aralon boasts tons of content and a huge world for players to explore. With a 30-hour story, four character classes, and all the weapons and magic you could hope to enjoy in an RPG this size, Aralon is a game that will keep you busy. Like other titles in the genre, you’ll develop skills and decide what to specialize in as you progress your character, gather new weapons, items and armor to make yourself more powerful, and fight a whole bunch of monsters.

Who’s it for? If you’re a fan of big stories, fantasy worlds and RPGs, Aralon is a game you should try.

What’s it like? For more great stories and RPGs, try Dungeon Hunter 3 and Horn.

Shapes & Sound: TheShapeShooter ($0.99)

What’s it about? Despite its long name, Shapes & Sound: TheShapeShooter is a minimalist arcade shooter that has players fighting off enemy shapes with speed, reflexes and quick thinking.

What’s cool? The gist of Shapes & Sound is that you control a central shape at the center of the screen, and from around the edges of the screen come other shapes bent on destroying you. Blasting those shapes is your top priority. It’s not enough to have good aim and quick reflexes, however, because there are multiple kinds of shapes, and they can only be destroyed by the correct counter shape – think rock, paper, scissors. You need to switch shapes on the fly to the correct counter for each enemy coming at you, adding another layer to the title’s reflex-driven gameplay.

Who’s it for? If you like minimalist top-down shooting games that are both relaxing and can tax your brain, try Shapes & Sound.

What’s it like? You’ll get more frantic geometric minimalist shooter fun from PewPew 2 and Hyperlight.

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