Best Windows apps this week
One-hundred and twenty three in a series. Welcome to this week's overview of the best apps and games released for Windows in the past seven days.
Big news this week was the release of Windows 10 Build 10041 which fine-tuned several features of Microsoft's upcoming operating system but did not ship with major changes.
This week saw the release of several high profile apps and games including Dragon Notes, a dictation app and Dungeon Hunter 5, an action RPG game.
As always, if I missed an app or game that has been released this week that you believe is particularly good, let me know in the comments below or notify me via email instead.
Discounts this week
The following applications and games are discounted by at least 50 percent this week.
- Blazblue Calamity Trigger, a fighting game for $3.99
- 3Ounce, an action game for $0.99
- Chimpact 2 Family Tree, another action game for $0.99
- Hills of Glory 3D, a real-time strategy game for $1.49
- Carcassonne, adaption of the famous boardgame for $1.99
- AV Remote, control UPnP/DLNA devices remotely for $0.99
Best app of the week
Dragon Notes ($19.99, free trial)
Dragon Notes is the little brother of Nuance's Dragon Naturally Speaking.
It is a dictation app using the company's tested speech recognition engine.
Dragon Notes is a bare bones app. All you get is one icon that you need to click or tap on to dictate and another click or tap to complete the operation.
The text is then processed server-side and displayed to you if everything worked correctly.
Probably the biggest issue that you may have with the app is that it does not display text while you speak. The text is displayed only after it has been processed and there is no way to go back and correct things using your voice. What you can do however is edit the text manually.
The app itself offers no exporting options either which means that you have to use copy and paste to do so.
With that said, the text recognition is excellent even if you speak English with a heavy accent (German in my case).
Not a Cat is a jump and run game with interesting game mechanics. One core feature of the game are elements that you can select to aid you while you are playing the game. The fire element for instance enables you to walk over lava without taking damage, while water lets you slip through cracks.
The usual traits of this kind of game are all there: lots of running and jumping, enemies that you can defeat or avoid, and coins that you collect to buy equipment.
PayPal Here is a business application offering POS, back-office management and a mobile card reader.
It accepts various payment methods including credit and debit cards, PayPal, and allows you to track cash and check payments as well.
Sales reports can be generated on a daily, weekly, monthly or custom basis, and sub-accounts created for staff-members.
Drop Hunt is a beautiful puzzle game in which you need to swipe (or drag if you use the mouse) color blobs to their color jars.
While that sounds easy, it is not as you move all the blobs in each level at the same time.
Later stages introduce new game elements such as different colored blobs, path blockers, larger levels and areas that erase the color.
MolPad Touch ($4.49, free trial)
MolPad Touch is a chemical structure drawing application that you control using touch, stylus or mouse.
It supports a freehand mode that detects structures and elements while you are drawing them and supports gestures to create specific structures such as rings.
Dungeon Hunter is an action role-playing game that plays similar to genre favorites such as Diablo 2 or Torchlight.
The game features different character classes but uses the term loosely as you can switch between different play styles in the game independent of the class that you have started the game with.
Dungeon Hunter offers everything that you expect from a game of its kind. Lots of slashing and hacking, looting to get better equipment, level ups to become stronger, and a story that you follow throughout the game.
It features single-player and cooperative game play, crafting and great visuals.
The game is free to play and uses premium currency in-game that you need to purchase select items such as potions.
This is a simple torrent client for Windows that supports torrent files but not magnet links.
The contents of a torrent that you add to the app are displayed giving you options to download some or all files included in it.
The client itself is bare bones. You don't get any options whatsoever other than downloading torrent files. So, no selecting of download directories, bandwidth limits and other features desktop torrent clients support.
Design, create and 3D print characters with the help of Autodesk Tinkerplay. The app ships with built-in character templates that teach you the basics and options to start your own creations from scratch.
Tinkerplay ships with options to test your designs in the application to make sure they are ready for 3D printing.
Cinderella Free Fall is a match-3 type of game but it plays a bit differently as you don't switch gems to create combinations but link gems by drawing lines instead.
Each level has a different task for you, from collecting specific gem types over reaching a specific score to removing dust in the gem.
All in all a fun match-3 game variation.
Test Chamber is a unique puzzle game in which you try to leave each level via the exit. What makes it special is that maps repeat at the top, bottom and both sides of the screen and you need to use this in some levels to complete it.
At its core, it is all about constructing bridges by filling gaps with cubes that you find in each level. Later stages of the game introduce new elements like force fields.