Reload: Android 7.0 Nougat – Root – Pokemon Go

Ok, it turned out that a combinations of updates has broken my previous guide on playing Pokemon GO on a rooted Android device. What has happened that the October security update of the Android Nougat has changed the SecurityNet that is used for checking for rooted devices, and at the same time the Magisk rooting system as catapulted itself (hopefully temporarily) into the complete irrelevance by removing the working version and providing an “improved” version that does neither have SuperSU installed, nor the ability to hide root – well done, congratulations.

android-nougat-root-poke

But there is a way around, and I am now back at the latest security patch level, rooted, and playing Pokemon GO (not very often, no time, though!). Continue reading

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Android 7.0 Nougat – Root – PokemonGo

UPDATE 20161008 This blog is outdated, please see the updated version: Reload: Android 7.0 Nougat – Root – Pokemon Go

Since my switch to Android my Nexus 6p is rooted and I have happily fixed the Android (<7) font errors with Japanese fonts in English environment (see this post). The recently released Android 7 Nougat finally fixes this problem, so it was high time to update.

In addition, a recent update to Pokemon Go excluded rooted devices, so I was searching for a solution that allows me to: update to Nougat, keep root, and run PokemonGo (as well as some bank security apps etc).

android-nougat-root-poke

After some playing around here are the steps I took: Continue reading

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Gaming: Deus Ex Go

Long flights and lazy afternoons relaxing from teaching, I tried out another game on my Android device, Deus Ex Go. It is a turn based game in the style of the Deus Ex series (long years ago I was beta tester for the Deus Ex version of LGP). A turn based game where you have to pass through a series of levels, each one consisting of an hexagonal grid with an entry and exit point, and some nasty villains or machines trying to kill you.

Deus-ex-go

Without any explanations given you are thrown into the game and it takes a few iterations until you understand what kind of attacks you are facing, but once you have figured that out, it is a more or less simple game of combination how to manage to get to the exit. I played through the around 50 levels of the story mode and I think it was only in the last five that I once or twice had to actually try and think hard to find a solution.

I found the game quite amusing at the beginning, but soon it became repetitive. But since you can play through the whole story mode in probably one long afternoon, that is not so much of a problem. More a problem is the apparently incredible battery usage of this game. Playing without checking for some time leaves you soon with a near empty battery.

Graphically well done, with more or less interesting gameplay, it still does not stand up to Monument Valley.

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Gaming: The Room series

After having finished Monument Valley and some spin-offs, Google Play suggested me The Room series games (The Room, The Room II, Room III), classical puzzle games with a common theme – one needs to escape from some confinement.

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I have finished all the three games, game play was very nice and smooth on my phone (Nexus 6P). The graphics and detail level is often astonishing, and everything is well made.

But there is one drop of Vermouth: You need a strong finger tapping muscle! I really love solving the puzzles, but most of them were not really difficult. The real difficulty is finding everything by touching each and every knob, looking from all angles at all times. This later part, the tedious part to find things by often illogically tapping on strange places to realize “ahh, there is something that turns”, that is what I do not like.

I had the feeling that more than 60% of the game play is searching for things. Once you have found them, their use and the actual riddle is mostly straightforward, though.

The Room series somehow reminded me of the Myst series (Myst, Riven, Myst III etc), but afair the Myst series had more involved, more complicated riddles, and less searching. Also the recently reviewed Talos Principle and Portal series have clear set problems that challenge your brain, not your finger tapping muscle.

But all in all a very enjoyable series of games.

Final remark: I learned recently that there are real-world games like this, called “Escape Room“. Somehow tempting to try one out …

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Gaming: Monument Valley

With a small baby invading your lifestyle, not much time for other activities is left over, especially for gaming. Most of the times even using my computer is a one-hand-action. In these times mobile games that can be played one-handed are greatly appreciated. And if it is one like Monument Valley, full of atmosphere and incredibly stimulating game play, then the level of gratitude is near infinite.

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Set in an Escherian universe where space and distance is often an illusion, the player is guiding a small princess through several levels (10+1 in the basic game, 8 more in the In-App-Purchase) of astonishing simplicity and beauty at the same time. Carefully crafted graphics, atmospheric music, calm game play (no action, don’t worry), and the lovely crows sitting around and craaaahing at the little princess. Continue reading

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Gaming: The Talos Principle – Road to Gehenna

After finishing the Talos Principle I immediately started to play the extension Road to Gehenna, but was derailed near completion by the incredible Portal Stories: Mel. Now that I finally managed to escape from the test chambers my attention returned to the Road to Gehenna. As with the pair Portal 2 and Portal Stories: Mel, the challenges are going up considerably from the original Talos Principle to the Road to Gehenna. Checking the hours of game play it took me about 24h through all the riddles in Road to Gehenna, but I have to admit, I had some riddles where I needed to cheat.

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The Road to Gehenna does not bring much new game play elements, but loads of new riddles. And the best of all, playable on Linux! Continue reading

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Gaming: Portal Stories: Mel

The last days, after about 20 hours of gameplay, I have finally finished Portal Stories: Mel, the single player mod for Portal 2. After having played Portal and Portal 2, I have to say this one mod took be by surprise. I remember very well that, after having played through Portal 2 and found it to easy, I was pointed to Portal Stories: Mel in several comments, I thought “Well, it cannot be that difficult!”. I couldn’t have been more wrong!
portal-stories-mel

Portal Stories: Mel is really difficult, at least for me. I remember game sessions where I just started the game, looked at the configuration of the current riddle for 20min, and then quit the game without actually moving around an inch. Continue reading

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Gaming: The Talos Principle

Over the last weekends I finally managed to finish The Talos Principle, all of its endings. Compared to the actual play time I needed for Portal 2, namely about 12 hours, The Talos Principle challenged me much longer, about 36 hours. An enjoyable ride through many different and stunningly created worlds filled with many many puzzles that need to be solved.

Combined with three different endings the games offers great fun for those who love riddle games. Continue reading

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Challenging riddle from The Talos Principle

When I recently complained that Portal 2 was too easy, I have to say, The Talos Principle is challenging. For a solution that, if known, takes only a few seconds, I often have to wring my brain about the logistics for long long time. Here a nice screenshot from one of the easier riddles, but with great effect.

TTP-screenshot

A great game, very challenging. A more length review will come when I have finished the game.

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Gaming: Portal 2

It took me ages to finish Portal (1), but Portal 2 was different – I moved through the games in high speed. Actually playing time was the same, but I played a bit more often then before 😉 More details below, but tl;dr: Nice extension of Portal, which feels a bit different. Graphics are great, but for my feeling the chambers are too easy and too short.

portal2-by-browen2o

Image by user browen2o on the Steam Portal community center. Continue reading

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