31
Jul
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Last Updated: August 2nd, 2011

Welcome to a new feature here on the site, where we'll be giving five awesome games that've been released in the past month the spotlight we feel they deserve. Below are our picks from July - enjoy!

Asteroid Tower Defense

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There seems to be no shortage of tower defense games on Android, but most seem to have common problems: either they don't take advantage of the graphics that Android is capable of, or the gameplay isn't snappy enough to avoid frustration.

Asteroid Tower Defense thankfully avoids both issues. The game's controls allow you to make precise, quick movements without adding the game itself as an enemy to overcome, and the animations are fast, furious and beautiful. There are some quirks with the camera and auto-centering, but thankfully they can be taken care of in the options menu.

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Perhaps best of all, this app is free: there's nothing like a high-quality game that you don't have to spend money on. I would say that this is my favourite Tower Defense game on the Android Market, and it should be welcome on any phone.

Quell

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Even though some of my favourite Android games are action-packed, it's worth slowing down at times and enjoying a nice, relaxing experience. Quell is one of those games.

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I was surprised at how mellow I felt while I was playing it; this can be attributed to a nice, light, color scheme, simple controls and a downright relaxing score from composer Steven Cravis. This soundtrack and the lack of any timer-based goals really complete the package: there is no rush here. Instead, you can just take your time and enjoy what you're playing.

The game costs a mere $1.60, which is quite the steal in return for 80 levels of zen.

Psychoban

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When I played this game I couldn't stop thinking about how much character it had. Think Portal's atmosphere and humour and replace the portal mechanic with block puzzles.

You take the role of a mental hospital patient whose doctors are forcing him to perform tests, which usually amount to pushing a block onto a waiting receptacle. It's a simple iteration of an old concept, but the art style and dialog keep it from getting too stale. The fact that the graphics are gorgeous for a 3D isometric-style game doesn't hurt, either.

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At $2.00 USD, this title's definitely worth the spare change in your pocket. For those who are unsure, the game lets you play its first six levels for free.

This game runs on Android 2.2 or above.

Wiz Kid Jr.

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I had a chance to review this app and was impressed by the amount of polish and character it had. Some games really don't take the time to make sure that everything works, from the menus to the high score screens. Wiz Kid Jr. is well-made and suffers no real flaws, and its boasts impressive gameplay.

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Not content to just be a simple "match three or more" clone, the game throws a little bit of storyline your way, and gives you some great magic mechanics to eliminate those particularly pesky sequences. As the difficulty ramps up and the player grows more experienced, the game gives you more powers to play around with and more difficult enemies to overcome in your quest for wizarding greatness.

The best part? This game is available for $0.99. If you believe in good work being rewarded, I really implore you to pick up this game.

Spirit HD

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Spirit HD impressed me with its fluid controls and mechanics that make it much more than a simple Geometry Wars clone. Instead of shooting your enemies, you're instructed to form a deadly bubble around them using the trail from your super-fast flying. This challenges you to be an amazing pilot who can manage to squeak through the tightest of spaces while forming combos to eliminate your foes.

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The only real complaints I had were some enemies lifted straight out of Geometry Wars, and some quirks that are alleviated by playing the game; you quickly get used to the speed at which your light tail activates, and how unforgiving the steering can be.

However, when you do get the hang of it, this game becomes a rewarding and fun experience. At $2.03, it won't break the bank, either.

Matt Demers
Matt Demers is a Toronto writer that deals primarily in the area of Android, comics and other nerdy pursuits. You can find his work on Twitter and sites across the Internet.

  • Jacob

    Why not Switch?

    • sloth

      Plus 1 for switch

  • Adam

    Asteroid Tower Defense is made well but the level design was very poorly thought out. The game is way too easy for the first 70+ levels and by the time it does get difficult you're no longer using anything other than max level towers and the real difficulty is rebuilding your structures as quickly as the meteors destroy them. It's not very fun in that respect.

    Would be a better game if the difficulty were retuned.

    • http://www.AndroidPolice.com Artem Russakovskii

      +1 - sums up my feelings about it exactly.

  • Andropolis

    "Cause & Effect" is getting rave reviews. So if you want to play a super-original game (that was released in July) check it out!

  • Vince

    Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.....just what Android needs. More obscure puzzle games. >_>

  • Christo

    Quell is down to 99ยข right now, and Spirit HD is $1.99... Grabbing these two to try out...

    Also, in spite of the name, Spirit HD also contains the regular version for phones in the same APK...

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