It's that time again – the time of the month when we give you our short list of the best new games from the previous month. This time, we've sifted through all the great Play Store entries from September to give you our top six favorite new games, all of which are worth at least checking out, at most becoming completely addicted to.
We couldn't pass up Bad Piggies. Rovio's latest entry into the Play Store, which builds on the wild success of Angry Birds, puts the pigs everyone loves to hate in the spotlight with the "Piggest Game Ever."
In Bad Piggies, players will build flying, rolling, or floating contraptions to safely transport pigs through environments that are fiendishly hard to master, aiming to collect three stars per level like always, but through increasingly unique and customizable means. Players will use wooden boxes, wheels, fans, balloons, soda bottles, and rockets to propel the piggies through each level, finding new and interesting ways to get the pigs to their destination.
If you like physics-based puzzlers (like Angry Birds), Bad Piggies is absolutely worth checking out.
Rayman Jungle Run
Remember Rayman, the punchy, whimsical platformer that first found its home on our consoles and in our hearts in 1995? Well, Ubisoft has brought the series to Android with Rayman Jungle Run, a continuous running platformer that brings dazzling visuals and addicting gameplay to your mobile device.
RJR's gameplay dynamic is simple, but its environments are difficult to master, requiring players to jump, run, and fly through increasingly intricate and vibrant environments, all while trying to collect 100 "Lums," which are floating golden creatures that somehow unlock teeth that will allow you to play hidden levels.
Rayman Jungle Run is $2.99 in the Play Store, but it's worth every penny if you need a stunningly beautiful time waster.
Huebrix is another game with an insanely simple premise that's also insanely difficult to master. Basically, the idea is to gesture from a colored block to its designated destination. Easy, right? Wrong. With each level, the puzzles are intensified, and for an extra boost of difficulty, each block's line is limited in length. The game has over 400 levels, ensuring hours and hours of furious block-dragging play, and has vibrant yet simple visuals that make it easy on the eyes.
This one's $0.99 from the Play Store, but if you like idle puzzlers that will keep you guessing, it shouldn't be overlooked.
Bringing to the Play Store a game that, according to Jeremiah, "gets touchscreen real-time strategy right," Noble Master Games released Desert Stormfront last month.
The game is as close as will come to a great RTS experience on Android, putting you in command of humvees, tanks, artillery, mechanics, helicopters, and a bevy of other resources in Middle Eastern desert landscapes, where you'll battle "for power and oil." Besides its 30 pre-defined missions, DS includes a random map generator to greatly extend gameplay, with available scenarios including capture the flag, tower defense, tank fights, and more. While the graphics and visual style aren't perfect, they harken back to the genre's 1990s roots, and have the authentic feel of a touchscreen adaptation (making the leap quite deftly).
The game runs at $4.99 in the Play Store, but for RTS fans, it will be worth it. If, on the other hand, you're not ready to commit to the price tag, the game is available in a Lite alternative.
Beach Buggy Blitz
Vector Unit, the makers of Riptide GP and Shine Runner, debuted Beach Buggy Blitz to the Play Store last month, bringing to market a fun, drive-as-long-as-you-can game with impressive graphics and great gameplay.
The goal of the game is simple – drive as far as you can while collecting coins, hitting time marks, and avoiding camp fires, pottery, houses, and other cars.
The game has smooth graphics that perform beautifully, and a ton of unlockables to customize and power up your buggy. What's really great about this game, though, is that players can save to the cloud, moving from device to device without losing progress.
It's worth noting that right now the game is only compatible with Tegra 3 and (some) Tegra 2 devices. Check the Play Store listing for up to date compatibility notes.
That being said, if your device is compatible, there's no reason not to check out Beach Buggy Blitz. Did I mention it's free?
The Bard's Tale
The Bard's Tale, the much-anticipated port of its PS2 counterpart we covered shortly after launch last month, is an expansive, huge, enormous game ringing in at 3.5GB and 20-30 hours of total gameplay. Besides that, it's a humorous quest/RPG style romp through a medieval landscape that offers a dynamic, ever-changing gameplay experience and – as mentioned – countless hours of gameplay.
The game casts players as a witty bard who wanders into the town of Houton with a lute, and soon begins picking up various quests, slaying monsters and having quirky conversations with a host of NPCs along the way.
If you're a fan of the Bard's Tale, or if you're just looking for an awesome RPG experience with wit to spare and happen to have 3.5GB of free storage, this game is worth checking out. The game is $5.95 in the Play Store, but considering its impressive scope, that price is anything but unreasonable.
So that's our short list of the best new games from September 2012. Still looking for something that suits your gaming needs? Keep an eye out for our semi-weekly big roundups, or send in your own suggestions for the best new games each month.