It wouldn't be another month without our usual short-lists. We've already discussed our six favorite apps from March 2013, so it's time to take a look at the six best games we saw last month. As usual, the Play Store had plenty of new games to offer, from fast-paced shooters to classic remakes to chaotic puzzlers. If you like playing games on Android, chances are there was something for you last month. Since most readers don't have enough time to check out every worthy competitor in the store, we'll take a peek at the six games we think stood out most last month.
Uppercut Games, in its first foray into the Play Store, released Epoch last night. The game, based on the Unreal 3 engine, is an intense robot shooter, inviting players to "follow the echoes of a lost civilization in a visually stunning post-apocalyptic world," relying on cover-shooting gameplay in which you, the robot, duck and shoot between spurts of quick running. The game aims for truly intuitive touch controls. Whether it succeeds in that goal is a matter of preference, but it makes for interesting gameplay, even if said gameplay won't appeal to casual gamers.
Between shooting and running, players can upgrade their robot frames with "pieces torn from your fallen enemies." Sound gruesome? Don't worry, it's only robots.
The game is $4.99 in the Play Store, so if you're sure that polished graphics, fast-paced action, and touch-oriented cover shooting are things you like, hit the widget below.
Dynamite Jack, a colorful romp that found its way into the Play Store last month, follows the story of a captured space marine as he tries to escape from captivity, capturing all the action in "glorious 2D." The game is simple enough to be great fun, while maintaining some excitement and a healthy dose of challenge. It comes with 28 default maps to escape the Anathema Mines, but allows players to create their own, sharing them with the community (which has, evidently, amassed "100s" of maps). Once you've completed the regular maps, you can also compete for time trial scores against your friends and the rest of the community.
Ready to put the smack down on trolls, guards, scientists, and robot spiders and have $2.99 burning a hole in your pocket? Hit the widget.
"Pull back and ping…" Sounds simple, right? If so, you've never played PUK. The game blew our minds when it came out late last month, taking fast-paced puzzling to a mind-bending extreme. The game's dynamic actually sounds very simple: shoot circular pucks at larger circular targets. Trouble is, you've got to adapt to different targets. Some targets take more than one hit, some have to be physically shaken, and some are hidden behind walls, necessitating very tricky trajectory. Oh, and you're timed.
One thing about this game that is calming is its visual style. The game is dichromatic orange-on-white or – at times – black on white, and "super minimal." The game is about $1.00 on the Play Store, and is definitely worth trying, if just to experience sheer panic during a mobile video game.
The self-proclaimed "king of castle crushers," Catapult King, came onto the scene last month with simple controls and an endlessly entertaining objective: smash things. Basically, there's a princess being held captive by dragons, which are in league with the Nasty Knights. With this pretext, you are tasked with smashing said knights (and their castles), while completing levels to level up your catapult (actually a giant slingshot) by enchanting it with various new attacks.
The game is free to play, so there's no reason not to…ahem…give it a shot.
Magicka, a game that's already seen some success on the desktop (thanks to Steam), came to Android tablets last month, offering to tell players "a fantastic tale of sorcery…and cranial explosions." Magicka is an admitted "RPG spoof" in which you can battle monsters with a trusty retinue of elemental mages and an ample selection of spells. When you don't feel like battling beasties alone, the game offers up to four player co-op between both Android and iOS users, either helping each other out or "accidentally" blasting each other to bits.
The game is just $1.99 from the Play Store, a worthy price for fans of the PC game and new players alike.
Metal Slug X
Metal Slug X, put simply, is a revamp of "run-and-gun" game Metal Slug 2. SNK has ported Metal Slug titles before, with X promising to be just as great as (or better than) the others, specifically offering a re-upped version of the second game with "even more fun and excitement."
If you've played the other titles, you already know Metal Slug X comes with deliciously retro graphics. You'll also get new weapons, an "arcade mode" to replay completed missions, custom controls, and multiplayer co-op via Bluetooth.
The game, like SNK's other Metal Slug entries, costs $3.99, and is worth it for fans of the other titles or those just looking to relive a Neo Geo classic.
There they are – our top six picks for best new game from the last month. March had something for almost everyone, but if none of the games above suited your taste, just keep an eye out for our larger roundups.