Welcome to the latest entry in our Bonus Round series, wherein we tell you all about the new Android games of the day that we couldn't get to during our regular news rounds. Consider this a quick update for the dedicated gamers who can't wait for our bi-weekly roundups, and don't want to wade through a whole day's worth of news just to get their pixelated fix. Today we've got a gorgeous platformer/shooter, a tactical RPG, a strange telephone-themed adventure game, another Tin Man game book, and a game about burning things. Without further ado:


Savant - Ascent

Savant is an action-platformer with a heavy dose of 2D shooter thrown in. You control the main character, the titular Savant, as he blasts robots and climbs up a gothic tower. The gameplay is pretty novel, but Savant got an easy slot here in the Bonus Round because it's a strikingly beautiful game - this is how you do awesome 2D graphics, people. Google Play Games services are included, and there are no in-app purchases, though the developer is promising new (free) content in the future.


Based off Savant's universe, the game has you battling scrap robots to reclaim your tower. Fight your way up the enemy-infested tower, dodging and shooting your way to the top. As you progress through the different stages, you'll unlock new Savant tracks, along with powerful upgrades. Clearing the game will reward you with new game modes, where you can try to beat your highscores, and unlock further content.

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Heroes of Steel RPG

Android is finally getting some decent tactical RPGs. Take Heroes Of Steel, a top-down, turn-based RPG in the vein of Final Fantasy Tactics or Tactics Ogre. You control a group of post-apocalyptic fantasy adventurers as they make their way through the world. The battle system and character customization is surprisingly deep, and it should be a treat for fans of the genre. The dark art style won't be everyone's cup of tea - and neither will the in-app purchases. 


Command a party of four heroes with diverse skills, abilities and equipment as they strive to protect humanity in a time of warring gods and dark powers. Lead your group on an adventure through a sprawling story set in a post-apocalyptic medieval realm. Heroes of Steel is a highly tactical turn-based RPG in which you command a party of four unique characters, each with their own special powers and abilities. Engage in strategic combat with the devious, magical, and evil races who threaten humanity's last settlements. You decide how to develop each character’s strategy into a powerful group dynamic.

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Never Alone Hotline is an odd duck. I suppose technically it's an adventure game with nothing but a gigantic conversation tree. You play a hotline attendant who talks to lonely people... no, not like that. The only real interaction is in what you choose to say. The conversations with anonymous strangers range from interesting to freaky (this game is not for kids, by the way), and it's all backed by an eerie plink-plonk soundtrack. Your decisions will affect the people on the other end, so choose wisely.


Do you feel depressed? Lonely? Or abandoned? Call Never Alone Hotline and enjoy our friendly hostesses. Over the course of the game, a multitude of people will call you up on your primitive-looking phone. From perverts intent on telephone sex to kittens to would-be suicides, you'll see them all. It's up to you as to how you want to respond to them. Never Alone Hotline will make you laugh, slap your forehead and smirk, miss your grandparents, roll your eyes in exasperation and ache a little on the inside.

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    Island of the Lizard King

    Tin Man Games is here to make game books and chew bubblegum... and they're all out of bubblegum. The latest entry in this developer's ever-expanding (if somewhat one-dimensional) arsenal is Island Of The Lizard King, a swashbuckling tale that presumably includes both lizards and kings. Mixing Dungeons and Dragons play mechanics and Choose Your Own Adventure storytelling, the app is pricey at six bucks or one doubloon.


    The world famous Fighting Fantasy interactive gamebook series continues. Ian Livingstone and Tin Man Games present Island of the Lizard King. You can relive the adventures on Fire Island on your phone or tablet, lovingly updated for digital devices. Presented in full colour with realistic physics-based dice rolling for battles, auto-mapping, an auto-updated adventure sheet and stat keeping.


    Little Inferno

    It's going to take a lot to convince me that Little Inferno isn't actively encouraging kids to play with fire. You buy toys, then you burn them in a chimney. That's literally it. Ostensibly a sandbox physics game, the fun comes in seeing how the different objects go up in flames. Different strokes for different folks, I guess.


    Little Inferno is an unordinary game, filled with surprise and wonder, and even better the less you know before playing. Congratulations on your new Little Inferno Entertainment Fireplace. Throw your toys into your fire, and play with them as they burn. Stay warm in there. It's getting cold outside. Burn flaming logs, screaming robots, credit cards, batteries, exploding fish, unstable nuclear devices, and tiny galaxies.

    Be sure to check out our gaming coverage from earlier this week:

    Jeremiah Rice
    Jeremiah is a US-based blogger who bought a Nexus One the day it came out and never looked back. In his spare time he watches Star Trek, cooks eggs, and completely fails to write novels.
    • Michael Ward

      Savant is ridiculously fun.

    • Jen

      I LOVE Little Inferno on every platform! It's just fun and low-pressure. With fire. Lots of fire.

    • ChainsawCharlie

      That Heroes of Steel looks like a game for me. Shame that it has IAP, which means I will never install it.

      • Dennis Strömberg

        That's just stupid. If it seems like a good game at a decent price (including IAP) why not try it? IAP can be done tastefully. It is being done tastefully.
        Sure, there are bad eggs, baskets full of them, but don't knock games just on this one simple premise.
        Remember that there is a difference between pay-to-win/pay-to-advance and pay-for-extras.

        Without the IAPs the game might have cost $4.99 or something like that, possibly deterring a huge percentage of their potential buyers. Developers need money to.

        That being said, the game itself doesn't really interest me, but to each his own.

        • BigJohn89

          Because in a number of games (minus Gameloft games), you just don't know whether a game is able to be finished without IAP until you have devoted a considerable amount of time in it. And I have yet to see a developer being honest enough to place it in the game description that IAP is necessary for most to beat the game.

          It also seems that a lot of developers are looking for more than a base price (let's just say $4.99) with IAPs. I have had the opinion from recent games I've tried that they are hoping for a larger churn from IAP, which will continually generate revenue as a player goes along in the game.

          I would rather pay outright for a game from the beginning, and know that I will be able to finish it without having to shell out more as the game goes along.

      • Sqube

        I'll point out that there's a difference between a game having IAP and a game being effectively unwinnable without using IAP (see: everything from Gameloft).

    • http://twitter.com/shamus_carter james kendall

      Heroes of steel states in their description All IAPs are permanent additions. Purchasing a Character ($1.99) allows
      you to add the character to any new group. Purchasing a story Episode
      ($1) allows any group to play through the Episode. There are no
      consumable or repeat IAPs in this game.
      If you ask me This is doing IAP tastefully and I will gladly support them.