Popular wisdom says that movies released in January are the detritus of the previous year, as studios breathe a sigh of relief once all the Christmas blockbusters and Oscar bait has left theaters. The game industry has inherited a bit of this stigma, but it's hard to argue with the evidence: for the first time in over two years, we skipped a game roundup because of a lack of content. Even so, there are enough notable newcomers to keep you occupied until Valentine's Day at least.

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Crossy Road

Android Police coverage: Popular Frogger Clone 'Crossy Road' Hops From iOS And The Amazon Appstore Onto Google Play

Crossy Road is Frogger. Sure, it's got charming "voxel" graphics and a bunch of different (and soon to be endangered) player-characters, but it's Frogger. Only and ever Frogger. The sole point of the game is to gain coins, which you can use to randomly earn more characters, some of which will change the environment to a local theme. If the slow coin collection gets you down you can watch ads to earn more, or just buy those characters for a buck each. (For your skinned game of Frogger.)

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Why did the Chicken cross the road? Why did the Pigeon leave THAT there? Why did Specimen 115 abduct that cow? Why did Unihorse eat all that candy?

  • Collect over 50 retro-styled, pop art inspired characters
  • Cross roads, train tracks, and rivers – endlessly hop forever
  • Dodge traffic in a candy wonderland with the Android Robot
  • Simple, pure, innovative gameplay
  • Free to play

 

The Witcher Battle Arena

Android Police review: The Witcher Battle Arena Review: A Surprisingly Great Free-To-Play Experience

The Witcher is a series of high-production, old-fashioned action-RPGs for PC and consoles. This pint-sized mobile entry in the series is a MOBA, basically a top-down RTS-style combat game tuned for fast-paced multiplayer matches. The layout should be familiar to fans of League of Legends or DOTA, complete with a free-to-play structure based on leveling heroes. Check out Ryan Whitwam's full (and generally positive) review for an in-depth look.

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The Witcher Battle Arena is a fast, fun and easy to learn MOBA set in a rich fantasy world. In Battle Arena two three-hero teams fight against each other, trying to capture and hold conquest points in short, intense and action-packed battles. Designed with mobile devices in mind, Battle Arena combines intuitive controls with skill-based strategies and fast-paced action. Rain fire from afar as a sorceress or cleave your enemies’ knees as a dwarf – all with the flick of a finger.

Heroes of Might & Magic III HD

Android Police coverage: Heroes Of Might And Magic III Lands On The Play Store: Tablet Tactics Costs $10

Heroes of Might and Magic III is a classic of turn-based strategy. Now you can replay it on your Android tablet (and only your tablet - no phones invited) for ten bucks. This HD edition includes overhauled 2D graphics, since modern tablets have considerably more resolution than CRTs circa 1999. The tablet version also has revamped touchscreen controls and "hot potato" local multiplayer, but unfortunately there's no online option.

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The most popular Heroes® title of all time is back in HD. Do you remember all those sleepless nights spent fighting Black Dragons and Archangels, Demons and Necromancers? Were you a true fan of Heroes® of Might & Magic® III? We have great news for you. Fifteen years later, rediscover the epic tale of Queen Catherine Ironfist, as she re-embarks on her critically acclaimed quest to unite her ravaged homeland and re-conquer the kingdom of Erathia.

Ambition of the Slimes

If you've played a Dragon Quest game sometime in the last 20 years, you've probably slaughtered hundreds of tiny, weak slimes - they're the Goombas of the RPG world. But what happens when the slimes rise up and bring the fight to their fleshy oppressors? Half Final Fantasy Tactics and half Invasion of the Body Snatchers, this game has you taking over fantasy heroes with your party of slimes and conquering the world. It's the best game in the world for members of the Brain Slug Party. This one is free with a few in-app purchases for extra characters. Note: You'll need to set the language to English manually.

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The world was on the brink of destruction. An evil race known as humans had appeared from out of nowhere, and had the world in the palm of their hand. Forests were burned, the skies and seas were polluted, and tyranny reigned supreme. At this rate, the end of days is not far off. And then, despite us having done nothing to earn their malice, they came to make war upon us. As we did not possess any significant fighting force, it was just a matter of time before we were annihilated.

Sky Gamblers: Storm Raiders

Android Police coverage: Sky Gamblers: Storm Raiders Takes To The Air On Android

Most of the flight simulator games on mobile platforms have extremely simple controls, more or less out of necessity. Sky Gamblers is a WWII dogfighting game that tries to buck that trend with multiple options for semi-realistic controls, even going so far as to include a cockpit view. Real planes and historic battles are present for history buffs, and players can hop online for co-op or competitive missions. The game is $1, plus in-app purchases for specific planes and cosmetic options - no currency or "cheats" allowed.

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THIS IS THE ULTIMATE WWII AIR COMBAT GAME. You’ll participate in visceral dogfights, protect cities and fleets, bomb enemy structures and even fly through tunnels. Everything is set up in accurately recreated real life locations like Pearl Harbor, Coast of Dover, Midway, Germany and France. Unparalleled visuals, special effects and audio including: specular masks, bump mapping, atmospheric scattering, volumetric clouds with realistic lighting.

Flockers

Android Police coverage: Flockers Is A Lemmings-Style Puzzle Game From The Creators Of Worms, Now Available On Google Play

Flockers looks a lot like Lemmings, and it uses the same basic formula: you guide a bunch of helpless sheep through a series of obstacles to get them safely through the levels. But this game comes from Team 17, the Worms guys, and it has their typically twisted sense of humor. One of the Worms actually guest stars as a mad genius type who'll stop at nothing to drop, crush, slice, stab, and generally dispatch all those sheep in hilariously violent ways. IAP lets you skip levels, but isn't used for anything else.

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New from the creators of Worms, comes Flockers, a game splattered full of dark humour. Sick of being used as Weapons in the Worms' endless battles, the Sheep decide to make a break for it. Save the Sheep by guiding them through crushers, giant buzz-saws, deep pits full of spikes and giant swinging meat cleavers. Help them escape their diabolical masters, or leave them to the Worms' diabolical traps and watch their insides explode all over the place. Like, everywhere.

Adventure Time Game Wizard

Android Police coverage: Cartoon Network's 'Adventure Time Game Wizard' Is A $4.99 Level Creator For Fans Of Finn And Jake

This is a pretty sweet idea: a game that's nothing but a level creator. OK, that's not all that novel, but the ability to use a rudimentary Adventure Time-themed programming language is quite cool (and a possible vector to get kids excited about computer science). If that doesn't work, you can draw out levels on a piece of paper and import them via the camera. Groovy. Adventure Time Game Wizard is $5 with no in-app purchases - all the tools and capabilities are included.

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Game Wizard gives you the power to make and play Adventure Time games. Finn and Jake face an all-new villain: Doodle Wizard. Battle his sketchy army across a huge open world including the Grasslands, Candy Kingdom, Ice Kingdom, Dungeons, and more. Play for hours in Adventure Mode, or make your own adventures. Use the Doodle Wizard’s secret glyph language to design custom video games. Fill your games with traps, loot, portals, enemies, and so much more.

Honorable Mentions

That's all for January. You can expect slim pickings over the next month or two as well, as developers build up new content after releasing their best over the holidays. I'm actually kind of glad of that - all the good TV shows are coming back, and I need the cash for episodes on Google Play anyway. Expect a new flock of sports titles as the NBA playoffs and MLB training camps begin.