Adventure games have had something of a renaissance on mobile platforms, and if any series deserves to be in that small and nerdy company, it's Broken Sword. The first game, Shadow of the Templars, was a definite hit when it was released to the Play Store earlier this year, gaining more than a hundred thousand downloads and a score of 4.8. The sequel (originally released in 1997) is now available for a paltry four dollars.
|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.|
Gather round, armchair SEALs: Gameloft has got another military magnum opus for you. Modern Combat 4: Zero Hour is available now on the Play Store for seven bones, and purports to work with Android 2.3 and up. But since this series tends to push the boundaries of mobile graphical power (if not originality,) you'll probably need a relatively new Android device to run it well. You'll also need a good bit of space - it weighs in at nearly 2GB.
Baseball is America's game. There's nothing more classic than breaking out the old Louisville Slugger for a round of pick-up, and adding sexy nurses and super-deformed dark knights in no way detracts from the feeling of nostalgia. Such is the case with the well-established Baseball Superstars franchise, which Gamevil is bringing back for another round on Android. The 2013 release was previously restricted to South Korea, Gamevil's home country, but now it's available worldwide with plenty of language options.
If you're like me, you regularly forget your data cable at home, in hotels or at the 24-hour Pokemon Trading Card Repository. In such cases, 2011's New App of the Year, AirDroid, is a lifesaver. It's an incredibly comprehensive remote management app that lets you access your Android device via a desktop web browser, complete with file management, app installations, photo browser, and lots more. The creators are ready to step up their game with the second version of AirDroid, and have set up an invite-only beta.
Twelve years ago, Sega released a game for its brand-spanking new Dreamcast system that was so stunningly original its influences can still be seen today. Jet Set Radio (Jet Grind Radio for US gamers) became an instant sleeper hit, and has earned its cult classic status. The impressive, stylish visuals, unique gameplay and awesome music are still remember fondly by my generation. Now that Android hardware has caught up to and in many ways surpassed the old beige box, Sega has re-released Jet Set Radio for the mobile world.
There's a reason that the Nexus 4 has been sold out almost since it hit the Play Store: for custom ROM enthusiasts, buying anything else is a crapshoot. Assuming that the bootloader is unlocked (or can be,) you've just got to hope there's enough adoption among ROM developers to ensure a steady stream of builds. Owners of T-Mobile's former flagship, the HTC Amaze 4G, have had relatively good options in this area, and they just got a little better: the CyanogenMod team has released official nightly builds of CM10.
Gamevil's Zenonia franchise has been impossible to ignore on Android, if only because there have been four relatively high-budget releases in as many years. The fifth installment of the action RPG series, subtitled "Wheel Of Destiny" in the continuing tradition of semi-meaningless JRPG convention, is available now. It's a free download for anyone running Android 2.2 or later.
Gamevil's claim that Zenonia is the "definitive action RPG" might be a little dubious, but it's certainly got its share of fans.
If you've ever enjoyed a game with cartoony cell-shaded visuals, graffiti, and an incredible attention to licensed music, you've got Sega's Jet Set Radio (Jet Grind Radio in the original Dreamcast US version) to thank. There are more than a few gamers who keep the ol' beige box plugged in just for this little gem. But now they don't have to: Jet Set Radio is available for Android today, and it's just five bones in the Google Play Store.
Well hello there, Galaxy Axiom - where have you been hiding? We spotted it on Google's Wallet support site, and this budget LTE phone seems to have been slipped into the lineup of US Cellular without the carrier or Samsung itself making much of a fuss. What's even more interesting is that it's certified for Google Wallet, since US Cellular is blissfully without an ISIS-flavored conflict of interest when it comes to mobile payments.
It's time for yet another Nvidia-only game with the "THD" label, and like the excellent Zombie Driver, it's a pilgrim from the PC and console shores. Hamilton's Great Adventure has been a sleeper hit on Steam and the PlayStation 3, thanks to its adventure game presentation and challenging, go-at-your-own-pace puzzle structure. You follow the exploits of
Indiana Hamilton and his pet bird Sasha, as they trounce around ancient ruins in search of the Fluxatron, which Hamilton's professor buddy needs to finish his Transmorphanizer.