Matt Demers
Matt Demers is a Toronto writer that deals primarily in the area of Android, comics and other nerdy pursuits. You can find his work on Twitter and sites across the Internet.

08
Jun
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Last Updated: July 24th, 2011

Call me a stickler, but I think games should play well before looking pretty. I think they should be functional, polished and most of all, not frustrating. This seems to elude most developers who insist on using on-screen joysticks for their products, as more often than not they're a buggy, non-responsive mess.

From having poorly-defined boundaries to not reacting to multi-touch well, the system seems to be a bit flawed.

06
Jun
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Last Updated: July 24th, 2011

X-Men: The Arcade Game is a throwback to the days before X-Men: The Animated Series. That show, known for it's amazing title track and some pretty laughable moments, gave us the "traditional" X-Men lineup most of us know today. However, before that aired, there was a one-off pilot called X-Men: Pryde of the X-Men. In it, Wolverine had an Australian accent.

It was pretty horrible.

Pryde of the X-Men served as X-Men: The Arcade Game's inspiration; inside, you play as the X-Men that were present in the cartoon, and face the villains they faced, as well.

06
Jun
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Last Updated: July 24th, 2011

Sometimes, you have to go with what works. It's no secret that some mechanics are tried-and-true, and will allow you to please gamers while adding in your own twists. Sometimes, though, it's evident when a game borrows a bit too much and doesn't give enough back.

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Happy Vikings mixes gameplay from a number of different classic puzzle titles, including a lifting-and-matching mechanic from an NES game called Wario's Woods. Instead of just flipping tiles with a cursor, you actually have a sprite in the puzzle area which you can use to manipulate tiles.

06
Jun
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Last Updated: July 24th, 2011

Mr. Mixit puts a spin on the classic "memory match" formula by adding a turntable motif and some decent tunes. As Mr. Mixit, you drag shapes down from the monitors behind you to the turntable game area. After choosing two you think will match, you spin the turntables and try to get the image to overlap.

mm3 mm1 mm2

Doing this quickly gives you multipliers to score, which forms the core gameplay of Mr.

03
Jun
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On paper, the OnLive game system seems like a revolution in gaming: instead of using your own console or hardware to play games, OnLive's servers sync and render gamplay on their own servers and stream it back to you in 720p. This would theoretically allow you to play any game you wanted at high settings, regardless of your available hardware.

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Picture courtesy of Engadget

OnLive's taken the chance to expand from an initial PC experience to include their own microconsole; however, it looks like they're expanding to the Android tablet market, as well.

02
Jun
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Last Updated: July 24th, 2011

 

Apparatus will remind players of Playstation game Little Big Planet. The objective: get the silver ball into the blue bucket. You're given a number of pieces to play around with, like boards to fasten to each other or weights to create catapults. Pieces can be placed on one of three layers, allowing fasteners to work their magic.

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Fastening pieces comes in one of two varieties: nails are "hard" connectors, giving a rigid connection.

02
Jun
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Last Updated: July 24th, 2011

Let's say you've got a problem of a scientific nature: you've got a group of rogue atoms wreaking havoc in your petri dish, and you need to get rid of them. They've managed to convert certain structures into deadly traps, and are content to just hang around like a college grad who just won't move out. Who do you send in to fix this problem?

If you answered "Pandas", I'd like you to get your head checked.

01
Jun
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Last Updated: July 24th, 2011

Riptide GP emerged from the Tegra zone late in May, touting amazing graphics that the Android system is now capable of pulling off. However, is it all flash and no substance?

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Riptide GP comes to us from Vector Unit, the developer of Hydro Thunder Hurricane for the Xbox Live Arcade. While that game features a number of souped-up racing boats with weapon attachments, Riptide GP returns to the water for a comparatively tuned-down affair.

30
May
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Last Updated: July 24th, 2011

I'm a big fan of puzzle games on my Android. They tend to work well in a touch-controlled medium because their concepts are usually simple enough to pick up and play. Refraction is no different, and challenges players with over 120 levels of color-matching, light-bending goodness that will have even the smartest of you scratching your head for awhile.

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Like every good puzzle game, Refraction starts out with a simple concept: use mirrors to guide beams of light to their corresponding beacons.

30
May
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Last Updated: July 24th, 2011

It's often the case that a game does not necessarily have to be complicated in order to achieve success, and this point is proven in Chalk Ball. The premise is simple: keep a bouncing ball aloft by drawing lines on a chalk board, all while earning points towards a high score. Drawing shapes depletes your chalk meter, which is required to be able to scribble further.

In order to replenish this meter (and your drawing abilities), you're required to hit white balls on the board which spawn at random.