Today we have two games that are definitely worth your attention if you've enjoyed mech games in the past. More importantly, they're two different flavours of mech games: there's Death Cop for those of you who love the American-style Mechwarrior franchise, and for those who loved the fast-paced, anime style of Virtua ON or Zone of the Enders we have Destroy Gunners. Both are free on the Android market.
Age of Wind 2 indulges the side of us that would like to go off with Captain Jack Sparrow and look to make our own fortune. After an opening "story" sequence where you're tossed overboard from an exceptional ship, you're left to start with your own crew and a smaller vessel, hopefully to achieve success.
Age of Wind 2 plays a lot like one of my favourite titles, Sid Meier's Pirates!. In that title, you would take on the role of a budding young pirate, patrolling the Caribbean and plundering how you'd like. The game was great because it was a sandbox game with a great premise: you could choose national allegiance and help them gain dominance over the Spanish Main, or just wreck everyone.
Sometimes, it's best when a game doesn't perform just one function. Especially when graphics-heavy apps charge more than usual for an experience that might grow stale, variance and depth is extremely important. The iOS port of Galaxy on Fire II has depth in spades, but is the overall experience worth the game's price?
Galaxy on Fire II plays remarkably similar to a 2003 Windows game called Freelancer, in which you took on the role of an interstellar starship captain with an eye for earning money. The same concept remains true in Galaxy on Fire II; you can follow a story mission or go off on your own, accepting missions from people in space station bars.
Think of the hardest, most frustrating Android game you've played thus far. Is it Angry Birds, with its unparalleled addictiveness? Or how about Plants vs. Zombies, which has a seemingly infinite number of levels and is within spitting distance of Angry Birds' can't-put-it-down factor?
Or - dare I say it - perhaps none of the games you've downloaded from the Android Market have been difficult enough for you. Perhaps you're on the lookout for something a tad more complex - a tad more like this:
Indeed, if a vexing mobile game is what you want, you couldn't do much better than Orbital Defender.
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.
However, Halfbrick studios (the developers of the wildly-successful Fruit Ninja) have finally managed to code some joysticks that work straight out of the box, no tweaking required. Their newest game, Age of Zombies, relies quite heavily on them, so I'm both glad and relieved that they've decided to make sure people can actually play their game before they've released it to the wild.
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. The original game stood out in arcades for a few reasons: it was a two-monitor, six-player cabinet, much larger than most other games, and actually quite fun to play.
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. Instead of boats with Gatling cannons, you race jet skis against AI opponents; you can pull off tricks in order to fill a boost meter, which can then be used to further a lead or recover from a costly spill.
Just in case you thought today would be devoid of some kind of fun, developer Hexage decided to release its latest game, Robotek. You play as the last human holdout on a robot-conquered Earth, slowly working from one base to take liberate nodes, countries, continents, and eventually the planet back from your oppressors. Combat plays out in a strategic, turn-based style, but there's a bit of a twist to it.
You fight your robot enemies by spinning a virtual slot machine from which you gain bonuses, drone units and special attacks based on the outcome. This mechanic adds a bit of unpredictability to the game while still allowing you to plan your next move: the first tumbler moves slow enough that you can choose where it lands, but the second and third are more of a crapshoot.
One thing I remember about flipping through Nintendo Power magazine in my childhood is the Shadowrun SNES game. Based off a popular pen-and-paper RPG, Shadowrun is set in a dystopian future where humans can splice themselves with technology to gain new powers. The player wades through a maze of lies, deceit and all-around scummy people to meet their goals, whatever that may be.
The reason I bring Shadowrun up in a review about Cyberlords is that the atmosphere feels stunningly similar. In Cyberlords, you're an amnesiac who wakes up in a clinic after an operation gone wrong. While escaping, you link up with two other members of an underground resistance in a typical "fight the power" storyline.
If your Android device relies on your interaction with it in order to do things, you're seriously missing out. There are several options that allow you to cut the cord, so to speak. The popular options have long been Locale and Tasker but, as you can see from their market pages, you have to be fiscally dedicated to the tasks they perform. In addition to that, these applications (Tasker especially) can be somewhat (read extremely) intimidating in the level of control they give you and the sheer volume of options at your disposal. If you're looking for something a bit simpler but still really powerful as well as significantly more free, AutomateIt might be just the tool you need.