Android is becoming a veritable haven of classic RPGs, and Square Enix's mobile ports and re-releases are a big part of that. In addition to no less than six of the original Final Fantasy games, Chrono Trigger, The World Ends With You, and the fourth and eighth entries in Enix's Dragon Quest series, the company published the original Dragon Quest to the Play Store last night. You can get the 1986 NES title for a reasonable $2.99.
Want to travel back to the golden age of fantasy strategy games? Well, maybe "golden age" is a bit dramatic, but the 90s brought all manner of well-crafted strategy games that focused on gameplay in place of graphics. Conquest of Elysium II was released in 1997, but the third incarnation came to Steam a while back with the same traditional vibe. Now it's on Android, but it won't come cheap.
Defender of the Crown was an oddity when it debuted in 1986: a highly-polished game with impressive visual presentation (for the time), but one that didn't fit into any established genre. Civilization players of today might recognize a sort of proto-strategy in the slightly fantastic Medieval England setting, where you raise an army and conquer Britain in bits and pieces. But the actual gameplay requires real player interaction with the pre-rendered background, including various forms of fighting, jousting, and management.
If you couldn't get enough of Dirk and Daphne from the original Dragon's Lair, they're back in the arcade sequel. Dragon's Lair 2 was originally released back in 1991 on arcade laserdisc machines, enabling the beautiful 2D art from master animator Don Bluth to shine through. Dragon's Lair 2: Time Warp is five dollars on the Play Store (the same price as the original) and is compatible with Android 1.5 and up.
We don't have Tekken. We don't have Street Fighter. We don't have DOA. But Namco just gave fighter fans one hell of a reason to celebrate: the original SoulCalibur is now available on Android. The Dreamcast port of this arcade fighter favorite has long been considered one of the gems of the genre, and you can play it on your phone right now. It's a pricey $6.67 and compatible with Gingerbread and up.
There's something strange going on with SNK's The King of Fighters. Way back in March of 2012 an Android version of the classic 16-bit 2D fighter series was published, with a frustratingly short list of supported devices and no small amount of technical problems. The app disappeared from the US Play Store before too long, only to reappear this July. Now there's a brand new version, The King Of Fighters-A 2012, available alongside the original Android release.
If you spent the early to mid 90s tapping away on a Neo-Geo controller, you're probably familiar with Samurai Shodown II. This classic fighting game was much loved at the time, and it's seen a bit of a comeback in recent years on Xbox Live Arcade and Wii Virtual Console. Now this title has arrived on Android thanks to SNK Playmore, but nostalgia doesn't come cheap.
Sometimes you have to assume that there are entire teams at Google whose sole job is to think up fodder for nostalgic technology bloggers. Case in point: for the 37th anniversary of the classic arcade game Breakout, Google has thrown together another one of its elaborate Easter eggs. Do a Google Image Search for "atari breakout", and the results will turn into the smashable blocks, with your mouse working as a control for the paddle.
While we eagerly await the arrival of Google Games (and the potential revenue that could bring), Android still remains a great home for classic games from days gone by. To wit, Boulder Dash, an 8-bit puzzler originally released for the Atari in 1984, has landed on Android. This rounds out at least an even dozen platforms the title has been ported to.
The new version brings updated graphics and touch screen controls.
It wouldn't be another month without our usual short-lists. We've already discussed our six favorite apps from March 2013, so it's time to take a look at the six best games we saw last month. As usual, the Play Store had plenty of new games to offer, from fast-paced shooters to classic remakes to chaotic puzzlers. If you like playing games on Android, chances are there was something for you last month.