I can't honestly claim to be an old-school fan of Shadowgate, because when it was first published for the Macintosh in 1987, I was -2 months old. The original game was one of the first dungeon crawlers, advancing the player from room to room in a text-driven role-playing game that focuses on puzzles over combat, ruthlessly killing the player if he or she makes a misstep or doesn't keep enough torches around. It was kind of like Dark Souls, but with a greyscale color palette. Shadowgate is simple by modern PC and console standards, but its intricate worldbuilding and devious puzzles have made it a minor classic in the genre.
Deep Dungeon of Doom usually costs $3.99. That's not a bad price to pay for a fun side-scrolling dungeon crawler with different protagonists — crusader, witch, and mercenary — and plenty of levels that throw you back to the good'ol times of gaming with 8-bit graphics and nostalgic sound effects. It's even much more acceptable after the game was updated to remove all in-app purchases. Now all gold has to be earned in order to buy upgrades and all revive tokens have to be won fair and square.
Welcome to the latest entry in our Bonus Round series, wherein we tell you all about the new Android games of the day that we couldn't get to during our regular news rounds. Consider this a quick update for the dedicated gamers who can't wait for our bi-weekly roundups, and don't want to wade through a whole day's worth of news just to get their pixelated fix. Today we've got a unique radial puzzle game, a zombie-killing side-scroller, an interesting touch-based dungeon crawler, an old-school hack-and-slash platformer, and a Walking Dead tactical game. Without further ado:
Beneath The Lighthouse
In Beneath The Lighthouse, you guide a tiny sailor with a giant head through a series of radial puzzles.
Solitaire and sword-and-sorcery fantasy wouldn't seem like an obvious combination, but the rookie Android game from Arnold Rauers does just that. Card Crawl has you facing a giant troll in an oddball card game, mixing elements of solitaire, battle card games like Magic the Gathering, and roguelike dungeon crawlers. It's an interesting little game that lends itself towards more strategy than might be immediately apparent.
Here's the gist: your opponent is the "deck," and he gives you 54 random cards three at a time. Each card is either an item like a sword or shield, a monster that you have to kill, a potion that can heal you, or coins that can be saved up for purchases.
Have I mentioned lately that DotEmu is awesome? Because it is, and not just because it's the only Android game developer that sounds like a dating service for flightless birds. The company specializes in porting old console and PC games to Android and iOS, perfectly preserving graphics and game mechanics while adding great extras like controller support and Google Play Games integration. At the E3 gaming conference in Los Angeles, DotEmu announced that its next release will be Titan Quest.
Titan Quest was originally released for the PC in 2006. It's a modern take on the top-down dungeon crawler formula typified by Diablo, but instead of a Heaven vs.
If you want to play classic ports or new PC games on your phone or tablet, then April was definitely your month. Between the blockbuster adventure game Broken Age and classics like Ys, there's a lot of non-mobile goodness to go around. But don't worry: there are a few original games to investigate as well, notably Implosion and the third entry in the Sorcery series. Here in no particular order are our top picks, along with some honorable mentions.
There are a lot of solid dungeon crawlers available in the Play Store - my personal favorite is probably Mage Gauntlet. But whether it's because of the general trend towards the retro visual style or simply because it's easier to implement on mobile, most of them use a top-down 2D pixelated visual style. Not so for TinyKeep. The premiere Android game from developer Digital Tribe bucks those trends for a high-end take on the genre.
TinyKeep is actually another port from PC download service Steam, so it's easy to see where its high-end graphics come from. You'll need a powerful phone or tablet to get the most out of the experience.
Apparently Blizzard isn't the only game developer that had a burst of inspiration after a late-night cable viewing of Kung Fu Panda. Taichi Panda is the first game from the American arm of Chinese publisher Snail Games. This dungeon crawler won't break the mold in any particular way, but it's a solid top-down action game with online multiplayer baked into its core mechanics. Oh, and there are fighting pandas in it.
One panda, to be precise. You choose from one of four pre-made characters to begin your battles: the titular Taichi Panda, a brawny monk-type who likes to fight with his hands, the Treasure Hunter, a pink-haired sneaky rogue, the Fox Mage, a pixie magic-wielder, and the Glorious Warrior, who is The Guy With The Sword.
I have fond memories of bringing home multiple LEGO Bionicle sets when I was 12. Apparently the half building block, half action figure toys are still around and gearing for a big relaunch this year, and a new video game is here to go along with the new toys. Bionicle is a basic top-down action title that pits players against stylized LEGO monsters in a color-coded legend staring six "Toa" heroes.
Like most of LEGO's apps and games aimed at kids, this one is a free download with no in-app purchases or advertising. Of course you could argue that the game itself is advertising, but allowing parents to install something for their kids that they don't have to worry about is always appreciated.
Back in early 2012, mobile game developer Mika Mobile made the public and controversial decision to stop creating games for Android. Though Mika has deleted its original post explaining why, our own David Ruddock wrote an editorial at the time, explaining that the small company was tired of the poor exposure offered by the Play Store and a low return on investment for porting games that had to work on so many different pieces of hardware.