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.
Science fiction buffs are getting very excited about Interstellar, the upcoming movie from director Christopher Nolan (of The Dark Knight and Inception fame). To drum up a little more excitement, Paramount has created and published a mobile game tie-in. Interstellar is a free download for Android 4.0, and unlike a lot of licensed games, it has no in-app purchases... so you can save your money for Coke and popcorn. Unlike even more licensed games, it's got some unique ideas and a solid presentation.
The movie follows a group of space explorers headed for a black hole. The Android game isn't the usual cobbled-together shooter or endless runner (or even a Bejeweled clone) you might expect from a blockbuster movie.
Tactical strategy is an interesting hybrid game genre, combining the thinking and placement of a strategy title with the turn-based combat and slow burn improvements of an RPG. AntiSquad Tactics is the first original take on squad strategy we've seen in a while, and unlike games such as X-COM, it's designed for mobile first. But what might interest the purist gamers in the audience is that AntiSquad is available in both a free-to-play and a premium version.
The game is structured in pretty much the same way as its contemporaries, with only a slightly cartoony mercenary aesthetic to differentiate it from, say, Final Fantasy Tactics.
The titular beach bum in Beach God doesn't have a name, but he looks like a Chad. I'm going to call him Chad. Chad is hoping to impress the voluptuous ladies strolling past his tiki bar, using the time-honored technique of flexing his biceps and pectorals. His motivation might not be entirely lust-driven, because if just one of the ladies passes him when he's not flexing, he literally dies of embarrassment.
But here's the rub: Chad also dies if he flexes for too long, presumably collapsing into a pile of bones because he just couldn't handle the strain. Since the beach is littered with a never-ending procession of identical pixelated hotties, he's in quite the pickle.
If you've been craving a game of Trivial Pursuit but can't manage to get your friends together, you may want to check out one of the newest additions to the Play Store. QuizUp is a slick and fast trivia game with a focus on head-to-head multiplayer. The easy matchmaking, varied topics, and impressive presentation have made it a hit on iOS, where's it's maintained a 4.5-star rating.
The game is very simple: log in via Google+, Facebook, or email, select a category, and you'll be automatically matched with a random player who's near your skill level. Each round is made up of seven questions.
At least once or twice a year you hear about some desperate and/or stupid person who decided to be their own doctor, suturing their wounds with staples or fishing wire in lieu of an emergency room visit. If that sounds like fun, then Amateur Surgeon 3 from the quirky folks at Adult Swim is right up your artery. This is an Android release of a Flash and iOS game, not to mention a gruesome and sarcastic take on the old 'Operation' idea.
In the second sequel to the original Flash game, you play Ophelia Payne, a rookie surgeon who has access to some unconventional medical tools.
Quick, what's the most hated company in mobile gaming today? If you answered EA, Zynga, or Gamevil, well, you might be right. But the answer I was looking for was "King," creator of Candy Crush Saga and two of the most ridiculous copyright stories in recent memory. After the company trademarked the word "Candy" in all applications for video games and apparel, a few cheeky developers decided to risk the wrath of King's lawyers and release candy-themed apps on iOS and Android. Intern Saga: Trademark Lawyer takes a (slightly) more subtle approach to its parody.
Intern Saga comes from The Men Who Wear Many Hats, creators of the equally quirky Organ Trail.
Crescent Moon has been one of the more reliable developers on the Play Store as of late, and their newest game is definitely worth a look from anyone who enjoys a good old-fashioned beat-em-up. Nakama evokes the spirit of 2D side-scrolling fighters like Streets Of Rage or Double Dragon. At least, it's like Double Dragon might have been if you played it at 200 frames per second.
You play as an inexplicably blocky ninja on a quest to save his friends. For reasons that are not overly apparent, this involves killing lots and lots of bad guys, who may or may not also be ninjas.
If you love Star Wars, pixelated graphics, and frantic management gaming, then today is your day. Well, it is if you live in Australia (where technically tomorrow is your day). Disney, LucasArts, and NimbleBit have teamed up to deliver Tiny Death Star to the Play Store, but at the moment it looks like it's only available down under. The game is a free download for Aussies.
Tiny Death Star is pretty much exactly what it looks like: a Star Wars-themed version of the incredibly popular Tiny Tower apartment management game. You build various rooms to attract characters, who will either live or work in them.
The Professor Layton series has been lighting up the sales charts on the Nintendo DS and 3DS for six years, and now the spin-off of the addictive puzzle games is available on Android. Following an English debut on iOS three months ago (which isn't too terrible, all things considered) Layton Brothers Mystery Room is now available on the Google Play Store as a free download.
You play as Scotland Yard's Constable Lucy Baker, assistant to Alfendi Layton, son of Professor Layton. Layton Brothers is more about investigation and less about puzzles - it's a sort of mix between the hidden object genre and story-driven adventure games.