Nintendo's kid-friendly multiplayer shooter Splatoon has been making a splash (sorry) in the wider gaming world ever since its release, thanks to an engaging mix of bright, colorful design and fresh gameplay ideas. We're never going to see the full Splatoon on Android (even when Nintendo does get around to making mobile games), but if you'd like something with a similar feel, give Splash Cars a try. It hits a lot of the same notes in a single-player mobile package.
Zeptolab's gaming portfolio looks a little one-dimensional. After Cut the Rope, Cut the Rope HD, Cut the Rope 2, Cut the Rope: Experiments, and Cut the Rope: Time Travel, the developer only has two games in its Android portfolio that don't feature that tiny green monster. In the latest update, said monster gets considerably less green. Cut the Rope: Magic is now available in the Play Store for Android devices running 4.0 or later, and it has the now-standard $.99-99.99 in-app purchases.
The biggest trend in the toy world at the moment is the blend of "real" toys and action figures with digital games. LEGO's already dipped its toes into the same pool as Disney Infinity and Skylanders with LEGO Dimensions, but that's not the only combination that the mega-company is working on. An original franchise, Nexo Knights, lets kids build playsets based on the techno-fantasy theme and then upload the various characters' shield codes into the accompanying game, Merlok 2.0.
Hey, you. Yeah you, the gamer who constantly complains that there's nothing new or interesting to check out. First of all, you're wrong, and second of all, here's why: TellTale's adventure games. These folks constantly come up with new and interesting stories to tell (albeit in other people's universes) and wrap them up in a slick, mobile-friendly package with talented writing, great voice acting, and an episodic structure. Why haven't you checked them out yet?
It might be because all those adventure game episodes cost $5 a pop on Android. And I suppose that's fair - since each one will last you about 90 minutes (assuming you only play through it once), it's expensive by mobile standards.
Amazon has had some pretty great deals as part of its Free App of the Day, but apparently that's over now. The prolific retailer is replacing it with Amazon Underground, which includes "over $10,000 of apps and games that are actually free." Specifically, Amazon is giving away paid apps and in-app purchases with an agreement that reimburses app developers based on the amount of time the apps are actually used.
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.