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.
We like to feature at least one or two kid-friendly games in our biweekly roundups, but this one looks so good that we had to give it its own post. LEGO DUPLO is the famous company's line of brick sets for kids age 5 and under, with easy formations, bright colors, and big, swallow-proof pieces. The Android DUPLO game focuses on the branded train sets.
The game itself is a mix between LEGO's standard construction and a sort of "baby's first train simulator." Kids will start and stop the LEGO train, hook up passenger and cargo cars, and build bridges and tracks to avoid simple obstacles.
Now that fast processors and LTE connections are becoming more prevalent, the Multiplayer Online Battle Arena (MOBA) genre is about to have a renaissance on mobile platforms. Case in point: Blastron. It's a new take on the old Worms/Scorched Earth ballistics game, with player-controlled robots running around, blasting each other with weaponry that would be at home in any Looney Tunes production. It's a free download (with the usual in-app purchase trappings) in the Play Store.
Surprisingly, the licensed LEGO Star Wars PC and console games (and most of the subsequent Indiana Jones/Batman/Harry Potter/et cetera games) turned out to be pretty good. They're tight, enjoyable adventure games with interesting construction mechanics, and humor suitable to both kids and adults. Though The LEGO Group has released more than a dozen Android titles already, their first tie-in game is LEGO Star Wars: The Yoda Chronicles, available now as a free download.
Mark your calendars - Carmageddon will appear on Google Play next Friday, May 10th. The fine developers working on this decade-old port have announced that the game will be available free for the first 24 hours. If you need help remembering, they've offered to send you an email reminder. How nice.
Carmageddon first debuted in 1997 for Windows and Macintosh computers. It has since been ported to the original Playstation, the Nintendo 64, and the Game Boy Color.
Archery is an ancient and noble art, sitting at the intersection of physics, craft, and human skill. The Legend of Holy Archer is a somewhat ridiculous game where you control flying arrows with magic. What it lacks in authenticity it makes up for in genuine fun, thanks to solid controls and a unique game mechanic. The 3D title is a free download supported by in-app purchases (which are thankfully optional) and it's available on Android devices running Froyo or later.
If the success of the Torchlight series has taught us anything, it's that dungeon crawlers are far from obsolete. The latest Android entry in the storied genre is Dungeon Quest, a solid loot-fest that's still in beta. Though there's only one class (mage,) the randomized levels and equipment should please click-happy Diablo fans all over. 100 levels and 5 difficulty settings should will keep things interesting, and the happy-go-lucky graphics don't hurt, either.
If you've got fond memories of spending Saturday morning watching the antics of Peter Perfect, Penelope Pitstop, and Dick Dastardly (themselves based on The Great Racefrom 1965), then you should check out Steampunk Racing 3D. While it doesn't have the same abundance of personality as the Hanna Barbara classic, it's definitely got the cartoonish exaggeration down pat. In this full polygonal racer, you're tasked with navigating your steam-powered contraption through an Industrial Revolution setting while dealing with other racers, with varying degrees of prejudice.
It's been 25 years since Jaws: The Revenge hit theaters. The movie is unbelievably terrible (if you don't believe me, just ask Rotten Tomatoes, where it's got a rare 0% rating), but surprisingly, a licensed game released two and a half decades later is actually pretty fun. In Jaws Revenge, you take on the role of the titular shark to merrily swim the coastal waters, eating swimmers, divers, fish, seagulls and whatever else you can find.
It's been a long time since Desktop Tower Defense - the genre needs a little shaking up. And with the Prey series of shooter games under their belts, Human Head Studios thinks they're the ones to do it. Their latest game is Fort Courage, and it fits broadly into the mobile-friendly category. The free game is available right now on the Google Play Store, but you'll need an NVIDIA Tegra-powered device to run it, and a Tegra 3 for the best results.