Crossy Road is often presented as a prime example of what's wrong with casual games, because it's a free-to-play game that's based on a classic (Frogger) and lacks any kind of sophistication. But Crossy Road does a lot of things right, too: it has an interesting if not unique visual style, it's accessible to any kind of gamer, and best of all, its free-to-play model is entirely reasonable, asking for only one dollar at a time and never forcing players to buy currency or tokens for random rewards. It's a good little game, is what I'm saying here.
Two of the three-man team from Crossy Road have released a new game in the same casual vein, Shooty Skies.
You can't swing a severed limb around on the Play Store without hitting half a dozen zombie games, and first person shooters (even high-end variants like Unkilled) aren't exactly thin on the ground. But you might want to give Dead Effect 2, the sequel to a 2013 science fiction-horror shooter, a second look anyway. While the premise isn't exactly original, falling somewhere between Alien and Dead Space, the sheer variety and polish makes it worth consideration from Android gamers.
First of all, the game seems to have a much tighter focus on storytelling than other zombie shooters. You pick up right where the last game left off, on a derelict spaceship crawling with undead crewmembers and other, more elaborate monsters - think Doom 3 with iron sights.
Here's a gaming announcement that came out of nowhere: Titanfall, one of the biggest new first person shooters to appear on gaming PCs and consoles last year, will get a mobile release. The Guardian reports that Titanfall developer Respawn Entertainment (made up mostly of ex-Call of Duty developers) and Nexon (a developer that focuses on full-sized PC games that use the freemium model) will both invest in newbie mobile developer Particle City, with the aim to create "several mobile games based on Titanfall."
If you weren't following the gaming news in early 2014, Titanfall is an arena-based shooter that puts a sci-fi spin on the popular FPS genre.
There's many a gamer counting down the days until the post-apocalyptic magnum opus that is Fallout 4 hits shelves, but in the meantime you can pretend you're living in a nuclear wasteland from the comfort of your tablet. Fallout Shelter, a mobile tie-in game for the Fallout universe first revealed (and immediately released for iOS) back at the E3 gaming convention, is now available on the Play Store. It's a free-to-play game supported by in-app purchases, and it's compatible with phones and tablets running Android 4.1 or later.
If you're a fan of the super-popular top-down MOBA genre (think Dota, League of Legends, and Heroes of the Storm), you'll want to sit up and take notice of a little game called Vainglory. This mobile interpretation of the well-known formula has been built from the ground up for touchscreens, and the experience has been praised on iOS since its launch back in November. It's available for free today on the Play Store.
Vainglory doesn't make an attempt to hide its inspiration. If you're not familiar with the standard MOBA formula, it's basically a shorter and more action-packed version of a real-time strategy game where each player controls a single unit.
Pity poor Sonic the Hedgehog. The guy is basically the Dallas Cowboys of the video game world: after gaining almost universal appeal in the 90s, his victories over the last few years have been few and fleeting. But SEGA isn't giving up on its blue mascot, if only because he's probably the only marketable franchise that isn't a Kickstarter campaign or a hyper-sexualized murder machine. So here we are, with a new Sonic game that sees one of the most iconic platforming stars in the world... aping mobile endless runners.
To be fair, Sonic as an endless runner makes a lot of sense, and Sonic Runners (a bit on the nose, ain't it?) does a good job blending the genre's standard single-tap controls with classic Sonic elements.
Developer Digital Tales has been hyping its latest Superbike game for a few weeks, and today it's finally been released on Google Play. SBK15 is a simulator in the general sense, and it tries to bring a feeling of realism to its motorcycle races. The tracks are based on real tracks, the bikes are based on real bikes, and the riders are licensed likenesses of world championship racers, complete with authentic sponsor logos plastered to their helmets.
And don't get me wrong, SBK16 definitely has some good points. The graphics are appealing without being too taxing, the sense of speed is decent, and the tilt controls actually make sense in the context of leaning into a curve.
Space: the final frontier. Wait, no, that's not right - there's no such thing as a "final" frontier, because there's nothing else, so it can't be a frontier to nothing. Let me start again.
Space: it's really really big, and also pretty empty, and bored humans like to tell stories about all the weird things that might fill it up. So it is that Star Trek, among other things, was born. But the first official Star Trek game released for Android isn't all that interested in seeking out new life or new civilizations - it's harkening back to an 8-bit past that does not in fact exist for the storied franchise, and trying to suck as much gold-pressed latinum out of you as possible while it does so.
The once and future king of stylized hyper-violent video games is back. The mobile version of Mortal Kombat X, published by Warner Brothers Interactive and developed by NetherRealm, is now ready to download in the Google Play Store after a lengthy geo-limited soft launch. It features high-end graphics and a 2D fighting system based mostly on taps, swipes, charges, and other gestures, very much like NetherRealm's previous mobile fighters Injustice: Gods Among Us and WWE Immortals.
The basic structure uses collectible upgradeable "cards" as stand-ins for the iconic fighters, encouraging players to find and upgrade personalized versions of the over-the-top characters (as opposed to a more conventional static roster).
There's a new Marvel movie coming out tomorrow in the US. You may have heard about it - it's kind of a big deal. So what better time for a developer to release a new game featuring as many Marvel (comics, not movies) characters as possible. You've got to have something to do while you ignore the repeating video ad for Dave's Discount Family Insurance that plays before the trailers start up, right?
Marvel Future Fight, a free-to-play beat-em-up featuring more comic book characters than a jaded movie blogger can remember, has actually been out for a little over a month in a limited-market soft launch.