It might be tempting to think that there's nothing new under the sun for top-down airplane shoot-em-ups. After all, the genre has been kicking around since the 1970s. But you'd be wrong - in fact, the vertical layout and touch controls on smartphones make them ideal for this sort of title, as exemplified by Air Attack way back in 2011. The original game was one of our favorites during the initial Android boom, and now the sequel has arrived. Air Attack 2 is free to download on the Play Store today.
Psst. Hey, Pokémon fans. I know you're all very busy obsessing over Pokémon Sun and Moon, the new entries in the main game series, after the starters were revealed this morning. But those games are still months away, and you need something to fill the Pokémon-shaped hole in your soul until then. Well I have good news, Poke-faithful: the official online digital version of the Pokémon Trading Card Game is now out of beta and available as a regular old vanilla download on Android tablets. Have at it.
Uncharted is one of the signature franchises on the PlayStation, and it's about to extend to the PS4 with its (allegedly) final entry, Uncharted 4. Surprisingly it hasn't come to Android or any other mobile platform until now. Uncharted: Fortune Hunter eschews the third-person shooting and Hollywood set pieces of the main series in favor of some rather basic puzzles, in the same vein as Hamilton's Great Adventure. It's free in the Play Store.
Right now mega-publisher 2K is in full promotion mode trying to get people to play Battleborn. It's a brand new shooter from (at least some of) the makers of the hugely popular Borderlands, and it attempts to blend conventional pew-pew gameplay with the variety and marketability of the MOBA genre. As part of this push the company has published Battleborn Tap, a mobile game that is neither a MOBA nor a shooter. Instead, it's underwhelming.
If you're an avid tabletop role playing game enthusiast, it's almost impossible that you haven't heard of Pathfinder. This re-organized variant of the Dungeons & Dragons ruleset, published by Paizo and supplemented with a huge variety of extra modules, literature, and lore, has quickly become one of the most popular tabletop RPGs on the market. The publisher has created a few satellite properties for Pathfinder, including novels, comic books, and a licensed card game called Pathfinder Adventure.
It's hard to predict which games among the hundreds of thousands in the Play Store will hit the sweet spot and become a sensation. Taichi Panda, Snail Games' Diablo-style dungeon crawler, is a good example. Since its release a little over a year ago it's gained over five million downloads and an impressive audience of frequent players both free and paid. After a successful soft launch period, the developer is returning to its anthropomorphic well with a sequel called Taichi Panda: Heroes.
I find most Square-Enix RPGs to be baffling in that somewhat generic anime way: as one reviewer puts it, the stories always seem to revolve around a bunch of teenagers killing Satan with the power of friendship. Throw in perhaps one of the biggest (or at least most complicated) crossovers in media history, and my head starts to spin. So it is with the Kingdom Hearts series of action-RPGs. It's been mixing Squaresoft's Final Fantasy mythos with more or less every Disney animated movie, plus its own impenetrable plots and original characters, since the first game came out on the PS2.
Despite the fact that excitement for endless Angry Birds iterations and spin-offs more or less died over a year ago, the Angry Birds movie is scheduled to hit theaters next month. (Apparently creating a 90-minute CG movie, complete with Hollywood talent, marketing, and distribution, takes a lot longer than making a 2D physics game.) Developer Rovio is pumping up the promotion machine starting with Angry Birds Action!, a 2.5D twist on the classic slingshot formula. At the moment it's soft-launched in New Zealand, but the game should be heading to other territories well before the May movie release.
Here at Android Police, we monitor a truly insane amount of sites and developers to bring you the latest apps and games fresh from the Play Store. And in serving that duty, sometimes we come across games that don't deserve any attention. More often than not, in fact, and some of the most depressing are games that exploit a beloved TV, movie, or video game license and use it to try and sling the same homogenized crap as ten thousand copycat game developers looking for a quick buck. A lot of these seem to be Candy Crush or Bejeweled clones: we passed over Pac-Man Puzzle Tour just yesterday (Artem literally wrote "ughhhhhh" in the office chat), and Star Trek: Wrath of Gems is such a shameless cash-grab that it makes trekkies spit out their Romulan ale.
Android isn't hurting for endless runners, but at this point, most of them don't bring anything new to the table. That can't be said of Alto's Adventure, a new iOS port from prolific publisher Noodlecake and developer Snowman. What it lacks in revolutionary design it makes up for in pure, dripping style: everything from the pastel coloring to the shifting weather to the smooth 2D animations oozes with careful design. If you're tired of a never-ending parade of "retro" 8-bit games on mobile, Alto's Adventure might just be the cure.
The gameplay itself isn't all that interesting. Your player character snowboards down a gently-sloping mountain, chasing llamas, grabbing coins, jumping over rocks, and grinding on improbably load-bearing bunting.