If you were a fan of "sim management" games in the early 2000s, you probably played at least one version of RollerCoaster Tycoon. Next year Atari will revive the franchise with RollerCoaster Tycoon World on the PC, but for now the official fourth installment of the series is oddly limited to mobile, arriving about six months late on Android. RollerCoaster Tycoon 4 uses the same basic structure of the original 1999 game, albeit with remixed limits and annoyances for the free-to-play format.
It seems like we've seen every possible iteration of the Guitar Hero style of musical game. But thanks to the creativity of developers, we're caught off guard on occasion. Case in point: R.G.B. It's a pretty simple rhythm game with only three lanes, making it technically much easier than the games that it imitates. But a deceptively slow pace and an addictive main mechanic mean it's more than the sum of its parts.
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 Rhythm Of Fighters is a quirky take on SNK's storied history of 2D brawlers... that plays like a swiping, tapping musical game. This unique title has met the same fate of other games by big publishers who apparently wanted more bang for their buck, and shifted from a paid game to free-to-play. (See Assassin's Creed Pirates and Asphalt 8 for other examples.) But if you spent the measly dollar that the game cost when it launched, don't fret: SNK is here to placate you with free stuff.
Many game developers these days are going free-to-play, permitting people to download their creations for free only to nickel and dime them for additional lives, time, characters, levels, coins, or anything else that may be required to make the experience actually enjoyable. In an interview with Pocket Gamer, Double Stallion, the team behind Big Action Mega Fight, explained how it decided to buck this trend by turning their freemium game into a premium one - and how they ultimately ended up making more money in the process.
The Magic-style collectible card game has remained one of the most consistently profitable free-to-play genres on mobile devices. That might explain why every hot-ticket property from Star Wars to Tekken wants in on the action. The latest slightly baffling addition to the pile of CCG titles comes from the World Wrestling Federation Entertainment. Feast your eyes on WWE SuperCard, a game that forces big, burly actors to fight each other with tiny scraps of cardboard instead of fake punches.
Order & Chaos is well-known for being one of the most comprehensive massively multiplayer online role-playing games to hit a mobile platform, but unlike many of its desktop contemporaries, the game doesn't charge players a monthly subscription fee (having done away with them in 2012). Instead, the upfront cost supplies players with all of the available content. This price has generally sat at $6.99, but it regularly dipped to 99 cents over the past few months.
Many fans of the original PS1-era RE-VOLT were thrilled when a port was released on Android last year. The portable version included all of the goofy kart-style racing that made the original a sleeper hit... with one exception. Both the remastered version and the free-to-play edition lacked online multiplayer, which was a crucial part of the old game. Well, except for the online part. That's been addressed in RE-VOLT 2: Multiplayer, available now as a free download.
Batman always saves the day in the nick of time. So it's a bit out of character for him to come to Android for a mobile tie-in to his latest high-profile PC and console game... a full nine months after the game came out. Which is, incidentally, nine months after the iOS version of the tie-in game was released. At this point, we're probably closer to the release of the next full Arkham game, Arkham Knight, expected early next year.
Update: After we reached out to a Google representative, the company gave us the following statement:
We’ve been working closely with the European Commission and consumer protection agencies for the last few months to make improvements to Google Play that will be good for our users and provide better protections for children.
The representative was unable to comment on potential changes for the Play Store in the US or other non-European locations.