God games are particularly well-suited to mobile platforms, where the top-down interface lends itself well to touch controls, and the size of the screen - not to put too fine a point on it - helps with the deity fantasy. One of the more popular and unconventional latter entries in the genre is indie darling Godus from 22cans, published on the Play Store by DeNa. You can grab the free download now.
In Godus, you play as a god trying to nurture a stone-aged village to greater heights of civilization. This isn't done with direct control as in a strategy game: your primary power is shaping various layers of earth and water to make livable spaces for your followers.
Hey, Call of Duty fans: do you want to experience the fast-paced military shooter action, breathless multiplayer competition, and facepalm-worthy single-player campaigns of your favorite console franchise on your mobile device? Well too bad, here's Clash of Clans with some guns and tanks.
Call of Duty: Heroes is the standard base-building, tower defense/offense game that you've seen about a hundred times before, but this time it's got a thin veneer of the CoD franchise sprayed on top. The "Heroes" bit comes from the fact that some of the leading characters of the previous games in the franchise will show up to help boost your forces.
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.
At its heart, the game is an amusement park simulator, basically SimCity with attractions instead of buildings. It's your job to keep your park expanding and profitable by strategically selecting and placing rides, food stalls, and infrastructure like bathrooms and gift shops.
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.
In R.G.B. you control three little 3D robot guys, Red, Green, and Blue. Each one can only go over their respective colored tiles, and you can swap the left and center or the right and center 'bots with a tap on either side of the screen.
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 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.
Specifically, you'll get five free track packs to play whack-a-mole to: King of Fighters Selection Volume 2, the Real Bout pack, the Recommend pack, and the custom mix Rhythm of Fighters pack.
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. Going forward, the crew has decided that it's done making free-to-play games.
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.
But wait a second, this game isn't just spawning Frank The Steroid Abuser into the ring when you play his card. That's what you might expect if you've ever caught an episode of Yu-Gi-Oh by accident.
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. Now it's gone entirely free-to-play.
This shift leaves us curious how the company plans to rake in money going forward. Order & Chaos already contains in-app purchases that allow players to purchase gold and runes, but doing so isn't required.
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.
The same simple 3D graphics and amazingly tight controls return from the first game - seriously, these are probably as good as touchscreen controls get on Android.