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.
Nintendo's kid-friendly multiplayer shooter Splatoon has been making a splash (sorry) in the wider gaming world ever since its release, thanks to an engaging mix of bright, colorful design and fresh gameplay ideas. We're never going to see the full Splatoon on Android (even when Nintendo does get around to making mobile games), but if you'd like something with a similar feel, give Splash Cars a try. It hits a lot of the same notes in a single-player mobile package.
If you haven't yet checked out Rick & Morty, Adult Swim's delightfully foul science fiction cartoon, you're missing out - and not just on obscure Android Police posts. The show is only two seasons old, but it's taken the Internet by storm, filling the irreverent, high-concept, mean-spirited place that Futurama used to hold. For those of you who are already addicted and waiting patiently for season three, take a portal ride over to the Play Store: Adult Swim Games just released a licensed game that drops Rick & Morty into a tongue-in-cheek version of Pokemon.
When the best thing that you can say about the latest crop of a long-running video game property is that "the tie-in children's TV show isn't completely terrible," it's not a ringing endorsement. Such is the case with Sonic Boom: after nearly two decades of hit-and-miss remixes on the familiar Sonic formula, SEGA hit a real stinker with the almost universally-reviled Wii U/3DS dual release last year. The "hip" new designs for Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, and the rest of the gang might have been forgiven if the game itself hadn't been one of the worst entries in Sonic's 24-year catalog.
It's odd, then, that SEGA is continuing the "Sonic Boom" label with its latest mobile game, instead of relying on the tried-and-true classic version of sonic that appeals to the nostalgia crowd.
When Amazon announced Underground, the remodeled Appstore that features the ability to play paid and freemium games (as well as other apps) for free, I immediately raised the question of how they planned to make money on this venture. Users obviously benefited by getting free stuff and certain developers would make more money since Amazon compensates them on a per-minutes-used basis. But where was the cash flow to Amazon?
A deeper dive into their developer documentation gives a clue. The following comes under a heading labeled "Interstitial Advertisements":
When a user launches an Amazon Underground app for the first time, a welcome message in the form of an interstitial ad plays.
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.