Following a surprisingly fun couple of mobile titles, Deus Ex GO takes Square Enix's formula for adapting its popular AAA series to handheld devices and brings it to the delightful Deus Ex Universe. This turn-based “point-and-click” style board game shares precious little with its cyberpunk dystopian source material (which happens to be one of my favorite franchises). However, that is not to say it is a bad thing, as the fanboy in me screams to claim. It is actually a fun, rewarding, and decidedly challenging experience that fits in nicely with the Deus Ex library.
Deus Ex GO, much like Hitman GO and Lara Croft GO before it,reminds me of some of the classic point-and-click PC titles that I grew up playing. You, the player, have a top-down isometric view of the game “board” which contains various pre-determined paths.
Yep, we're reviewing the iOS version. Don't worry, we're not planning on making a habit of this. Fallout Shelter is one of the only mobile games in recent years to garner true attention from the mainstream gaming press, and it has skyrocketed to the top of the App Store since its release. It is an exceptional case. Since an Android port is currently under development and the ETA unknown, I felt it would be best do a review now while the game is still fresh in the minds of many people, instead of waiting months to review something that would already be old.
The term “old school” gets thrown around a lot in gaming these days, but Touch Foo’s Swordigo seems to positively invite comparison to classics like Ghosts & Goblins and Zelda. With 2D platforming on the surface and an action RPG underneath, Swordigo might be confused for a Super NES game if it weren’t for the 3D graphics. And while it doesn’t reach the lofty heights of the classic franchises it imitates, it’s a challenging and worthy game if you’re in for the long haul.
Swordigo comes to Android after more than a year on iOS, where it’s been getting 5-star reviews almost exclusively.
Star Command is one of my most-anticipated games for Android. Or at least it was, two years ago when it was scheduled to be released, and then again when it was released for iOS five months ago. An unreasonably long development cycle and some dodgy developer antics have made waiting for this game an exercise in frustration, and it's impossible to give it a full review without at least some bitterness hanging on in the back of my mind.
All that being said, Star Command is a solid tribute to both the Star Trek and the Sim-style, pixelated micromanagement games typified by Kairosoft's Game Dev Story and many, many others.
Gameloft has released eight games in the Asphalt series in just under nine years. If practice makes perfect, then Asphalt 8 should be nothing less than the greatest racing game ever made. It doesn't quite live up to that lofty goal, but as a top-tier Android game and an impressive arcade-style racer in its own right, it's worth your attention even if you're only casually interested in racing games.
Between the Hot Wheels physics, licensed cars, online play, and gorgeous presentation, Asphalt 8 is worth a lot more than its $1 asking price. Whether or not it's worth all the in-app purchases that the player is constantly inundated with is another question, but in the game's defense, none of them are necessary to get all the cars and upgrades.
Dateline: 1999. A 12-year-old Jeremiah Rice spends every cent of his allowance at the local Pizza Hut's dingy game room, trying to perfect an S-Class run on the brand new Crazy Taxi arcade unit. Another fourteen years have passed, and SEGA's ode to irresponsible driving isn't exactly the technical marvel it once was, but it's every bit as fun. And a single fiver will let you play as much as you want on Android.
Crazy Taxi is from a different age, before sedate casual games were the norm. It laughs at the idea of realism, driving by new features like bump-mapping and realistic physics engines, giving them the finger as it power drifts over a drawbridge.
Magic 2014 is the new and updated version of the less headline-friendly Magic: The Gathering: Duels Of The Planeswalkers, gracing Android for the first time. It's a digital translation of the uber-popular Magic: The Gathering card game, a staple of schoolyards and table gaming for the last two decades. Magic 2014 is a free download (though it needs a massive 1.2GB of space), but requires a $10 in-app purchase to unlock the full game. The free demo features the first 25% or so of the campaign mode.
There are a lot of things wrong with the digital version of Magic: a clunky interface, boring visual effects, downright awful optimization of both space and active system resources.
In Quadropus Rampage, you are (predictably) a quadropus. I am not entirely sure what a quadropus is, and it’s not adequately explained in the game. All I know is that it has four limbs, looks kind of like an octopus, and it will mess you up if you don't stop staring at it like that. From the first frame, Quadropus Rampage is a torrent of non-stop button mashing carnage. Does this brand spanking new game have staying power, or does it come and go like the tides?
There is not so much a goal in Quadropus Rampage as there is a drive to make it just a little farther each time.
PC gamers know the ARMA series as wickedly difficult, painstakingly accurate military shooters - the thinking man's (or possibly masochist's) alternative to the likes of Call of Duty. For its first full mobile game, ARMA is eschewing the first person shooter genre in favor of a tactical game: a top-down, turn-based combat system where strategy wins over speed and reflexes. It's a good choice for touchscreens, and an understandable one given ARMA's current fanbase. It's just too bad that the execution didn't pan out.
Arma: Tactics THD makes a solid effort to update the tactical genre and integrate it with the modern shooter aesthetic, but fails at just about every point.
Just two days ago I decried the relative lack of innovation in mobile gaming, and after climbing EPOCH's surprisingly steep difficulty curve, I get to eat humble pie. This cover-based shooter from Android newcomer Uppercut Games blew me away with its original control scheme and immersive graphics. It's not flawless, but its combination of mobile-friendly gameplay and and impressive presentation should make every action gamer (and developer) sit up and take notice.
The shooting is fast and twitchy. The battle system requires skill, timing, and strategy to master. And best of all, EPOCH is a triple-A action game that never once had me wishing for my controller.