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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
Real Boxing has garnered quite a bit of success on iOS, and with a little help from NVIDIA, it's grabbed headlines on its way to Android as well. Though the game was first spotted running on the Shield hardware, it's now available on other Tegra devices. With a title as pretty as this, it would be a shame to run it on anything less than the most advanced hardware out there - too bad we'll have to settle for a Tegra 3 for the time being.
My fondest memories of the original Star Wars films were the starfighter dogfights. The first time you see the assault run on the Death Star, or the ill-fated attack on the second before it was finished, it's really cool to watch a bunch of fighter craft flying around, blowing the heck out of each other. Every once in a while, you can get the same sense of scale and calamity in a game - usually of the real-time strategy variety.