If there's one thing I can say for Out There, it's that this title does not sugar coat the harsh reality of space. Things go wrong that are totally out of your control, and sometimes that means you're going to die. If that was literally the only thing I had to say, this game would be pretty lame. In fact, there's a lot going on in Out There. This is a sci-fi choose-your-own-adventure game that doesn't fall back on laser blasters and explosions to create tension – it's all about survival.
Badland is a game about adaptation – the rotund birds you control in this title are simple things that fly up and to the right at your direction, but they're always changing. Toss in a few power ups, and things get wild really fast. The game can change in an instant and you have to be ready for it. Just survive – that's all you need to do, but the assortment of unexpected dangers and physics puzzles make this game something to take a closer look at.
Humanity came out on top in the previous Anomaly games, but apparently that was just the beginning – a test invasion, if you will. The alien towers have returned with a vengeance in Anomaly 2 and the world is a little worse for wear. In fact, we kind of lost the war. This is the backdrop for Anomaly 2, which employs the same reverse tower defense gameplay that made the original games so much fun.
The original Plants vs. Zombies was a fabulous mobile game even though it didn't debut on a mobile device. It launched on PC and Mac way back in 2009, a full year before it landed on iOS. Still, Plants vs. Zombies turned out to be ideal for an immersive touchscreen experience. The sequel has many of the same gameplay elements that made the first one so compelling, but there is more going on here.
All you have to do is get to the luminous beam of light at the end of the level. That's all it takes to progress through Incredipede. However, actually figuring out how to get there is a bit of a challenge. In each level your buggy avatar has to mutate to make its way onward, growing new limbs and muscles as needed. This kind of experimental gameplay has a tendency to go wrong, even if it starts out strong.
Hexage has been creating some of the best games on Android since early in the platform's run. It has a distinct style that has evolved through the years as Android acquired more graphical prowess. That leads us to the newest Hexage title, Reaper. This is a 2D hack-and-slash RPG with a casual style of gameplay and a ton of pizazz. Unlike some previous Hexage games, this one is not free-to-play. You can try it out, but you've got to make a decision about buying the full version.
Turn-based gaming is making a bit of a comeback these days, but such titles can easily end up painfully tedious or just not compelling. Breach and Clear is a top-down shooter that seems to aim for a middle ground. You have to carefully position units, leverage special tactics, and keep track of enemies. However, some of the busywork is taken out of your hands. This game has the potential to scratch a tactical itch in a big way.
I spent a measurable amount of the early 90's playing Contra on NES. Admittedly, I lacked the manual dexterity at the time to beat the game without using the Konami Code, but now I can take another swing at it on Android. Contra: Evolution is the same game it was in the early 90's, but with a few extra elements.
Contra was indisputably one of the finest shooters of its era, but does it translate well to the modern mobile ecosystem?
A superhero is likely to have various powers suitable for defeating the forces of evil and causing a ton of collateral damage. You know, leaping tall buildings, conjuring fireballs, and so on. But can they fill out health insurance forms? Collate printouts? Can a superhero – no matter how powerful – navigate the murky waters of human resource complaints? The answer to all these questions is no. The venerable middle manager is the only one with these skills, and now you can slip on the sensible shoes of such an individual and manage a branch of Justice Corp.
Turn-based strategy is a classic style of gameplay, but it's still pretty big these days with titles like Frozen Synapse hitting Android. But sometimes these games can be a little slow, or even tedious if a not designed well. The developers of TurtleStrike are trying to combine real-time with turn-based gaming in what they call "live turn-based" gameplay. This approach has the potential to make matches proceed quickly, but still allow careful tactical planning.