There's nothing more heartwarming in the middle of a snowy winter than getting together with your family or friends to build a snowman. You can always count on the experience to throw you into a time machine and make you feel childish and innocent again. And the snow fights, man the snow fights! The joy of landing a big compact snowball smack in the middle of your target! Is there anything better?
But I digress. Snowy seasons aren't prevalent all year round in every corner of the world, so if you want to relive that pure joy while still enjoying a brain teasing game, A Good Snowman should fit the bill.
Aralon: Sword and Shadow HD, is one of the most ambitious 3D mobile RPGs in memory. It also had nary an in-app purchase, something that has become sadly uncommon in this day and age of freemium. After two-and-a-half years, Crescent Moon Games has released the sequel. Meet Aralon: Forge and Flame.
Visuals look very substantially improved from the original, which is probably to be expected given how far mobile graphics have come since early 2013. The game promises a "massive" world to explore, three races and four classes to choose from, real-time shadows, first and third-person views, and dynamic day and night cycles.
Do you want to bust through doors, fire dozens of machine guns, and kill all the baddies? Then This War of Mine isn't what you're looking for. War heroes aren't just the fighters, they're also the survivors who find themselves thrown into a bleak world and have to scrape for meat, find a shelter, protect each other, and just try to get through each day unharmed and alive. That's the aspect of war that This War of Mine taps into, and it does so with surprising depth and sensibility for a "game". Our own Michael was very impressed when he reviewed it.
Deep Dungeon of Doom usually costs $3.99. That's not a bad price to pay for a fun side-scrolling dungeon crawler with different protagonists — crusader, witch, and mercenary — and plenty of levels that throw you back to the good'ol times of gaming with 8-bit graphics and nostalgic sound effects. It's even much more acceptable after the game was updated to remove all in-app purchases. Now all gold has to be earned in order to buy upgrades and all revive tokens have to be won fair and square.
Minecraft Pocket Edition updates are often filled with minute changes that you have to be familiar with the game to understand. Version 0.12.1's changelog includes a number of these tweaks. For example, there's "Ocelots! Try taming one with a fish" and "Golems. We recommend you approach with caution." Also, "Sneaking and sprinting! Express yourself through movement!"
There was a heist (presumably) and you're on the run. Will you be caught or get away scot-free? That's entirely dependent on how you arrange events in Framed. This game looks incredibly polished and I can't say I've ever seen anything like it.
The Sparkle series of games use a 2D layout and a "zen" approach, putting players in the role of a tiny plankton-like creature as it eats, grows, and evolves. The third game steps up the design of both the sea life and the background until it looks like you're playing in a catastrophic oil spill comprised entirely of tie-dye. Eat, grow, and try not to be eaten in return as you swim through the levels.
There's a dedicated "amoeba" sub-genre out there (it works pretty well on touchscreens) but Sparkle 3 Genesis adds some much-needed complexity. Different food sources will make your creature grow in different ways, introducing a crafting element, and twelve different levels and intermittent screen-filling bosses lend structure to an other wise nebulous experience.
When a port of the console game DuckTales: Remastered came to the Play Store earlier this year, it brought with it a pricetag that would make Scrooge McDuck scoff. That's not to say $10 was an unreasonable amount to pay for a game that cost at least as much on consoles, but like many other gamers, Scrooge tosses such logic out the window when buying stuff on his tablet. Besides, he likes to enjoy his gold in other ways.
Remember that awesome credits sequence from Lord of War? Imagine that as an artsy 2D silhouette game, and you might get something close to Redden. This touch-based shooting title has mechanics that are incredibly simple, but the stylish presentation and unique take on the story make it worth a look if you want something different. Redden is $2.44 in the Play Store and has no advertising or in-app purchases, at least at launch.
Redden begins in a derelict junk shop, where an animate iPhone talks smack to some of the older inhabitants, Brave Little Toaster-style. The story progresses as various weapons - an arrow, a kunai throwing knife, and a bullet - tell tales from their own perspectives.