December 25th, 1993. A fresh-faced and (mostly) innocent little boy wakes up and rushes through his breakfast to make sure he beats his little sister to the Christmas tree. Underneath he finds four gifts: a Sega Genesis game console, RBI Baseball, Disney's Aladdin, and Sonic The Hedgehog 2. Twenty years later, that boy, no longer little and considerably less innocent, can relive countless wasted hours on a 5-inch phone screen. Sonic 2 is now in the Play Store.
Plants vs. Zombies 2 came out a few weeks ago with a lot of new gameplay mechanics and some in-app purchases. I didn't have a serious issue with most of the monetization in the game, but Pop Cap has just pushed an update that adds a ton of features and does away with a big chunk of the in-app purchase features.
Today, in a post on the Android Developers Blog, Google announced two new tools that might be of interest to quite a few of the game developers out there. Among the releases is a new open-source 2D physics library called LiquidFun and a Unity plugin for adding Google Play Games support. These releases coincide with the news of additional game categories coming to the Play Store in February, which we covered earlier today.
We found some apps that you can have on the cheap. It doesn't matter where they came from... anyone asks, say they fell off a truck. Wanna see? Okay, but you're not a cop, are you? You know you have to tell us if you are.
Rovio's newest game is about what the Finnish developer knows best – birds. Though, they seem decidedly less angry this time in their little downhill race carts. Like it or not, this game is going to be huge.
Angry Birds Go is Rovio's first major free-to-play game on Android, so expect to be hit up for cash on occasion (maybe a lot of it). This is a casual racing game built around a variety of quirky downhill tracks.
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.
You don't have to spend much time on the Play Store to see that games are a big part of the service and the platform. Google has already done a lot to highlight gaming with Play Store categories and landing page promotions, but starting in February, developers and end users will have roughly three times as many categories to browse through. The new game categories are as follows:
That's seventeen categories, up from the previous six (Arcade & Action, Brain & Puzzle, Cards & Casino, Casual, Racing, and Sports Games).
Another week has dawned, and with that comes a selection of apps and games on sale. This is the season for sales, and we've got some good ones today. Grab your phone/tablet/whatever and proceed to the apps.
The PlayStation Network has become a surprisingly rich source of ports for the Google Play Store. Take Dokuro: it's a beautiful 2D platformer that turned more than a few heads when it premiered as a downloadable title for the PS Vita last year. Now it's available on Android for a single buck, and if you're a fan of platformers with both creative gameplay and gorgeous visuals, you should definitely check it out.