Last night, the HTC Flyer received an update that included the OnLive viewer, allowing users to get a glimpse of what the future of mobile gaming should look like. Naturally, those of us that don't have a Flyer want to peep into said future, too - so, in typical XDA fashion, the APK was extracted from the update so it could be installed on other devices. It's worth noting that this is the viewer, not the player, so you'll only be able to watch the action. For those not sure what OnLive is all about, here's a video of it running on a PC:
For the most part, the app seems to be working on the bulk of devices - including Droid X, EVO 4G, EVO 3D, Nook Color running CM7, and Samsung Galaxy S II, just to name a few.
Cut The Rope, which arrived to Android yesterday, is one of those "top shelf" iOS titles that has done so well for itself that it's become synonymous with mobile gaming. Of course, it isn't at an "Angry Birds" level yet, but it's permeated the public consciousness to a point where I've heard non-gamer friends talk about it with enthusiasm.
Cut The Rope is a puzzle game where you aim to feed a piece of candy to a green monster named Omnom. The candy is being held aloft by a piece of rope, which is affected by physics and is actually quite elastic.
Sometimes, it's best when a game doesn't perform just one function. Especially when graphics-heavy apps charge more than usual for an experience that might grow stale, variance and depth is extremely important. The iOS port of Galaxy on Fire II has depth in spades, but is the overall experience worth the game's price?
Galaxy on Fire II plays remarkably similar to a 2003 Windows game called Freelancer, in which you took on the role of an interstellar starship captain with an eye for earning money. The same concept remains true in Galaxy on Fire II; you can follow a story mission or go off on your own, accepting missions from people in space station bars.
When distilled down to its base values, Doodle God is a large logic puzzle based on matching. You're given four elements (earth, air, water, fire) at the start of the game and can combine them to make things. Combining fire and air gets you steam, fire with water alcohol (firewater, har har), and many others.
From there, you can use the products of your matching to make other things, which is where the game gets most of its depth. There are over 200 different elements to find, and more being added all the time. This is the major selling point of the game, touting the ability to make fantastical creatures, like the front end of an airplane and the back end of a horse.
Japanese developer Kairosoft seems to be the king of the mobile simulation genre, having pumped out three English titles (Game Dev Story, Hot Springs Story and now Grand PrixStory) which manage to be addicting as hell while benefitting from the touch controls of a smartphone. In their games, you're put in the shoes of a business owner who is looking to both make money and rise to the top of his/her chosen profession.
Along the way, you can customize everything from the staff you hire to the products you put out; going into each individual thing you can customize would lengthen this article by a couple thousand words, at the minimum.
Puzzle games are some of my favourite titles for the Android because of their tendency to play well in short bursts. Rebirth looks to take the gameplay behind Lumines and bring it over to the mobile market: the question is, will it do the original justice?
For those looking for a basic clone of Lumines (more on that later), you've come to the right spot. Rebirth is pretty much the game to a "T", and brings the block-stacking madness to the Android platform with good faith.
For those unfamiliar, Lumines was a puzzle game that was first developed for the Playstation Portable System.
I'm not afraid to say I play Dungeons & Dragons; I think it's a great way for people to have fun together and enjoy a truly dynamic narrative. However, since I write about tech and other nerdy stuff for a living, I like having the old-school pen and paper mesh with technology whenever possible.
However, like tech, Dungeons & Dragons isn't for those who don't have much in the way of disposable income; you've got numerous things to buy before you can get started, including handbooks and manuals that can run you up to $35+ each. Like the books, multi-sided dice are an integral part of the game, and a set of 10 standard dice will run you ~$7.99.
You know what's more frustrating than a beautiful-looking game whose controls don't work?
A beautiful-looking game that requires you to use those controls to react to events in a split-second.
Alright, perhaps that was being a little harsh. Stellar Escape is a new game that comes to us on the Android Market from a small dev team called Orange Agenda. In the game, you play as an interstellar courier who has delivered a package that could power a planet-destroying death ray. having a moment of conscience, he grabs the power source and sprints away from his client, becoming the most wanted man in the galaxy at the same time.
Call me a stickler, but I think games should play well before looking pretty. I think they should be functional, polished and most of all, not frustrating. This seems to elude most developers who insist on using on-screen joysticks for their products, as more often than not they're a buggy, non-responsive mess.
From having poorly-defined boundaries to not reacting to multi-touch well, the system seems to be a bit flawed.
However, Halfbrick studios (the developers of the wildly-successful Fruit Ninja) have finally managed to code some joysticks that work straight out of the box, no tweaking required. Their newest game, Age of Zombies, relies quite heavily on them, so I'm both glad and relieved that they've decided to make sure people can actually play their game before they've released it to the wild.
On paper, the OnLive game system seems like a revolution in gaming: instead of using your own console or hardware to play games, OnLive's servers sync and render gamplay on their own servers and stream it back to you in 720p. This would theoretically allow you to play any game you wanted at high settings, regardless of your available hardware.
Picture courtesy of Engadget
OnLive's taken the chance to expand from an initial PC experience to include their own microconsole; however, it looks like they're expanding to the Android tablet market, as well. The company is expected to showcase their new universal controller at the upcoming E3 conference, but Engadget has a video demo of it in action with an HTC Flyer tablet.