Update: the developers released another quick update on September 19th, explicitly supporting the MOGA family of controllers. The NES30 mentioned below, a generic Bluetooth HID controller, is also working. Well done, Noodlecake and RocketCat!
Gamers who've been living under a priceless hand-carved ancient monolith might not know about Uncharted, a series of PlayStation-exclusive action adventure games that have sold tens of millions of copies across three titles. The odds of us getting an Android port of Uncharted are somewhere between slim and none. But you can get a shameless copy of Uncharted-style gaming with Unearthed: Trail of Ibn Battuta, available now on the Play Store.
We featured the DraStic Nintendo DS emulator way back when it launched and came away impressed. Version 2.2 of the app is probably the biggest update yet, adding a host of forward-looking features that should improve both performance and overall gaming satisfaction. Android 4.4 users in particular will be happy to hear that DraStic now supports Android Runtime (ART).
Those of you with a MOGA controller can now use it natively with DraStic, no root or workaround required.
Last year, PowerA tried to change the game (quite literally) with its MOGA (later changed to MOGA Pocket) and MOGA Pro controllers. While the idea was great and execution was decent, there was still a lot of room for improvement with both. This year's models – the Hero Power and Pro Power – not only look to improve the overall form factor and experience over last year's models, but also bring more juice and the ability to charge your device while you play using the internal battery.
If you dig gaming on the go and like the idea of having a controller instead of touch controls, then you've likely considered PowerA's Moga controllers. At this point there are four to choose from: last year's Moga Pocket and Pro, and this year's Hero Power and Pro Power. Each have their own allure – for the Pocket and Hero, it's size. For the Pro models, it's the feel of a full-size controller to get your game on with.
Crescent Moon has been one of the more reliable developers on the Play Store as of late, and their newest game is definitely worth a look from anyone who enjoys a good old-fashioned beat-em-up. Nakama evokes the spirit of 2D side-scrolling fighters like Streets Of Rage or Double Dragon. At least, it's like Double Dragon might have been if you played it at 200 frames per second.
You play as an inexplicably blocky ninja on a quest to save his friends.
Anyone looking for a solid Android gaming controller need look no further than the MOGA series. The original controller launched a year ago, and while there were and remain some drawbacks to the bundled software, the hardware itself is top notch. The latest generation hopes to address a fundamental drawback to gaming on a smartphone, the inescapable battery draining forces at work whenever you fire up a graphically intensive game and attempt to play it using a Bluetooth controller.
Update: It looks like we might not be able to plug our phones into our controllers just yet. The Amazon link has already changed to say that the MOGA Hero Power is temporarily out of stock. Keep an eye out, as it will probably reappear before or around the launch of the MOGA Pro Power.
Android games are consistently getting better, but there's a drawback. As new titles task players with taking control of more detailed character models, paint surfaces with higher resolution textures, and follow up attacks with an increasing number of particles, phones with passable battery life soon find that they can hardly make it through morning.
Frequent Android gamers know that the newest AAA titles are insatiable power hogs, and more than a few are made infinitely better with the addition of hardware controls. Until someone comes out with an Xperia Play MAXX (seriously Sony, get on that), the MOGA Power series might just be the best way to address these issues. The controller/external battery combos have been a long time coming, but now they're finally available for pre-order on Amazon.
There's an almost obsessive quality to equipping and upgrading your character that makes the RPG genre so addictive for some players. OrangePixel's long-awaited Heroes Of Loot understands that and strips out all the unnecessary fluff like story, character development, and whiz-bang 3D graphics... to make room for more loot. The game is available now on the Play Store in a $2 paid version or a free ad-supported version.
Heroes Of Loot technically fits into the "roguelike" sub-genre thanks to semi-permanent player death and procedurally-generated dungeons.