Google Play Games has supported online multiplayer for a while, but now it's even easier to play against your friends who happen to be within gloating distance. Play Games now includes support for multiplayer with people who are physically near you.
In the Android Police teardown of the latest Google Play Services support app posted yesterday, Cody Toombs noted that the "Nearby Players" feature we've been spotting for a few weeks seems ready to go. And lo and behold, several users have seen the feature become active on their phones, heading to Google+ and our own tips box to spread the joy around. Check your own app to see if it's enabled, though the distribution seems somewhat random - we're seeing reports from players in Mexico and Italy at the moment.
Welcome to the latest entry in our Bonus Round series, wherein we tell you all about the new Android games of the day that we couldn't get to during our regular news rounds. Consider this a quick update for the dedicated gamers who can't wait for our bi-weekly roundups, and don't want to wade through a whole day's worth of news just to get their pixelated fix. Today we've got a minimalist "multiplayer" twitch game, a sci-fi tower defense game, a strangely violent take on Angry Birds, and another Tin Man game book.
Excitement over products like the Ouya, nVidia's Shield line, and even numerous gamepads proves that gaming on Android has entered the mainstream. Developers have been jumping at the opportunity to build games that work across many of the different operating systems; and thanks to the Cross-Platform SDK, they're able to integrate most of the Play Games services into their products on Windows, Mac, and Linux. Until now, this SDK has lagged behind the SDKs for Android and iOS on one specific feature: real-time multiplayer support.
Air Hockey would be a lot more fun if it had multiple players. And crazy Tron-inspired colors. And guns. That seems to be the basic idea behind Futu Hoki (Future Hockey, if that was too subtle), a new game from the developer of the popular Glow Hockey 3D. The new game is essentially Air Hockey squared, or perhaps Hungry Hungry Hippos in reverse: as the super-glowy guns at all four corners of the board shoot out rolling balls, you have to defend your side in Pong fashion.
The creators of Organ Trail: Director's Cut who brought us the wonder of "delicious Apple 2 pixel art" combined with the nostalgia of the Oregon Trail and zombies, have done it again, introducing Max Gentlemen to the Play Store.
Max Gentlemen is an "arcade style extreme manners simulator" in which you'll strive to prove your gentlemanliness by stacking hats. On your head. Also the hats can jump to avoid passing beer glasses, low-flying birds, or other such obstacles.
Many fans of the original PS1-era RE-VOLT were thrilled when a port was released on Android last year. The portable version included all of the goofy kart-style racing that made the original a sleeper hit... with one exception. Both the remastered version and the free-to-play edition lacked online multiplayer, which was a crucial part of the old game. Well, except for the online part. That's been addressed in RE-VOLT 2: Multiplayer, available now as a free download.
The perennial trading card game from Wizards of the Coast made its Android debut last year, and it seems that the developers intend to give it regular updates, just like the PC version. Magic 2015 includes an expanded collection of cards that match the physical card game, though you'll have to shell out quite a lot of cash for the full set - not unlike the real-world counterpart. Magic 2015 is a free download, but you'll need at least 1.2GB of free space to hold it.
Developer CD Projekt Red has something impressive in the works for fans of The Witcher in need of a mobile fix. Its upcoming game, The Witcher Battle Arena, is a multiplayer experience akin to DotA and League of Legends, but set in the rich medieval universe made popular by the PC/console video game series that's been around since 2007 (themselves based on a series of books). The game was demoed at this year's E3, and it looks awesome.
In the future, sports won't look the way they do now. They will be faster, more complex, and completely saturated with bright neon lights. No game will be immune, no matter how small or seemingly innocent, including dodgeball. Jolt offers a taste of what a futuristic version of this game will look like, and it gives two players the chance to experience it on one device.
The screenshots don't do Jolt justice.