There's something magical about trading places with game developers, getting to apply your own creativity to produce levels that put all others to shame (and preferably without having to know a single line of code). LittleBigPlanet has provided this thrill on PlayStation platforms for years, letting players create their own two-dimensional stages and share them with others. Mario Maker will give Mushroom Kingdom lovers their own chance to thwart their favorite plumber's efforts to rescue Princess Peach.
In Adventure Time Game Wizard, you can create side-scrolling levels from the comfort of an Android phone or tablet. The tools are in place to spawn challenging stages all on-screen, but more dedicated types can draw out levels on graph paper and scan them into the app using the camera.
The original Gunslugs' mix of bullet-filled, NES-inspired, platforming nostalgia attracted hundreds of thousands of downloads. Now, two years to the day since we covered the original release, developer OrangePixel is back with a sequel, the creatively named Gunslugs 2.
In Gunslugs 2, the Black Duck Army returns to take over the world in an adventure that may be as impacted by 80's action films as video games of yesteryear. In both cases, the moral is the same—there's no such thing as an evil plan that can't be overcome by overwhelming quantities of hot lead.
The sequel supplies gamers with seven worlds divided into eight levels each.
In Worms, sheep are used as suicidal explosives. The helpless animals run in the direction they're released in, turning around only if their path is blocked. Seeking freedom, their plans are inevitably thwarted when the automatic timer runs out or a player triggers their detonation, bringing their life to an end.
In Flockers, a Lemmings-style puzzle game from Worms-developer Team 17, the sheep have had enough. Rather than continue this hopeless existence, they make a break for it. Unfortunately, the future is still pretty bleak. Not willing to let the flock escape, the worms try to block it off using buzz saws, swinging meat cleavers, spikes, and whatever else their cruel minds can come up with.
Spoiler Alert begins on the last, and paradoxically easiest, level in the game, where you defeat the final boss and then rescue the princess in familiar but not quite copyright infringing fashion. At that point you play the game in reverse, going backwards through hundreds of levels that the tiny chili pepper hero has played, but you haven't. It's an odd approach to a platform game, and one that has to be played to be fully understood. In lieu of that, watch the video below.
While "playing backwards," you'll have to revive all the enemies that have been killed by "jumping" on them in reverse, replace all the coins that have been collected by running over them again, et cetera.
Originality comes in many forms. One of them is to create a game world or control scheme that catches all who play it by surprise. Another approach is to take a familiar genre and offer an engaging twist on it. Then there's taking an existing game (Frogger), mixing it with the art style from another one (Minecraft), while naming it similar to a big hit everyone can recall (Flappy Bird). That last one appears to be the formula behind Crossy Road, and—okay, maybe it's not so original after all.
The popular iOS title came to Android last month as an Amazon exclusive, and now it's available on the Play Store where more people are likely to get swooped up by its charm.
When gamers first met LEGO Star Wars: The Video Game in 2005, it was a multi-platform title available for the PlayStation 2, Xbox, Gamecube, and PC (along with an isometric 2D version for the Game Boy Advance). It applied the virtual toy block treatment to worlds and events from the three Star Wars prequels, and sprinkled on some of the humor we've since come to expect from LEGO over the years. The game was a hit, and a sequel followed the next year that did the same thing, only with the series' better movies and on more platforms.
Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars, perhaps surprisingly, began its life on a Nintendo platform: the original DS. Over half a year later, a version made its way over to the PlayStation Portable, and an iOS version appeared only a couple of months after that. Since then, nearly five years have passed, and Rockstar is finally sharing the game with the millions of Android users roaming the globe. The title can now be found in the Play Store.
Given the limitations of Chinatown Wars' original platform, the game hearkens back to the top-down view of the first two entries in the series.
Coming in four years after the previous skirmish, Brothers in Arms 3 has stormed into the Play Store with a battalion of fresh troops, air support, and vastly updated graphics (erm, there goes the metaphor). That last point is the real draw here. Gameloft teased Brother in Arm 3's eye-melting visuals over the summer, and the final product hasn't fallen too far off the mark. The studio has taken its time with this game, and it shows.
Brothers in Arms 2 was a first-person shooter. The sequel shifts the perspective to a third-person perspective, and the gameplay has changed as a result.
Jules Vernes' novel Around the World in Eighty Days is an old book, and like most old books, it reads like one. You can pick it up and work through its pages if you're committed, but inkle, the creator of the Sorcery series, has made a modern-day adaptation that is much easier on the eyes. In this choose-your-own-adventure adaptation, you try to make the right decisions to successfully circumnavigate the globe as quickly as possible (but preferably in 80 days).
Do you race around the globe in a train, a boat, or a hot air balloon? Perhaps your best bet is to hop on top of a camel?