If you're the gaming type, you probably didn't get much done this January. The month saw the release of plenty of addictive, time-wasting games that demanded players keep coming back to unlock one more achievement, or pick up a few more coins, or destroy just a few more blobs. If you weren't able to keep up with all of the Play Store's new entries last month, don't worry – we've once again rounded up a short list of last month's very best new games. The list covers everything from basic rhythmic games to chaotic bullet hell, to clever, beautiful physics puzzles, and should suit even the most discerning mobile gamer.
One of the bigger mobile games that still somehow manages to disappear under the marketing behemoth of Angry Birds is Cut the Rope. Now, the company behind that title has released a new adventure: Pudding Monsters. The basic gist is, there is red, gelatinous pudding in the fridge, and man is the guy who owns that fridge a jerk. He keeps eating all of these clearly-sentient and terrified desert creatures. Help them!
The game is played in stages, much like Cut The Rope, and requires some problem-solving skills to get the job done. You move, manipulate, and merge the wiggling piles of goo, all while avoiding dangerous baddies on the kitchen table until your googly-eyed friends escape to safety.
Ask any mad scientist worth his fortress of evil: lasers are awesome, shark-mounted or otherwise. This has been the basis for many a shoot-em-up game (see our Hyperwave review for a good example) but they've been lamentably absent from the puzzle genre, until now. OverLight uses a series of lasers and prisms to mix up the conventions of falling block and match-3 puzzles, with no small amount of visual flair. It's available now on Google Play for one dollar.
Lasers can come from all four directions, heating up and eventually breaking the glass panels, but not before being redirected through them.
If you're a fan of abstract puzzle games, then Cipher Studios' Splice should pique your interests. The entire game takes place under the microscope, where it's your job to re-arrange and splice together strands of DNA (hence the name of the game). Each cell will react differently to different splices, so it's up to you to figure out how to successfully restructure each strand and completely the sequence.
The game features over 75 different puzzles, each of which contain a limited number of splices in order to complete. For replayability, each level also has an angelic solution, where the sequence is solved in only a few splices.
It's time for yet another Nvidia-only game with the "THD" label, and like the excellent Zombie Driver, it's a pilgrim from the PC and console shores. Hamilton's Great Adventure has been a sleeper hit on Steam and the PlayStation 3, thanks to its adventure game presentation and challenging, go-at-your-own-pace puzzle structure. You follow the exploits of
Indiana Hamilton and his pet bird Sasha, as they trounce around ancient ruins in search of the Fluxatron, which Hamilton's professor buddy needs to finish his Transmorphanizer. For some reason. THe game is available today in two parts, at $3.99 each.
Gameplay boils down to finding the best path through each level for Hamilton, while switching to a bird's eye view with Sasha to explore the level and open up the path.
When you pick up your Android device to play a game, you're probably shooting stuff, jumping over stuff, driving stuff, or maybe flicking stuff. Lather, rinse, repeat. Sometimes these gaming tropes can be genuinely entertaining and clever, but it's all rather expected these days. Waking Mars takes a completely different approach. It's equal parts puzzle solving and adventure, with just a little platforming mixed in. It's a little expensive, but does it deliver?
The word of the day here is unique. Waking Mars seems at first like a generic adventure game, but it quickly becomes so much more. You control the least fortunate scientist in the solar system, who finds himself trapped in a series of underground Martian caves after a geologic event swallows up his basecamp.
Viva Media has just launched its award-winning Crazy Machines Golden Gears to the Play Store (with expected Tegra Zone availability), looking to bring the Rube Goldberg-inspired dreams of a mad scientist to your mobile device while challenging players to use boards, boxing gloves, laser beams, and dynamite to achieve various goals in each level.
For now, the game features only its "Challenges" gameplay mode, which will take players through a series of levels each with their own end goal, but a "Create – Share" mode is promised to be "coming soon."
It's up to player to use various tools to accomplish those goals, but the levels get progressively harder as the game continues.
Over on the iOS side of things, W.E.L.D.E.R. has made quite a name for itself with unique word-based gameplay and a real sense of humor. Now you too can get in on the fun with W.E.L.D.E.R. on your Android device of choice. Make sure you check out the video below so you know what you're getting into. This is serious business.
W.E.L.D.E.R. is a bit like a combination of Boggle, Scrabble, and Bejeweled. You have to create word combinations with various tile types to get the most points. The better you play, the more special abilities you get access to. It's not just about mindless fun, though.
There are puzzle games. Then, there are puzzle games. If you're a fan of having your brain melted, then Noodlecake Studios' new game HueBrix might fit the bill perfectly.
If Tetris, snake, and one of those "unblock" games had a baby, it would be HueBrix. The goal of the game is to "drag paths from block to fill out the puzzle grid." Sounds easy enough, right? Sure, but each color block only allows a path of a certain length and orientation. Doesn't sound so simple now, does it? Didn't think so.
If you're the type who likes a good challenge to kill time, hit the link, drop a buck, and give HueBrix a shot.
Okay, now that I've got that out of my system, let me introduce you to Spirits. This game features a series of ethereal spirit beings (see where they got the name?) that steadily stream out of the entrance to a level. Your job is to transform some of the aural manifestations into clouds, vines, and all manner of natural tools to lead the remaining wisps to the exit of the level. If it sounds familiar, then you probably owned a Commodore Amiga or played PC games in the early 90s.