Dateline: 1988. Across the country, thousands of Amiga computer owners discover a revelation: they can now play a game that includes both white-knuckle driving and indiscriminate violence (without heading to the arcade to spend a quarter on Spy Hunter) with Fire And Forget. The little-known but much-loved Titus game has been given new life in Fire & Forget: The Final Assault. This is no nostalgia trip, it's a brand new title, complete with modern graphics and a new trick for your rolling death machine: flight.
I was seven years old when Carmageddon first hit store shelves in 1997. Even if the game hadn't been widely banned and censored around the world, I still wouldn't have gotten my hands on it. The off-the-wall violence and bloodshed would have been a bit too much for my parents to permit me to play with good conscience. While leagues of long-time fans poured money into the Kickstarter campaign that allowed Stainless Games to port the game to Android in the first place, I am visiting the game for the first time.
Of course after our app roundup earlier today, we've got to have a roundup of the very best games from last month. This time we have a few more than usual, bumping the count to eight. While our shortlist isn't so short this time around, all the games discussed are well worth checking out. From racing to hidden object, April 2013 had something for just about every type of gamer.
First up is CSR Racing.
NASCAR, left turns, Keystone Light, yadda, yadda, yadda. Now that we've got the requisite good-natured ribbing of NASCAR fans out of the way, you've got to check out the impressive race coverage features in the latest official tie-in to America's biggest stock car racing tournament. NASCAR RaceView Mobile '13 is intended to be a "second screen" experience for watching the race on TV, providing a plethora of live information on drivers and vehicles.
There's nothing like sliding in behind the wheel of a finely tuned automobile for a little drag race. Odds are you have neither the inclination nor the resources to do that in real life, so why not enjoy the experience in a video game? CSR Racing has been released globally on Android, and it's got more officially licensed cars than than you'll be able to properly drool over.
CSR Racing is still a racing game, but it doesn't have the same level of interaction as something like Real Racing 3.
The old F-Zero and Wipeout series were some of the fastest, prettiest games of their respective times, so it's no surprise that the niche of "hovercraft racer" has made such a disproportionate impact on the racing genre. PixelBite is no stranger to racing themselves, having developed the Reckless series for Android and iOS. Their latest and most ambitious game is Repulze, a hovercraft racer that pushes the boundaries of both speed and graphics on Android.
Electronic Arts seems to be one of the most disliked game developers on any platform, so it doesn't take much for the internet to rise up in anger against them. The release of Real Racing 3 with its heavy in-app purchases was reason enough to hurl some vitriol at EA. However, the game is free to try and there are a ton of officially licensed cars to drive. So is it really that bad?
Everyone's favorite game studio, Electronic Arts, has released the third incarnation of its "hyper-realistic" racing series. Real Racing 3 is in the Play Store, but appears to be available only in certain countries right now. The North American listing isn't working for us, but the international version appears to be functional for at least some folks. Although, considering the bizarre new in-app purchase upsell, maybe you're not missing much.
The Real Racing series makes its name by licensing dozens of authentic cars.
Sometimes game development just doesn't go as planned. New challenges appear, deadlines are pushed back, and entire projects can end up scrapped. In the case of Protoxide: Death Race, it seemed for a long time like it was dead in the water. Now all of a sudden this title has appeared in the Play Store after about a year and a half of waiting. But if you're in the mood for heavily armed hovercraft, look no further.
One-touch games work great on mobile platforms - it's part of the formula that makes endless runners and Angry Birds incredibly popular. Adapting that simplicity to racing takes a little finesse, but developer Crescent Moon Games (creators of the popular Paper Monsters and Aralon games) seems to have managed it. In Slingshot Racing, all the powered sleds go at the same speed and have no steering, so to get ahead, you fire a grappling hook at a corner fulcrum to make the best line through the icy tracks.