While we eagerly await the arrival of Google Games (and the potential revenue that could bring), Android still remains a great home for classic games from days gone by. To wit, Boulder Dash, an 8-bit puzzler originally released for the Atari in 1984, has landed on Android. This rounds out at least an even dozen platforms the title has been ported to.
The new version brings updated graphics and touch screen controls. You can also flip into retro mode if you prefer the nostalgic view of giant pixels. The game touts at least 100 levels to play, each with its own set of traps, enemies and puzzles to get to the exit.
It wouldn't be a new month without a roundup of the previous month's best Play Store offerings. Of course, we've already taken a look at the best new apps from February 2013, but games – as usual – were also well-represented by new entries last month.
Typically, we try to narrow down our list of the top new apps and games to five entries each month. This month, however, saw the debut of plenty of new games that are definitely worth taking a look at, and have included seven of the very best games no Android gamer should miss. Without further ado, here are the top games from February 2013.
If you subscribe to the vastly-oversimplified concept of a multiverse, then you must believe that, given an infinite set of potential universes, all possible things can and must occur in at least one world parallel to our own. Which means that somewhere, on some alternate version of Earth, Super Mario Bros. stars a textured-yet-pixelated biker named Manley who is trying to track down his kidnapped motorcycle. Kidnapped, that is, by aliens.
To the game's credit, it's completely up front about what it is: "This retro platform game pays tribute to, and parodies, classics such as Super Mario Bros., CastleVania and Mega Man, in style!" It doesn't try to hide behind feigned originality.
Role playing games have been dressed up for the modern era, but the RPGs of the past still have a unique appeal. In the new game QuestLord, you get to take a retro-inspired 8-bit journey into a massive world filled with magic, secrets, and a ton of turn-based combat.
The basic premise is much the same as other RPGs: complete quests, find loot, level up. There are 18 complete quests in QuestLord right now spread over 160 different maps. You even get over 100 NPCs to interact with as you explore the world. That isn't bad for a mobile game of this sort.
When it comes to iconic video game titles, there are few that meet that qualification like Galaga. The top-down alien shoot 'em up has been re-created time and time again, but now the original creator – Namco – has brought this classic title to Android.
As you might expect, it has been completely revamped for the mobile platform, but it still offers that same classic gameplay that made Galaga a hit back in the early '80s. This is a free game that offers 25 levels of gameplay and "epic boss battles" – so hit the widget to grab it and re-live the glory days of arcade gaming.
Bringing its already-popular (on iOS) reimagining of the Atari classic to Android, Activision released Pitfall! to the Play Store today. For those who haven't seen or played the newly conceptualized Pitfall, it shares very little with the original – you'll still be dodging snakes, swinging on ropes, and jump over impossible pitfalls, but this time you'll be playing an "endless-runner" a la Temple Run. Unlike Temple Run, however, Pitfall's protagonist (Pitfall Harry) uses a whip to defeat whatever wild foes happen to be in his way. Harry will also find himself riding various vehicles and running through plenty of dynamic environments.
Twenty years ago you had to pump quarters into an arcade machine to enjoy the punishing shooter known as Raiden. The game was so successful that multiple sequels followed. Now you can play four Raiden arcade games on your mobile device for a one-time fee. This is a retro gaming experience that tries to preserve the feel of the original game, and still make it work on a touch screen. So is Raiden still awesome? Let's see.
See that thing there? Shoot it. That other thing over there? Shoot that, too. That third whatsit over there? That one is a power up.
If there's one thing that our phones and tablets do really well, it's play games from the 90s. And if there's one thing that games from the 90s do really well, it's make crap explode. Expendable: Rearmed (which has nothing to do with Sylvester Stallone) is a third-person shooter set in the distant future where your clone army is being marched in, one at a time, to kill everyone and blow up everything. Things used to be so much simpler, didn't they?
The game actually looks pretty dang similar to the N64 niche classic Jet Force Gemini. Expendable: Rearmed (a remake Millenium Solider: Expendable) promises a complete lack of loading times, a host of new achievements, global leaderboards, and every action hero's two favorite words: "weapons galore."
Expendable is available on the Play Store for $2.99.
Fans of old-school classics, gather round and feast your eyes! Atari has announced that two of its high-value properties will be coming to Android in 2013. First on the list is the retro hit Roller Coaster Tycoon. If you were around in the late 90s (and we assume most of our readers are over the age of 12), you might remember that there were two kinds of simulation games back then: Sim games from Maxis, and everyone else. At the top of that gleaming mountain of "everything else" was Roller Coaster Tycoon.
This game centered around creating your own theme park.
Remember the hours and hours you wasted as a kid plunking quarters into the Zaxxon machine, scorning the other kids for playing 1942 and Galaga? Yeah, neither do I - odds are pretty good that if you're reading this, Sega's admittedly unique isometric shooter was slightly before your time. Still, there's got to be plenty of Android gamers eager for a nostalgia trip in 3/4 perspective, right? For those middle-aged gamers, Zaxxon Escape is now available in the Play Store for a mere buck. At the cost of just four single-run games from 1982, that's a bargain.