Twelve years ago, Sega released a game for its brand-spanking new Dreamcast system that was so stunningly original its influences can still be seen today. Jet Set Radio (Jet Grind Radio for US gamers) became an instant sleeper hit, and has earned its cult classic status. The impressive, stylish visuals, unique gameplay and awesome music are still remember fondly by my generation. Now that Android hardware has caught up to and in many ways surpassed the old beige box, Sega has re-released Jet Set Radio for the mobile world. You can pick it up on the Google Play Store for $4.99.
There are only so many permutations of the scrolling arcade shooter, but that didn't stop developer CatfishBlues from taking a swing at it with Hyperwave. This is a top-down game that could pass for the spiritual successor to Space Invaders. You have to pilot your lone craft against all the glowing horrors of space to defend humanity. At least that's what the backstory is supposed to be. It's really just an excuse to shoot stuff, but that's okay.
Your ship in Hyperwave is restricted to moving left and right at the bottom of the screen. Auto-fire is always on, so you don't have to stress about that.
I hope you've been paying attention to Harry's teachings for the last six years. You're going to need the code if you hope to avoid getting caught in Dexter the Game 2, which has just been released to the Play Store today. We first heard about this one back in July, before season 7 got underway. Now it's more than half over. Right around the time the story starts to lull before ramping back up to the finale. What better time to unleash your own monster?
The free-roaming environment seems like a neat idea, and from the screenshots it looks like many of your favorite locations have been lovingly recreated.
There are plenty of games in Google Play these days, but I sometimes feel like developers forget to code in the fun. Games are supposed to be fun, right? And what's more fun than shooting anything and everything in your path with a rapidly rotating assortment of weapons? Not much, if you ask me. With that in mind, Expendable: Rearmed has a lot of potential. This is a port of a classic top-down arcade shooter from the Dreamcast, and it is all about destruction.
I am told there is a backstory to Expendable: Rearmed, but try as I might, I can't think of any reason to care about it.
I'm a big fan of EA's Need For Speed series - according to Steam, I played Hot Pursuit for over 50 hours on my PC. Their latest addition to the cops 'n' racers stable is Most Wanted, hotly anticipated on consoles because it's from the racing pros at Criterion. But for those without an Xbox or PC and an abundance of mobile horsepower, EA offers the Android version, for a reasonable $7.
The mobile version of Most Wanted gets a lot right: a variety of cars, plenty of customization, a great feeling of speed, and some of the best graphics in a racing game yet.
Despite the fact that tens of thousands of games are available on Android, most of them are easily placed within genres that have been around for decades, or they simply copy the conventions of mobile-friendly games (tower defense, runners, physics games, etc). IT's refreshing to see a game like Sumioni: Demon Arts, which combines traditional platforming with the kind of touch-enabled gameplay mechanics that's only been possible for a few years. It's a shame, then, that it has to come from a PlayStation Vita port... with the high price tag that usually accompanies console games.
The artistry on display in Sumioni, lifted from Japanese sumi-e paintings (with "oni" meaning "demon" in Japanese, creating a crude quasi-pun in the title), is undeniably attractive.
Sure, Google may have acquired Zagat and used the company's renowned ratings engine to start powering its data on everything from electronics stores to car washes. However, the review site got its start in restaurants way back in the day, and even after the purchase, continues to provide helpful information on every aspect of your food consumption outings. So, why not give the service its own app? Well, that's just what everyone's favorite search giant did!
Zagat is predictably gorgeous. With Google Maps built in, it's convenient to find a restaurant near you, check its ratings, and even get photos of the place where available.
Gameloft has been releasing high-end games on Android for the last few years, and some of them have been quite good. However, just as many of them have had serious issues that rendered them unplayable for me. Wild Blood will cost you some serious cash up front, but it promises an epic action-adventure story with killer graphics. Does it deliver?
Story And Gameplay
Reading the description for Wild Blood makes a good first impression. The gist of the tale is that King Arthur has gone mad after learning Queen Guinevere has betrayed him with Sir Lancelot (that's you). Along with his sister, Morgana Le Fey, Arthur summons demons to wreak havoc on the kingdom and imprisons Guinevere.
I have a special place in my heart for real time strategy games. Some of my fondest memories are playing with my dad in our cobbled-together home LAN with games like Age of Empires and Red Alert. But until last week, the last time I had seen a quality mobile RTS was Warfare Incorporated back on my Palm Tungsten T3, almost a decade ago. But now there's a real alternative: Desert Stormfront, from Noble Master Games, is worth a look from any dedicated strategy fan. It emulates the look and feel of Command & Conquer (with a few important changes) but wraps it all up in what's probably the best touch interface for an RTS available at the moment.
Android gaming is becoming a bigger deal all the time with high-end games launching on the platform every week. The Bard's Tale is something a little different, though. Not only is it a highly anticipated game with similarly high production values, it is the biggest game I'm aware of on Android. With 20-30 hours of content and 3.5GB of game data, this is a real time investment. Let's figure out just how special The Bard's Tale is.
Gameplay And Story
In this game, you play at the Bard, a roguish wanderer and occasional monster slayer. You arrive in the town of Houton with little more than a lute and an empty coin purse.