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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
The real-time strategy genre has a lot to recommend it: tactical thinking, fast-paced unit and resource management, and multiplayer atmosphere that's unlike anything else in gaming. But it's hard to escape the fact that in order to have a real RTS, you just need a mouse. Precise movements and commands are nigh impossible on a touchscreen. Sega's Total War Battles: Shogun is a spinoff from their wildly successful Total War PC franchise, which breaks with tradition and tries to adapt the RTS genre to the touchscreen.
When Horn arrived on that other mobile platform a couple weeks ago, it was met with plenty of praise. Now Horn is available on Android, and it still stands out among all categories of games. Horn is built from the ground up with an awareness that it will be played on a touchscreen device, and it shows. From the impressive graphics to the unique story, Horn has a lot to show off.
A little over a year ago, before I was hired at AP, I wrote about the things I wanted my new Honeycomb tablet to be able to do in the next version of Android. Multitasking on tablets was (and still is) non-existent, and I wanted my tablet to be less of a big phone, and more of a small computer. I wanted split screen, and floating apps, and really, I wanted to just make use of this nice, big screen I had.
Superhero tie-in games are inevitable. But over the last decade or so, gamers have found that they're not inevitably bad. Spider-man and Batman have both had something of a renaissance on consoles, helping us to forget some truly awful licensed titles. Batman: Arkham Asylum and Arkham City have demonstrated that exceptional gaming experiences can spring from licensed titles, at least when enough talent, creativity and resources are directed at them. It was these two games, even more than its movie tie-in, that inspired Gameloft in the creation of The Dark Knight Rises for Android.