Square Enix, listen to me: stop making Android ports. Please. You're really bad at it. All of these games, most of which are decades old and extremely expensive by mobile standards, are embarrassingly lacking in polish and features.
Take the latest, Dragon Quest VI. By all accounts it's a classic JRPG, and one that many never got to play in the west since the original Super NES version was only released in Japan.
In many ways, Torchlight and Torchlight II are better at Diablo-style RPG gameplay than Diablo itself is these days. These games were released on PC several years ago, but now Torchlight is coming to Android (and iOS) later this year. Get hype.
Final Fantasy Tactics was an oddball when it was first released for the PlayStation in 1997 - ostensibly a member of the never-repeating (at the time) Final Fantasy series, the game broke from the familiar turn-based battles with a new isometric system that put a huge emphasis on tactical positioning and strategic use of classes and attack ranges. While FFT never got the attention of the standard numbered RPGs in the series, it became a sleeper hit, and the original was kept alive with a few sequels and remakes.
You might have heard that Disney is releasing a new Star Wars film at the end of this year. You might also have heard that it has tossed out almost all the non-film pre-acquisition content produced under license from Lucasfilm. That leaves a lot of gaps in Star Wars canon, but the upcoming mobile game Star Wars: Uprising might get things back on track a bit. It's set between Return of the Jedi and the new film.
Fearless Fantasy might make you do a double-take. Yes, the characters actually look like that. They're quirky. The entire art style is peculiar, and it sets you up for what to expect from the rest of the experience. This isn't your usual role-playing game.
Fearless Fantasy treats us to an original plot accompanied by animated cutscenes and voice-overs. You play as Leon, a bounty hunter who is out to slay the world's most dangerous creatures and save a girl from a horrible marriage.
The biggest Android gaming news of the month was certainly the release of NVIDIA's SHIELD Android TV, and it brought with it quite a few high-profile PC ports. But since the vast majority of readers don't have one, I've decided to restrict this month's top picks to more general smartphone and tablet games. Fear not, SHIELD early adopters: you get your own picks down there below the honorable mention section.
Chaos Rings is Square Enix's only RPG series that started on mobile, namely on iOS and then ported to Android. The series is actually developed by Media Vision and only published by Square, but it's hard not to see the latter's influence on thirty years of Japanese RPGs in the games. The latest release is Chaos Rings III (actually the fourth game to hit Android), now available in the Play Store for a hefty $19.99, thankfully without in-app purchases.
The original Knights of Pen & Paper was hugely popular on Android, and now the second iteration is ready to play. It's time to don your robe and wizard hat and get ready for an adventure. This game will be familiar to fans of the original, but there are some surprises lurking in that game room too.
If you want to play classic ports or new PC games on your phone or tablet, then April was definitely your month. Between the blockbuster adventure game Broken Age and classics like Ys, there's a lot of non-mobile goodness to go around. But don't worry: there are a few original games to investigate as well, notably Implosion and the third entry in the Sorcery series. Here in no particular order are our top picks, along with some honorable mentions.
What if you could simply draw a shape in the air and your enemies would be incinerated by fireballs? That'd be quite a trick, but it isn't happening in real life. It totally happens in Spellcrafter, though. This strategic RPG has just launched on Android, and it's completely free of in-app purchases. Just buy it once, and it's yours forever.