Dateline: 1999. A 12-year-old Jeremiah Rice spends every cent of his allowance at the local Pizza Hut's dingy game room, trying to perfect an S-Class run on the brand new Crazy Taxi arcade unit. Another fourteen years have passed, and SEGA's ode to irresponsible driving isn't exactly the technical marvel it once was, but it's every bit as fun. And a single fiver will let you play as much as you want on Android.
At GDC earlier this year, we learned that Sega ported the original Sonic the Hedgehog to Android, giving a new generation of gamers a chance to experience the game that kicked off one of the industry's largest franchises. The port, which finally showed up in the Play Store earlier today (several weeks late), comes with widescreen support and features exclusive to mobile versions, such as the ability to play as Tails and Knuckles.
Here's hoping all of our readers are having a peaceful Mother's Day. If any of you gave your mom a Google Play Store gift certificate (and your mother is particularly fond of action games or weather widgets) you might point her towards this story for a few bargain-priced suggestions. Sega has a couple of their Android ported games on sale, and Minecraft is discounted over on Amazon. The surprisingly powerful eWeather HD/Radar HD is also on sale, along with the gaming-focused remote access suite Kainy.
SEGA has a rich history of platfoming titles to draw upon as it makes the transition to mobile gaming. Alex Kidd. Sonic the Hedgehog. Nights. But one you might not have heard of is Hell Yeah!, a downloadable title from developer Arkedo Studio. After making waves on the PC and consoles last year, this tongue-in-cheek gorefest has been adapted into what might just be the strangest endless runner on Android.
You play as Ash, spawn of the Dark One, prince of Hell, and somehow, also a rabbit skeleton.
The original House of the Dead (and its sequels) is one of my absolute favorite arcade shooters of all time. And House of the Dead: Overkill brought a whole new experience to the franchise, with more dynamic characters and full-on adult content (we're talkin' drug use, strippers, and more f-bombs than Pulp Fiction can shake a stick at). Needless to say, it's a fantastic rail shooter.
For those who have longed for more HotD action, Sega just pushed Overkill: The Lost Reels to the Play Store.
You might not have heard of Sega's After Burner [sic] series if you don't frequent the arcade. It's one of Sega's oldest franchises, centered around flight simulations of fighter jets, though the games' arcade origins give them a more casual approach to the genre than, say, Ace Combat. (In fact, the games have always felt a lot like Space Harrier.) The last entry in the series, 2006's After Burner Climax, just touched down on the Play Store for a cool three bucks.
SEGA already made some waves in the Android world by announcing a port of the original Sonic the Hedgehog at GDC 2013 yesterday, but the company wasn't finished there. It just announced three more games coming to the platform later this year: Puzzle Pirates, House of the Dead: Overkill – The Lost Reels (!), and Godsrule. Excited? I know I am.
Let's start with Puzzle Pirates.
In its continuing effort to revitalize the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise, SEGA has released yet another made-for-mobile title starring our favorite member of the family Erinaceidae. Sonic Jump is a vertical platformer, with retro 2D visuals. The goal? Jump. In a generally upwards direction. And, of course, collect rings.
If a Sonic game needs a whole lot more explaining than that, it's probably cause for skepticism (the Sonic Adventure series excluded, perhaps).
Hide your wallets, folks. Every dang game on the Play Store, it seems, is on sale today. Whether you're looking for a FPS, racing games, or something with the word Zombie in the title, there are plenty of options for you. For example, Call of Duty Black Ops Zombies which manages two out of three of those qualifies at once! Normally, $6.99, this one's been dropped to $2.99. This sale will be going on through January 3rd.
It's a good time to be an Android gamer. Sega, perennial underdog of the console world, has decided to put some of its biggest titles on Android on a pretty big sale. Right now you can grab Dreamcast favorite Jet Set Radio for $2 (regular price $5), Sonic The Hedgehog 4 Episode I and Episode II, plus the Tegra-only Episode II THD, for a buck each. All of the Sonic titles are usually $3.99 to $6.99, making this sale a pretty good deal all around.