Emulating games is hard, y'all. There are a ton of classic game emulators for Android, and most of them work really well... replicating relatively ancient, low-power hardware for two dimensions. Even something like the 20-year-old PlayStation is difficult (but not impossible) to emulate on the latest mobile hardware, which is objectively about a hundred times more powerful. That's what you get when console makers create more or less customized hardware and software that doesn't have to play nice with any other platforms.
NVIDIA changed the landscape of Android gaming with the original SHIELD. And with that, came top-tier titles of recent years, like Valve favorites Portal and Half-Life 2. Since then, the company has released a slew of killer games specifically for SHIELD devices, including Half-Life 2: Episode One. Today, the saga continues with the third Half-Life game available for Android, Half-Life 2: Episode Two.
HL2: E2 (which is available exclusively for SHIELD Android TV) is joined by a handful of other kickass titles, all of which should be available today in Google Play. Here's a quick rundown, starting with the star of the show.
Remember Bomberman? You know, that cute little maze-based puzzle game that got infinitely more fun when you played it with friends? Right, well imagine a Bomberman game... set in a schlocky slasher movie. That's basically BRAWL, the latest console pilgrim to come exclusively to NVIDIA'S SHIELD Tablet and SHIELD Android TV. It's also notably the first Android game we've seen on the Play Store with an "Adults only" 18+ ESRB rating, though that might be a mistake - the game's trailer (which looks like it's taken from the PS4 version) brands it with the slightly less salacious M rating.
In BRAWL, you take control of one of eight characters that seem to have popped out of a Halloween party sponsored by Hot Topic.
NVIDIA's cloud-based game streaming service has been available on SHIELD devices as a free beta for a long time now, but the subscription version of the service was supposed to be arriving around now. According to NVIDIA, that won't be happening for another month, so GRID continues to be free until July 31st. This applies to all three SHIELD devices.
Luftrausers is one of the most intense games to launch with the NVIDIA SHIELD Android TV, and it doesn't let up from the first moment. You launch your small aircraft into those dangerous skies and start your all-out attack within moments, no tutorial required. And while it all looks great on your HDTV, maybe you could use just a little guidance with some of the more opaque aspects of the unexpectedly dense gem. Here are a few good rules of thumb for new pilots:
Turn down the throttle occasionally - Yes, obviously you want to keep your ship above water to avoid certain death, but that doesn't mean it's always full speed ahead.
Tips and tricks for hardest game on the NVIDIA SHIELD by Adam Hartley
It’s a tough life, fighting Russian gangsters in the neon-soaked apocalypse that is the Florida cityscape featured in Hotline Miami, which has been specially re-mastered to play better than ever before on the new NVIDIA SHIELD Android TV.
Hotline Miami is a cracking launch title for NVIDIA’s new SHIELD machine, mainly because it is a real “gamer’s game” and never anything less than an absolute delight to play, with its top-down 2D style clearly inspired by the original Grand Theft Auto games and its banging electro dub soundtrack reminiscent of the 2011 Ryan Gosling movie, Drive.
The Doom series is perhaps one of the most iconic in gaming, so much so that it's been ported and hacked onto just about every platform and gadget imaginable. There are plenty of unofficial ways to play Doom on Android, but today owners of NVIDIA's SHIELD Android TV and SHIELD Tablet (and sadly, no one else) get a chance to own the entire series in a single package. Doom 3: BFG Edition is now available on the Play Store for $10.
This omnibus collection includes the original Doom, Doom 2, The high-end Doom 3 (originally released for the PC back in 2003), and all the expansions and extra content that the developers have created over the years, including eight new levels for Doom 3.
Welcome to the latest entry in our Bonus Round series, wherein we tell you all about the new Android games of the day that we couldn't get to during our regular news rounds. Consider this a quick update for the dedicated gamers who can't wait for our bi-weekly roundups, and don't want to wade through a whole day's worth of news just to get their pixelated fix. Today we've got several PC and console pilgrims including Hotline Miami, War Thunder, and Always Sometimes Monsters, a new Portal-inspired Zen Pinball table, a mashup of tactic, RPG, and city-building, and standard platformers and puzzlers.
Portal and Half-Life 2 were both launch titles for the SHIELD Portable, and to this day remain two of the best games you can play on Android. Recently, both apps got updated to support Android TV, which really only means one thing: they support the new SHIELD set-top box. That's good, because playing them on the TV is honestly one of the best ways to experience these classic FPS titles. Here's a look at the changelogs for each:
- Android TV support
- UI improvements
- Broader localizations
- Cloud saves, achievements
- SHIELD Android TV support
- UI improvements
- Broader localizations
While Portal got cloud saves and achievements via Google Games, it looks like HL2 may have not been so lucky.
It's been quite a roller coaster ride with this 500GB Shield Pro device. You can finally stop wondering if it's real or just NVIDIA trolling—it's real. NVIDIA's customer care rep on the official forums has posted a few answers about the device. It'll be hard to walk this one back if NVIDIA still wants to play coy.