Armchair generals, take note: tactical games are making a comeback. This top-down micromanaging genre was once dominated by the likes of Shining Force, Tactics Ogre, and Final Fantasy Tactics (and just recently by XCOM: Enemy Unknown) but it's surprisingly perfect for touchscreen devices; see the Great Little War Game series. The ARMA series is known for painstakingly realistic shooters, but it's stepping back for Arma Tactics THD to give the player a bird's eye view of the battlefield.
In many ways, the proliferation of the Call of Duty generation is just an extension of ye olde Cops and Robbers, traditionally played with cap guns, rubber bands, or NERF darts. The Tech 4 Kids company is trying to bring kids' games full circle with Tek Recon, a series of toy guns. What makes these toys unique is the video game-style smartphone HUD, enabled with a docked phone and an Android or iOS app.
Just two days ago I decried the relative lack of innovation in mobile gaming, and after climbing EPOCH's surprisingly steep difficulty curve, I get to eat humble pie. This cover-based shooter from Android newcomer Uppercut Games blew me away with its original control scheme and immersive graphics. It's not flawless, but its combination of mobile-friendly gameplay and and impressive presentation should make every action gamer (and developer) sit up and take notice.
It wouldn't be another month without our usual short-lists. We've already discussed our six favorite apps from March 2013, so it's time to take a look at the six best games we saw last month. As usual, the Play Store had plenty of new games to offer, from fast-paced shooters to classic remakes to chaotic puzzlers. If you like playing games on Android, chances are there was something for you last month.
Cylons. The Terminator. Gort. Johnny 5. Science fiction seems more than a little obsessed with the idea of murderous automatons, and with good reason: it works. Newcomer developer Uppercut Games has taken the trope to mobile gaming with EPOCH, a post-apocalyptic shooter that does away with the humans altogether (to make room for more robots). The Unreal Engine powers this graphical beast, and it's available for $4.99 for all devices - or at least the ones that can handle it.
So here's the deal: you're the alien, naturally, and you have to shoot down a load of meteorites and asteroids whilst rotating around a planet that you're trying to save. The more space rock you destroy, the higher your score.
Back in 2008, a little game called The Conduit landed on the Wii, and plenty of gamers held it as an example that the console's non-standard control system was up to the twitchy task of first-person shooter gameplay. The Conduit HD is now available for Android as well, hoping to prove not only that the platform is viable for high-end gaming, but that the hardware is also capable of replicating console visuals.
If you've been patiently waiting for the sequel to popular top-down shooter Gun Bros, the wait is over. After teasing the release, Glu Mobile posted the game on the Play Store earlier today, giving Android the closest thing it's going to get to Gears of War for the foreseeable future. It's a free download, compatible with Android 2.1 and up, though the more advanced 3D graphics mean that older devices may struggle to run it smoothly.
I'll be honest: I have no idea what's going on in this game. Towelfight 2: The Monocle of Destiny appears to be a pretty basic twin-stick shooter, right up until you notice that your wizened player character is shooting homicidal, spherical animals out of his eye. These critters have powers of their own, including lasers, chainsaws, and explosions. And when you kill enemies, they burst into Batman-style sound effects, which for some reason include "dirigible" and "maple syrup." Also, there's a dog, and you can play fetch with him.