I'd by lying if I said I missed the days when blasting invading space craft with 8-bit energy beams cost a pocket full of quarters. The gameplay itself, however, remains a treasure of nostalgia. One that Syder Arcade HD is blatantly exploiting to get $1 from me and I will happily pay it. Why? Because blowing crap up is awesome.
The game is a top-down free-scroller, which means you actually have a level of control over your movement.
If you're a fan of "bullet hell" shooters, the day you've been waiting for has arrived: the celebrated arcade and Dreamcast title Ikaruga is now available on Google Play after a brief Japan-only period. But hold your horses, nostalgic gamers - it's also one of the more expensive titles out there at a whopping $9, with no demo available. Still, for those who love this gem of a shooter, it's worth the high price tag.
Mobile companion apps for AAA PC and console titles have become popular in the last few months: see companions for Call of Duty and FIFA 2013 for examples. Ubisoft's Far Cry 3 is a surprisingly excellent addition to the shooter franchise, and it offers a companion app for its multiplayer component. But what makes this one different is that it includes more than the standard social/organization elements: playing the Outpost app can score equipment and upgrades for the main game.
If you're of the opinion that games these days are entirely too easy, what with automatic saves, regenerating health, and veritable labyrinths of handy chest-high walls, then you'll want to pick up side-scrolling classic Metal Slug. It harkens back to a simpler time (namely 1996) when men were men, women were women, and gigantic tanks bristling with missile launchers were waiting at the end of every level.
If you're unfamiliar with Metal Slug (and didn't pick up the somewhat more modern Metal Slug 3 when it came to the Play Store earlier this year) it's a side-scrolling shooter in the vein of Contra.
Warning: If you try to play a first-person shooter on a touchscreen against opponents who have mice and keyboards, you will die. Quickly, repeatedly, with trash talk and/or teabagging a high probability. That said, if you're keen to give it a try, popular Facebook FPS UberStrike is now available on the Google Play Store. The popular free-to-play game has amassed over a million likes on Facebook, which serves as the browser-based platform for PC gamers.
Gameloft has carved out a nice little niche for itself by taking popular console games, and tweaking the formula (and title) just enough to get away with it. The Modern Combat series has been presented as the mobile equivalent of Modern Warfare, and it's just reached its 4th incarnation with Modern Combat 4: Zero Hour. Does this formula of console-style play still work on Android?
Gameplay And Story
Modern Combat 4 is a first person shooter that makes heavy use of cinematic elements to tell what we can only hope is a good story.
Twenty years ago you had to pump quarters into an arcade machine to enjoy the punishing shooter known as Raiden. The game was so successful that multiple sequels followed. Now you can play four Raiden arcade games on your mobile device for a one-time fee. This is a retro gaming experience that tries to preserve the feel of the original game, and still make it work on a touch screen. So is Raiden still awesome?
There are only so many permutations of the scrolling arcade shooter, but that didn't stop developer CatfishBlues from taking a swing at it with Hyperwave. This is a top-down game that could pass for the spiritual successor to Space Invaders. You have to pilot your lone craft against all the glowing horrors of space to defend humanity. At least that's what the backstory is supposed to be. It's really just an excuse to shoot stuff, but that's okay.
There are plenty of games in Google Play these days, but I sometimes feel like developers forget to code in the fun. Games are supposed to be fun, right? And what's more fun than shooting anything and everything in your path with a rapidly rotating assortment of weapons? Not much, if you ask me. With that in mind, Expendable: Rearmed has a lot of potential. This is a port of a classic top-down arcade shooter from the Dreamcast, and it is all about destruction.
Cold Beam Games' Beat Hazard Ultra, the fascinating rhythm-based shooter we covered a few days ago, officially came out of beta and into the Play Store today, offering to bring with it all the bullets and enemies you can handle while you supply the music.
For those who missed our initial coverage, Beat Hazard is a bullet hell-style shooter that uses your own music tracks to control just about everything in the game, from the frequency of enemy attacks and their movement patterns to the rhythmic pulse of your own weapons.