I'm so glad that grown-up strategy is coming to mobile platforms in a big way. Following in the footsteps of XCOM: Enemy Unknown and XCOM: Enemy Within, developer Hairebrained Schemes has published Shadowrun: Dragonfall on the Google Play Store. This is more of an expansion of Shadowrun Returns, which launched on Android back in September of last year, than it is a direct sequel. It's yours for $6.99, no previous purchases necessary.
The Shadowrun video games are based on the roleplaying board games of the same name - think Dungeons & Dragons meets Blade Runner. Dragonfall is a separate steampunk campaign, wherein a dystopian Cold War allegory plays out through tactical RPG progression.
God games are particularly well-suited to mobile platforms, where the top-down interface lends itself well to touch controls, and the size of the screen - not to put too fine a point on it - helps with the deity fantasy. One of the more popular and unconventional latter entries in the genre is indie darling Godus from 22cans, published on the Play Store by DeNa. You can grab the free download now.
In Godus, you play as a god trying to nurture a stone-aged village to greater heights of civilization. This isn't done with direct control as in a strategy game: your primary power is shaping various layers of earth and water to make livable spaces for your followers.
Android gamers now have access to Treehouse's Steam Greenlit game Dethroned. This competitive action RTS tasks players with building up a ragtag band of soldiers, throwing up suitable defenses, and raiding opponents with all the force pixelated heroes can muster. The experience sits somewhere between an RTS and tower defense game, and it comes with the expected emphasis on multiplayer.
Note, early access here means early beta, so expect this adventure to be a bit rough around the edges. Dethroned may be available for download, but don't be surprised to run into a bug or two. The game crashed on me when I tried to check out its in-app purchases (though I guess that could be considered a good thing).
Crescent Moon Games' latest Android release has a good amount of support behind it, having been greenlit by the Steam community to port the game over to Valve's platform. Mines of Mars, which has already attracted positive reviews in the week it's been available for iOS, should provide Android gamers with another of the more in-depth experiences to hit the platform.
For the last two years, the Magicka series of indie fantasy games have lit up the Steam charts. Their mix of traditional Diablo-style gameplay and tongue-in-cheek humor has made them a favorite, and enabled such nonsensical expansions as Magicka: Vietnam (where the four elemental mages put the hurt on pinko commies). Now publisher Paradox is bringing the series to mobile, with the typically self-referential subtitle Wizards of the Square Tablet.
The monster-fighting action takes on a slightly simplified air in this 2D, sprite-based version of the game. Your four mages fight on an XY plane with gesture and tap-based controls (a la Battleheart and its multitude of clones), using the globes at the bottom of the screen to combine elements for new spells.
If you've been following PC gaming, you know that Valve has big plans for its Steam platform. NVIDIA wants to leverage the new "Big Picture" mode (a TV user interface, designed to make a gaming PC work more like a game console) with the brand-spanking new Project Thor Shield mobile gaming device. At the CES press conference, NVIDIA CEO Jen-Hsun Huang showed off the Shield Hardware streaming live PC games from a local machine running a high-end GTX 680 graphics card.
The interface allows for launching both individual games and Steam itself, in a solution that doesn't look like it was built around Steam specifically.
Android Police is live at NVIDIA's 2013 CES press conference at the Palms Hotel, primed and ready for what we can only assume will include the announcement of the next generation of Tegra mobile processors. Check out the ScribbeLive widget below for our coverage as it happens, starting at 7:45PM PST (that's 10:45PM EST).
It's that time again, indie gamers: the much-loved Humble Bundle has returned for a third go-round on Android. As before, you can name your own price for popular Android games Fieldrunners, Bit.Trip Beat, SpaceChem and Uplink, giving the cash to worthy non-profits Child's Play, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, or a combination thereof. If you pay more than the average (currently just below $6) you get a bonus game, Spirits. All games include a free digital soundtrack and desktop versions for PC, Mac and Linux, with Steam integration for those who are so inclined.
The games featured have enjoyed some notable success already: Fieldrunners is a staple of the tower defense genre, Bit.Trip Beat is an appropriately trippy mashup of Breakout-style nostalgia and rhythm gaming, SpaceChem brings pseudoscience and ambient puzzles together, and Uplink simulates "hacking" in text-based international espionage.
EA just announced at a GamesCon press conference that it will be bringing the popular Origin game store to Android (along with Facebook, Mac, and Smart TVs). For the unaware, Origin is basically EA's answer to Steam as a go-to place to purchase and download games.
At this point there are no other details, but it's worth noting the Mac version has a tentative release timeframe of February 2013. Perhaps we'll see the Android version around that time, too (but I wouldn't count on it).
This announcement also puts another question on the table: will EA continue to sell its games through the Play Store, or offer all of its titles exclusively through Origin?
If you're either a fan of Disney's animated show Phineas and Ferb, or you simply prefer your detectives have evolutionarily curious anatomy, you'll want to pay attention. Where's My Perry? is a new game from Disney centered around Perry, also known as Agent P, a super sleuth that's just as comfortable on land as he is in water. Which is handy, because you need water in all of its forms to solve the puzzles in this game.
The game is actually pretty clever and great for kids, as you need to convert H2O between its various forms to complete puzzles by using various lasers.