Android Police's bi-weekly roundups have covered more than 750 games this year. That's a hell of a lot for a site that's not specifically about gaming, and picking out the top five is no small task. Before you read any further, take note of the following: I had a few criteria that games had to meet before being included in the following selections.
There's a new paradigm in strategy games. Whereas the old guard in real-time titles like Starcraft, Age of Empires, and Command & Conquer tended to get more complex with each release, the point of Auralux and its imitators is to boil strategy down to its purest components. It does so by making offense, defense, and resource gathering all more or less the same game mechanic, in the tradition of Galactic Conquest (AKA Galcon). Now the sequel to Auralux is out, and it's looking pretty great.
The original Age of Booty was a real-time strategy game released on the Xbox Live Arcade and similar download services. It combined a streamlined, console-focused take on strategy with a cartoony pirate nautical theme - there was many an "avast" and "aaargh" to be heard. Developer Certain Affinity gained some decent acclaim from the title, and so released a mobile free-to-play version of the game called Call of Booty: Tactics. It came out for Android this weekend, which is almost exactly two years after the iOS version. That really shivers me timbers.
Here's a blast from the past. The original Galcon came to the Play Store when it wasn't even the Play Store - back in 2010 it was still going by the name "Android Market." It was a super-simple strategy game, adapted from an almost ancient PC shareware title called Galactic Conquest. The original mobile game was quite a popular one - sort of a Threes for the real-time strategy crowd - and today the very welcome sequel has arrived on Android.
Space Hulk is not some Jason X-style reinterpretation of Marvel's not-so-jolly green giant, fun as that might be. Nope, it's a tabletop tactical RPG set in the vaunted Warhammer 40,000 setting. The setting, which features a bunch of strapping space marines stomping around a gigantic derelict spaceship, is kind of like Aliens, except you get to kill things instead of run away. The latest video game version of the Space Hulk setup was released in 2013, and today it's been made available on the SHIELD, SHIELD Tablet, and SHIELD Portable.
Psst. Hey, Pokémon fans. I know you're all very busy obsessing over Pokémon Sun and Moon, the new entries in the main game series, after the starters were revealed this morning. But those games are still months away, and you need something to fill the Pokémon-shaped hole in your soul until then. Well I have good news, Poke-faithful: the official online digital version of the Pokémon Trading Card Game is now out of beta and available as a regular old vanilla download on Android tablets. Have at it.
You've probably played a million tower defense games, and "orbital shooters" aren't too uncommon either, but what about playing them at the same time? Artificial Defense combines a few different game types with some nerdy computer vernacular to create a distinctive mobile game, and you can give it a shot for free.
September was a huge month for Android games, with big titles from both well-known developers and indies alike receiving Android Police coverage. Everything from high-end first-person shooters to minimalistic puzzle games are represented below in our monthly picks and honorable mentions. You might have a bit of a wait before your shiny new Nexus phone arrives, but when it does, you'll have no shortage of new games to play on it.
If you're a console gamer, you know that late summer is something of a dead zone for major game releases, as all the big studios gear up for blockbusters in October and November. Mobile gaming isn't following that trend at all: we had some fantastic releases in August, servicing every niche from casual to hardcore. We've got big franchise releases from Fallout and Pac-Man, and more interesting indie releases like Card Crawl. Pick your poison from our seven favorites below, along with honorable mentions.
Real-time strategy seems to be all about hundreds of actions per minute these days, if you can even find a strategy game that's not a clone of Clash of Clans or League of Legends or Army of Alliteration. SPACECOM takes a different approach: it's a minimal sci-fi game where your captured star systems are just solar diagrams, your ships and fleets are a series of triangles, and there's a definite lack of guns or explosions.
If you've ever played Wing Commander: Armada, SPACECOM plays out like a real-time version of the strategy portions of that game (minus the full 3D space battles, of course).