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 an interesting take on top-down strategy, a unique spin on zombies, and a word puzzler from an unexpected source.
PC gamers know the ARMA series as wickedly difficult, painstakingly accurate military shooters - the thinking man's (or possibly masochist's) alternative to the likes of Call of Duty. For its first full mobile game, ARMA is eschewing the first person shooter genre in favor of a tactical game: a top-down, turn-based combat system where strategy wins over speed and reflexes. It's a good choice for touchscreens, and an understandable one given ARMA's current fanbase.
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.
The seas are a dangerous place, lads. The Marauders are thick amongst the waves, and you are but an inexperienced young commander, seeking to make a name at the helm of your fleet. Your ships are heavily armed, but it's going to take more than firepower to stay afloat in Leviathan: Warships. This game is heavy on strategy, long-term planning, and attention to detail. As good as some aspects of this game are, the controls threaten to sink it before we even get out of dry dock.
About three weeks ago, Paradox Interactive released what could possibly be one of the best game trailers we've ever seen. It was for its then-upcoming game Leviathan Warships, and was chock-full of more ship puns than you can shake a stick at.
In fact, it was so good they decided to release a second trailer, with even more puns.
If you've had enough puns (I'm kidding – there's no such things as too many puns) and are ready to actually play the game, it's now available in the Play Store.
There is no denying that real-time strategy games are a hard nut to crack on mobile devices. It's tough to fit all of the intricate play mechanics, complicated strategy, and extensive storyline into a touchscreen. Planets Defense does a great job of making the controls work for high-speed gameplay and micro-management, but it still isn't quite a fully realized strategy experience. All things considered, it's still lot of fun and one of the best efforts I've seen.
In Dynamite Jack, you play the part of a space marine that has been captured by the enemy and forced to work in the Anathema Mines. You don't have time for that nonsense, so escape it is. It seems like your alien captors are not the brightest stars in the cosmos – they leave explosives, flashlights. and keycards laying around everywhere. Lucky for you.
Gameplay And Controls
You start at the lowest level of the mines, and your goal in each stage is to find the exit denoted by a shimmering point of light.
Since the dawn of mobile gaming, a handful of genres have struggled with the transition to tiny screens, while still keeping usable controls. Oil Rush is Unigine's attempt at one of the most daunting categories, real-time strategy. The game doesn't come with just another slightly different control scheme, it's equipped with a full storyline, high end graphics, and voice actors! Oh yeah, and a pretty high price tag...
Set during a post-apocalyptic war in which a nuclear weapon has melted the ice caps and flooded Earth, the remaining inhabitants fight to control any last remaining oil reserves.
If you're looking for something new in the stagnating world of tower defense, this is it. City Conquest turns the genre on its head, by forcing players to defend their own territory and attack others simultaneously, with a combination of real-time and turn-based gameplay. It's a bit hard to wrap your head around, but trust me, the experience is well worth the effort. City Conquest is a free download in the Play Store (ad-supported, no in-app purchases) for devices running Android 4.0 or later with a resolution of at least 960x720.
My fondest memories of the original Star Wars films were the starfighter dogfights. The first time you see the assault run on the Death Star, or the ill-fated attack on the second before it was finished, it's really cool to watch a bunch of fighter craft flying around, blowing the heck out of each other. Every once in a while, you can get the same sense of scale and calamity in a game - usually of the real-time strategy variety.