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 old school tactical RPG, a tough-as-nails marble game, a new take on Pong, a dragon riding game, and Ubisoft's latest freemium cash-in.
Ubisoft seems to have an odd fixation with horse-themed mobile games. The publisher made an Android version of the inexplicably popular Howrse, a sort of equestrian-themed adaptation of free PC RPGs like Ragnarok Online. Now Ubi has created its own horsy mobile game, the innocuously-titled Horse Haven World Adventure.
It's terrifying. Completely, utterly terrifying. If H.P. Lovecraft and H.R. Geiger had some kind of genetically engineered offspring with too many initials, it would not come close to approaching the horror that lies beneath Horse Haven World Adventure.
Do you hear that? The high-pitched whining noise? That's Artem, unabashed and ravenous fan of the Might and Magic series, squealing with delight. Ubisoft has just announced that it plans to bring an updated HD edition of Heroes of Might and Magic III to Android and iOS in January. You'll be able to load it up on your tablet (and only your tablet) on January 29th, for an undisclosed sum.
Valiant Hearts isn't your usual war game. You won't be blasting through thousands of bad guys like BJ Blazkowitz, you won't be commanding an entire army like an over-the-top Command & Conquer general. Valiant Hearts is incredibly story focused, as it considers itself more of a playable comic book than a video game. It's also about World War I, which hasn't exactly been a popular subject for video games.
This trailer is for the PC and console version, but the mobile version looks very similar.
If you've been following the gaming news at all, you know that the biggest release of the week is the latest iteration of Ubisoft's sandbox shooter Far Cry. The fourth game moves the action to the Himalayan country of "I Can't Believe It's Not Tibet," and tasks you with leading a ragtag army of rebels against an oppressive and tyrannical dictator. (Seriously, still not Tibet.) Ubisoft can't make a big-budget game without releasing a mobile counterpart, so say hello to Far Cry 4 Arena Master.
Assassin's Creed Unity is the first entry in the series that won't be available for last-gen consoles, having been developed to take advantage of the extra power introduced by the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One. This time the franchise heads to Paris and takes place during the French Revolution. While the core gameplay should look familiar to fans, the latest release introduces cooperative multiplayer that should extend the longevity of the experience.
There have been a few releases of the modern style of music and dancing games on Android, like Guitar Hero. Of course, they're somewhat limited by the nature of the platform - use rhythm and timing all you want, but you're still basically limited to taps and swipes. Ubisoft has found a way around that for its lucrative Just Dance series: it uses your phone as a basic controller for the browser version of the game, Let's Dance Now.
After toying around with Assassin's Creed Pirates' price tag over the past few months, Ubisoft has decided to drop it entirely. The game contains in-app purchases that raise revenue through other means, but now players are empowered to hop in and start sailing without having to pay a cent.
Ubisoft has also updated the app with a "Cold Blood" chapter that leaves behind the warm Caribbean for the frigid Arctic Seas. A new crew member that can help gather resources is present to help players survive this new adventure, and there are new ship customization options.
Ubisoft's Trials series has been hitting the track for years now, challenging players to perform fantastical tricks atop their motorbikes while hurtling through the air. The franchise has typically stuck to PCs as Java and flash games, but later versions have made the jump to consoles. Now the first mobile release has exited limited geo beta and is now available for all.
The game's challenge derives from its off the wall physics-based tracks, as navigating them alone can be difficult enough without the pressure of building up high scores.
Trials is a series of motocross games that takes a liberal approach to sports and, incidentally, gravity. The latest full release, Trials Fusion, saw an iOS counterpart called Trials Frontier. This slightly more cartoony take on the long-running series features the same physics-based racing and orientation gameplay - imagine it as a single-lane, dialed-up version of Excitebike. The Android version was just released, but only in certain locations. We're not sure where, we just know that it isn't the US.