We've got quite a haul today with plenty of apps and games to go around. Square Enix in particular is offering some holiday gifts in the form of 50% off sales on many of its popular titles. It's all waiting just below.
Minecraft is what you make it. Mojang has excelled at creating an open world game that captures the hearts of children and grown-ups everywhere, but it has done so without a memorable plot lingering in people's minds. What if it weren't just the game's unique visuals that stuck with people? What if there were something more? Enter Minecraft Story Mode, a collaboration between Mojang and developer Telltale Games that's set to arrive in 2015.
I'll confess that the Club Penguin phenomenon is somewhat indecipherable to me. As someone who is neither a kid nor has kids, that's probably OK. But if you have children of a certain age, you might be familiar with the online site, a Disney property filled with simple browser games and penguin-themed customization portals. Now there's an Android version, for better or worse, aimed at taking the experience on the go.
Slowly, ever so slowly, mobile platforms are approaching "console quality" for high-end games. Given that this is a pretty nebulous term in and of itself, I'd say that in fact developers' skills in adapting the big-screen experience to touchscreen controls and using the limited resources available on mobile hardware to the fullest are much more important than any graphical upgrade. But enough rambling: EXILES, a new 3D sci-fi shooter from publisher Crescent Moon Games, is now on the Play Store.
Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars, perhaps surprisingly, began its life on a Nintendo platform: the original DS. Over half a year later, a version made its way over to the PlayStation Portable, and an iOS version appeared only a couple of months after that. Since then, nearly five years have passed, and Rockstar is finally sharing the game with the millions of Android users roaming the globe. The title can now be found in the Play Store.
Do you like side-scrolling? Do you like running? Do you hate the Amazon Appstore? If you answered yes to the preceding questions, get ready to get happy. Halfbrick Studios has released Monster Dash in the Play Store after first debuting it on the Appstore last week. It's got running, shooting, and tons of monsters.
Borderlands is a phenomenally popular sci-fi shooting series from 2K and Gearbox, now on its third installment. The primary games have been released on PC and consoles, and their fast, twitchy action and high-end graphics are probably still beyond mobile hardware for the moment. But TellTale, point-and-click adventure masters and (just recently) prolific Android game publishers, have brought their own take on Borderlands to the Google Play Store.
Tales from the Borderlands is yet another licensed TellTale game, bringing the company's well-trodden adventure mechanics into the campy, occasionally witty, and ultra-violent sci-fi western world of 2K's shooters.
Coming in four years after the previous skirmish, Brothers in Arms 3 has stormed into the Play Store with a battalion of fresh troops, air support, and vastly updated graphics (erm, there goes the metaphor). That last point is the real draw here. Gameloft teased Brother in Arm 3's eye-melting visuals over the summer, and the final product hasn't fallen too far off the mark. The studio has taken its time with this game, and it shows.
Beamdog has already made admirable Android ports of the original Baldur's Gate RPG and its side-sequel Icewind Dale. Now you can get Baldur's Gate II, the continuation of the original that was first published way back in 2000 by none other than Bioware. Like the previous D&D RPGs, Baldur's Gate II costs ten dollars on the Play Store, which gets you the original game and all its expansion scenarios. The game is not restricted to tablets, though it will certainly be better played on one.
The core of BGII is Shadow Amn, which directly follows the story events of the original game.
Update: The wide rollout appears to be a go. Hearthstone is live for us here in the US, and we're hearing from readers in other countries that it's now available as well.
Blizzard's notoriously addictive and enjoyable ETCG Hearthstone is now available for Android tablets - if you live in the right region. Blizzard has started a geo-restricted rollout of the immensely popular title in Australia, Canada, and New Zealand.