If you've been paying attention to the news cycle lately, you've probably heard that Google—by way of the obscure "Niantic Labs"—released a game of some kind. You saw a trailer that depicted people discovering hidden energy fields within statues, landmarks, and artistic sculptures. You had no idea what was going on. You signed up for an invite anyway, because like any other weird Google product, you want in regardless of what it is.
When you pick up your Android device to play a game, you're probably shooting stuff, jumping over stuff, driving stuff, or maybe flicking stuff. Lather, rinse, repeat. Sometimes these gaming tropes can be genuinely entertaining and clever, but it's all rather expected these days. Waking Mars takes a completely different approach. It's equal parts puzzle solving and adventure, with just a little platforming mixed in. It's a little expensive, but does it deliver?
We touched lightly on Orgarhythm THD back in June, but it's finally hit the Play Store, at least for those of you rocking Nvidia Tegra-based phones and tablets. Formerly a PlayStation Vita exclusive, it's a strange mix of strategy and rhythm games that looks a lot like a more serious, groovy version of Nintendo's Pikmin. The music game comes from Acquire, the same Japanese developer that brought us the visually interesting but ultimately disappointing Sumioni.
This edition focuses only on new games. The app roundup is coming up soon.
Looking for the previous roundup editions?
I hope you've been paying attention to Harry's teachings for the last six years. You're going to need the code if you hope to avoid getting caught in Dexter the Game 2, which has just been released to the Play Store today. We first heard about this one back in July, before season 7 got underway. Now it's more than half over. Right around the time the story starts to lull before ramping back up to the finale.
I absolutely love classic-style sidescrollers. And there aren't enough of them on Android, which is why I was pretty happy to see Paper Monsters show up. Not only does this game offer some killer throwback style gameplay, but some exceptionally nice graphics, too.
The gist is pretty simple: you're a little cardboard guy who has to save the world from all sorts of paper monsters. The controls are insanely simple, yet effective - the virtual d-pad is on the left, and tapping on the right makes you jump.
Android gamers, count your blessings: the fourth Humble Bundle has just added a handful of cheap, charity-beneficent games. The standard five games (Splice, Eufloria, Waking Mars, Crayola Physics Deluxe, and Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP) are still available, as is the bonus game for paying more than the average name-your-own price. But now, in addition to Machinarium, you'll get Avadon: The Black Fortress, Canabalt, Cogs, Swords & Soldiers HD, and Zen Bound 2 as well.
Minecraft - Pocket Edition may have one of the slowest development timelines around. Of course, the main reason we accept this almost Valve-ian wait is because every time we do get an update, it brings awesome stuff like friggin' Zombie Pigmen. Oh yeah, and the Nether Reactor that summons them, which is exclusive to the Pocket Edition. Heck yes.
The update also brings a few other new features, like paintings and mushroom farming.
We've heard very little out of Google internal team Niantic Labs. Before today, their sole public presence was Field Trip, a mash up of Google Now and various hyperlocal points of interest. The team'' latest creation, Ingress, defies description: it's a virtual reality game in which players are tasked with going to real-world locations to harness a fictional energy source. Also there are two "teams" and every player in the world is one one or the other.
There are plenty of games in Google Play these days, but I sometimes feel like developers forget to code in the fun. Games are supposed to be fun, right? And what's more fun than shooting anything and everything in your path with a rapidly rotating assortment of weapons? Not much, if you ask me. With that in mind, Expendable: Rearmed has a lot of potential. This is a port of a classic top-down arcade shooter from the Dreamcast, and it is all about destruction.