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 (justrecently) 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.
Fans of the classic SimCity franchise, today is... no, wait. EA has the license for SimCity, don't they? And this is an EA mobile game? Yeeeeeaaaaah, maybe you folks should just track down an old Pentium 4 machine and load up SimCity 2000 instead.
If Electronic Arts' terrible track record of reviving classic franchises for mobile doesn't dissuade you, then SimCity BuildIt is now available internationally from the Play Store. As with most EA games, it has had a brief period of geographically-restricted testing, but now it looks like most territories with access to the Play Store have access to the game.
Jules Vernes' novel Around the World in Eighty Days is an old book, and like most old books, it reads like one. You can pick it up and work through its pages if you're committed, but inkle, the creator of the Sorcery series, has made a modern-day adaptation that is much easier on the eyes. In this choose-your-own-adventure adaptation, you try to make the right decisions to successfully circumnavigate the globe as quickly as possible (but preferably in 80 days).
Kids these days don't know how hard we had it way back when. You didn't use to get unlimited continues in games. If you died, you had to start over at the beginning of the game. Also, we walked 30 miles to school, uphill, both ways. The recent explosion of Roguelike games takes us back to those days of brutal boss battles and permadeath, and bit Dungeon II is a fine example of the genre.