The barren desert that is gaming on Android has been with us for as long as the platform itself, and it appears that it is only now changing, with the release of games like Angry Bird and Fruit Ninja. The newly released MiniSquadron looks to be another one of those games that attempt to bring the quality level up to that of iOS, featuring OpenFeint alongside some of the most addictive gameplay I've ever seen from an Android game.
Plants Vs Zombies
I loved Plants Vs Zombies on my PC. LOVED it. I don't get excited by games much anymore but Plants Vs Zombies by PopCap captured my full attention for weeks when it just came out a couple of years back. A version for the iPhone came out later and enjoyed similar success to the original game. PopCap's Android page, however, has been quite empty. Literally:
Will PopCap ever release an Android variant?
You can download the game for $0.99 by clicking or scanning the barcode below:
A Few Notes
One of the weaknesses of Android has been a lack of high quality games. Sure, there are some very good games, but not nearly as many as there should be, and they are often hidden in the Android Market. Fortunately, Android gaming momentum has been increasing with hits like Angry Birds arriving on Android recently. Now, OpenFeint is further increasing that momentum with the announcement of twenty Android titles in the next month, including several top 10 iOS hits like Fruit Ninja, MiniSquadron, and Super Slyder.
At the AppNation conference today, I got a chance to talk to Shainiel Deo, the CEO of Halfbrick, a company most known for its best selling iOS game Fruit Ninja.
Fruit Ninja is an addicting game in which you try to slash as many pieces of fruit thrown in the air as possible, getting bonus points for combo slices, while avoiding bombs at all costs.
While we all wait for Google to officially institute PayPal as a payment option in the Android Market, Scoreloop has decided to beat Google to it by including it in their latest update. Developers who use Scoreloop with their games can now use PayPal to offer in-game purchases to gamers.
In-game purchasing is the key to many games success, and its implementation is essential if Google would like to lure developers to their platform.
Rovio, the company behind Angry Birds, promised an off-Market beta earlier this week, but got so much positive response that it decided a Lite Beta version in the Market was actually a much better idea. In fact, the Android launch is turning out to be so popular that Rovio's own servers are are too overloaded to handle all the traffic.
Panzer Panic is a game that has been available on the Android Market for quite some time now in the form of a paid version, costing €2.99 (approx. $3.80 at the time of writing). Although it offers a really cool experience, some users clearly thought that the price was a little too steep, as it has only managed between 1000 and 5000 downloads in the Market. In response to this, the developers have just released a free version, which is exactly the same game, but with an advert on the bottom of the screen.
Mark DeLoura, who was hired by Google about 5 months ago to fill the much-needed position of Games Developer Advocate, just announced he has left the company. This marks the second big name to leave Google's gaming department (Games at Google) this summer.
The reason for Mark's departure from Google? It wasn't a perfect fit for him - or at least that his story and he's sticking to it! In the official announcement on his blog, Mark wrote:
"I enjoyed working with many of the people there, but it was not the perfect fit for me."
Mark also spoke about the progress that has been made over at Games at Google, outlining the building of apps in the browser and the greater developer flexibility.
In what is best described as a roaming tower defense game, Guns'n'Glory, by HandyGames, allows you to play as bad guys who attempt to ambush settlers and steal their gold. Starting off as a lone gunman, the more settlers you kill, the more gold you’ll gain, which in turn will allow you to hire more bandits to help you out in your evil ways.
Available for free on the Android market, Guns'n'Glory offers a unique style of gameplay by melding several genres into one title.