It's been a good week for real-time strategy fans on Android. Yesterday a new game from the Anomaly developers was released, SPACECOM, and today gamers without access to NVIDIA-branded hardware can play Z: Steel Soldiers. If you don't recall, this Android port came out back in August of last year - about thirteen years after the original was released on the PC. It's a conventional real-time strategy game about robots killin' robots.
Z: Steel Soldiers can now be installed on any Android device running 2.3.3 or higher (or at least any of them that I've owned), so long as you've got $7 to put in the developers' jar.
The original Angry Birds took flight on Android way, way back in 2010. It was followed by a number of spin-offs and expansions, but now the true sequel has arrived. You can tell by the name—Angry Birds 2. Rovio (and the market for mobile games in general) has changed dramatically in the years since the first game was released, so you can probably guess what that means. Yes, lots of in-app purchases. Sorry, guys.
In A Day in the Woods, you help to protect Little Red Riding Hood, who apparently lacks the sense to avoid woods infested with wolves and bears while she wanders haphazardly from cottage to cottage. Well, Red doesn't actually move at all - she stays stationary on her hexagonal puzzle tile, and you move her and the adjacent tiles to get her to the house on each level. You're given a limited amount of moves per stage to hit par, and you'll also have to grab the flowers that grow before clearing the stage.
It's more complicated than it looks. Certain tiles like rocks and trees can't be moved, and you'll have to keep Red at least two tiles away from a bear or wolf to avoid mauling - there are no handy lumberjacks to take them out.
Real-time strategy seems to be all about hundreds of actions per minute these days, if you can even find a strategy game that's not a clone of Clash of Clans or League of Legends or Army of Alliteration. SPACECOM takes a different approach: it's a minimal sci-fi game where your captured star systems are just solar diagrams, your ships and fleets are a series of triangles, and there's a definite lack of guns or explosions.
If you've ever played Wing Commander: Armada, SPACECOM plays out like a real-time version of the strategy portions of that game (minus the full 3D space battles, of course).
Arrrrrrrrrre you ready for a new pirate game? No, not pirated. Pirate. We don't advocate stealing on this site. Well, unless you're a pirate—the sailing kind. Captain Sabertooth will let your family members have fun pirating in the good sort of way.
Razer, PC gaming accessory maker and recent Android TV also-ran, bought Ouya. That left a lot of people hanging, and not just Ouya employees or customers. Those Android game developers who had taken the company up on its "Free The Games" funding offer for extra development money in exchange for timed exclusivity to the Ouya platform, and who hadn't yet been paid, got stung by a "bankruptcy or buyout" clause in the contract. Since Ouya was bought by an outside company, the matching funds from the original deal no longer have to be provided.
The latest Humble Mobile Bundle is halfway through its availability period, and that means it's time for more games. The NEOGEO bundle has been updated with three more classic titles in the premium tier, and we've got 10 codes to hand out. Even if you don't win, this is a pretty great deal for 11 games.
The Sparkle series of games use a 2D layout and a "zen" approach, putting players in the role of a tiny plankton-like creature as it eats, grows, and evolves. The third game steps up the design of both the sea life and the background until it looks like you're playing in a catastrophic oil spill comprised entirely of tie-dye. Eat, grow, and try not to be eaten in return as you swim through the levels.
There's a dedicated "amoeba" sub-genre out there (it works pretty well on touchscreens) but Sparkle 3 Genesis adds some much-needed complexity. Different food sources will make your creature grow in different ways, introducing a crafting element, and twelve different levels and intermittent screen-filling bosses lend structure to an other wise nebulous experience.
Back in April, Square Enix released the original Tomb Raider game on Android for just $0.99. The title that began Lara Croft's long-lasting career as a polygonal heroine came to Android with all the levels (and dinosaurs) players remember, along with the "unfinished business" levels. The controls aren't ideal but the game brought controller support and an undeniable nostalgic vibe.
Today, the classic title has dropped to just $0.10 on the Play Store. Compared to the already low price of just under a dollar this might not seem like a huge drop, but honestly at a dime it's even harder not to grab Tomb Raider if you haven't already.
Developer Scott Cawthon has an output schedule that would make the producers of the Saw movies jealous. It's been just under twelve months since the original adventure-horror game Five Nights at Freddy's was released on PC, followed by the second entry in the series in November of last year and the third in March. The latest version, Five Nights at Freddy's 4, gets an almost simultaneous release - it came out for Steam on Thursday and now you can get it on your Android phone or tablet.