This morning Android Police editor David Ruddock received a package in the mail. The only thing enclosed was a lime-green crowbar.
It says it all, really.
PC gamers will recognize the logo for Valve's much-loved science fiction shooter Half-Life 2 emblazoned on the bar, which is the iconic starter weapon for the game. "What Would Gordon [Freeman] Do?" and NVIDIA's SHIELD logo, along with NVIDIA's signature green color, makes this a not-so-subtle indication that the game is coming to the Android-powered SHIELD at some point.
Rebel Twins, the developer of Daddy Was A Thief, is back with another zany Android game. Aliens Drive Me Crazy puts you in the shoes of a young lad who is understandably upset when aliens decide to invade. He grabs his nearest weapon, hops in the car, and speeds off. Despite the difference in concept, the gameplay is largely similar to Rebel Twins' previous work. Players hop between floors by swiping up and down, collecting coins, overcoming foes, and rescuing innocent Earthlings in the process.
Sometimes you can just tell something is evil from the silhouette. Giant scorpion? Evil. Flying lizard-thing with long talons? Also evil. There are all sorts of evil silhouettes to kill in Dark Lands, a game that took a run at Kickstarter earlier this year before pulling out to go with publisher Bulkypix. Now you can grab it on Android. Well? Goblins, orcs, skeletons, and trolls aren't just going to slay themselves.
So, we've designed games, built malls, managed soccer teams, run farms, and that's just scratching the surface of the Kairosoft game catalog. This developer has found a formula that works and it's not about to stop now. The newest title in Kairosoft's stable is Magazine Mogul, and I'm sure you can guess what it's about.
Someone has to report the news in this small town, and that's the core of gameplay in Magazine Mogul.
Yahoo has released another Android app and - hey, come back here, this is actually cool - it's an attractive take on providing the news. Yahoo News Digest gathers bits of news from around the Internet (various reports, video, Wikipedia entries, Google maps, etc.) and puts them together to form a single story. The formula isn't quite the same as Circa's, but it should seem familiar to anyone accustomed to that bite-sized news app. Presentation is half the appeal here, and you may be pleased to know that Yahoo has done a good job creating an app that doesn't offensively ignore all of Android's taste in design.
Google's recent foray into Maps-based monster catching has proven that even full-grown Android users love them some Pokemon. Maybe that's why storied publisher SEGA has decided to make its own entry in the monster-catching genre. But why, oh why, is the core mechanic in Dragon Coins based around those little quasi-gambling quarter-shooter arcade games?
Try to follow along here: in Dragon Coins, your party of anime-style monsters is represented by little drawers in a shelf.
April has showered us with a ton of Android games, many of which are revivals or straight-up ports of notable releases on the PC and console platforms. There are more than a few awesome mobile-style games as well, so you've got a lot of variety to choose from in this month's best of the best. What follows is our picks for the top crop of Android games in April, in no particular order.
Google has begun rolling out an update to the Play Services package we all know and love. Details about version 4.4 have already been posted to the Android Developers blog, and it features updates and new features to the APIs for Maps, Mobile Ads, Activity Recognition, plus a few minor fixes for Games Services and Wallet. Aside from general bug fixes, it looks like this update is mostly about giving new tools to developers.
Yelp's Android app was updated to version 5.9 this afternoon, adding an apparently much-requested feature: messaging support. The Yelp app did not previously allow users to send one another messages, but this has now been remedied. Hooray! I guess.
Otherwise, there's nothing going on here - probably a few bug fixes, maybe some performance tweaks. Oh, and a Mitch Hedberg quote, a la Yelp's typically enjoyable changelogs: "I order the club sandwich all the time.
Zen Studios' CastleStorm captured fans when it hit consoles last year, and now it's ready to try its hand with mobile gamers. CastleStorm - Free To Seige takes the same gameplay and packages it in a free-to-play, ad-supported, in-app purchase-containing Android package. Players who can overlook these now familiar elements of mobile gaming are in for an experience that combines tower defense with 2D physics and straight-up brawling. The graphics may not be quite as sharp as the console equivalent, but they could fool someone.