Alright, I know what you might be thinking when you look at this game: "What's Matt thinking? Doesn't he know a hastily-churned out app when he sees one?"
That was the first impression I had when I was downloading this game, as well - Diversion's art style and woefully-specific name had me pessimistic. However, I was a bit surprised at how well this game actually plays; while it's not for everyone, it is actually kind of fun in small bursts.
Diversion is a platform game that is fairly simple in concept: you're a constantly-moving-forward character that can jump when the player taps the screen.
Age of Wind 2 indulges the side of us that would like to go off with Captain Jack Sparrow and look to make our own fortune. After an opening "story" sequence where you're tossed overboard from an exceptional ship, you're left to start with your own crew and a smaller vessel, hopefully to achieve success.
Age of Wind 2 plays a lot like one of my favourite titles, Sid Meier's Pirates!. In that title, you would take on the role of a budding young pirate, patrolling the Caribbean and plundering how you'd like. The game was great because it was a sandbox game with a great premise: you could choose national allegiance and help them gain dominance over the Spanish Main, or just wreck everyone.
Cut The Rope, which arrived to Android yesterday, is one of those "top shelf" iOS titles that has done so well for itself that it's become synonymous with mobile gaming. Of course, it isn't at an "Angry Birds" level yet, but it's permeated the public consciousness to a point where I've heard non-gamer friends talk about it with enthusiasm.
Cut The Rope is a puzzle game where you aim to feed a piece of candy to a green monster named Omnom. The candy is being held aloft by a piece of rope, which is affected by physics and is actually quite elastic.
Sometimes, it's best when a game doesn't perform just one function. Especially when graphics-heavy apps charge more than usual for an experience that might grow stale, variance and depth is extremely important. The iOS port of Galaxy on Fire II has depth in spades, but is the overall experience worth the game's price?
Galaxy on Fire II plays remarkably similar to a 2003 Windows game called Freelancer, in which you took on the role of an interstellar starship captain with an eye for earning money. The same concept remains true in Galaxy on Fire II; you can follow a story mission or go off on your own, accepting missions from people in space station bars.
In my youth, one of the games I hated most was Battleship - it was simply too slow for my liking. Spending what seemed like ages trying to seek out hits in a sea of misses only served to bore me out of my mind.
However, I was pleasantly surprised to find that Naval Clash eliminated most of my hate towards the game. At its core, it's a rendition of Battleship that allows you to play against a CPU, friends over Bluetooth, or other players over Naval Battle's multiplayer service. Following the likes of Words With Friends, Naval Clash takes an old formula that "everyone" likes and makes it available on a mobile platform.
Gaming on Android has been accelerating at the same mind-numbing speed as Android hardware, and we have quickly gone from having a limited number of decent titles to having more good games than we can track. In some cases, these games stand out for their amazing new gameplay; in others, they stand out for their high level of polish. Stardunk is one of the latter.
There have been several Android games that let you play a quick game of basketball, essentially just choosing an angle and power, and letting the ball fly. Stardunk is that plus multiplayer competitiveness and customization with a healthy dose of polish.
When distilled down to its base values, Doodle God is a large logic puzzle based on matching. You're given four elements (earth, air, water, fire) at the start of the game and can combine them to make things. Combining fire and air gets you steam, fire with water alcohol (firewater, har har), and many others.
From there, you can use the products of your matching to make other things, which is where the game gets most of its depth. There are over 200 different elements to find, and more being added all the time. This is the major selling point of the game, touting the ability to make fantastical creatures, like the front end of an airplane and the back end of a horse.
Think of the hardest, most frustrating Android game you've played thus far. Is it Angry Birds, with its unparalleled addictiveness? Or how about Plants vs. Zombies, which has a seemingly infinite number of levels and is within spitting distance of Angry Birds' can't-put-it-down factor?
Or - dare I say it - perhaps none of the games you've downloaded from the Android Market have been difficult enough for you. Perhaps you're on the lookout for something a tad more complex - a tad more like this:
Indeed, if a vexing mobile game is what you want, you couldn't do much better than Orbital Defender.
Japanese developer Kairosoft seems to be the king of the mobile simulation genre, having pumped out three English titles (Game Dev Story, Hot Springs Story and now Grand PrixStory) which manage to be addicting as hell while benefitting from the touch controls of a smartphone. In their games, you're put in the shoes of a business owner who is looking to both make money and rise to the top of his/her chosen profession.
Along the way, you can customize everything from the staff you hire to the products you put out; going into each individual thing you can customize would lengthen this article by a couple thousand words, at the minimum.
Puzzle games are some of my favourite titles for the Android because of their tendency to play well in short bursts. Rebirth looks to take the gameplay behind Lumines and bring it over to the mobile market: the question is, will it do the original justice?
For those looking for a basic clone of Lumines (more on that later), you've come to the right spot. Rebirth is pretty much the game to a "T", and brings the block-stacking madness to the Android platform with good faith.
For those unfamiliar, Lumines was a puzzle game that was first developed for the Playstation Portable System.