For all the shooters and racing games that mobile fans see, there's another subset that seems specifically made for the touch environment. "Zen" games are popular because they're relatively simple, can be played in short bursts to cure boredom, and ultimately allow their audience to sit back and relax. Pixel Twist fulfills all three of those criteria.
Pixel Twist starts off quite simple: you're given an exploded view of an image, like a lime, painting or game controller, and by moving the camera around you can line up the pixels so that they form a complete picture.
What looks, plays, and sounds like a Final Fantasy game, but isn’t? If you answered Chaos Rings Omega, I’d like to give you a no-prize. This game comes to us from publisher Square-Enix, who also handles a lot of the other JRPGs that have shaped the genre into what it is today.
Like my colleagues at AP have commented, the Chaos Rings series may be their way of testing the waters before a full-fledged Final Fantasy mobile title, and it shows; the game is one of the most beautiful that I’ve ever played on the Android platform, and it is worth every penny of the $12.99 price tag.
After a long time in development, Marvel (and their parent company Disney) have released Avengers Initiative to the Android masses. Coming with a $6.99 price tag on a limited number of devices, it adds to the growing list of Avengers-themed mobile games, even if only one of those heroes is available in this particular title.
Avengers Initiative puts you in the role of the Hulk, who has been tasked in bringing in a number of super-villains who have escaped from a high-tech prison in the Marvel Universe.
It seems to be a really good couple weeks for platforming fans. After the positive review we gave Pizza Boy last week, Paper Monsters is next on our docket. This 3D platformer is relatively simple - in a good way - and looks to be a cheap and well-polished title for Android.
Platformers tend to be at their best when they're not overly complicated. The mechanics need to be easy to pick up and execute, in order to pave the way for the complicated environments you will use them in.
PC gamers alive in the 1990's will remember the XCOM series of games as bastions of the strategy genre. In each, you took control of a global organization that was tasked with defending the Earth from aliens; you did so in turn-based missions, where you killed enemies, escorted VIPs, and defended objectives.
Now imagine that (with some tweaks, of course) on Android.
The premise of The Hunters: Episode One is relatively simple: you are the leader of a team of mercenaries, and you can take different contracts on a daily basis.
Much of the platforming genre is based on nostalgia: nostalgia for games like Super Mario World, Donkey Kong Country or Sonic the Hedgehog. These titles dominated consoles and earned themselves legions of fans along the way. An entire sub-set of mobile games is based around recreating that magic, especially when it comes to gameplay.
Pizza Boy is one of those titles. Its premise is simple, like most games of its type tend to be: you're a pizza delivery boy looking to get a particular pie back from a bird who has stolen it.
It's hard to be a free to play app in the Google Play Store. With so many games throwing in-app payments into the faces of their players, it's tempting to follow along with them - if the money's good, why not? However, in the pursuit of cash, gameplay might suffer. On one hand, you want people to pay money, but on the other, you (ideally) don't want to ruin the experience they have if they don't.
If you were a gamer in the 90s, there was a good chance you either owned or had played a Super Nintendo. While the debate still rages on about whether that machine or the Sega Genesis was superior, it can be safely stated that the SNES had some amazing role-playing titles.
Chief among these was Chrono Trigger, a game by a group of developers so storied that they were labeled a "Dream Team." The game was one of many titles (Final Fantasy VI, Earthbound, Super Mario RPG) that helped further the genre and leave a lasting impression on gaming as a whole.
FIFA may be the undisputed king of football games on the console, but when it comes to mobile gaming, it's a totally different ball game.
Gameloft will be hoping that Real Football 2013 (also known as "Real Soccer 2013" in the U.S. store) can take advantage of FIFA 13's delayed arrival to the Play store this year, and amass as many downloads as possible, but how does it compare to its rivals?
Sidescrolling / top-down space shooters are nothing new - but really good ones are still, like any good game, worth pointing out. I went into Sector Strike, by Clapfoot, with high hopes - they made the now-Android-classic Tank Hero. And while Sector Strike is a pretty good game, odd control choices, repetition, and in-app purchases make this free-to-play title a short and predictable love affair.
Sector Strike plays like almost any other spaceship sidescroller: you shoot enemies continuously with a bunch of lasers and other sci-fi age goodies that come out of the front of your craft like the contents of a psychedelic new year's party popper.