It's been quite some time since we first heard rumblings of the PlayStation phone. The concept - a high-end Android phone mashed together with familiar PlayStation controls - seemed like one that could revolutionize gaming on Android. In theory, this device could have done just that.
Unfortunately, in a world where dual core devices are becoming more and more the norm, the Xperia Play's single-core Snapdragon processor (as fast as it is) is already incompatible with some high-end games, such as those optimized for Tegra 2 devices. And it's hard to justify purchasing the phone when the rest of the device has taken a backseat to the all-important gamepad.
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.
Sometimes, it's just not fun to be the good guy. Sometimes, you need to be a little bad. Sometimes, you just need to destroy everything that lays in your path with a fiery ball of fury.
Burn The City puts you in the shoes of a giant lizard/Godzilla/monster-thing who has hatched all alone and in a strange world. Clearly, the logical conclusion he reaches is to destroy everything around him.
This is accomplished by flinging fireballs from your mighty gullet, demolishing the buildings that face you. The buildings will be stripped down to their beams, finally collapsing under their own weight - and hopefully into the structures surrounding them.
I'm not afraid to say I play Dungeons & Dragons; I think it's a great way for people to have fun together and enjoy a truly dynamic narrative. However, since I write about tech and other nerdy stuff for a living, I like having the old-school pen and paper mesh with technology whenever possible.
However, like tech, Dungeons & Dragons isn't for those who don't have much in the way of disposable income; you've got numerous things to buy before you can get started, including handbooks and manuals that can run you up to $35+ each. Like the books, multi-sided dice are an integral part of the game, and a set of 10 standard dice will run you ~$7.99.
You know what's more frustrating than a beautiful-looking game whose controls don't work?
A beautiful-looking game that requires you to use those controls to react to events in a split-second.
Alright, perhaps that was being a little harsh. Stellar Escape is a new game that comes to us on the Android Market from a small dev team called Orange Agenda. In the game, you play as an interstellar courier who has delivered a package that could power a planet-destroying death ray. having a moment of conscience, he grabs the power source and sprints away from his client, becoming the most wanted man in the galaxy at the same time.
Call me a stickler, but I think games should play well before looking pretty. I think they should be functional, polished and most of all, not frustrating. This seems to elude most developers who insist on using on-screen joysticks for their products, as more often than not they're a buggy, non-responsive mess.
From having poorly-defined boundaries to not reacting to multi-touch well, the system seems to be a bit flawed.
However, Halfbrick studios (the developers of the wildly-successful Fruit Ninja) have finally managed to code some joysticks that work straight out of the box, no tweaking required. Their newest game, Age of Zombies, relies quite heavily on them, so I'm both glad and relieved that they've decided to make sure people can actually play their game before they've released it to the wild.
We're big fans of Wirefly over here at Android Police, and frankly, we're always a bit covetous when the online retailer gets their hands on a new piece of kit before everyone else. Still, we watched this review longingly, as it demonstrates many of the changes in Sense 3.0, benchmarks, and some of the built-in games on the 3D. It's over 12 minutes long, so, pull up a chair:
X-Men: The Arcade Game is a throwback to the days before X-Men: The Animated Series. That show, known for it's amazing title track and some pretty laughable moments, gave us the "traditional" X-Men lineup most of us know today. However, before that aired, there was a one-off pilot called X-Men: Pryde of the X-Men. In it, Wolverine had an Australian accent.
It was pretty horrible.
Pryde of the X-Men served as X-Men: The Arcade Game's inspiration; inside, you play as the X-Men that were present in the cartoon, and face the villains they faced, as well. The original game stood out in arcades for a few reasons: it was a two-monitor, six-player cabinet, much larger than most other games, and actually quite fun to play.
Sometimes, you have to go with what works. It's no secret that some mechanics are tried-and-true, and will allow you to please gamers while adding in your own twists. Sometimes, though, it's evident when a game borrows a bit too much and doesn't give enough back.
Happy Vikings mixes gameplay from a number of different classic puzzle titles, including a lifting-and-matching mechanic from an NES game called Wario's Woods. Instead of just flipping tiles with a cursor, you actually have a sprite in the puzzle area which you can use to manipulate tiles. This is the titular "happy Viking." Our Viking (let's call him "Olaf") can lift and push treasure, booze, and food to form shapes beginning with three tiles.
Mr. Mixit puts a spin on the classic "memory match" formula by adding a turntable motif and some decent tunes. As Mr. Mixit, you drag shapes down from the monitors behind you to the turntable game area. After choosing two you think will match, you spin the turntables and try to get the image to overlap.
Doing this quickly gives you multipliers to score, which forms the core gameplay of Mr. Mixit; scores are saved in a "top 10" format as opposed to using online leaderboards, like OpenFeint. As levels progress, more symbol possibilities are added, and the multiplier meter decreases at a faster rate.