Part of the attraction of things like laser tag and paintball is that they bring the team-based combat that's become so popular in online shooters into the real world. After some notable success with its embedded heads-up display for snowboarders, Recon Instruments (recently acquired by Intel) is bringing a modified version of the Android-based system to the enthusiast paintball market. The Empire EVS "smart mask" includes a tiny Google Glass-style display in the visor that relays various bits of battlefield information to the player.
You've probably played a million tower defense games, and "orbital shooters" aren't too uncommon either, but what about playing them at the same time? Artificial Defense combines a few different game types with some nerdy computer vernacular to create a distinctive mobile game, and you can give it a shot for free.
Welcome to the latest entry in our Bonus Round series, wherein we tell you all about the new Android games of the day that we couldn't get to during our regular news rounds. Consider this a quick update for the dedicated gamers who can't wait for our bi-weekly roundups, and don't want to wade through a whole day's worth of news just to get their pixelated fix. Today we've got a sprawling pirate-themed RPG, a high-end first-person shooter, an impressive runner game, an innovative top-down horror title, a sequel to a puzzle favorite, and a couple of interesting casual games. Without further ado:
Swords & Crossbones
Swords & Crossbones is a humerus RPG that incorporates elements of turn-based tactical games and base-builders (without the freemium baggage that usually carries).
Vessel has a beta Android app now. You're probably wondering what Vessel is, though. Imagine YouTube with less content, but the content shows up a few days early. Oh, and you have to pay for it. Interested? I didn't think so, but the app exists nonetheless.
Valiant Hearts isn't your usual war game. You won't be blasting through thousands of bad guys like BJ Blazkowitz, you won't be commanding an entire army like an over-the-top Command & Conquer general. Valiant Hearts is incredibly story focused, as it considers itself more of a playable comic book than a video game. It's also about World War I, which hasn't exactly been a popular subject for video games.
This trailer is for the PC and console version, but the mobile version looks very similar.
In the various episodes of Valiant Hearts: The Great War, you'll follow the stories of a German family living in France as the war begins, after which the father is deported and drafted into the German army.
BombSquad's premise revolves around sticking a large number of friends together in one match and having them blow one another up across numerous battlefields and various mini-games. The title contains a multitude of weapons such as your standard Bomberman-variety circular bomb, sticky ones that adhere themselves to opponents, ice bombs, land mines, TNT, and... boxing gloves. Okay, everything can't explode, but in the end, BombSquad sounds like a blast (pause for groans).
Visually, BombSquad is a treat, but that and the intriguing concept aren't the primary reasons to check out the game. No, that would be the excellent multiplayer options. The game supports up to eight people playing locally at once.
EA just loves its companion apps, and despite the fact that this one is two behind the release of 2013's Need For Speed Rivals, I'm sure that at least a few racing game fans will appreciate it. Need For Speed Network is a combination social network and second screen app for the aforesaid game, and it's compatible with PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and PC versions.
NFS Network is basically an extension of the "Autolog" feature that's been a part of the franchise for years now. The semi-detached social network runs through several of EA's racers, but this one focuses on Need For Speed Rivals alone.
So far NVIDIA has been making good on its promise of regular updates for its SHIELD portable gaming console, and this month is no different. Update 65 is rolling out now, and it brings a handful of new enhancements to some of SHIELD's flagship features, like Gamepad Mapper and Gamestream. Before we get into the details, here's a look at the full changelog:
Stream from your PC at up to 1080p @ 60 FPS in Console Mode when using Ethernet (via micro USB Ethernet adapter).
Improved PC streaming quality at 720p @ 60 FPS and Wi-Fi performance.
Gamepad Mapper improvements
New community profiles BETA feature – ability to share, browse, and rate gamepad mapping profiles.
If you're a console or PC gamer (or you've watched primetime TV in the last two months), you know that EA's Battlefield shooter series is kind of a big deal. Battlefield 4 is getting huge amounts of press even in its current beta stage before its release next week. In a New York Times interview, EA Labels president Frank Gibeau (who's also the new head of mobile development) said that the company is working on a version of the extremely popular FPS for smartphones and/or tablets.
We are working on a mobile game of Battlefield that will be high-end and high-performance.
Turn-based gaming is making a bit of a comeback these days, but such titles can easily end up painfully tedious or just not compelling. Breach and Clear is a top-down shooter that seems to aim for a middle ground. You have to carefully position units, leverage special tactics, and keep track of enemies. However, some of the busywork is taken out of your hands. This game has the potential to scratch a tactical itch in a big way.
Guns And Gameplay
Breach and Clear doesn't bother with an elaborate story, which is fine by me. Your goal in each level is simple – shoot the bad guys.