Kickstarter has allowed a lot of folks with reasonably good ideas to make them a reality – or at least try. Shadowrun Returns was more than a reasonably good idea, though. This game promised a classic turn-based RPG experience in a much-loved gaming universe. After raising nearly $2 million last year, it launched on PC a few months ago and on mobile last week.
I have a soft spot for this genre, so I was excited to dig into Shadowrun Returns on Android.
All you have to do is get to the luminous beam of light at the end of the level. That's all it takes to progress through Incredipede. However, actually figuring out how to get there is a bit of a challenge. In each level your buggy avatar has to mutate to make its way onward, growing new limbs and muscles as needed. This kind of experimental gameplay has a tendency to go wrong, even if it starts out strong.
Hexage has been creating some of the best games on Android since early in the platform's run. It has a distinct style that has evolved through the years as Android acquired more graphical prowess. That leads us to the newest Hexage title, Reaper. This is a 2D hack-and-slash RPG with a casual style of gameplay and a ton of pizazz. Unlike some previous Hexage games, this one is not free-to-play. You can try it out, but you've got to make a decision about buying the full version.
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.
I spent a measurable amount of the early 90's playing Contra on NES. Admittedly, I lacked the manual dexterity at the time to beat the game without using the Konami Code, but now I can take another swing at it on Android. Contra: Evolution is the same game it was in the early 90's, but with a few extra elements.
Contra was indisputably one of the finest shooters of its era, but does it translate well to the modern mobile ecosystem?
A superhero is likely to have various powers suitable for defeating the forces of evil and causing a ton of collateral damage. You know, leaping tall buildings, conjuring fireballs, and so on. But can they fill out health insurance forms? Collate printouts? Can a superhero – no matter how powerful – navigate the murky waters of human resource complaints? The answer to all these questions is no. The venerable middle manager is the only one with these skills, and now you can slip on the sensible shoes of such an individual and manage a branch of Justice Corp.
It's not much of a secret that I'm basically obsessed with The Walking Dead. When new seasons air, Sundays are easily my favorite day of the week – every passing moment leading up to the start of each week gets me one step closer to finding out what's going to happen to Rick and the crew next. Season finales are always bittersweet – they usually provide at least some sort of closure to the intensity of the season, but I also know it will be months before new episodes are out.
Bounty Arms is a moving experience, but not because the game itself is any good. It hints at what the future holds for mobile gaming. This game looks every bit as good as a current generation console title, and on a high-end device, it runs quite well. But there is more to quality gaming than pretty looks, and Bounty Arms falls flat in just about every other area. At the very least, this five dollar game is free of both ads and IAPs.
Turn-based strategy is a classic style of gameplay, but it's still pretty big these days with titles like Frozen Synapse hitting Android. But sometimes these games can be a little slow, or even tedious if a not designed well. The developers of TurtleStrike are trying to combine real-time with turn-based gaming in what they call "live turn-based" gameplay. This approach has the potential to make matches proceed quickly, but still allow careful tactical planning.
I've never been a huge fan of racing games, but there's always been something about Hydro Thunder that captivated me. As a teen, it was one of my favorite games, and I've kept up with the franchise as much as possible over the last several years. Naturally, this means I've spent a more-than-ample amount of time playing Riptide GP, the mobile-equivalent to Hydro Thunder.
The first Riptide was one of my favorite games to emerge from the Tegra 2 era, and Vector Unit maintained fantastic support over the past two years, even updating it to support enhanced graphics on the Tegra 3 chip.