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.
Iron Jack 2 is a mashing-up of multiple kinds of genres; it combines platforming with some physics-based gameplay and places them inside a familiar "beat levels, get three stars" box. You play as a lone spaceman whose job it is to collect fuel energy. Once enough energy is collected,a level can be exited and completed.
This sounds simple enough, right? We've seen many games use this formula to great effect, making its players jump through increasingly difficult hoops in order to get that vaunted three-star score, and a place on leaderboards.
In the realm of dual-stick shooters, Android’s offerings seem to be plentiful. However, one company’s name stands out due to their past success: Glu Mobile’s Gun Bros is a franchise that many gamers will recognize. Gun Bros seemed to have it all: an addicting premise, no shortage of customization, and perhaps most importantly, controls that didn’t suck. I’ve played my fair share of Gun Bros, so when Glu announced that they would be releasing a similar title (only this time, with cars!) I couldn’t help but be curious.
I have a special place in my heart for real time strategy games. Some of my fondest memories are playing with my dad in our cobbled-together home LAN with games like Age of Empires and Red Alert. But until last week, the last time I had seen a quality mobile RTS was Warfare Incorporated back on my Palm Tungsten T3, almost a decade ago. But now there's a real alternative: Desert Stormfront, from Noble Master Games, is worth a look from any dedicated strategy fan.
Kairosoft is a gaming company that has built a name for themselves on quality. Their simulation games have constantly topped many reviewers' "best of" list for Android titles, and personally they've enthralled me for many an hour.
It seems almost peculiar, though, that they've never delved too deeply into in-app payments or other models that are more prevalent on the Android platform. Kairosoft has stuck to their guns and delivered a full game for a set price, forgoing "pay to win" shortcuts in favour of good mechanics and pure fun.