Plants vs. Zombies started as a fairly simple lane-based tower defense game, much loved thanks to its tight gameplay and whimsical style. But like any casual game that gets a big following, it's now branching into other genres as well. The Garden Warfare spinoffs on consoles have done well as Team Fortress-style multiplayer shooters, and now PopCap is going after another multiplayer giant: Hearthstone. PvZ Heroes, now out of geo-limited beta, brings semi-random card decks into the eternal undead-rhododendron fight.
Here goes my productivity for the rest of the day week. In its quest to make the search page the only thing you ever visit online, Google has added another fun trick to its search engine: Solitaire and Tic-Tac-Toe. Forget about animal sounds, metronomes, bubble levels, and all kinds of other tools or time-wasters, this is what we've all been waiting for, from the moment we booted our first Windows computer to all those car and train rides in winter when we played Tic-Tac-Toe on the foggy windows, to that time we saw the doctor's assistant playing Solitaire on her computer and wished we had that to ease the long wait.
Decisions are the essence of drama. You can have ten thousand explosions go off in every second of your story, but until someone decides what to do about them, nobody will care. The latest mobile game from prolific publisher Devolver Digital gets that: it's an odd mix between a card game and Tinder with a cartoon medieval setting. In Reigns, each tiny decision builds up a procedurally-generated story of your time spent as king.
Psst. Hey, Pokémon fans. I know you're all very busy obsessing over Pokémon Sun and Moon, the new entries in the main game series, after the starters were revealed this morning. But those games are still months away, and you need something to fill the Pokémon-shaped hole in your soul until then. Well I have good news, Poke-faithful: the official online digital version of the Pokémon Trading Card Game is now out of beta and available as a regular old vanilla download on Android tablets. Have at it.
If you're an avid tabletop role playing game enthusiast, it's almost impossible that you haven't heard of Pathfinder. This re-organized variant of the Dungeons & Dragons ruleset, published by Paizo and supplemented with a huge variety of extra modules, literature, and lore, has quickly become one of the most popular tabletop RPGs on the market. The publisher has created a few satellite properties for Pathfinder, including novels, comic books, and a licensed card game called Pathfinder Adventure.
I kind of wish that Supercell, developers of the base-building IAPfests Clash of Clans and Boom Beach, would go into cartoons or movies. The 30-second commercial skits that they make to reel players into games are much more entertaining than the games themselves. But if wishes were horses, we'd all be eating steak, so let's just take a look at the company's latest offering. Clash Royale is available worldwide today, after spending several months as a geo-limited beta.
I have fond memories of playing Star Wars Battlefront over a decade ago. I was never the biggest Star Wars fan, but futuristic shooters and strategy games appealed to me, and Battlefront was both. You weren't just gunning down waves of rebel scum, you were attacking the right bases and deploying the best vehicles to crush the enemy's capacity to fight.
Star Wars Battlefront II arrived in 2005, only one year after the original's debut. The third non-mobile entry has taken ten times as long to get here, but it's scheduled to hit consoles and PCs this month. To get players ready to again hop inside an AT-AT, EA has released a companion app onto Google Play.
If you're a console gamer, you know that late summer is something of a dead zone for major game releases, as all the big studios gear up for blockbusters in October and November. Mobile gaming isn't following that trend at all: we had some fantastic releases in August, servicing every niche from casual to hardcore. We've got big franchise releases from Fallout and Pac-Man, and more interesting indie releases like Card Crawl. Pick your poison from our seven favorites below, along with honorable mentions.
Solitaire and sword-and-sorcery fantasy wouldn't seem like an obvious combination, but the rookie Android game from Arnold Rauers does just that. Card Crawl has you facing a giant troll in an oddball card game, mixing elements of solitaire, battle card games like Magic the Gathering, and roguelike dungeon crawlers. It's an interesting little game that lends itself towards more strategy than might be immediately apparent.
Here's the gist: your opponent is the "deck," and he gives you 54 random cards three at a time. Each card is either an item like a sword or shield, a monster that you have to kill, a potion that can heal you, or coins that can be saved up for purchases.
March doesn't have any new blockbuster titles for you to check out, but there are a lot of interesting indies in the following list. For speed and twitch freaks, we've got Fotonica, one of the most unique runner games I've ever come across. Fans of humorous adventure can check out a new take on Hamlet, and strategy gamers have an impressive but unfortunately single-player only option in Frozen Synapse. Investigate these and other favorites, along with some honorable mentions, below.