The latest version of the decades-old card battle game Magic: The Gathering has been in testing for a few months, with an early access open for at least some countries. Now that's over, and MTG: Arena should be available in many more regions on the Google Play Store. Go get your spells on.
If you went to middle school at the same time as me, you might remember Yu-Gi-Oh. It's that show about a kid with an alien starfish attached to his brain that makes him hallucinate about ancient Egyptian playing cards destroying the world. (That's how I remember it, anyway.) Amazingly the twenty-year-old franchise is still around, and quite a lot of people seem to be continuing to play the associated Magic: The Gathering-inspired card game - enough that Konami, otherwise more or less uninterested in non-Pachinko games, has released a new mobile version.
Here at Android Police, we've made our position on the prevalence of free-to-play mobile games perfectly known, to wit: most of them suck. It often seems like instead of embracing the audience-widening possibilities that the phrase "free game" implies, developers and publishers use it as an excuse to design games around compelling in-app purchases for more and more fleeting rewards. The phenomenon is well-documented, so I won't bore you with the inherently manipulative methods of most F2P games - you can read here and here if you really need a refresher.
Pictured: not something you want to see in your "free" game.
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 3D shooter with dinosaurs, an interesting 2D strategy title, an indie card battle game, a match-3 RPG, and a stylish endless racer. Without further ado:
Call of Mini™ Dino Hunter
The latest Call of Mini game is a lot like the previous titles, but you get to shoot dinosaurs in the face.
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 an ambitious MMO in beta, an endless runner that will give you the Tremors, a card-based tower defense game, an old-school space shooter, and an unconventional puzzler. Without further ado:
Casters of Kalderon BETA
Give developer Helmeni points for ambition: Casters of Kalderon is a technically impressive mix of massive online games, RPGs, and turn-based strategy.
Blizzard is a game developer and publisher - maybe you've heard of them. They're responsible for little series like Diablo, Starcraft, and World Of Warcraft, among others. The company's latest effort is an online, multiplayer trading card game called Hearthstone, currently in an invite-only beta on PC. Polygon reports that at the annual BlizzCon in Anaheim, California, the company announced that Hearthstone will be released on Android in 2014.
Hearthstone is loosely set in Blizzard's Warcraft franchise, hence the subtitle "Heroes of Warcraft." Like other collectible card games, it's being built from the ground up on the free-to-play model, though reports from early beta players indicate that it's still easy enough to get into the main game without spending money.
This is the part of the gaming post where I establish a little context. Maybe I tell you how a particular genre is doing on Android, or how well this developer's previous games have been received. I could do that, but I won't, because the theme song in the trailer for Combat Monsters is kind of blowing my mind. It's easily worthy of a 1980s cartoon sponsored by Hasbro.
Rubicon is the developer of the extremely solid Great Little War Game series, and Combat Monsters doesn't stray too far out of their wheelhouse. You've still got turn-based, hexagonal tactical gameplay, but this time it's definitely got a bit of an anime slant.
Hey kids, do you remember the awesome Star Wars collectible trading cards from Topps? Of course you don't, and neither do I, because the shameless whoring of the brand has burned away whatever good memories of Star Wars I ever possessed. Here's Konami's attempt to wring a few more bucks out of science fiction's most used-up intellectual property with an almost certainly crappy free-to-play battle card game.
If you haven't seen this particular style of game before, it goes something like this: you collect a bunch of cards which have RPG-style defense and attack attributes. You put them in a deck, then lay them out in a playing field that differs from game to game.
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 sci-fi tower defense game, a unique endless runner, a game in which many, many virtual hamsters are maimed, a shmup starring Nikola Tesla, and a digital translation of a popular card game.
Magic 2014 is the new and updated version of the less headline-friendly Magic: The Gathering: Duels Of The Planeswalkers, gracing Android for the first time. It's a digital translation of the uber-popular Magic: The Gathering card game, a staple of schoolyards and table gaming for the last two decades. Magic 2014 is a free download (though it needs a massive 1.2GB of space), but requires a $10 in-app purchase to unlock the full game. The free demo features the first 25% or so of the campaign mode.
There are a lot of things wrong with the digital version of Magic: a clunky interface, boring visual effects, downright awful optimization of both space and active system resources.