Android is having a banner day for classic RPG releases. Almost immediately after Square Enix published Final Fantasy IX to the Play Store, DotEmu has brought the sequel to the original Ys game to the platform. Ys Chronicles I, an updated re-release of Ys I: Ancient Ys Vanished: Omen, made its way to Android almost a year ago, and now the sequel Ys II: Ancient Ys Vanished: The Final Chapter is also available. (Yes, that's a lot of colons and subtitles.) It's the second half of a story that was originally intended to be a single game way back in 1987, and DotEmu is selling it for $5. Read More
What's up, Square Enix? It's been over six months since you brought one of your classic RPGs out of mothballs for another round on Android. Since you're just about out of Final Fantasies and Dragon Quests (or at least entries of those franchises that will run on mobile hardware), I see you've jumped onto the Mana series. The first entry in the long-running action-RPG saga, which was actually released as "Final Fantasy Adventure" for the Game Boy a bit less than 25 years ago, is now available in the Play Store. Read More
LEGO's relentless acquisition of licenses with which to make building sets is matched in fervor only by its media partner Warner Bros' frenzy to turn them into video games. So it is with Lord of the Rings, which has been a staple of the toys for years, but was made into a full-fledged video game for home and portable consoles in late 2012. As has been done with Star Wars, Batman, and a few other LEGO properties, the portable versions of that game (Nintendo DS, PlayStation Portable) have been adapted into a mobile version. You can get it from the Play Store right now. Read More
Any reasonable person might get a bit confused at the continuity of Worms, the perennial "lob stuff across the 2D map and watch it blow up" simulator. According to the franchise Wikipedia page, there have ben no less than 23 Worms games before this one, and at least one of them (from 2005) has been named Worms 4. Paradoxically, Worms 2: Armageddon and Worms 3 came after that Worms 4 (Mayhem), and now we're back to 4 again, this time with no subtitle. Maybe it's because this is the fourth Worms game to be available on mobile, if you include the disastrous version licensed by EA. Read More
Games for portable consoles like the Nintendo 3DS and the PlayStation Vita make for natural ports to mobile hardware, if only because the technical requirements for those games are only a fraction of the hardware power needed for full console titles. LEGO has already released several of these, and the latest is in the company's home-grown line of vaguely Asian-style action toys, Ninjago. Shadow of Ronin is an action title that stars the characters from the kids TV show and the building sets, and it's available for five bucks with no in-app purchases.
Like most "full-sized" LEGO games, Shadow of Ronin has you running around various 3D stages, busting up bad guys, grabbing collectibles, and "building" the various components you need to progress. Read More
Isn't it interesting that now that we have the kind of graphical horsepower that our parents could only dream about while they were playing Pong and Adventure, we seem to be developing a serious case of nostalgia addiction. While high-end console and PC games are starting to look photorealistic, simpler fare like Minecraft and Crossy Road are earning enough money to make Solomon blush. Take Horizon Chase: it's about as simple as racing games come, but its charming graphics and straightforward setup are taking the mobile gaming world by storm. Read More
Turn-based games are perfect for mobile platforms. The fact that they're essentially paused after every move means you can play in bits and pieces throughout the day. That same relatively slow pace means that the disadvantages of touchscreen controls are erased, and in fact the UI can be optimized for taps and swipes. If the rest of the game is designed well (particularly to account for a smaller screen), a turn-based game on a phone has the potential to be more engaging than a console or PC equivalent. Read More