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.
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 visually unique adventure game, a brand new RPG, a game that lets you shoot Justin "Belieber," an interesting take on falling tiles, a beast-themed tactical RPG, a cutesy sliding block puzzler, and an off-road racing 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 unique top-down shooter, a reverse Mario game, a 2D zombie sniper, a group-based shooter, a cartoony racer, and a digital RPG board game. Without further ado:
Silver Bullet looks like an unofficial game for the Underworld series of movies...
Developer Digital Tales has been hyping its latest Superbike game for a few weeks, and today it's finally been released on Google Play. SBK15 is a simulator in the general sense, and it tries to bring a feeling of realism to its motorcycle races. The tracks are based on real tracks, the bikes are based on real bikes, and the riders are licensed likenesses of world championship racers, complete with authentic sponsor logos plastered to their helmets.
And don't get me wrong, SBK16 definitely has some good points. The graphics are appealing without being too taxing, the sense of speed is decent, and the tilt controls actually make sense in the context of leaning into a curve.
What do you get when you combine Back to the Future-style hoverboards with a quasi-anime art style and runner mechanics? The answer is Sky Punks, the latest game from Rovio's publishing arm. No, it's not created by the Angry Birds folks (as the Play Store app description suggests) - the developer is Fathom Interactive, whose previous Android entries have been largely unremarkable. But with a big name in the mobile gaming world backing them up, they're hoping for a hit with this stylish and surprisingly varied runner.
At first glance Sky Punks looks achingly derivative. You move your chibi racer between three lanes to collect coins, jumping over or sliding under obstacles and shooting or blasting through them with occasional power-ups.
I recall with fondness many weeks spent in front of my spinning, clicking Dreamcast, working away at the only game I had for Sega's console at the time: Hydro Thunder. While the graphics were amazing (for 2000, anyway), the big jumps and odd physics were what kept me coming back to the boat racing game. Pixel Boat Rush doesn't look or play anything like the minor Dreamcast classic, but I think it's managed to capture a glint of Hydro Thunder's spirit.
Then it adds guns.
In Pixel Boat Rush, you drive a single two-dimensional boat across a 2D sea, racing with a dozen other boats as you speed, soar, and sometimes bounce from wave to wave.
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 hard-boiled adventure game, a simian racer, and a colorful mix of Space Harrier and endless runners. Without further ado:
Red Johnson's Chronicles: Full
Red Johnson got his private eye start on the PlayStation 3 as a downloadable title.
Gameloft's latest game, Cars: Fast As Lightning, is targeted towards kids, and it has all the makings of a good movie tie-in experience. The visuals are sharp and capture the feel of the films. The voice overs are convincing, the characters are well animated, and the dialogue might elicit a giggle or two.
Since Fast As Lightning is based on Cars, as you would expect, it's a racing title. And since this is game, there are controls, but they couldn't be more basic. Looping around tracks consists of holding down on the virtual pedal and easing up on the gas when going around corners.
There's a new Asphalt game available from Gameloft! But fans of the previous titles might not be so thrilled with the latest one. While Asphalt 8: Airborne was more or less a clone of arcade racers like Need For Speed, Asphalt Overdrive is a lane-based, candy-coated "endless" racer, with the player running away from cops in a Day-Glo take on 1980s California. It's a free download for Android 4.0 or higher.
If you moved one of the high-speed chases from Grand Theft Auto: Vice City into a highway with just three lanes, then removed the player's ability to steer or accelerate, it might look a lot like Asphalt Overdrive.
The original Beach Buggy Blitz was one of the first graphically-intensive games on Android, a frequent install for people who wanted to show off the power of their new phone or tablet. That being said, it was a bit simplistic: you "raced" along an endless beach, more or less playing catch up until you ran out of time. The sequel, Beach Buggy Racing, is much more of a conventional kart racer. It's got full races, power-ups, multiple characters and carts, and even single-device split screen multiplayer.
The graphics are a little better in the sequel, though the handling is what has really improved.