Door Kickers is a military-style, real-time, top-down, squad-focused tactical game. If all those hyphens mean nothing to you, imagine it as something like XCOM with a more straightforward interface and a severe lack of aliens. But the difference between more conventional tactical games and Door Kickers is what makes it exciting: the game's 2D interface boils the admittedly niche genre down into its purest elements of placement, timing, and sight lines. It's available for Android tablets (and only tablets) for $5.
When you read the words "zombie-themed base-builder," some of the more hilariously awful games on the Play Store come to mind, including this classic gem of wanton intellectual property theft. But don't close the tab just yet: Rebuild 3 is a zombie of a different off-green hue. First of all, it comes from developer Northway Games, which made such unique titles as Inredipede and Deep Under the Sky. Second, it's a premium $5 title with no in-app purchases, which is more than you can say for the vast majority of both builder and zombie games for Android.
The Steam app for Android has been rocking the same ancient UI since it launched years ago, but that changes today. The app has jumped from v1.1 all the way to 2.0 and it comes with a revamped UI. It's being called "material," but I don't know if I'd go that far. It's still a vast improvement over the old app.
There are a lot of solid dungeon crawlers available in the Play Store - my personal favorite is probably Mage Gauntlet. But whether it's because of the general trend towards the retro visual style or simply because it's easier to implement on mobile, most of them use a top-down 2D pixelated visual style. Not so for TinyKeep. The premiere Android game from developer Digital Tribe bucks those trends for a high-end take on the genre.
TinyKeep is actually another port from PC download service Steam, so it's easy to see where its high-end graphics come from. You'll need a powerful phone or tablet to get the most out of the experience.
In English, the word "limbo" can refer either to a party dancing game where participants walk under a horizontal bar or a theological concept referring to plane of existence between life and damnation. Take a look at the screenshot above. Which one do you think the game LIMBO is about?
LIMBO debuted on Steam, Xbox Live, the PlayStation Network and other download services back in 2010. It helped kick off the current trend for dark and moody platformers focused on exploration and atmosphere more than twitchy action. You play a young boy trapped in a nightmarish twilight as he searches for his missing sister.
I'm so glad that grown-up strategy is coming to mobile platforms in a big way. Following in the footsteps of XCOM: Enemy Unknown and XCOM: Enemy Within, developer Hairebrained Schemes has published Shadowrun: Dragonfall on the Google Play Store. This is more of an expansion of Shadowrun Returns, which launched on Android back in September of last year, than it is a direct sequel. It's yours for $6.99, no previous purchases necessary.
The Shadowrun video games are based on the roleplaying board games of the same name - think Dungeons & Dragons meets Blade Runner. Dragonfall is a separate steampunk campaign, wherein a dystopian Cold War allegory plays out through tactical RPG progression.
God games are particularly well-suited to mobile platforms, where the top-down interface lends itself well to touch controls, and the size of the screen - not to put too fine a point on it - helps with the deity fantasy. One of the more popular and unconventional latter entries in the genre is indie darling Godus from 22cans, published on the Play Store by DeNa. You can grab the free download now.
In Godus, you play as a god trying to nurture a stone-aged village to greater heights of civilization. This isn't done with direct control as in a strategy game: your primary power is shaping various layers of earth and water to make livable spaces for your followers.
Android gamers now have access to Treehouse's Steam Greenlit game Dethroned. This competitive action RTS tasks players with building up a ragtag band of soldiers, throwing up suitable defenses, and raiding opponents with all the force pixelated heroes can muster. The experience sits somewhere between an RTS and tower defense game, and it comes with the expected emphasis on multiplayer.
Note, early access here means early beta, so expect this adventure to be a bit rough around the edges. Dethroned may be available for download, but don't be surprised to run into a bug or two. The game crashed on me when I tried to check out its in-app purchases (though I guess that could be considered a good thing).
Crescent Moon Games' latest Android release has a good amount of support behind it, having been greenlit by the Steam community to port the game over to Valve's platform. Mines of Mars, which has already attracted positive reviews in the week it's been available for iOS, should provide Android gamers with another of the more in-depth experiences to hit the platform.
For the last two years, the Magicka series of indie fantasy games have lit up the Steam charts. Their mix of traditional Diablo-style gameplay and tongue-in-cheek humor has made them a favorite, and enabled such nonsensical expansions as Magicka: Vietnam (where the four elemental mages put the hurt on pinko commies). Now publisher Paradox is bringing the series to mobile, with the typically self-referential subtitle Wizards of the Square Tablet.
The monster-fighting action takes on a slightly simplified air in this 2D, sprite-based version of the game. Your four mages fight on an XY plane with gesture and tap-based controls (a la Battleheart and its multitude of clones), using the globes at the bottom of the screen to combine elements for new spells.