The auto-running platforming genre on mobile devices is blooming, no thanks to the fact that you don’t need to control the character’s movement and can instead focus on other aspects of the game. One new game that utilizes this same base principle is Polara, which mashes together the runner and platformer genre to come up with an ingenious game.
2K Games are renowned for their sports simulation games, including the NBA 2K series on PCs and consoles. Last week, many Android gamers (including me) were caught off-guard when 2K Games decided to unleash a mobile version of their latest title, NBA 2K13, on Android. Coming from such illustrious developers, is the mobile version of the latest addition to their basketball franchise worth buying?
At some point, you've probably dreamed of living the life of a subway-surfing, graffiti-spraying, boombox-toting, hoverboard riding kid. Living life on the edge and running from the law. Jumping over trains is your 9-to-5. Every day, 24/7, making your living off of coins you find laying all over the railways. It's a pretty humble lifestyle, but because because you're the definition of "Cool", you can handle it, right? Who are you kidding, of course you can. You're no match for that cop and his dog. Why? Because you're a Subway Surfer. Okay, that's kind of a grittier take on the super-colorful, hyper-stylized world of Subway Surfers, but if you've ever fantasized about subway-surfing, this game is for you. And if you haven't guessed the title by now, the game I'm talking about is Subway Surfers.
Sega’s latest game to hit Android, Zaxxon Escape, is a remake of the classic arcade game from the 80’s, Zaxxon. However, due to me having never played the original Zaxxon arcade game because I wasn’t born yet then, I’ll just review this modern remake based on its own merits.
I missed The Bard’s Tale when it came out in 2004, but did play it a bit through the OnLive service on my PC. I’ve missed a lot of single-player titles, mainly because my normal favorite subject (before getting my first Android, of course) is massively multiplayer titles. I’ve noticed how the number of older titles being brought back to life thanks to mobile devices and the Play market keeps rising. It’s very possible that many of these titles will be seen by a new generation and possibly have more impact than they did originally, thanks in large part to their new, portable nature. I know that I was more impressed with The Bard’s Tale this time around because I was able to hold it in my hand. What would have normally been older looking graphics now look sharp and crisp thanks to the smaller, higher-resolution screen.
Google Play may not short of auto-running platformers, but Rayman Jungle Run is a welcome addition. Well, a more than welcome addition in fact. Powered by the same Ubisoft engine that Rayman Origins runs on and developed by Pastagames for mobile devices (I’m hungry already), Rayman Jungle Run is the kind of game you immediately appreciate the moment you start playing.
Rovio, once known solely for their Angry Birds games which involved slinging birds into pigs (or in one case, cages), has now diversified its gaming portfolio. Their previous game, Amazing Alex, was a puzzler which required you to come up with crazy contraptions to solve simple tasks. Now, they’ve married the antagonists from the Angry Birds universe with the puzzling and contraption-heavy nature of Amazing Alex to come up with Bad Piggies.
If you like chiptunes, Velociraptors-turned-spider-cyborgs and scrolling, then this game is for you! Velocispider is game a developed by Retro Dreamer studios, released for iOS and ported to Android by Noodlecake studios.
Great Big War Game by Rubicon Development is another title in a line of charming turn-based strategy games that is simple to learn but packs many hours of entertainment. Sure, these tiny little soldiers are adorable to look at but killing is their business and business is often pretty darn good. You start out by passing through a series of basic tutorials but soon enough find yourself within the thick of it for real. The enemy can be hidden by a fog of war but, if you’re like me and prefer to have it terribly easy at first, there is an optional toggle that lights up the entire battlefield. After I got used to the game I meant to turn it back on, I really did, but I was having too much fun to notice. I’m not much of a warrior, obviously.
Spirits, a charming physics-based puzzler by Spaces of Play, is a simple game that sucks you in almost immediately but eventually leaves a lot to be desired. Your job is pretty simple: guide the leaf spirits through different levels, dodging pitfalls, blocks and spikes until they finally arrive at a spiraling portal to be whisked away. It’s a pretty easy game and each level is relatively non-challenging. That is until you decide you want to conquer each level and come out with perfect results... that’s when the game becomes really challenging.
I recently sat down with another adventure game, this time Aidem Media’s City of Secrets, fully expecting to find a similar experience to other point-and-click titles from earlier reviews. There are many similar designs and ideas between all adventure games but the unique setting and charming characters in City of Secrets help to set it apart from the pack. We are all familiar with clicking and moving our characters, reading or listening to sometimes massive piles of text, fumbling our way through sometimes great and often horrible puzzles and scratching our heads when an obvious (in hindsight) solution isn’t so obvious. The adventure genre is as filled with repeats and bland designs as any other, but City of Secrets puts out enough original content to make it noteworthy.