Lee West has dived into the world of mobile games and gives us his selection of the best recent releases on iOS and Android.
We've seen this kind of game many times before.
You run from left to right, shooting enemies, opening doors, jumping over obstacles and avoiding traps. As with Spelunky levels are randomly generated, but Megatroid adds the nice detail as they are generated by the name you give them. A level only takes a few minutes to complete, and once done you can easily pass on the name to let a friend have a go with the same level.
There is a story part to the equation, and you face off with bosses based on your experience level. It's surely no coincidence that the name reminds us of Metroid, but to be honest it has little to do with Nintendo's sci-fi series apart from a female protagonist and endless space. The game itself is incredibly addictive, and the controls are just perfect, with the nice option of adjusting the size of the buttons to fit your needs. The brilliant chip tune music is just icing on the cake. It's free and out now on both iPhone, iPad and Android.
In spite of the qualities of Megatroid, it was this freemium title that we spent most hours on (and subsequently most money on).
Galaxy Life is a well-made freemium title where you create a horde of colourful aliens to engage other players with. As expected you upgrade and update your army throughout, and you fight with other players over resources to improve your army even more. It's that simple. And before you know it you will have friends (and enemies) hooked. It's very addictive and free (as long as you're holding on to your credit card when you're building your base).
Joe Dredd is one of the fiercest science fiction characters (forget about Stallone's version) ever seen. And it's high time to clean up the many shady neighborhoods of Mega City once and for all.
Judge Dredd is an interactive book from the folks behind Fighting Fantasy. In other words it lets you read a few pages and then you make choices and the story progress depending on what you chose.
It mixes role playing elements with science fiction and heavy tunes and you can pretty much tune the experience to cater to your tastes. Everything from music, sound effects, difficulty, horisontal/vertical format, dice rolls, and font size can be altered. If you're into this kind of thing Judge Dredd won't disappoint.
This title was actually released a couple weeks back, but it's definitely worth a (late) mention. It's a point-and-click adventure like they were back in the good old day.
The interface is near on perfect, and the story and art direction is full of atmosphere. Search for items, combine them, and solve clever puzzles. If you have an iPad, you shouldn't miss out on this version of Yesterday if you have any interest in the genre.
Infinity Project 2
If you're curious just how big a game a small two man team can create - then Infinity Project 2 is the place to look.
It's a first person shooter that may not stand a chance against the technical provess of N.O.V.A. 3 and Modern Combat 3, but it wins you over with charm. If you're tired of clones of Crysis and Modern Warfare, and long for the days of Half-Life, then this could be your salvation.
There is dystopic story mode, a zombie-like survival mode and multiplayer. The graphics aren't top notch...in fact some of the characters are downright ugly. But if you manage to not judge the book by its cover you're in for an old school treat.
Danish developers Unity Studios have created a little gem of a tactical real-time strategy game in which you control a group of brightly coloured soldiers battling through a base of brightly coloured aliens.
The design is more or less unique (but reminds us a bit of Tron). And while the game itself isn't new, there's a new update out that irons out some rather glaring interface issues. You command your squad - made up of soldiers and medics - through short levels filled with puzzles and aliens. A new expansion with an additional 25 levels ensures that you won't run out things to do.
OH NO! MORE ... Cavemen? You probably know what game I'm referring to, if not I'll help you on your way. Swedish developer Aaron Ardiri has created this title, that was so similar to Lemmings, that Sony brought out the big legal guns and the project was buried.
But here it is again, and the green little beings have been replaced with groaning cavemen across 120 levels (and additional bonus levels). Rumours have it that you can still find one or two remnants of the old game if you look closely. The game itself is just like you remember it, and controls can be adjusted to your heart's delight - making this the best handheld version of Lemmings or clone thereof. Plenty of nostalgia here even if there clearly are some changes...
We're still a little unsure about this one. But the lure of playing as Superman, Batman, Green Lantern, Flash or Wonder Woman is hard to resist. You beats bad guys, target them with your laser sights, tie them up with your whip and so on, depending on your choice of character.
It's a simple beat 'em up with upgrades for your character. The boss fights are solid, but you have to be in a superhero mood to fully enjoy this fairly generic brawler.
Shellrazer is another game we initially passed at its release, but a price drop this week convinced us to give it a shot. And we're glad we did.
You control a huge turtle who is on the warpath. As luck would have it he comes equipped with a bunch of soldiers that ride on his shell. These little fellows shoot projectiles and missiles (and can naturally be upgraded). Before you know it, you're deeply immersed in the game, trying to figure out what upgrades to equip and gear to mount on your shell. At first glance it looks simple, but there is a lot of depth on offer.
Gear and Guts
Glu returns with another zombie game, this time with a twist. You're mowing down all kinds of mutated undead in your sports car as it were Carmageddon. It's a top down racer with that old school GTA look to it. There are lots of upgrades and missions, and the controls are very good.
Once again, it's a free title so if you're pining for a doomsday racer on iOS and Android - you should look it up.
Best of the Rest
LEGO City is a tedious side scroller that does nothing to bolster Lego's name in gaming circles, while Total Recall delivers on-rails shooter action based on the film. It's just that Rage does a far better job of this. Alien Breed is a good conversion, but we cannot help but feel a bit cheated that singleplayer is the only thing on offer here. If you don't care for multiplayer, it's certainly a game that deserves a closer look. Farming Simulator 2012, also powered its way onto AppStore if you're looking to plow the fields for a bit. And Gameloft's Asphalt 7 finally made it out on Android. It's just as good as expected, with lots of speed, and great music. And recycled assets from Asphalt 6. On a positive note it's cheap.
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