Fun games to load onto your new smartphone or tablet
How many of you got a slick Android or iOS device for Christmas? Pretty much everyone is our guess.
Flurry, in the business of mobile analytics, reported that in the week between December 25 and 31, 1.2 billion Android and iOS apps were downloaded. That includes 41 million downloads in Canada.
We know that you’ve already installed Angry Birds—the game’s developer Rovio Entertainment estimates that on Christmas Day alone 6.5 million copies of Angry Birds were downloaded worldwide.
Here are some other recently released mobile games that you might want to consider. They certainly kept Trigger Happy busy during the holiday break.
Anthill: Tactical Trail Defense (iOS; Image & Form)
This game is like Flight Control in that you use your fingertip to play, but it’s like a tower defence game at the same time. Here, though, you draw pheromone trails for ants to follow. You send worker ants out to collect food for the colony, while soldier ants protect them and the nest from other, attacking insects. Spitter and Bomber ants are among the upgrades that become available later.
Assassin’s Creed: Recollection (iOS; Ubisoft)
Leveraging the valuable Assassin’s Creed brand, this is a digital collector card game. You play against an opponent—the computer or a live person through the game’s servers—using cards, each of which are imbued with traits and characteristics. Here, you send agents to attack your opponent and site cards to control territory. Unlike other collector card games, Recollection has a real-time aspect to it, which raises the difficulty a notch or two. It’s not a simple game to play, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll find yourself hooked.
Batman: Arkham City Lockdown (iOS; Warner Bros. Interactive)
In this game, which acts as a preface to last fall’s Arkham City console title, you play as—who else—the Dark Knight. It plays much like Infinity Blade; you swipe a finger across the screen to have Batman punch, kick, and dodge. Beating the bad guys earns you Waynetech Credit, which you can use to upgrade Batman’s gear and abilities. Graphically, it’s stunning too.
Catch the Princess (iOS; Robots & Pencils)
From Calgary studio Robots & Pencils is this physics-based puzzle game that is much like Cut the Rope. In this game, though, it’s a princess who is imprisoned, and you need to cut the chains that are suspending her so the friendly creature on the floor can release her from the cage she’s in. There’s something of a story here, too, and it isn’t what you think it is.
Epoch (iOS; Uppercut Games)
Set in a dystopic future, this game has you becoming a robotic soldier that has been reactivated. It’s furious combat action at its best. All you do is swipe a finger to move your robot from cover to cover, tapping the enemies that you want to target with your various weapons. You upgrade your robot with items you salvage along the way.
Grand Theft Auto III (Android, iOS; Rockstar Games)
First released for the PlayStation 2 in 2001, this was the game that first wowed gamers with the capability of an open-world sandbox-styled game. Ten years later is this port, which faithfully recreates the original. The controls, which appear hear as buttons on the left and right of the screen, take some getting used to, but the opportunity to visit this incarnation of Liberty City is worth it.
Infinity Blade II (iOS; Chair Entertainment, Epic Games)
The sequel to one of the best-ever games created for iPhones and iPads, Infinity Blade II stays true to the formula that made the first game so successful. It looks great and it’s fairly simple to play, requiring only a finger swipe here, a tap there. The environments are different and more expansive and there is, as you’d expect, more weapons and armour to loot and wield and pass along to the progeny of your warrior when they are, inevitably, struck down. It’s Infinity Blade, after all.
Jetpack Joyride (iOS; Halfbrick Studios)
From the developers of the snappy Fruit Ninja games comes this equally snappy and equally addictive title. It’s disarmingly simple. Barry steals a jetpack, and is zipping through a research facility. You move him up and down by tapping the screen, collecting coins, avoiding dangerous obstacles, and trying to get as far as possible before crashing. Striving to achieve the goals set for you by the game is one thing that will keep you looking for the “play again” button.
Mega Man X (iOS; Capcom)
The original Mega Man X was created for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System in 1993 and was itself a spin-off of Capcom’s Mega Man series from the earlier generation of consoles. This version is based on the mobile port that was released in 2007. You use an on-screen joystick to move the Reploid Maverick Hunter known as X, and tap on the screen to jump and shoot. The difficulty has been scaled down somewhat from the original to account for the less precise touch controls, but fans of the series will want this version in their arsenal.
Scribblenauts Remix (iOS; Warner Bros. Interactive)
This most creative and original game was originally created for the Nintendo DS and is ideal on iPhones and iPads. The idea is to type the names of items that Maxwell can use to collect the “starite” from each level. In this version of the game you can not only create objects, but you can use adjectives too. So the lumberjack you create to chop down the tree can be “tiny” and “bearded” if you want. Clever, joyful fun.
Temple Run (iOS; Imangi Studios)
“Take the idol if you dare!” begins this game, in which you play a daring treasure hunter, being chase down a jungle path by some angry apes. It’s presented in third-person, and you swipe a finger to make your adventurer turn corners, jump over gaps in the path, and slide under tree branches. The objective is to get as far as you can, collecting coins along the way. Your adventure ends if the apes catch up or you end up off the path. It’s simple, fast, and furious.
Where’s My Water (Android, iOS; Disney Interactive)
All Swampy the alligator wants is to be able to take a bath, and in this clever puzzle game, you need to figure out a way to get the water through the underground systems and into his tub. You’ll use a fingertip to tunnel through the dirt, creating a path for the water, and being careful to avoid the poison and sludge that will make the water unusable.
Zen Pinball (Android, iOS; Zen Studios)
Sometimes it’s just nice to watch a ball go zipping around a table, and this is virtual pinball at its best. You control not only the flippers, but you can also bump the machine to change the path of the ball.