Game ON! Zone

Game ON! Zone
Games rock, right? Not so long ago you could only play them on your home PC. But now they came knocking to our door and making big steps into our pockets. Yes, Android gaming world is becoming more and more exciting. Graphics are good, sound is great, levels are long enough, fun factor has never been a question. They help you pass the time waiting for ˝always late˝ friend, driving home on city bus, metro... at doctors office to get your mind off the terrible exam that is going to happen as soon as you walk through his door.

Also another positive thing about games is that they can cure your frustration. When someone pisses you off, instead of punching his face to the pulp, you can simply grab your phone and leave a trail of dead bodies behind. Hell yeah!

This page is dedicated to games. As I`m just starting with it, most of the titles are already known to you. Die hard gaming fans will wave their hands in dismay with:˝Nothing new!˝ on their mind. I`m aware of that. But it has to start somewhere.

Over the time I will be bringing newest titles and reviews here, so I`ll make them happy too (if that`s even possible) :D

Start new mission.
ASPHALT 7: HEAT
by Prasad
The Asphalt series of games are widely regarded as the best arcade racing games on mobile. They are often compared to the Need for Speed series on the consoles, which is a good thing as it is one of the best and most popular series of arcade racing games on any platform.
The gameplay in Asphalt 7 is very similar to its predecessor. The career mode has been split into thirteen cups, with each cup having multiple races of various types. In each race, depending upon your performance, you can earn up to three stars. Once you earn enough stars in the current cup, you unlock the next cup. As with the previous games in the series, the gameplay in Asphalt 7 is a lot of fun. Even though the basic premise has remained the same, the improved visuals and dynamics of the vehicles makes the game feel that much more real and closer to what you will find in games on the PC or the consoles.

The drifting in this game deserves special mention, as it is the most enjoyable activity you’ll have the chance of doing throughout the game.

Visually Asphalt 7 is very impressive, a much better version of its predecessor. The environments are more richly detailed and the car models also look more real. The lighting in the game is also impressive and lens flare has been used to good effect. The car models are all very shiny and reflect the surroundings, such as the buildings on the side, the banners above and even the fireworks in a particular night level. The game also gives a great sense of speed, which is particularly impressive on the large screens of tablets. There are some other visual treats as well, such as the tires kicking off snow in one of the snow levels and the especially great looking smoke that emanates from the tires as you drift. The only problem I have with the visuals is that there is no damage model for the cars, so no matter how much you bang them around they look the same at the end of the race as they did at the beginning.

In terms of sound, Asphalt 7 impresses again with a superb dubstep soundtrack and incredible sounding car engines. The only fly in the ointment is the annoying announcer/co-driver, who has been carried over from the previous game. Thankfully, you can disable her voice completely.

Asphalt 7 Heat is a fantastic racing game that will have you playing till the battery runs dry. It’s exciting to play, great to look at and at 0.79 EUR is price just right. There are some minor annoyances here and there, but all in all that is no issue compared to all the good this game has to offer.

BABEL RISING 3D
by David Ruddock
The premise of Babel Rising 3D is that you're an angry god trying to smite his people for erecting a tower in honor of some heathen deity. You strike down these lemming-sized heretics with a variety of elements - earth, fire, wind, and water (no heart, sorry Ma-Ti). Each "tree" has three skills. One is a small or single-target ability, one a multi-enemy area of effect attack, and the last a "ultimate" move that can decimate large groups of the unholy with a shake of your phone. On its face, it sounds very simple. It's also incredibly fun.
The soundtrack in Babel is professional enough that you don't think about it. The sound effects are good, and for a casual game, frankly, they don't matter all that much unless they're bad. And in Babel, they're not.
In the realm of graphics, Babel delivers again. The visual effects provided by your elemental weapons are truly pleasing to behold, and the textures and models are top-notch for a casual title. In fact, they're a lot better than most games in this genre. That may be due to the fact that Ubisoft had a hand in this game - yet another sign that major studios are taking a real interest in mobile. Of course, a lot of people may not see Ubisoft involvement as much of a positive.
So, is it worth your money? I think so - it's so atypical of the casual genre in terms of being such a great all-around product. It looks great, it plays very well, there's a lot of content, and it's not just a rehash of a played-out mobile genre (though it is a more complex, visually re-imagined version of another title, Babel Rising). There's also the fact that it's designed by its very nature to be played with touch controls, so that's a big plus.

It's a title casual and more experience gamers can both enjoy, whether for 2 hours or 10 minutes at a clip.

BESIEGED 2

Defend your home against never ending waves of blundering boneheaded soldiers.

Never open your door for the undead. They’ll eat all your grub, clog your toilet, and play their awful music loud enough to get the police on your tail. But how does one protect their abode against visits from the damned? Besieged 2 will teach you how to build up your castle and arm yourself against these unwanted guests.

It is the follow-up to Besieged, a popular castle defense game that was released in 2009. Fans will be happy (or exasperated) to learn that Besieged 2 contains some familiar, fleshless faces: the skeleton warriors are back, led by General Skel. General Skel has an endless supply of these rascals, to say nothing of platoons of giants, red knights, wizards, and bombers. You need to build up your castle and your kingdom against Skel’s onslaught. You can also find stones, coins, and diamonds that will help you build up an arsenal of enchanted arrows, including flame, frost, and lightning arrows. How can arrows possibly damage skeletons instead of merely slipping through their bones? It just works. Don’t question it.

Besieged 2 also has a social element: you can share your high scores and achievements on Facebook. So what if your best friend just had a new baby? You turned 500 skeletons into so many piles of dog food.



THE AMAZING SPIDERMAN
We're convinced there's a good game buried beneath the muck, but Gameloft simply didn't have the time to polish its latest creation. That said, we admire the ambition that went into creating an open-world adventure, but the various glitches, unpolished graphics and lackluster play failed to do the comic book icon justice.

There are different effects when Spider-Man fights, which is good. Sometimes you will go from moving pretty fast, to all of the sudden slow motion. The camera also changes views often, giving you different angles of the game. Sounds come at random times during the game. Music seems to intensify when you are fighting. You will also hear the cars driving, people talking about Spider-Man in the streets and or course the sound of releasing his spider web. In the city you can see lots and lots of tall buildings, parks, and the whole New York city looks good.

The controls in the game are pretty simple. When you are fighting, you will have a punch button, a block button, and a spider web button. The last button is kind of cool, if will release a spider web and grab your enemy so that you can have more control over the enemy. Flying is kind of fun, the open world makes it very appealing to just fly everywhere. To fly you just simply hold the spider web botton and release it when you want to fall.

As for the missions, they all feel the same. Head to this area, punch some dudes, move to another location, rinse and repeat. It's entertaining to a degree, since the game's basically a button masher. Spider-Man even has a skill tree of upgradeable abilities, spread across the following categories: Combat, Strength and Speed, Web Shooting, Body and Bonuses. On the flip side, Gameloft's decision to include in-app purchases to buy more cash (ranging from $1.99 to $99.99) seems greedy, considering the game costs $6.99 to begin with. Finally, and this is more of a minor issue, the voice acting is pretty bad. We know Peter Parker's a geek, but come on. The powers that be could've hired someone better to deliver his lines.

Taking all of this into account, we'll stop short of calling The Amazing Spider-Man terrible. There's just nothing remarkable about it. Instead, the game does several things, none of them well, leaving us to wonder if Gameloft was rushing to get this Android title to market, or took on too ambitious a project, given the available hardware. Regardless, our Spidey sense withered.

MAX PAYNE
by David Ruddock
Max Payne is a pretty generic third-person shooter - you have a standard health bar, a variety of weapons ranging from pistols, shotgun, and machine guns to molotov cocktails, rocket launchers, and crowbars. Combat mechanics are extremely simple (aim and click - all combat is relatively close-range).

Unfortunately, Max Payne was just never meant to be played with touch controls, you'll find it's supremely easy to get through the game using soft auto-aim - too easy, in fact. Raising the difficulty doesn't really do much aside from occasionally frustrate you more. The same goes for adjusting the auto-aim settings. The fact is that this game was designed for a mouse and keyboard, and even when translated to gamepads for Xbox and PS2, it just never felt quite right away from its native platform. Touch controls make strafing ridiculously hard, and honestly, the game just gets boring after a while with auto-ai

There is plenty of mindless shooting (as seems to be the case with any Rockstar title), but there are also puzzles (really, really simple ones), and one particular mechanic that has influenced gaming to this day: bullet time. Max Payne basically stole "bullet time" from The Matrix (which probably stole it from something else) - you press the Bullet Time button, and suddenly time in the game slows down to a crawl, giving you ample time to pick out individual baddies, bust a substantial number of caps in said baddies' asses, and have a nice cup of coffee. Maybe not the last part.m. If you have a controller, the experience will likely be substantially better. Anyway, you have a limited bullet time "power bar" (the amount of time it lasts varies by difficulty setting) that gets charged every time you kill an enemy. It's endlessly entertaining and it's basically half the reason the original release of the game received such critical acclaim.

The second key ingredient in Max Payne's success was undoubtedly its gritty pulp fiction storyline. The story is told through comic book panels and narration, and even if it is easy to blow through the game, the story at least keeps you interested. Compared to the kind of storylines we get in literally every other high-end mobile game (read: awful / non-existent), this is lightyears ahead of the competition. You get proper voice acting, a compelling tale, and a soundtrack that wasn't mixed in 2 hours.

The game is of full, feature length for a title of its age (there's around 1.4GB of additional data to download), so you definitely get a lot of story and content to go through for $3. A lot more, in fact, than most Android games costing twice (or more than twice) that amount. For a casual gamer, the game will probably take a couple of weeks of hour-long gaming sessions to get through.

In terms of graphics, you're getting the full 2001 experience. Tegra 3 devices get some enhanced textures and lighting, but given the already aged polygons at play here, the difference isn't huge. You don't play this game for the visuals, you play it because it's a classic.



MASS EFFECT INFILTRATOR
by Damien McFerran
BioWare’s Mass Effect series is one of the biggest names in video gaming right now, with the recently-released third instalment selling millions worldwide and gaining rave reviews. Just as it did with the mobile edition of Dead Space, EA has created a totally unique chapter in the Mass Effect lineage with this mobile-based offering, a side-story which is set in the same universe as the home console games but features its own plot and characters.

Mass Effect Infiltrator puts you in the space boots of a gruff-voiced marine by the name of Randall Ezno. A member of Cerberus - a pro-humanity organization with a particularly shady background - Ezno learns of his employers nefarious activities and decides he wants no more of it. He eventually turns rogue and starts to take down the group from within. Pretty much any object that is above knee height can be hidden behind, and springing out from your shelter is a simple matter of tapping the enemy you wish to engage. Firing is automatic; your only concern is fine-tuning your aim. Ammo is also infinite, but your guns overheat after a certain period of time, and require a cool-down period.

The tried-and-tested cover-based shooting action is entertaining in itself, but when you throw special abilities into the mix, things become even more interesting. You can use ‘Biotic’ enhancements to hurl enemies in the air or freeze them in their tracks, and tech abilities - such as a cloaking device which hides your movements from the enemy - add another layer of depth to the combat.

Many industry insiders have confidently been predicted that 2012 is the year in which mobile phone graphics truly come of age, and after seeing Mass Effect Infiltrator in action, it’s almost impossible to disagree. Visually, the game is absolutely stunning. Enzo’s character model is bursting with detail, and while the locations in which you fight are quite linear and restrictive, they boast some amazing sights and vistas.

Those incredible visuals cause another headache. Even on a modern phone like the Galaxy Nexus, Mass Effect Infiltrator has more than its fair share of jerky moments. If you own an older device, chances are, the game will run like a dog - if it even runs at all.

It’s certainly not a perfect game, by all means, and we can imagine that the steep asking price will put a lot of players off. However, in terms of entertainment value, it's a bit of a bargain. Mass Effect Ilfinitrator boasts sterling production values and intense action, and few mobile releases are on the same level in that respect.
If the controls could have been tightened up, we’d have a must-have download on our hands, but it still remains an action lover’s dream nonetheless.
N.O.V.A. 3
by Nick T.
N.O.V.A. 3 has to be one of the best looking titles currently available for Android! The game is just full of eye candy – from the depth of field blur in cutscenes and the dynamic lighting effects, to the realistic reflections from shiny surfaces and the jets of hot air caused by your shotgun's hot barrel. Add to all that the support for 720p displays and you have a title that can serve as a benchmark as to what your device and its hardware are really capable of.

The game follows a story, which isn't too bad for a video game, and the voice acting is pretty good as well. We paid more attention, however, to obliterating the bad guys and taking down enemies. We cannot complain about the game's difficulty – it is neither too easy, nor too hard, and it gets more challenging as you progress. You get to ride various vehicles and a mech throughout the game, which we find pretty cool. But most of the time, you will be on foot, carrying your arsenal of firearms. Speaking of firearms, there is a good variety of weapons too. You start with some basic ones like the shotgun the handgun, but later on you get access to some pretty neat fiery toys.

Oh, and did we mention that N.O.V.A. 3 can be played online? Yes, battles with up to 12 simultaneous players across 6 different multiplayer modes are available, so once you have had enough playing the campaign, the fun continues at full pace on the web.

Okay, we did not experience too many glitches while playing N.O.V.A. 3, but there were some that we didn't quite like. On one instance, a bad guy was shooting at us literally through a wall, with his gun magically sticking right through it. The rest were just minor bugs like funky-looking textures and such that didn't spoil the fun in any way. We had a bit of a hard time getting used to the controls. It took a while for our thumbs to become familiar with the arrangement of all the buttons, and believe us when we say that there are a lot of them. A little more customization options when it comes to positioning of the controls would have been nice.

N.O.V.A. 3 is a fun game to play, and if you are a hardcore gamer, we would definitely recommend giving it a shot. It has awesome graphics, engaging gameplay, and a really fun multiplayer mode that you are likely to waste a lot of time on. Just make sure you have a device with a big display as otherwise, dealing with the on-screen controls will likely be frustrating.
DARK LEGENDS
by Mike Rose
Dark Legends is made up of numerous campaigns filled with story-based goings-on and hack 'n' slash action. The world map shows a string of missions to complete, and you need to spend your energy points on wrapping these up one by one. The game may be about chomping on flesh to reach the arteries underneath, but Dark Legends' hero is actually a nice vampire, if there's such a thing. All he wants is revenge on whoever turned him into a vampire, and whenever he needs to feed, he simply has a bit of a nibble on a human and then sends them on their way with a polite "sorry".

Missions come in two forms. Either you'll be asked to spend your energy and then wait a set amount of time for the mission to be complete, or you'll be thrown into a more hands-on scenario, with zombies and demons to cut into pieces. With a virtual d-pad, numerous power buttons and wide-open exploration, it's mindless but exciting fun, especially when you bring other players in and work together. There is a serious amount of customization along the way too. As you level up, you'll earn experience points which can be funnelled into different special moves and statistics via a skill tree. You've also got achievements to unlock, perks to collect and assign, and weapons to equip and sell.

That's not all - head down into the city, and you'll find a long-stretching road filled to the brim with online players and shops. Each shop has vanity items, which can be purchased with in-game currency or real money, and give your character that special edge over the standard dull threads you're initially offered. The city also houses player vs player arenas, although these aren’t as entertaining as the main co-operative play.

But despite the fun we had, there are a number of factors that went against our enjoyment of Dark Legends. First off, once you've passed the first chapter of the game you'll find yourself waiting around a lot unless you're willing to fork out real cash. Missions begin to cost a lot of energy, and you'll have to keep going back to the game every hour or so to continue. The visuals are also a talking point, as they haven't really advanced since either Star Legends or Pocket Legends, with rough blocky edges throughout.

Dark Legends tries to be graphic, with blood spilling all over the place, but it doesn't really look much like blood at all, for better or for worse.
GUN AND BLOOD
by Kim Barloso
The objective is simple: choose a weapon, equip it and use it to kill all enemies in sight. The player is given a limited amount of weapons and ammunition and can build it up as he collects gold along the way. The main goal is also very simple: do not get killed. The player is given three health packs and three opportunities to call for an air strike in case his health is going low. I’d say use this wisely and only if absolutely necessary to endure later stages of the game.

The game has four game scenes and more than 80 levels – I wish it could have been more, but for a free game this is good enough.

One thing I miss from the game is being able to move around rather than staying in one place. I guess that’s just what I expected when I first played the game. It can be a bit annoying that one can’t go nearer or farther a target for better shooting angles.

Game brings excellent, realistic graphics with equally brilliant sound effects. Shooting moving or far targets are a bit hard with the game controls and might not be accurate at all times. The game runs without any hiccups, the rendering is smooth and lag-free. With great graphics and simple game controls, this can be very addictive.
RICKY CARMICHAEL`S MOTOCROSS MATCHUP PRO
by Damien McFerran
Ever since the days of Excitebike on the NES and Kikstart on the C64, the act of riding a two-wheeled deathtrap around a series of bumpy tracks has held an intrinsic appeal for gamers. The mixture of speed and skill set this particular genre apart from other racing games, and more recent hits such as Trials HD and Trials Evolution prove that the affection for this particular type of racer shows no signs of fading.

Ricky Carmichael's Motocross Matchup Pro boasts the same style of play, so you're racing not only against an skilled opponent, but also the track itself. Undulating surfaces abound, and just keeping your bike upright can be a challenge in itself. For every massive jump in the air, there's a moment of tense expectation as you attempt to plant your wheels safely on terra firma. To mix things up a little, you can perform stunts during your leaps, and it's possible to execute even higher jumps by tapping the suspension icon in the bottom-left corner of the screen.

There's no single-player mode in this game whatsoever - instead, each and every race is against a living, breathing human opponent. Emerge victorious, and you'll receive experience points which help push your rider level up. Fail, and you're given one more reason to seek revenge. The game uses a matchmaking system, which allows you to either select a low-level opponent or face off against anyone. While the latter option might seem suicidal, it's worth a punt every now and then, because if you do happen to get the better of a top rider, your experience haul is dramatically enhanced.

Solo players are obviously going to be disappointed with the game's reliance on online play, but for everyone else, this mud-splattered racer promises weeks of extreme enjoyment.

THE DARK KNIGHT RISES
by Jeremiah Rice
The Dark Knight Rises brings reasonably open-world gameplay and a similar counter-based combat system to pint-sized hardware. Even the signature cape glide, grappling hook and stealth vantage points are present, albeit in modified forms for touch control. Dropping down from a convenient hidey-hole and knocking out an armed guard pushes the same mental buttons. Those hoping for a play-by-play of the social struggles in The Dark Knight Rises will be disappointed. But then, monologues on the nature of justice and the morality of compromise would hardly make for compelling gameplay. You'll get a story that intersects with the movie at key points, filling in with what boils down to a lot of fetch-quests and wave after wave of baddies.

Moving Batman around and keeping the camera at an appropriate angle is nearly impossible, unless you're blessed with three thumbs. And though Gameloft is copying Rocksteady in combat and gadgets, they can't seem to get the flowing movement just right - ol' Bats moves around as if he's had his back broken. Dispatching enemies is a fairly bland chop-socky affair. Though you're given plenty of trick batarangs to play with, none are as effective as a knuckle sandwich. In contrast, the vehicle segments are great fun, for the short time that they last.

The graphics on the Android version leave a lot to be desired, at least once you get past Batman's costume. It seems that at any given moment half of the game's polygons are being dedicated to the various nooks and crannies of the Batsuit, leaving enemies and environments quite bland. Normally this wouldn't bother me, but when central characters like Selina Kyle and Bane look like they're made out of Lego, you've got some seriously unbalanced visuals. The voice acting is serviceable, though with the exception of the gravely Bale-Batman voice, none of the sound-a-likes are particularly convincing. At least the game is fully voiced.

Though normally a pretty trivial concern, the sheer size and compatibility of this game deserves some attention. The Dark Knight Rises is a whopping 1.8 gigabytes, just for the mobile game. Half of that will come from the Play Store download, the other half will be downloaded after you install the game. That's beyond bloated, it's ridiculous: this one game would wipe out the storage capacity of many phones and even weight down some tablets. With mobile data getting more and more expensive, this kind of lazy optimization really isn't tolerable anymore.



DEAD TRIGGER
by Ray S.
With Dead Trigger, MadFinger hasn't simply created a tech demo. It has created a full-featured game with amazing graphics and atmosphere. Although the missions are a bit short for our taste, they still provide a lot of fun. Probably the coolest thing here is that in addition to the missions following the main storyline, Dead Trigger also features unlimited, random-generated levels of a few different gameplay types.

In contrast to ShadowGun, MadFinger's new title is a first-person (zombie) shooter. And boy does it look awesome! This has to be the most visually-impressive game on a mobile device ever. Actually, it'd be safe to say that Dead Trigger for iOS and Android is what Doom 3 was for the PC. For those who don't know – it revolutionized the way games look. It's true, Gameloft's NOVA 3 is also quite a looker, but its colorful and somewhat flat-looking objects can't really measure up to the level of awesomeness found with Dead Trigger's realistic lighting effects and detailed environments.

Although it enters a market full of zombie games, Dead Trigger does feature a story of its own. In short, things don't seem to be going very well with the world in 2012 (sounds familiar?). These are times of great economic collapse, and the world's population is rising against its rulers. However, the real rules of the world who happen to play behind the scenes are making a quick escape, leaving everyone to die from a strange virus. Not everyone dies, though – many turn into zombies, while very few people actually survive (thankfully, you are among them). The story isn't anything unheard of, but it's good enough to keep you interested.

Dead Trigger can be played absolutely for free on Android, but it offers lots of content that can be bought via in-app purchases, like special items, weapons and abilities. Some items can only be purchased this way, but others are available for virtual money, that you're making while playing the game.

As with every other thing in this world, Dead Trigger isn't perfect. Although character animations for the game are made using motion-capture, and are generally very good, there were some instances when we saw some glitches, although nothing that can ruin the experience. It also depends on your preferences when it comes to games, but we guess there will be many who won't be impressed by Dead Trigger's somewhat small levels. In this respect, Dead Trigger isn't a continuous game like NOVA 3; instead, it's divided into small episodes.



VIRTUA TENNIS CHALLENGE
by Derek C. Tillotson
For the first time, Sega has brought its famous tennis serious to mobile devices. Virtua Tennis Challenge is little more than a stripped down version of its console counterparts. You don't get to see big-name players like Federer, Nadal, or any of tennis' most famous women. The World Tour mode is barebones and there's zero online interaction. However, what it lacks in features and polish, it makes up for by serving up a great tennis experience.

The touchscreen controls, however, are vastly different from traditional style gameplay, and are a welcome change for the most part. Everything is done by tapping or swiping the screen. It can be confusing at first (especially since it lacks a hands-on tutorial, and the how-to info is well-hidden), but once you get the hang of it, it generally plays wonderfully. You get four different shots and each one involves a different type of stroke. Your power and direction depend on the length and angle of the stroke, as well as a bit of luck, because it's not too difficult to hit the ball out of play.

The game lacks any sort of deep season or career mode. On the main menu, you're given three modes of play: SPT World Tour, exhibition, and multiplayer (via Bluetooth). The SPT World Tour lets you create a character who will climb the ranks and try to become the top player in the world. Each day, you're given three tournaments to enter, with majors available a few times each week. Winning a tournament will up your rank and net you money to enter more tournaments. And if you run out of cash, you can get more from sponsors every day.

The gameplay is challenging but fair, and even the niggling controls work wonderfully most of the time. Even without much real-life influence, Virtua Tennis Challenge accomplishes one key goal: portable tennis action. It may be pricier than most mobile games, but if you enjoy hitting the fuzzy green ball, it'll be well worth your time and cash.



REAL FOOTBALL 2012
by Matt Egan
Real Football 2012 offers 350 teams, 14 league championships including England, Germany, France, Spain, and South America, and thousands of real players' names, if that is the sort of thing you go for. You can create custom team strips using a dedicated editor, and then share your creations with the game's wider community.

Which is all well and good, especially for a free game. But it does cost you, both in terms of what feels like interminable waiting and wading through dialog pages for matches to come round and, more importantly, in the mammoth download you need to make to play Real Football 2012 even after you're installed the app. There's more than 480MB of data to be downloaded and installed *after* you've loaded the app.

No matter, the proof of the game is in the playing, and in this respect Real Football 2012 is comfortably our favourite mobile football game. Visually, it is exceptionally good, with more than 700 motion-capture based animations which adjust without noticeable deviation to the players' skills and the field position in the game. Even the AI is better than in most soccer sims: playing against the game is challenging and fun.

The controls are relatively simple: a single virtual joypad, and three virtual buttons: pass, shoot and sprint when you have the ball, and press, tackle and press when you don't. There's no change player option, but the game gets this right every time, in our experience. After the initial frustrating period of adjustment, you get into game pretty quickly. It's not too easy to fire in wonder goals, but you have a chance. The only real annoyance is that tackling seems to consist of either a horror foul, or a perfect tackle (but the game of football itself is a little like that these days)... Injuries are a little random, too. All in all, Real Football 2012 is as engaging a mobile soccer sim as we've played, and that's what counts.



JELLY DEFENSE
by Joshua Munoz
Jelly Defense takes everything you've come to know and love about tower defense games, dresses it up in cutesy, goofy graphics, and delivers an experience of such high caliber that when someone asks you about the best tower defense games, this is one you name without hesitation.

Mechanically, you're looking at the same old, same old you see on every tower defense game. Destroy enemies, get currency, and use said currency to buy more towers with which to defend your booty. This isn't a bad thing (at all), because it's one less new skill you need to learn to get on with playing. Jelly Defense comes with 20+ levels. There are 8 different power-ups and 10 types of towers (you start with 3, but the ‘inventor tree’ can come up with new towers for you). There’s a slew of different red and blue enemies and the further you progress in the game, the more difficult it gets.

Where Jelly Defense really shines, though, is its visual presentation. Everything on screen is colorful, very upbeat, and quite unique for the tower defense genre. Enemy jellies sort of waddle or sashay over towards your crystals, and your towers dispose of them, in turn. The different kind of towers you have all look great, and their attacks are as varied as their appearance.

Sound experience is wonderful, with a great melody that is incredibly recognizable, yet not too present. The background sounds are also really good with popping sounds if a new jelly wave is upcoming and giggling enemy jellies that try and breach your perimeter.

Really, there's not much more I can say about Jelly Defense. It runs smoothly, looks gorgeous, and offers lots and lots of opportunity for fun.



RECKLESS RACING 2



Arcade racers need to get their corners right. Anyone can do straight lines, and most people can do cool jumps, but when you turn into a corner you need to feel like you're balancing on the fine line between awesome drift and catastrophic accident.
Reckless Racing 2 straddles that rubber streaked line with aplomb, and then throws in expert track design, hyper-addictive gameplay, online multiplayer, and more content than you can rev a v8 at.

This is pocket racing at its finest - a delightful, petrol-stinking blend of engine tinkering and breakneck speed that will have you returning to the start line again and again. The core of the experience is Career mode, which sees you leading a racer from cheeky upstart to world champion through a series of races and challenges. Races are fast and furious, none of them lasting more than a couple of minutes. You start at the back of the grid and - using your driving smarts and a bit of brute force - you have to work your way to the front of the pack. Opponent AI is just aggressive enough to make the game challenging, but not so bad that rival racers drive you off the track at every given opportunity. You'll usually find each tournament has one driver who's better than the rest, and he'll quickly become your nemesis.

Everything about Reckless Racing 2 screams quality. It's a brilliantly constructed game, from the main menu to the soundtrack, everything is polished and buffed to a chromium sheen. When you're tearing through those corners, sending up a cloud of dust into the windscreens of your opponents, you know you're playing something a little bit special.




DEAD SPACE
by N

In this tied-off nugget of Dead Space lore, you play as the vocoded Vandal, a member of the Church of Unitology, the evil cult from the other games. This and that happens and you end up playing for the Church and for the Earth Government Thing at the same time.

The story’s pretty thin and while you have some decent character moments (and some interesting hallucinations), you’re really just here to get from Point A to Point B. You have access to several weapons of destruction and blow through a bunch of levels taking out an interesting mix of necromorphs. For a $6.99 mobile game, it’s got plenty of length and with the ability to upgrade your weapons and armor, you’ve got some incentive to play through the game again.

There’s always some trepidation that surrounds playing a dual-stick shooter (and this is a dual-stick shooter) on a touchscreen device, but it works incredibly well. One thing that works in its favor is the fact that in placing your thumbs on the screen and moving them around leaves no visual reference. There are no little ‘stick circles’ or static overlays on the screen. It means you can easily move your thumbs around the screen without putting too much attention into where they’re at any time. It feels incredibly natural.

Dead Space is gorgeous, and on a Galaxy Nexus, ran silky smooth… for the most part. During confrontations, it wasn’t a surprise to see the game shudder like a stalling car in hot summer. The levels are tile-based, so you’re not going to see many of the breakout levels that you’d see in the bigger games. Instead, you’ll go through two or three levels with similar layouts and art assets before moving onto new stuff.

After playing through Dead Space here, I’m honestly wanting to return to its big brothers and experience those stories. If you’re up for some tense shooter action and have a decent phone, this is one of the best action game you can get for Android.




WHERE`S MY WATER
by Will G.
The title describes the game well. You are introduced to an alligator named Swampy. He is unlike other alligators, as he adapts primarily to human life an enjoys being clean. Because of Swampy’s abnormal actions, “Cranky”, a terrifying alligator antagonist and friends try to stop the water supply towards Swampy’s house. Yeah this sounds unfair, but is your job to stop these villains and resupply the water for a clean bath.

Now the game might seem pretty simple, right? All you have to do is interact with your touchscreen device, digging into dirt to guide the clean water towards Swampy’s bathtub. Along the way you will face tough angles, acidic water that mutates the clean water into a toxic chemical, as well as moss that grows with the touch of water.

Similar to Angry Birds, you have the ability to collect three ducks along the way. Makes sense for a bath.

All in all, I believe that this game has a lot of potential. When you think about it shows an educational value to stay clean in which the game serves as both a kid friendly and older generation entertainment. I also love how the physics-based puzzles get more challenging, and really make you think.



BACKSTAB
by Paul Wilks
BackStab HD by Gameloft is an 18th century action romp where you play the part of Captain Henry Blake. Betrayed by a fellow officer you must seek justice and revenge! Across a huge and beautiful 3D island you have to explore 4 cities searching for clues and quests.

Visually stunning and action packed from the outset, the gameplay and storyline are both interesting and hugely addictive. The onscreen controls are tapered depending on your environment and it’s hugely intuitive. I’ve loathed previous games where you have lots to remember- here the controls alter depending on the environment. So, the direction “up” can make you walk/run forwards or climb if you are facing a wall. It feels far better this way and allows you to control Henry through the adventure without delays.

The game environment is huge and, although obviously not as big, reminded me of Grand Theft Auto cities (albeit 18th century style). This depth comes at some cost to your devices storage capacity. It needs the best part of 600MB of additional resources so make sure you have that available. I’m not a fan of extra data downloads- I often find they are unstable and it required two or three goes and quite a number of minutes to get Backstab HD downloaded in full.

The game though is, in my opinion, well worth the bother. It genuinely feels more like a console experience than a mobile one. I would bet it looks pretty incredible on a tablet too. It would be hard to differentiate the quality of mobile titles like this with PS2/PSP graphics and gameplay. The story and plot make for a cracking game that draws you in with a intriguing narrative which helps pushes players in the game.

Play is diverse and, while there is a lot of running, jumping and fighting there are also different elements such as controlling a canon in the earlier levels. Backstab HD is not cheap by any stretch of the imagination but, if you love mobile gaming, this is a real treat.



WIND-UP KNIGHT
by Paul Wilks
Wind-Up Knight is a 3D scrolling platform game for Android. Boasting lush graphics, challenging gameplay and various items to buy and accumulate in-game to make your quest possible, it’s a superb game and loads of fun. There is a rather steep learning curve as you progress through the game but it’s very immersive and hugely enjoyable.

The idea of the game is traverse your Knight-fellow through increasingly tough levels, collecting coins and such like, slashing baddies and fulfilling quests. Initially, during the tutorial levels, you first get to jump, then slash, then roll, then use your shield in that order, so adding functions- and getting used to them is fun rather too much all at once.

The game harbours quite a universe of upgrades and features, and this adds a great deal to the game. There are richly animated menus and an in-game store that lets you purchase armour, shield and weapon upgrades. Loading screens are populated with witty tips and Knightly advice. Gameplay therefore feels very supported by this rich and interesting universe.

Throughout your Knightly quests there is a fantastic musical soundtrack. Sounding very original and medieval-ly lustrous, it compliments the game perfectly. Sound effects are varied and fit the feel of the game well. The game is free and, while you can earn your way to other levels, they can also be bought through in-game purchases.




CUT THE ROPE
by Matt Demers
Cut The Rope is a puzzle game where you aim to feed a piece of candy to a green monster named Omnom. The candy is being held aloft by a piece of rope, which is affected by physics and is actually quite elastic. Using your finger as a box cutter, you cut different ropes in order to collect stars and ultimately feed the candy to Omnom.

Like all good puzzle games, Cut The Rope takes a simple premise and expands upon it. Users looking to go for 100% completion will need to go out of their way to get the stars, which also serve as keys to new levels. Different worlds open up as stars are collected, giving you some incentive to hunt them all down. Cut The Rope also uses Scoreloop for achievements and score leaderboards, satisfying your competitive side.

The game plays extremely smoothly, but that can be assumed with a port of an A+ iOS title. I've found that I enjoy it a lot more than Angry Birds; that "got all the stars!" feeling is a pretty good one, indeed.

I find it kind of difficult to get addicted to mobile puzzle games because the gameplay either requires too much effort or too little: you're forced to sit down and devote your attention to a game for a long period of time, or the experience is so simple that you're not inclined to pick it back up again once you've rattled off a series of successes.

The latter applies to Cut The Rope; while I'm sure the levels get much harder as new words are introduced, the satisfaction of getting all the stars in the first world-and-a-half (75% on the first playthrough of the level) just keeps me from opening it whenever I have a spare moment.
edited by arawn
Aug 8, 2012
comnam90 and Robbie Hood like this.