Last week we bid a fond farewell to our regular Gaming App of the Day feature, swapping the aging and uncompromising system for something that gave us the flexibility to be more critical. How'd that work out? See for yourself!
Before you get to the six gaming app reviews we posted this week (five of which were my own), let's take a look at ten games we played this week that didn't get a stab at the spotlight. It was a lovely week for puzzles fans, but then every week is a great week for puzzle fans in mobile gaming. It was also a good week for fans of retro gaming and Shaquille O'Neal, folks that enjoy playing with their music, Japanese role-playing enthusiast and folks that enjoy paying three dollars for a golf game that's not really all that much of a golf game.
I suspect that last group is quite small.
Tin Man Can — $.99
A platforming puzzle game with a really distinctive style and even more distinctive online multiplayer.
Just when you thought there are nothing new to be done with a drop puzzle game, Rise of the Blobs shows up and gets all cylindrical and explodey.
Beat Gather — Free
Konami's do-it-yourself rhythm game lets players create levels using their own music, and it's free, though purchasing new song slots can get pretty pricey.
SuperSight — Free
I love the style of this bizarre little arena battler.
Undead Soccer — Free
I was not expecting a game about kicking soccer balls at zombies to be this entertaining.
Galactic — $.99
A really nifty little space-physics puzzle game that plays with propulsion and gravity. It's not much to look at, but it's plenty to excel at.
And incredibly complex combination of strategy, simulation and action.
Symphony of the Origin — $3.99
Bless the folks at Kemco for bringing so many basic Japanese role-playing games to Android. This is their first game built from the ground-up for mobile. The overlands are still simple, but the battle graphics are quite lovely. I want to hug these people.
Worth it if only for the novelty factor. It's Shaquille O'Neal against zombies in a post-apocalyptic wasteland. Why not?
RU Golf THD — $2.99
I'm including this one as a public service. The graphics on this game are lovely. There's almost no gameplay whatsoever, just hitting balls onto a green against another player. Beware this pretty poison.
App Reviews for the Week of January 14-18
If three decades of cat ownership have taught me anything, it's that a cat at rest should be let stay at rest as long as feline-ly possible. Cats are at their cutest when unconscious. More »
It takes something special to get me invested in one of the wave of mobile collectible card games seeking to ride on the overwhelming success of Rage of Bahamut-it took Transformers to get me to appreciate the appeal of the genre. More »
The success of Temple Run, a simple 3D endless runner created by the husband and wife team of Keith Shepherd and Natalia Luckyanova, has been nothing short of astounding. More »
If you're looking for a mildly interactive trip through the history of the Final Fantasy franchise and don't mind shelling out a little more than $50 for the complete experience... More »
The iTunes description for Heroes & Castles, a new third-person tower defense game that hit iOS yesterday, says it has "incredible console quality graphics."
Really, they should've stuck with mobile-quality graphics. More »
Swapping colorful objects to create rows of three or more is about as simple as a puzzle game can get. After years of playing titles like Bejeweled and Candy Crush Saga, seeing the patterns that make the best matches is almost second nature to me. More »