As summer really starts to draw in, we’re pretty sure you’ll all be too busy soaking up the rays to navigate the Windows Store in search of new games.
On the other hand, we’re equally sure you’re fully committed gamers who will be in need of a fix! As ever, we’re here to help. While we do an apps and games round-up every week on Conversations, there are always more new games than we can include, and so we like to do this – to compile a list of our top ten games of the month, featuring the games we’ve loved but haven’t had the opportunity to highlight beforehand. Here, then, are our top ten games for May!
Around the World: Hidden Objects
Why We Love It: It’s a hidden objects game, clearly enough, but set up more like an RPG in terms of the interface than, say, Enigmatis 2, another hidden objects game that we featured in one of our weekly round-ups in April. The gameplay is a little clunky here, mostly because the screen feels quite cluttered, but nevertheless, puzzle-fans ought to get a real kick out of it. And it’s steam-punk – who doesn’t love that?!
Why We Love It: It’s a peculiar mix-up of medical experimentation and Lego-style mix and match game-play. You’ve created a gene-scanner that can sort out the different characteristics of various animals. Scan the animals, save the characteristics (small, furry, hard-working, etc) and then combine animals with thee features to create more animals. In the process, you’ll learn loads about the animal kingdom. It sounds a little crazy, but it’s fun and suitable for all ages. There are also three mini-games to keep you going if you’re short on time.
Why We Love It: This is cheap and cheerful fun. Create an avatar, switch on location services and then have a go at the twenty bundled games, and compete to become the top-scorer – or king! – of your area. The games themselves are a little rudimentary, but it includes variants of a lot of popular titles – 2048 is there, Flappy Bird-esque jumpers and so on. You can play on your computer too – and some of the games will work better there, with more finessed controls. One way or the other, if you’re after an all-in-one solution to keep the kids entertained, this should keep you going for ages.
Why We Love It: You’re a penguin and some conniving thief has absconded with your ice-creams! You must get them back! This is a basic, colourful and fun platformer with really cute cartoon-style animation and responsive controls. You’ve got three lives – use them well. Suitable for all ages – probably aimed at kids but grown-ups will probably find it pretty addictive too.
Old School Racer 2
Why We Love It: It’s the sequel to (you guessed it) Old School Racer, so if you liked that, you’ll like this, as it’s pretty much cut from the same cloth. If you’re not a fan of old, let it be known that this is a side-scrolling old-fashion platformer racing game: you’re on a motorbike and you have to negotiate both obstacles and gravity to get through forty levels of high-speed fun. The latest twist is something they call morphing, where the game-world changes shape around you, so keep those reflexes turned up to maximum. There’s also a new multiplayer mode. So choose your bike, choose your world, and rev up!
Pic: The Invasion of the Nutcrackers
Why We Love It: Okay, it sounds crazy: the Nutcrackers have invaded the Pics’ world and you have to defeat them, battling both Nutcrackers and turncoat native critters in order to finally kill the Nutcrackers’ King. It’s a platformer with reasonably decent controls (once you practice a bit) and simple bright graphics. The Pics look a little like tiny Mr Potato Head guys, only without the potatos element: think a free-floating face hands and feet! Particularly fun for kids.
Why We Love It: It’s a flight simulator game that uses music to affect the game-play. That is, you control your vehicle by swiping to move left, right, up, etc, and you do this in accordance with musical cues. There’s a useful in-game tutorial so you can practice. Don’t try this one with your phone on silent! It’s got three difficulty levels and a kick-ass soundtrack, and comes from the makers of Guitar Hero. It’s not easy!
Survival Run with Bar Grylls
Why We Love It: In this infinite runner you play real-life survival expert, Bear Grylls, as you run for your life from – yes! – a bear! Swipe to turn jump, slide and tilt the phone to move from one side of the path to another. As infinite runners go, it’s fairly standard, though fun, and the celebrity twist makes it more entertaining. Give it a go, tell us what you think!
Why We Love It: Based on the Disney pic, Maleficent, this is a mathcing game – think Candy Crush, but with a soulful soundtrack and a plot (of sorts). If you complete your score targets in each level you progress and the story will be gradually revealed. Like all matching games, it’s very addictive, and it’s a relief that the music is a little less, well, relentless than in some games, but watch out for some in-app purchases that can get more than a little expensive. Parents: check your Store settings before letting the kids loose on this one!
Soccer Team Bus Battle: World Cup 2014
Why We Love It: As the 2014 Soccer World Cup is nearly upon us, we thought you might go for this topical new title: it’s not a football game, though, but a racing game! A rival team has pinched the tournament’s trophy and you’ve got to get it back in time. Pick your country, customize your bus, and go. You need to ram the other bus off the road but without sustaining too much damage to your own vehicle. Pick up soccer balls as you go – some help you heal, some help you upgrade your bus. The controls aren’t bad, but it takes a little while to get used to the responsiveness of the bus.
That’s it for now, but if you think we’ve missed an absolute zinger, please let us know in the comments! And in the meantime, get downloading – game on, Lumia fans!