Now that the schools are about to start back (at least up here in the global North, anyway), all of us parents are suddenly going to have free time a-plenty, right?
Which means all the more time for mobile gaming! Well, we can squeeze it in on our lunch-breaks, anyway, and on the commute, and when the tired little ones have been packed off to bed… As you dedicated gamers know, there’s always time for a quick play! To keep you inspired, here are ten gems we’ve plucked from the Windows Phone Store during August.
Age of Wind 3
Why We Love It: It’s a pirate battle game; who wouldn’t like it? A cartoony action/adventure romp across the high seas, complete with cannons, mines, and, um, tentacles with which to bombard your enemies, it’s also got trade and training features as you build up your crew and your resources between the battles. The in-game tutorials are good and it’s tricky enough to keep us interested.
Why We Love It: We have a love-hate relationship with this one, in that it’s pretty basic as far as gameplay goes, but tricky enough to keep us playing out of sheer frustration. You control a ball that you have to navigate across a series of platforms and through hoops without falling off the edge into the void below. The graphics are 3D, which means you can rotate the landscape to get a good look at the challenges ahead, but also that the obstacles include gravity-based problems. The lack of music bothers some players but we found the silence refreshing. It’ll cost you nothing in hard cash, but plenty in hours of game-play…
Why We Love It: The aim here is to use your dot to draw lines across the gameplay area in order to ‘claim’ that part as your own; you have to box off a certain percentage of the area in order to progress. The challenge is that there are evil dots running around trying to thwart you – if they bounce off your line before you complete it (i.e., before you get all the way over to the perimeter) you lose a life. There’s something Snake-esque about it, which gives it a retro charm. Plenty of levels, too, so it’ll keep you busy!
Why We Love It: Confession time: we’re appallingly bad at this. Really, really dreadful – which means we’ve spent a shocking amount of time trying to improve… You control a couple of lightning-emitting nodes in the centre of the screen, and as other nodes come hurtling past, you need to strike them with lightning from whichever of your nodes matches their colour. It’s both easier and harder than it sounds, combining quick-thinking and reflex skills – both of which, particularly when playing in Survival Mode, seem to be our downfall…
Hungry Shark Evolution
Why We Love It: Ubisoft have played a blinder here: you’re a shark and if you’re to grow and thrive, you’ve got to snack on fish, turtles and unsuspecting bathers and to avoid stinging jellyfish, underwater mines and other dangers. There’s also a bunch of missions – finding treasure, etc – to undertake. The 3D underwater graphics are fab and the gameplay’s fun; even aside from the actual tasks, we could swim around eating the poor critters for hours.
Why We Love It: An old-school platformer, but with more of an infinite running feel: you’ve got to make it through each ‘cell’ without getting zapped by lasers or crushed by obstacles, but you can stop and run backwards as well as dash and leap forwards. The 3D graphics aren’t extremely sophisticated, but they work well, and that’s what we like about this game: it’s about the challenge, not about the tech wizardry. Plus the high-octane soundtrack is rather adrenaline-boosting!
Ice Age Adventures
Why We Love It: Well…love might be a strong word for adult gamers here, but the kiddies are bound to adore this Gameloft spin-off of the popular Ice Age movies. There’s a load of mini-games to explore (running from an avalanche, hunting for treasure), acorns to collect, villains to vanquish, and you’ll know all the characters from the movies. All the instructions pop in in cute animated sequences. Be very careful about your Live password, though: in-app purchases are a heavy feature here and you don’t want the children to bankrupt you!
Why We Love It: It’s an online multi-player space shooter: use both thumbs, one to move your ship around and the other to shoot, and collect as many coins as you can if you want to upgrade your ship and advance. If you like simple intense shooters, you’ll love this: it’s tricky enough to keep you interested, but not ultra-impossible, and the multiplayer element is decent. Again, watch out for in-app purchases, but as long as you keep grabbing coins (when other ships explode) you’ll be able to save enough game credit to keep your ship up to date without resorting to real money.
Why We Love It: This is another shooter – also a neon-based one, coincidentally, though the name gives that one away – but this time there’s no flying or maneuvering: you stay put at the centre of the screen and enemies fly at you from above, below, left or right and you shoot accordingly; they get faster and faster, and one hit and you’re dead. Very straightforward and hugely addictive as you try to beat your personal best.
Tentacles! Enter the Mind
Why We Love It: It’s completely insane! A professor has gone mad in the pursuit of creating cute creatures, and only you can save him – and you do this by wandering through his subconscious, eating the eyeballs of the creatures within, collecting coins, building up your powers and enemies. This game is worth it for the landscapes alone: Dali would be proud!
There! We’re now slightly gamed-out for the moment, but we hope you’re all fired up. Don’t forget to check out our weekly app round-ups for more inspiration – games often sneak in there too. And please let us know which games have blown your minds this month! Tune back in at the end of September for more goodies…