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This week saw several solid releases seemingly from out of nowhere. Chief among them is Com2Us's very well made Tower Defense: Lost Earth, although this isn't quite the same beast seen on iOS last year. The original and upbeat music and rhythm title Cytus from Rayark was also released, and is definitely recommended. We've also got the latest from Square Enix, another Airport Mania, and two, count 'em two clones of far more creative and original titles! Here are this week's top Android games.
Tower Defense: Lost Earth (Free)
This is the official tower defense of Com2Us, and yes, they really copyrighted the words "tower" and "defense" just like that. As much as that might seem like a harsh thing to do to the rest of the developers out there, and as cocky as it may seem to claim yours is the definitive tower defense… Well, they're kind of right. This is an extremely well made tower defense game, with bright, colorful visuals, and an interesting enough story told through beautiful still images, plus great, varied gameplay that consistently challenges you. Then again, this free version apparently gets very pushy with in-app purchase upgrades, which may just ruin the balance and pacing that made the paid iOS version great. Despite that, you can't go wrong giving this one a try.
By combining elements of popular music and rhythm games like Elite Beat Agents on the Nintendo DS or the mega popular Dance Dance Revolution franchise, this title from Rayark manages to deliver a great music gaming experience. Tap, hold and follow notes in line with a scrolling black bar to various techno, electronica, and J-pop songs. Whether these music genres are to your liking is one thing, but these are all upbeat, energetic and well done songs within said genres, and the presentation is top notch with gorgeously-painted background art. You only get a free demo of the game with this download, and must unlock the rest with a two dollar in-app purchase, but it's definitely worth checking out for any music game fans.
Imaginary Range: EP. 2 (Free)
This is the second episode in the unique, very experimental comic book adventure game from Square Enix. It's probably one of the most original things they've done recently, to be honest. As you follow along with a decent enough comic book story with great art, you occasionally drop into random mini-games and must pass them to proceed. This app is all about style and presentation, and many aspects of the app are lacking substance to be frank. Still, for totally free games, this title and its preceding episode are definitely worth a look. They're very original, if nothing else.
Airport Mania HD Free (Free)
This is the latest entry in the Airport Mania series from Lemon Team. It's a very cute and charming airport management game in which you sort different planes around each other to keep the airport running smoothly, sending them to the runways, hangars, terminals, etc. Keeping the planes sorted by color increases your score multiplier, and keeping all the customers happy by not having any delays definitely helps. This doesn't do all that much to improve on the previous titles, but it still offers the same well-made gameplay and it's free, so you can always check those out after sampling this one.
Slime vs. Mushroom 2 (Free)
This is the new sequel to WestRiver's last Plants vs. Zombies clone, and to be fair it's quite well made. The art has improved, and is more charming than ever, the music is better, as are the menu layouts and interface, and much more. Despite all that, it is still only a decent clone of a truly great masterpiece like Plants vs. Zombies. The pacing and balancing is quite off the mark, making many parts of the game feel tedious or repetitive. Still, this is easily one of the best PvZ clones out there, and far surpasses a lot of the drivel I've played, like oh… I don't know, the first Android game I ever video reviewed for this site.
Dream Heights (Free)
Despite holding no love for Zynga's copycat business practices, I figured I should at least mention their latest. This is their blatant rip-off clone of the wonderfully original Tiny Tower, which I'd much rather you all tried and supported before diving into this latest factory line knock-off. To be perfectly fair and honest, it is very well made, with nice art, music, and generally good production values. You still build up your tower, making apartments and jobs for an ever growing population of tenants. You can still dress up your citizens and go visiting your friends towers as well. Some people may even prefer this version, but personally, I feel it lacks the creative soul of the original, and recommend that one be played first.