ShaqDown tops Android Games of the Week

by Andrew Koziara

The new year continues with a lot of promise. Releases are generally slow, but when you have such bombastically silly games such as ShaqDown to top your weekly list, you wouldn’t even notice! We’ve also got a great new twin stick LEGO game, a smartly written point and click adventure, a simple and small indie platformer with a big heart, the silliest Square Enix game of 2013 so far, and a Sonic the Hedgehog re-skin of Doodle Jump. Here are this week’s top Android games!

ShaqDown ($0.99)

I know it’s kind of silly to have this as the top game of the week, but releases are slow as of late, and I have a very special place in my heart for any game that turns Shaquille O'Neal into some kind of destiny fortified savior of men. In our latest tale, he’s saving mankind from sentient zombie enslavement via his free throws of justice, or something. This is kind of a continuation of the same universe as Shaq Fu, the retro fighting game that was wonderfully bad. This game, however, is pretty darn playable while upping the intentional goofiness factor up to an 11 out of 10. It was developed by Hiptic Games, the guys behind Go Ninja!, and the gameplay is pretty similar. Just download it and relish in the absurdity.

LEGO HeroFactory Brain Attack (Free)

The one common idea behind any LEGO game, and the thing that makes them great, is handing some creativity over to the players. Brain Attack from Amuzo Games is just such a game, and it’s one that I, as a hardcore gamer, can get behind. It’s up to you to customize your very own Hero and defend Makuhero city from the invading swarms of evil brains using tried and true twin stick action gameplay. As you play, you’ll unlock more parts, and can choose between a handful of sidekicks to fight at your side. There are big plans for future updates to this game throughout 2013, so keep an eye out for those as well.

The Great Fusion ($1.95)

This is another holiday release game that I missed in all the hubbub, but it definitely deserves to be recognized. It’s an old styled point and click adventure game from Loading Home, developers of The Passenger. Now, with The Passenger, they kind of tried to reinvent the wheel, leaving players confused and/or bored, despite the great art and atmosphere. Here, they’ve corrected those mistakes, giving us a great adventure and story with likable characters. Set in 2022, the story involves a  satirical extreme of a future where issues of classism and corporate control of the government are exaggerated. The art, writing, and music are all superb.

The Gentleman ($0.99)

The Gentleman, from Christopher Buckley, is an atmospheric platformer with very simplistic art, yet excellent, well thought out mechanics. It’s not a simple time wasting kind of platformer either, with more cerebral puzzle-like levels. The game stars a simple gentleman who’s willing to search the ends of the earth for his monocle. There are a lot of shadows and lighting in both the visuals and mechanics. Honestly, it can be a bit rough around the edges at times. It’s clear that the game didn’t have much money behind it, but it clearly had a surplus of love.

Demons’ Score THD ($19.99)

Now, it’s time for things to get weird. This music and rhythm game is a Tegra device exclusive from Square Enix. Think modern Final Fantasy meets Elite Beat Agents. The totally bizarre story involves you, a young girl named Serenity, fighting hordes of demons accidentally unleashed by your Scientist father. In true Japanese game fashion, and I literally mean fashion, Serenity quickly drops her moderately conservative outfit for a fetishistic battle bikini that grants her special demon fighting powers. All joking aside, the gameplay is more than solid, the Unreal Engine visuals are well done, and the music is just fantastic. Also, bosses can possess you, giving you new voices and bondage outfits. If you can stand paying twenty dollars for an app and have a high tolerance for the strange, go right ahead and check this one out.

Sonic Jump (Free)

Sonic games have been successful on Android, whether they are old ports or modern adventures. Never has there been a Sonic game, however, that fell to the point of being a blatant clone of a popular mobile game. In this case, Sonic Jump copies  Doodle Jump. Sonic isn’t the first or last game to clone the winning Doodle Jump formula, and that intro was a bit harsh on my part. As far as clones go, this is really well crafted, with nice, vibrant art and several elements, mechanics, and references from the Sonic pantheon, and you can even play as Tails or Knuckles.

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