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What a week it has been for Android releases! Not only do we get excellent sequels like Trial Xtreme 3, but we also get a fantastic and challenging arcade indie game from indie rock star Terry Cavanagh. It’s a game of pure, unadulterated challenge. If that’s not for you, we’ve also got an Android port of King’s Bounty: Legions, a casual puzzler with blobs in it, an impossibly casual roguelike, and an action-packed scrolling shooter full of zombies.
Super Hexagon ($0.99)
This game may not be as popular as the next two or three listed below, but its simple and elegant brilliance makes it my favorite new release. Featuring a simple goal, psychedelic visuals and a soundtrack that can only be described as bumpin’, this is one of the most challenging games you’ll play this year. All you do is rotate a triangle around a hexagon to avoid the walls that constantly close in from all sides. Gameplay sessions usually last thirty seconds, but you’ll hit that retry button an absurd number of times and end up playing much longer. It’s a pure skill-based challenge, and as such, probably won’t be everyone’s cup of tea. Terry Cavanagh also created VVVVVV and Don’t Look Back, both pixilated platforming adventures with a very unique style, the latter of which also received an Android port.
Trial Xtreme 3 (Free)
It’s been quite a while since Deemedya and Galapogos released Trial Xtreme 2, probably the most popular Android foil to the Trials HD PC/console racing series. The sequel is finally here and with massive improvements. The core gameplay still comes complete with the same old hardcore, obstacle-filled, challenging race courses. The new bits include biker and bike customization options, sharper visuals, and a re-done physics engine that seems more realistic than the last two games (which I found lacking). You can even race against the best runs of your friends or top leaderboard placers to prove your mad skills. Best of all, this time around the full game is totally free.
King’s Bounty: Legions (Free)
This Facebook and iOS strategy game has been a long time coming for Android users, but it was worth the wait. The King’s Bounty series has quite the history. The original was released in 1990, with a spiritual sequel called “The Legend” coming out in 2008 and revitalizing the property. That sequel redefined the original, keeping many core strategy elements, but updating them with modern RPG mechanics. Legions, a completely free spin-off that kept the deep tactical gameplay intact, was released in the summer of 2011. This port is a little buggy, and there are some freemium elements that might vex people, but it’s a real medieval feast of a game for all Android gamers, hardcore and casual alike.
Rise of the Blobs ($0.99)
Mobile game developers Robot Invader impressed everyone with their debut Android title Wind-Up Knight, a clever and challenging auto-runner. With that success came high expectations for their next title, which is finally here. Rise of the Blobs is an interesting casual puzzler, in the vein of Tetris or Bust-a-Move. It has you dropping fruit onto matching colored blobs that are rising up, likely to devour you horribly, from a primordial pool of lava. After a blob has its fruit, you tap to pop it, which pops any blobs touching it of the same color. Usual tropes like bomb pieces come along, and all in all it’s a nice game with a charming aesthetic. It does to unexpectedly ramp up in difficulty quite quick, though.
Dungelot is the latest game from Red Winter Software. Their last two games were barely played despite being OK, but they’re really starting to build a reputation for themselves with this latest release. Basically, this is the oft-fabled “Casual Roguelike.” It has you roaming randomly generated dungeons, uncovering tiles which can have treasure, enemies, traps, or more than likely nothing underneath them. It’s a well-designed game with a cool cartoon visual style. Unfortunately, it has but one crippling flaw. There is no way to save your progress at all. I mean, even getting a phone call or quickly checking another app will make you lose all progress. But hey, until that’s fixed, you can always play the Lite version.
Dead City (Free)
This is the latest game from Com2Us. It’s a side-scrolling shooter that puts you in the blood-stained shoes of the last human survivor of a zombie apocalypse. You are always moving to some degree with the scrolling screen, but still have full range movement and aiming capabilities. As you mow enemies down, you’ll collect tons of weapons, get into different vehicles, and don better armor. Gameplay is simple and fun, and the art style is hilariously serious and gritty while also being cartoony. It’s basic, over the top arcade action at its best. Although, the game is surprisingly incompatible with many common Android devices.