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This week’s releases featured plenty of unexpected additions to the Android family. Atop our list is Zombie Road Trip, a simple yet impressive side-scrolling racer featuring...zombies. I know, people are tired of zombie games in general, but this one rules! We’ve also got a port of legendary bullet hell Ikaruga, a cool new grapple-hook game from Chillingo, a simple action RPG, a fascinating MMO turn-based strategy game, and a tower defense game based on an instant comedy classic starring Will Ferrell. No, really.
Zombie Road Trip (Free)
Zombie Road Trip is an iOS port brought to us by Noodlecake Studios, the publishers of Super Stickman Golf, Letris 2, Tiki Lavalanche, and many more acclaimed titles. This time, we get a game that breathes new life into the worn out zombie genre. The goal is to drive your car through completely randomly generated levels, outrunning the hordes behind you while killing the ones ahead. With various weapons and cars, and levels that keep every game session fresh, it’s hard to hate this one, zombies or not. In terms of gameplay, it’s extremely similar to games like Lunar Racer. Just with bit more blood spatter!
Super Knights (Free)
Super Knights is an insane physics adventure from Dancing Dots, Focus Home Interactive, and Chillingo. As a brave and noble night, you swing in circles around various pegs with your grappling hook of honor, collecting gems and saving caged princesses. The world is a crazy take on your stereotypical fantasy environment, with oodles of odd creatures, and the gameplay is pick up and play. There isn’t all that much to the game, but it’s very accessible and just plain old fun. Also, the cartoon visuals are super colorful and pretty.
Would you rather play a game that raises your blood pressure and will likely cause an aneurism? In that case, you can play the legendarily difficult bullet hell shooter, Ikaruga, which makes the jump from Xbox Live to Android. Originally released in arcades back in 2001, this game has an extensive history and reputation. It involves dodging bullets of red and blue, with your ship able to switch between two shields that will only block one of the colors at a time. This mechanic was recently borrowed for the auto-runner Polara. Ikaruga is a beautiful game, and everyone should test their mettle against it in some form or another. The Android version is a bit buggy and the controls didn’t make the journey to Android very smoothly, but this game is still a classic.
Dungeon Quest (Free)
Dungeon Quest is a new action RPG, in the same spirit Dungeon Hunter 3, but without the huge bank account backing to bring us those crisp visuals and polish. It’s very rough around the edges, and developer Shiny Box admits from the get-go that this is a simple beta release, but this game has massive potential. Currently, you can only play as the Gandalfian wizard from the app icon, with a handful of spells, plus 100 levels, five difficulties, and four bosses. Sounds like more content than some full releases to me. Like I said, it’s lacking polish, but there are some truly great gaming moments to be had as you fend off huge waves of enemies by using your staff as a flamethrower.
Old School Defense ($1.00)
What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of tower defense games? The 2003 comedy Old School, featuring Vince Vaughn, Will Ferrell, and Luke Wilson? Yeah, that’s what I said too. But seriously, Big Blue Bubble, developers of such games as Fling a Thing and Burn the Rope, are responsible for this official tower defense game based on that very movie, in which you keep party crashers away by recruiting “pledges” and such. I’ve pinched myself a few times, but it seems like this is indeed a real game, currently available in a reality near you. You might as well just download it for the novelty.
Finishing our list is Ironfell, a hex-tiled turn-based strategy game set in a perpetual massive multiplayer world, developed by DataSmugglers. Borrowing some basic elements from legendary hex strategy series Civilization, Ironfell throws you into this world to gather resources, build towns, and raise armies that will eventually have to fight other players for territory. This is all made possible with the simple, but charming graphics. There is a surprising number of units available, with a lot more content on the way. It’s straight up epic.