Aralon: Sword and Shadow tops Android Games of the Week

by Andrew Koziara

This week brings us action-packed shooters, massive RPG adventures, and everything in-between. Topping our list is the new port of the fantastic Aralon: Sword and Shadow, an impressive mobile take on Western role playing games. We’ve also got a freemium tactical squad shooter, a gorgeous tech demo from Epic Games, a geometric turret defense, an auto runner that would be at home in any Saturday morning cartoon lineup, and a simple and elegant arcade shooter.

Aralon: Sword and Shadow ($4.99)

We start our weekly list, dear readers, with a dose of the epic. Aralon: Sword and Shadow, an open world role playing game, is the second iOS port of one of the modern classics from Crescent Moon Games, and it’s also a port of their second major open world RPG. It’ll never really compare to something like Skyrim on the PC, but the vastness of the world plus all the customization options available are truly impressive for a mobile game. Gameplay is not too shabby, with 30 plus hours for you to enjoy, as long as you can handle some technical limitations.

Guns 4 Hire (Free)

This is a new real-time squad based tactical shooter, in which you control a squad of four super mercenaries from a bird’s eye view. It’s from Rebellion, who also brought us Judge Dredd vs. Zombies, a game that I did not care for in the slightest on iOS. Still, it seems the developers avoided making the same mistakes. There are plenty of weapons and upgrades to sort though, and while in-app purchases play a role, it is pretty inoffensive. Gameplay is fantastic overall, even if a bit repetitive, and the visuals are surprisingly crisp, with explosive effects.

Epic Citadel (Free)

One of the first big iOS games from Epic Games has finally made it to Android. Although, it isn’t really a game at all. Epic Citadel is  actually just an interactive tech demo, in which you don’t do anything but explore a gorgeously rendered castle town environment with basic, virtual controls. There really isn’t anything to talk about this game other than the lovely lighting and first-class foliage. It’s free, so there’s no harm in seeing just what’s on display here. But does the release of this game on Android mean we might someday see Infinity Blade on the Android side of the fence? It’s nice to dream.

Cubes vs. Spheres ($0.99)

This is a fascinating little turret defense game from ShockPanda Games, who also brought us the less popular Space Bunnies. In it, you control a stationary turret launching spheres against an oncoming horde of cubes. You have six different sphere types at your disposal, including an explosive sphere, freezing ice sphere, or homing sphere. The surprisingly realistic physics are awesome, the destruction effects in this geometric world are a pleasure to behold, and gameplay is dynamic and addictive, with simple tilt and swipe controls. This game is one of a kind, and you shouldn’t miss out on it.

Escape from Age of Monsters (Free)

Escape from Age of Monsters looks like something based on an existing Saturday morning cartoon show, but it’s really an IP created entirely for mobile gaming. The hand-drawn art is simply smashing in this more violent take on Tiny Wings. Essentially, using two magical gauntlets, you must punch color-coded enemies and obstacles, leaping from building to building, with a trail of innocent orphans tailing you all the way. Once you nail down the tricky timing of your punches, the game really opens up. The rockin’ soundtrack is an especially nice touch, and there’s plenty to unlock in this game.

Shapes & Sound:TheShapeShooter ($0.99)

It may be the last game on our list, but this game is definitely one to pay attention to. It’s a minimalistic top-down arcade shooter with shape changing. Think Geometry Wars meets Rock, Paper, Scissors, with the indie flare of a game like Everyday Shooter. You can only kill certain enemy shapes while in the proper shape form, and can switch forms on the fly. The art and sound are sublimely simple, with a nice black and white style, and gameplay is simple but effective. I especially like the game’s mood setting soundtrack. Check this one out.

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