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Ball of Woe tops Android Games of the Week

by Phil Owen

Sony’s announcement of the PlayStation 4 is not the only development in the world of gaming right now. There are loads of new Android games to play with this week. There's a musical space adventure, a ball with a face on it, an 8-bit liquid puzzler and an old classic reborn, among others. Here are the highlights!

Ball of Woe (Free)

This game from Doppler Interactive is a unique platformer, in which the people of Nicetown have rolled their sadness up into a little ball and set it loose on the world. Of course, everything goes wrong, and the ball must save everyone and go to a Heaven “of sorts.” Ball of Woe employs swipe control, and your goal is to roll the ball away from the Nicetown folks. Visuals aren't exactly high-resolution, but they are stylish and definitely cool to look at. And then you have the soundtrack, which is quite engaging, and a story that is actually quite compelling for a mobile game.

Stereoride (Free)

This little gem from Moarbile Games puts you in the cockpit of a space ship that flies around and collects stars, while avoiding being smashed to smithereens by asteroids. Sounds a bit basic, yes, but what makes Stereoride interesting is that you can plug your music into it, and the game will generate the visible universe based on your music’s sounds. You'll have to see it to believe it, but I assure you that it is quite the compelling experience.

Syder Arcade HD ($0.99)

While we're talking about space games, I feel it’s the right time to bring up Syder Arcade, a space shooter - not unlike Geometry Wars - with quite the hard edge. Though this is the kind of game you'd normally expect to play with a twin-stick gamepad on a home console or a PC, touch controls are more than adequate, and man does this thing just look gorgeous. Syder Arcade from Studio Evil is one of those games for which you'll need to close all your background apps or else you might get some stutter. Did I mention this game is really hard?

Briquid ($3.56)

Gamious' effort is a puzzler that involves moving water from one place to another, but it really isn't anything like Where's My Water? at all. In this game, your attempts are aided by your ability to add and remove bricks to the puzzle area and shift the direction from which gravity draws the water. All of this is wrapped up in a really old-style visual experience, and it really wouldn't have been surprising to see this title running on PCs in the late 80s. Instead, it's here now, and it's high quality.

Forever Lost: Episode 1 ($2.33)

As we've discussed before, more old-style adventure games should make a home on mobile because touch controls just screams for those types of games. Forever Lost: Episode 1 by Glitch Games, with its Myst-ish gameplay, is almost an ideal mobile experience with its interface, and it's pretty creepy to boot. Also, it has a hint system that will help you out when you encounter difficulties, and so you won't get stuck in a room for weeks like you probably did with Myst back in the day.

Metal Slug 2 ($3.99)

SNK has a good track record for bringing old games to Android, and they've finally given us Metal Slug 2, a side-scrolling shooter many gamers loved when they were younger. This game is a classic of a genre nearly lost to time, and so it's worth a look for that reason alone. The game comes with a co-op feature, just like the original version, which you can enable via Bluetooth. So you get a great game, and you don't have to feel antisocial toward the people you know in real life in order the play it. That's a rare feat in mobile games, which too often focus on online play rather than couch co-op or local competitive multiplayer. Metal Slug 2 demands your attention.

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