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Star Wars Pinball tops Android Games of the Week

by Phil Owen

This week in Android gaming saw some big releases, and I know we all have been immersed in Star Wars Pinball throughout our waking hours the past few days. But that's not all we've got here. There's also a sniper game with a story, a weird top-down racing game, a “real” racing game and a new Kairosoft title. With all I've downloaded this week, I can't keep a charge in my phone for more than a few hours at a time. Let's take a look at some of the highlights.

Star Wars Pinball ($1.99 per table)

It's pinball, and it is Star Wars-themed. If you like both those things, as I would guess most people do, then this arade pinball game from Zen Studios is a no-brainer. Unlike on other platforms, within the Android sphere Star Wars Pinball has a standalone app that costs $1.99, and it comes with one table, which is based on The Empire Strikes Back. Inside the app, you can also buy Clone Wars and Boba Fett tables. The Empire table is pretty cool, aside from being as complicated as one would expect a pinball table to be, certain triggers set off audible lines from the movie. It's pretty neat. Note: You can also buy the Star Wars tables in Zen Pinball.


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Clear Vision 2 ($0.99)

Clear Vision 2 from DPFLASHES Studios is a sniper game, and it also has a story with cut scenes and everything, which is kinda weird as gameplay features shooting anonymous targets you've been hired to take out. The first guy you hit is a window washer, and while you collect a decent paycheck for killing him, it's hard to be sympathetic toward yourself when playing this game. Spilling a window washer's blood all over the window he was cleaning is, perhaps, aesthetically pleasing, if not morally. I should note here that wondering about the moral implications of your actions seems to be part of the game, and that's what makes it stand out.

Slingshot Racing ($0.99)

This racer has a very odd but original concept. As you look down on the track from above, your vehicle moves forward on its own, and you cannot steer. When you arrive at a turn, you tether the car to a pole via some sort of rope, which will swing you around the corner. It's a game of precision, because you have to let go of the pole at the right time to keep yourself going in the right direction, rather than running headlong into a wall. It starts off easy, but when you get to more complex tracks with turns that vary in severity, playing this game becomes truly compelling.

Real Racing 3 (Free)

It's more or less the same kind of thing as Real Racing 2, only prettier. If you're not familiar with the series, Real Racing is an attempt at true simulation racing, a la Forza or Gran Turismo. That means, of course, that it must look beautiful, and it really, really does. Simulation racers have often been the best showcases for a platform's graphical power, and Real Racing 3 is no exception. You will at least be a little bit amazed over what your phone is capable of. Vroom vroom!

Pocket Stables ($4.99)

I never thought I would be drawn into a game about building and maintaining stables for racehorses, and yet...here we are. What a profound concept! As with every other Kairosoft game, you develop an ecosystem of sorts, and you play as a rich guy who owns a bunch of horses and must make sure they have nice homes and training facilities. After all, you want your horses to dominate the competition on race day. In one sense, Pocket Stables is just another Kairosoft game, and in a different sense, this is a very interesting twist on the formula.