Developer: Cubus Games
Genre: Role Playing
If you are an avid reader with a taste for quality sci-fi, grab Sol Invictus for $0.99. It is a sequel to Cubus Games’ Heavy Metal Thunder Gamebook that made it to our list of Top Android Games 2014. Sol Invictus is an engrossing, intense sci-fi adventure gamebook that has you making life changing decisions for your protagonist Cromulus, an officer of the Black Lance Legion, special army of human fanatics created to fight alien invasion. With all the obvious futuristic and fictitious story, Sol Invictus narrates of the depths of human nature in its best and worst manifestations. The game is powerful, intense and offers a rich branching narrative, top notch illustrations and atmospheric sound score. We gave it a 5/5 star rating – read our full review over here.
LEGO® BIONICLE® Free
Developer: The LEGO Group
Lego launched its Bionicle line of toys in early 2000’s, but mobile gaming saw these characters for the first time this January only. Six toa heroes that control elements Kopaka, Tahu, Lewa, Pohatu, Onua and Gali (those names!) dwelling on a beautiful island of Okoto have to fight off hoards of skull spiders and their bosses in order to retrieve the Masks of Powers. When translated to modern day English, six robots fight through five levels of increasing difficulty each to unlock and endless fighting mode. Yes, it is a bit repetitive and shallow, but it is also tons of fun for kids and parents, or anyone looking for a free time killer with great graphics. Ad-free, IAP-free, LEGO Bionicle is a good-looking arcade for the fans of Lego toys. Read our full review.
Stunt Rush – 3D Buggy Racing Freemium
Stunt Rush looks good, and we definitely will give it some time in our spotlight. A new freemium arcade racer, it offers some intense survival action and a beautiful world to explore. The cars look awesomely futuristic and neat, some of them even have the ability to steer in air and rewind time backwards. The gameplay consists of racing and plenty of jumping, so if you are looking for the next stunt racer to kill some time, give this one a try. In addition, Stunt Rush features a great original soundtrack. IAPs are optional and are donations to support the developer while the content is fully available in the free game.
One of the recent releases with the greatest media exposure is Gunbrick, but truth be told, it is better played rather than discussed. Here, you control a charming brick, or a cube, through a maze of levels, propelling it from dangers, fighting enemies, or jumping on the buttons that activate all sorts of curious things. Oh, and the brick has a gun on its back! It is ingeniously charming and delightful, and offers a fun gameplay, a variety of environments and levels, a cute protagonist and a funky mix of different genres. Nitrome is quite an active player on the mobile market, which is no wonder because they have plenty of flash games that need to be ported. Priced at $3, Gunbrick comes without IAPs or ads, but contains Nitrome game ads and links. Great for kids and parents alike, and very nice music.
Tap Titans Freemium
Developer: Game Hive Corporation
Genre: Role Playing
Now here is a nice time killer if you don’t want to trouble your brain with too many rules, mechanics and moves. Tap Titans has you tapping to kill heaps of monsters. The baddies come in packs of ten, with the last being the boss. They, and you, have a life bar, and you need to exhaust theirs before they kill you. Each slain monster grants you coin you can use to upgrade your character, or buy yourself a couple of helper fighters, like assassins and wizards. These will attack the monsters automatically, even when you don’t. Even when you leave the game, these little heroes will fight your war for you, and earn you coin and loot you can spend for upgrades. Artifacts, fairies, over 30 resurrecting heroes and 60 monsters, special abilities and all that fun attire is present alongside the hand-drawn environments. The game is fun – try it.
January started with plenty of nice games where protagonists are geometric shapes, and in this case – an orb. This futuristic, abstract platformer sees you controlling a neon orb on its flight through beautifully crafted levels. You will use a combination of touch and tilt controls to guide the orb in time, because the levels are time-based, like it or not. Each consecutive level raises the difficulty bar as you tap and tilt to help the orb travel through space, collect goodies and avoid traps that come in great variety – wind turbines, electric barriers among others. These traps, when the orb touches them, send it either to a totally different direction than you were heading, or kill it altogether. In order to proceed and unlock new areas for the orb to travel, you need to collect black dots, but remember – the time is short. Overall, Spectrum is a very neat and good-looking game totally worth its price.
Magic 2015 Freemium
Developer: Wizards of the Coast LLC
Magic Duels of the Planeswalkers got an update the Garruk’s Revenge expansion campaign, so anyone who purchased the game should be able to receive it – all you have to do is let the app update itself. If you are new to the game, however, mind you that this is the case when freemium means you get a demo for free and if you want to play you need to buy content, which can set you off $1-$30. Overall, it is a very engrossing and fun CCG for the fans of the genre.
Crossy Road Freemium
Developer: Yodo1 Games
If it weren’t for the media buzz, you would probably skip this Minecraft-looking icon on your New Games list. However, its charm needs to be revealed by playing, not looking at the screenshots, and it turns out to be quite a refreshing and original little black hole that makes your time soft through your fingers once you try it. An endless runner at heart, Crossy Road is simplistic in mechanics – tap to move forward, swipe to change lanes. There will be other cars getting in your way, and your objective is to get as far as you can. It is really difficult to explain what makes it so addicting – the “just one more try” thing, or the fact that you are a chicken car and eagle predators are trying to hunt you down. This game is in the best of the freemium spectrum, where everything is free but a few beautifying upgrades for the chicken. Delightfully retro-styled and surprisingly innovative, Crossy Road is a nice example of how developers find new ways to entertain you with seemingly old concepts.
Platform Panic Freemium
Platform Panic preceded Gunbrick, but they basically come very close in release dates, and again, a charming platformer, where you get to unlock various game heroes and pit them against one another to determine which one is the best. Retro pixelated art, which seems to have become Nitrome’s name card, is once again brilliant, and so is the stylish chiptune soundtrack, but the best part is the levels are procedurally generated, so the fun is nearly endless.
Stormfall: Rise of Balur Freemium
Developer: Plarium Global Ltd
Genre: Strategy MMO
An independent of the web and social Stormfall severs game, Stormfall Rise of Balur is a dark fantasy world where magic and heroes go hand in hand with dragons and, of course, dungeons. The game sports impressive graphics and hand-drawn artwork in a fully-featured MMO with all the prerequisites – alliances, PvP battles, giant armies of different classes to recruit, awesome locations to conquer and control, and a fascinating story to live. Daily rewards for logging in will make it sweeter, and you can play without spending a cent of your real cash.
Choice of Robots $4.99
Developer: Choice of Games LLC
Genre: Role Playing
My favorite genre interactive sci-fi novels gets another impressive release this month – Choice of Robots. It was previously launched as a browser game, and if I am not mistaken, you can play the first two chapters for free from your browser, and then make up your mind if you want to buy the full version for $5. An impressive sci-fi novel is a text-based adventure, no illustrations or soundtrack, but the adventure it offers is well worth living, spanning along 30 years of life of a brilliant robot maker, who has choices to make in life and work. These choices will either narrate a story of love and work with a happy ending, or a gloomy schizophrenic Apocalypse scenario – how the story of his life evelves is up to you and your imagination. Transhumanists must love it – you can marry a robot here!
Creatures Such as We Free
Developer: Choice of Games LLC
Genre: Role Playing
This little inconspicuous gem landed on Google Play in late December, and since I missed it back then, it seems fair to mention it on our early-January wrap up. It is a gamebook – no illustrations, no music, which is fine because I, for one, like to get back to the old-fashioned reading which lets my imagination do the job, instead of having interactive games telling me what to think. Better yet, Creatures Such as We is a philosophical work of art, which blends romance and sci-fi in an interactive gamebook. This definitely looks like one of my candidates for a review. In the meantime, if you like reading, get this one – it’s free.
Arcane Quest 2 RPG Freemium
Developer: Nex Game Studios
Genre: Role Playing
This is a very nice surprise for Arcane Quest brings all the goodness of old school fantasy board games like D&D, Hero Quest, and Dragon Strike board games to your smartphone, with all the fun and happy memories of your childhood favorite games. The game itself is a good mix of adventure, RPG and strategy, where you get to fight armies of underworld creeps like orcs and undead, among others. Players will build their guilds, unraveling a great fantasy story with a huge deal of side quests that in total amount to 50+ hours of gameplay. The game is content-rich, with 8 hero classes, 150+ spells and equipment items, classic leveling system and a very neat soundtrack to spice things up.
Looney Tunes Dash! Freemium
I am no big fan of the Zynga’s, or Looney Tunes for that matter. However, if you feel nostalgic, you can revisit your childhood cartoon heroes in this jump and smash dasher. As with everything Zynga, get ready for a massive IAP blast ($0.99 to $99.99), or better yet, play it for free as long as it lets you. You will unlock new characters by completing levels and special objectives. The best part is you get to revisit iconic landscapes and run as Bugs Bunny, Tweety Bird and others. Each character has a special collector’s card you can unlock for extra abilities. Goofy sounds, fun moves and good old heroes promise this game is loaded with hours of fun gameplay, so check it out if it sounds like your cup of tea.
Mafia Driver – Omerta Freemium
Ok, parking and driving sims are abundant on Google Play, but this little vintage gem brings an air of nostalgia with it. Here, you get to drive awesome early 20th century cars, and some of the most posh ones as you play mob’s driver in Chicago. The vintage cars are highly detailed and realistic while the 3D city looks dazzling. The game offers three types of missions – pick ups (drive mob bosses around as fast and safe as you can), package delivery, and avoid the police (choose your routes to avoid cops and get to the destination point fast). The missions are varied and get increasingly difficult, and since there are 24 levels with a great deal of missions in each, the game promises a lot of atmospheric gangsta fun.
Developer: Atypical Games
This looks like a must-have game for any flight sim aficionado, and the price seems quite accessible, especially if you consider the level of quality it offers. WWII is a popular trend in mobile gaming now, and Sky Gamblers Storm Raiders lets you fly and fight in neck-breaking, literally, dogfights. You get to bomb enemy structures, protect your land and fly trough tunnels, among other heroic things pilots did in that war. The fights take place in several iconic locations like Pearl Harbor, Coast of Dover, as well as in Europe. It does not take a specialist to see the visuals are amazing, but that is only the cherry on the cake. If you are after a gorgeously-looking flight sim, check this out: volumetric clouds, specular mask, atmospheric scattering, realistic lighting and sun glare, day and night transitions, hi-def textures, heat refractive raindrops, HDR and more. You will train and fly on combat missions, so landing and taking off from carriers and land strips should be mastered perfectly. The planes look impressively detailed and you can switch from several views, including the interactive cockpit. We have yet to test its difficulty, but since the game features several game modes, anyone can find the one fitting their skills. Online multiplayer lets you play with or against your friends in survival, team match, capture the flag, assault, free for all, or last man standing modes.
Dream Tapper : Tapping RPG Freemium
Developer: Super Awesome Inc.
Genre: Role Playing
Dream Tapper : Tapping RPG is a simple and fun RPG that has you tapping as you fight monsters, which seems to be a successful premise for many nice games these days. If you are after a fun time killer that does not depend on Internet, offers modern design, 100+ stages, plenty of unlockable heroes and monsters, and is easy to pick up and play for kids and adults alike, head over to download dream tapper. It is charming, good-looking and fun to play.
Nubs’ Adventure is a new indie platformer we encourage you to try out. We always try to include these indie gems on our lists, even though Google Play does not make it easy to find them. Nubs is a little neon cube that needs to rebuild his home after the evil red creeps destroyed it. Luckily for Nubs, he is not alone in his mission and is accompanied by a pair of friends – a worm Brute and a fly Ally. Currently, the game is in early access, which means you may come across a bug or two, so make sure to let the developer know your feedback. ImakeGames is renowned for a highly acclaimed by the indie fans sidescroller Rico. I assume the game is going to be either a premium, or a freemium one when it is out of the early access stage, so take the chance to get it for free now. Check out its trailer, looks inviting, doesn’t it? With its gorgeous pixel art, and the retro style reminiscent of Metroid and Mario Bros. We will surely try it out.