Build your own fantasy kingdom and, instead of just growing it with cutesy in-app items and fighting off even cuter monsters, defend it against seriously badass angles, demons, and mages. Or maybe you’re more into cats. Lots and lots of cats. Which ever way you swing, we’ve got you covered in this week’s edition of Level Up! But first, a few words from everyone’s favorite, or previous favorite, champion of Android console gaming.

The tale of Alibaba and … OUYA

If you try to trace back the history of Android gaming in the living room, you will inevitably meet OUYA somewhere in the beginning. The dream that OUYA talked about resounded so much with the Android faithful that its Kickstarter campaign become a resounding success. What happened after that, however, is a totally different story. Though it enjoyed a moderate amount of success and popularity, OUYA’s image wasn’t completely spotless and there have been talks about the startup’s impeding doom.

But OUYA isn’t ready to call it quits and seems to be seeking out other venues to push its message. It transformed itself from gaming console to gaming platform and has partnered with device makers to spread its games beyond its little box. After Mad Catz and then, surprisingly, Xiaomi, OUYA is rumored to be making ties with Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba. The latter is said to have infused the gaming startup with $10 million in investment to bring OUYA’s catalog to a nascent and fast-growing Chinese console gaming market. Will this be the next major chapter in OUYA’s story and will it have a happier ending? Stay tuned.

Heroes of Might & Magic III … in High Def

Ubisoft has finally caved in and gave gamers what they wanted. OK, maybe not everything that they wanted but at least it’s an HD version of one of the most popular Might & Magic titles, or so they say. HoMM III HD has finally been launched and it is launching everywhere. And by everywhere, we mean mobile too. Android included!

Forget what you learned about kingdom-building from Clash of Clans or Dragon City or Farmville. This is old school, hard core, dark strategy at its finest. It will cost you a pretty penny, actually more than that, $9.99 to be exact, but some ransoms have to be paid for an authentic taste of what ruling a medieval fantasy kingdom really feels like.

Android goes “Meow”

Goats and chickens and all kinds of birds aren’t the only stars of the Android gaming world. Some believe the legend that the Internet was really made for cats, and we might readily believe as well. Tired of your boring old tower defense games? Want a change of scenery from your endless running? If you’re a cat lover of sorts, then you might want to check out Naughty Kitties. The name alone clues you in on the feline mayhem you’re in for.

If you do have an inkling for cats but treat all animals, and fruits, equally, then Joy Flight might be more to your taste. This arcade shoot’em up game sees animals from a zoo-like village, including a cat, band up to save their fruity rations from, what else, aliens. Why a cat would be in a zoo is probably a mystery for another game.

Cats aren’t always the heroes of the story. They’re talented enough to play even convincing villains. Take for example KittenTaxi, a seemingly harmless title that puts you in control of cat playing cops and burglars, with the cats as the burglars. Very dangerous burglars. Don’t let the hand-drawn cartoon style fool you. These felines have a penchant for things that go boom.

The Need for Gas

If you’re into heavy racing games, this news might be a bit old to you. Rumor has it that EA Games will be putting a very controversial new feature, or misfeature, in an upcoming Need For Speed title. Aside from your usual assortment of power ups and boosters that you can buy in-game, EA will actually be charing players to get refueled. Or wait for the timer to reset. Fans of games like Farmville, Diner Dash, and the whole breed of games that they spawned are probably all too familiar with the game mechanic. But in a high-octane game like NFS? Bummer. In-app purchases aren’t exactly news to us, but EA might be straddling the fine line between “pay to win” and “pay to play”, risking the ire of players, and probably some European governments as well.

That’s it for this week’s edition of Level Up! Tune in next time for more Android gaming news, rumors, and of course, games. Probably with less cats. Be sure to check out our Gaming tag portal for more and hit the comments below to let us know your thoughts.