Another action packed month has passed in the Android world and it’s time to bring you April’s pick of addictive and fascinating games.With the arrival of Avengers: Age of Ultron on the big screen, you’d think that Marvel-ous titles would be our top pick for this month. Sadly, that isn’t the case, though one new possible winner came a bit too late to the party. Nonetheless, April still had its fill of explosive games. In fact, they might be too many to mention all once. To help guide your attention, we bring our top 5 choices for April 2015.
5. DuckTales: Remastered ($9.99, no IAP)
We immediately start off with something for the young ones. Or the young at heart. Or those who just want to relive their childhood fantasies. Which involve (barely) talking ducks. Disney brings the classic joys of the 8-bit DuckTales game, but now with more bits to fill your smartphone screen. Nothing says childhood better than a trip down memory lane and an adventure with Disney’s most memorable fowls. Minus Donald, of course. Think old Scrooge McDuck is too old for this modern age? The cane swinging, pogo jumping old scrooge will prove you wrong. Join him on adventures across colorful and literally out of this world locations in search of the Five Legendary Treasures and see if now as a grown up you already got what it takes to finish the side scrolling platformer you couldn’t beat before.
Sadly, it seems that reliving your childhood comes at a price. A costly $9.99, to be exact, which is just how much DuckTales: Remastered costs. Fortunatelly, no IAPs in there to give you further nightmares and ruin the memories of your youth.
4. Galaga:TEKKEN Edition (Free, no IAP)
Speaking of reliving childhood memories, this one takes those happy thoughts, mashes them with another more recent title and beats them up together into a, well, top-down shooter beat ’em up mashup! Galaga and Tekken are two games you’d never imagine could be mixed but BANDAI NAMCO serves to prove you wrong. Somewhat. In the strangest of marriages, Galaga:TEKKEN takes names, characters and moves from the popular fighting game franchise and beats them into the 8-bit wonder of the classic alien fighter Galaga. The result is just too bizarre for words, but if you were anything of a Galaga or Space Invaders addict, then you’ll know you’ll instantly get hooked into this rather comedic re-imagination of two well-loved titles.
Best of all, not only is Galaga:TEKKEN free, there are also no in-game purchases that will make you wish they were your targets instead.
3. CivCrafter (Free, IAP)
Minecraft meets Sid Meier’s Civilization meets Clash of Clans. What’s more to say? Branded as the “mother of all clicker games”, you know your thumbs or index fingers or whatever pointy thing you use to tap on your screen will be in for a workout with CivCrafter. Combining popular themes and mechanics into a winner is not something that you can just pull off from thin air. Designing such a game requires hard work, and playing it will be so as well to some extent. Like a Civilization game, you get to pick the resources to build your empire with where to use them, but like Minecraft, you’re going to have to click, tap here of course, your way through them. And like Clash of Clans, you get to join your own, well, clan and invade others using your hard-earned army. Unlike any of these games, however, CivCrafter all plays out in a side scrolling type of visual, which adds just a pinch of uniqueness to the game.
Sadly, we now come back to the harsh realities of in-app purchases, which isn’t really surprising given the nature of the game. CivCrafter itself, however, is free to claim.
2. Broken Age ($9.99, no IAP)
Once the poster child for Kickstarter games, the Double Fine Adventure game, formally called Broken Age, has fallen on hard times. But the adventure, the drama, and of course, the fun is practically over as the crowdfunded game that started it all is now finished, launched, and available on Google Play Store. Newborn gamers who started their life on smartphones and tablets might find the genre of adventure games, especially point-and-click ones, a bit alien, but it is an old and venerable one that has been making a renaissance, partly thanks to crowdfunding. Adventure games like Broken Age are designed to exercise your gray matter while telling a captivating story, most of the time with voice acting to match. And did we mention that ol’ Frodo Baggins, a.k.a. the Actor Formerly Known as Elijah Wood, voices the male protagonist?
Broken Age does come with a hefty $9.99 price tag, which actually seems to be on par with Android ports of PC titles. Although the original PC game was delivered in two parts, those buying on Android now will get the whole piece. And for the curious ones, Double Fine has a bunch of videos on YouTube documenting their own adventure in making the game.
1. Mortal Kombat X (Free, IAP)
No gamer worth his or her salt will not be familiar with the ominous command “Finish Him!” even if only through reading gaming news. Whether or not they own the console version of the game, mobile gamers will now get to eat a piece of that pie thanks to this Mortal Kombat X mobile tie-in. It’s hard to ignore the presence of this game, even though it follows a cookie cutter design that we’ve seen elsewhere. Mortal Kombat X practically takes all the delicious blood, gore, and internal organs of the console game and condenses it into a few taps and swipes. Oh, and collectible character cards. You won’t find the intense, adrenaline pumping, button mashing action of the real game, but you will find the highly detailed graphics. Which means you’ll be in for a treat when the occasional Fatality comes around, which isn’t actually that common.
As you would expect from a game of this nature and caliber, Mortal Kombat X gets no price tag but is filled to the brim with IAPs instead. Do be warned though. The gorgeous graphics comes at a different price, promising to devour at least 1.5 GB of your precious storage.
Didn’t we mention there are a bit too many games to mention in a single top 5? Well, while there are indeed many games that caught our attention this month, there are a few that lingered in our minds.
Marvel Mighty Heroes (Free, IAP)
Indeed, what would Avengers month, er, April, be without a Marvel game? Marvel switched gears this time around and partnered with a different game developer, a popular one by the name of DeNA. While the game twists enough elements to make it somewhat not ordinary, it falls somewhat short of being extraordinary. The “bobblehead” design of Earth’s greatest heroes, and villains, will probably not appeal to everyone. The rather plain and low polygon graphics will also leave you wanting for more. And the rock-paper-scissors battle mechanics doesn’t actually play that well in practice, leaving some class type wishing they had Iron Man’s far-reaching lasers.
Masters of the Masks (Free, IAP)
This Square Enix game is so unlike Square Enix that it definitely deserves a bit of attention. Unlike most of its roster, which are ports of classic JRPGs (and a few completely brand new mobile IPs), MotM totally plays to the now standard tropes of mobile gaming. Ladderized progression, in-app purchases, piecemeal battles, and a rather shallow plot. Yes, definitely unusual for a Square Enix title. That said, the games cel-shaded 3D visuals, its drag and drop gameplay mechanic, and the whole novelty and almost absurdity of the idea of a non-standard Square Enix game makes Master of the Masks worth taking for a spin, just to see if it actually sticks.
Forsaken World (coming soon)
Of this entire list, this one is the only one that is still a promise, making it a rather risky proposition. But given that Perfect World, one of the top names in the MMORPG industry, is involved, it’s hard not to pay attention. Sure, we’ve seen our fair share of MMORPGs on Android, but few can claim PC-quality graphics and PC-style gameplay. At least, that’s the promise of this port of Forsaken World to Android. Perhaps the graphics will be toned down a bit for mobile hardware and the controls are definitely reworked with virtual d-pads and limited input in mind. But that’s already a lot more than the low poly or turn-based realities of many MMORPGs on Android today.
Fun-filled month, ain’t it? And we’re sure that May will be just as packed as well, especially with gaming-oriented Android TV devices coming our way. And with the arrival of new smartphones with upgraded hardware, we’re sure to see some shifting in the gaming scene. Until next time, keep those thumbs warm!