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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Neuroshima Hex tops Android Games of the Week

This was another wonderfully varied week of releases. There is something for everyone in this excellent line-up of very different titles, from board games to physics puzzlers, from stylish platformers to quirky endless runners. Topping off this list is the fantastic strategic game of Neuroshima Hex. We’ve also got the latest from Kairosoft, Noodlecake Studios, and even a rather uncharacteristically cool game from MTV Networks. What are you waiting for? Dive right in! Here are this week’s top Android games.

Well, here is an unusual choice to top off this list. Neuroshima Hex, from Big Daddy’s Creations, is simply the digital version of the tactical board game of the same name. It’s been on iOS for a while now, and it’s finally been released for Android. The game is played with hexagonal tiles on a hexagonal board, and it involves strategically battling things out with up to four other players between four different armies. This game oozes style, and is one of the coolest strategy games around. Definitely don’t judge this game before you play it, even if board games aren’t your thing. At least check out the lite version first.

This adorable little physics puzzler is the latest to be ported to Android via Noodlecake Studios and their “Game a Week Project.” The foozles are simply fuzzy little creatures who can take the shape of a circle or a square – a change which you affect with a simple tap. All you have to do is get all the meanie red foozles off the screen while making sure that all the yellow ones survive. You do this through rolling and using the environment to your advantage, and good timing is key. The art style and other aesthetics are chock-full of whimsy, and there’s no reason not to give this one a shot.

This is a fascinating and stylistic new platformer, brought to us (shockingly) by MTV Networks of all places. You play as Oscura, and your duty is to protect a very important lighthouse which keeps dark forces at bay. When the lighthouse shatters, it’s up to you to collect all the light again. Objects in the foreground are silhouetted against very colorful backdrops, keeping with the light vs. shadows motif. All of the jumping and movement controls are mapped to simple, mostly intuitive gestures, keeping the interface nice and clean to avoid distracting from the great visuals. Anyone looking for a cool platformer should look no further.

This is the latest and greatest Android release from simulation masters Kairosoft. Like Game Dev Story and the rest, it’s up to you to run a specific business, this time focusing on a clothing shop. It’s up to you to grow your business from a small store to a mega popular brand, as usual. Your duties will include running employment, positioning mannequins, and even watching the fashion trends of the world. The usual incredibly colorful and appealing pixel art style of Kairosoft is present, and this is another solid entry in their game library. It’s a bit on the expensive side, but there’s always the lite version of the game to give you a good demo.

This is a very amusing new endless runner type title from GameResort. In it, you fly your alien saucer over rural America, abducting animals and farmers from their homes. As you abduct specimens and collect coins with your tractor beam, you’ll have to avoid buildings and structures, which would cause your ship damage. You do this by swiping around to aim the beam. On smaller devices, your finger can get in the way of this and make things frustrating, but on a tablet, it’s great. There is a huge focus on the in-game currency, used to unlock an absurd amount of things. In-app purchase coins are supported of course, but the game is wacky, fun and free, so definitely check it out.

This is a rather interesting title from developer Inaya Team. It’s not necessarily well designed, per se, but it is a very cool concept. Essentially, this is a gauntlet of completely unconnected random puzzles and riddles. There is little to no instruction available to you as each puzzle/riddle is presented, and it’s up to you to find patterns or type out answers using only one single hint. This game will probably be frustrating to you unless you’re a big time puzzle aficionado who just loves a good challenge. I thought it was pretty awesome, if a bit ungraceful, but I recognize it will not be for everyone. There is a lite version to check out first though, so have at it!

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