Android Games Roundup [2/11/19]
When I switched over to writing about Android games I decided that I wanted my roundups to include both games I liked and didn’t like. After all, with as many games as I go through in a week there are always bound to be some that fall into the latter category. Still, each edition has tended to drift towards the games I would recommend, as it’s much easier just to delete a game I don’t like rather than write about it. I tried to make up for it with this roundup, however. Be that as it may, I still found a few gems, including the great casual puzzle game Mimpi Dreams, and the surprisingly entertaining causal RPG Looney Tunes World Of Mayhem. So hopefully there’s still something in this list you can find to enjoy, and maybe a few things that you’ll know to stay away from.
Up Left Out – This is a sliding puzzle game like none other I’ve played before. There are two objectives in the game. The first is to get all of the sliding tiles off of any posts they are on. Then, if the level has them, you must arrange the tiles so that the lines running through them all connect in the correct manor. It starts off basic enough, but it eventually you’ll run into things like tiles that can’t be moved or tiles that you can rotate. Then you get mutli-space tiles and tiles that can only be moved when other tiles with a matching pattern are connected. There are also walls that require switches to move them, and sometimes those switches are actually embedded into tiles that have to be located in a certain spot in order to control the walls. There are no high scores, no leaderboards, and no achievements to earn. And in the end it doesn’t really matter, because the satisfaction comes from knowing you reasoned your way through another board. Some will come easily, others will require you to shut of the game and do something else for a while, but in the end there’s an (often easy) solution to be found on each board. If you already like sliding puzzle games or find the genre a bit bland, Up Left Out is worth giving a try.
Looney Tunes World Of Mayhem – Typically I like to stay away from well known IP because I figure lots of people will be covering those games and I could be more useful helping promote the “little guy”. However, when I find a game I like then sometimes I have to break that rule. The reality is that if you’ve played enough F2P games then you are probably familiar with most of World Of Mayhem’s features. There are many characters to collect which can be upgraded by gathering various resources. Level yourself up to unlock new areas, which give you the chance to use new characters as well as variants on your favorites. On the world map you can build structures for your characters which let you send them on automated quests to gain resources. Battle other players to gain resource chests that you can either open immediately using gems or assign to a bank guarded by your best characters to open for free after a certain amount of time has passed. I thought this was a clever way to basically give you free resources without having to watch videos, though remember that other players can turn around and steal the chests you’ve already stolen. In the end, though, what makes this game work is the fact that you can’t get much more classic than the Looney Tunes characters. While many games have tried to make use of the IP over the years, I think this is one of the few that has captured the essence of what these characters are. What a few of the power ups in action and you’ll know the developers are fans of the material. Better yet, scroll through the available characters and you’ll see that not only do they include some cool obscure ones like Gossamer, but there are some nifty variants on the main cast (hello Duck Dodgers!) It’s true that the game play itself is really basic, but to be able to spend some time with these characters as well represented as they are here is certainly a treat.
Color Waves – It’s very hard to find something unique on any app store these days, so when you do you really keep your fingers crossed that it will be good (figuratively, of course, otherwise you won’t be able to play the game to find out!) In Color Waves you have a stack of balls forming as they fall from the top of the screen, and you must match two or more like colored ones together to clear them away. You do this by dragging your finger between them to connect them with a circle. If things get too hectic then connect two of the clear balls to wipe away the entire column and start fresh. You repeat the process until the tower reaches the top of the screen, ending the game. The plus side is that I’ve never played a matching game like this before, and I like the concept. The problem is that what I described to you is the entire game. There’s a local high score but no leaderboards. There are no achievements to earn, no game modes to unlock, and no power ups other than the one that clears the screen. I get the appeal of minimalism, and there are times where it works in games. In this case, however, once you get past the novelty of the game play mechanism, there’s nothing to draw you in to keep playing. The game feels more like a demo than a full blown offering, so it’s a good thing it’s free to download and play.
Color Waves on Google Play
Dungeon Defense – I’m not a huge fan of the “defend the wall” subgenre of strategy / action games, so I wasn’t really sure what to expect from this. I’ll be perfectly up front when I say that the game play is kind of repetitive and not all that interesting unless you already like this style of game play. What I find rather amazing, however, is all of the options available in the game. During battle you’ll actually auto-collect items that you can either equip you team with or sell for some extra coin. You can expand your team as you increase your dungeon size, and to an extent you can customize them as you acquire the necessary resources. As for your main character, you’ll get the chance to add new skills or increase existing ones each time you level up. Equipment that you own can be enhanced as well. In the Dungeon you can enhance features like the number of inventory items you can keep or the bonus amount of damage your team inflicts. The Laboratory lets you research areas that improve the overall playability of the game. It really feels like a strategy game that just has a weak combat element. There are three game play modes: standard “daily” battles (which you can play as many in a row as you want), Endless Waves and Tower of Trail (basically, survival mode). There are 11 achievements in Google Play, though in-game there are a whopping 82. Google Play gives you access to a leaderboard for every difficulty level and game level (where appropriate) for each game play mode as well. There are even quests hidden in all the menus. You even have the ability to save your game in the cloud. Unless you really can’t stand the simple combat mode, this game is worth taking a look into simply for all of the customization it has to offer.
Mountain Climber Frozen Dream – Unlike Dungeon Defense, this was a game I went into fully expecting to enjoy it. I don’t really get into all of these one tap “strategy” or RPG games, but when it comes to platformers it’s always amazed me that developers can throw in auto-run, only let you tap to jump, and still make it fun. Toss in some good music and great pixel graphics, and I’m there. The problem is, in this case I don’t find the game enjoyable enough to keep coming back to it. I’m all for a challenge, but between obstacles that require ultra-precision jumping to avoid and tap response time that doesn’t seem up to the task I find myself replaying screens over and over again that I know how to beat. On the plus side you can buy a ring to double the amount of lives you have, hearts that allow you to continue when you die and you can even watch ads to continue. In full disclosure, the developer gave me a code that provided me with the ring and some blue hearts for continues. I’ve tried to stay away from taking advantage of that, however, so that I could get a feel for what it would be like if I just downloaded and played it as a random patron. The truth is, even with all of the advantages the code gave me I don’t find myself drawn towards loading this up and playing it for any length of time. The game is free to download so you don’t lose anything but time for giving it a try, but personally I can’t bring myself to recommend it.
Mimpi Dreams – There seems to be an obsession with making a game “the most challenging this” or “the hardest that”, so it’s nice when developers realize there are people out there who don’t want to pull their hair out every time they play a game. Mimpi Dreams is a puzzle game, but it’s really designed with the casual player in mind. The game isn’t overly challenging, and if you really do get stuck there are hint balloons to guide you along (assuming, of course, you’ve collected a light bulb so that you can get a hint). There are still occasions where you get to have an “aha” moment, but for the most part things are simple enough that the game flows at a steady pace. There are some minor platform / action oriented sequences, so if that’s not your thing it could be a bit of a turn off. For me, though, there were really only two disappointments. The first was when the game ended, simply because I wanted to keep playing. The second was challenge mode, which isn’t inherently bad. The problem is that it’s basically the same game you already played, the “challenge” being that you have to make it through the whole thing with one life. While I pretty much enjoyed everything in all of the levels, I don’t want to keep doing that over and over again simply because I make one mistake somewhere. What would have been really cool would have been if this mode could have been a randomly generated level that just borrowed puzzle elements from each of the realms you explored. Anyway, for those that need some reward beyond completing the game there are several achievements, as well stats for the number of bones, bulbs and skins you collected on each level. If you did miss any on a given level you can always go back and collect them and if you have multiple people that use the same device there are three slots for gamers to have concurrent games going. Throw in some wonderful graphics and quirky characters and you have one really appealing puzzle game.
Furfur and Nublo – Your first thought when reading the title of this game is probably “huh?” Well, that just happens to be the names of the game’s two protagonists. Sadly, quirky names and cute characters aren’t enough to save this little platformer. Furfur is a fluff ball with eyes that can jump, and Nublo is a floating eye thing that squishes itself out to act as a platform for Furfur. Using the combination of their two skills you need to make your way to the exit on each level. Like any other “exit the room” platformer there are things on each level that will hinder your progress or sometimes help you along the way. The reality is that none of that matters, because the one constant on every level is the control scheme, and that will hamper you no matter which level you’re on. There are actually two control schemes, one of which uses a virtual D-pad and the other which employs some sort of gesture control. Personally, I didn’t find one any more useful than the other. The controls aren’t nearly responsive enough, especially when it comes to moving and jumping with Furfur. As a result I ended up spending way more time on certain areas than I should have, and would often find myself basically starting a level over because I missed one jump and fell to the beginning of the stage. Since the stars you earn are based on how quickly you finish the level, that’s an unacceptable frustration. I love the artwork, and I think the game has a lot of promise, but after fighting to get through the first five levels I was already ready to give up. As such, I can’t recommend this game at the moment.
That wraps up another edition of the Android Games Roundup. Check the list below for prior installments and keep on gaming!