Welcome to G4's Knuckle Up, where we bring you a byte-sized view of our five favorite mobile games every week. The mobile space is filled with incredible games that will keep you busy for minutes, hours, or even days -- we'll let you know what we're playing and why we're playing it. Here's our top five games this week:
I’m a huge sucker for the Indie game Limbo, which probably explains why I love this game so much. French for “against daylight,” Contre Jour is a perfect description of the game’s look and feel. It’s a game you’ve played before in terms of “it’s a physics game where you get 1-3 stars/dots/smileys/whatever when you beat a level,” but there’s something so magical and so… right about it. You’ll pick it up and find yourself unable to put it down, especially if you love Burtonesque art and creepy crawly darkness.
The controls are responsive and the mechanics prove a delight as you manipulate the landscape and guide Petit through the hauntingly beautiful levels. Right now there are three chapters filled with levels (a-la Angry Birds), with more chapters on the way. The game plays beautifully on iOS, with gorgeous, fun visuals and interesting physics puzzles for you to attempt to perfect. Take the game’s advice and wear headphones when experiencing Contre Jour the first time!
Hyperlight HD came available on the App Store back in April (and the Android Market in May), and I’m shocked it hasn’t grabbed a bigger following. It’s not every day you find a gorgeous, tilt-controlled arcade game, and Hyperlight takes full advantage of the accelerometer by crafting a game that’s crazy to behold but really freaking hard. You only get one life in Hyperlight, so don’t mess it up. Tilt your tablet around to hit hyper speeds and obliterate other ships, but don’t forget to refill your speed bar and grab power-ups as you whiz around the map.
There are two modes in Hyperlight: Infinity and Arcade. I’ll be the first person to admit that Hyperlight is challenging – there’s an achievement that requires you to complete arcade mode straight through without dying. EVER. But if you’re into that old school difficulty (personally, I love a challenge), and you’re into arcade games, you’ll love this game.
If you’re looking for a physics game that’s fun and creative, iBlast Moki 2 might be the game you’re looking for. The campaign mode is cute and fun as you strategically place bombs filled with explosives and/or special paints to get your Moki to the portal at the end of the level. There are various gadgets and contraptions you’ve got to make your paints and bombs work with as you progress.
While the campaign mode is an excellent sequel to the original iBlast Moki, my favorite part is creation mode, where you can build your own levels and share them with other players (and play theirs, too). Creating your own levels is super fun; in addition, they provide a unique challenge since you’ve got to use your own noodle to make sure the level works properly. It’s 40% off right now in the App Store – make sure you grab it at the limited time price!
Fractal: Make Blooms Not War is a game played in the grand tradition of games like Tetris, Othello, and other classics – but Fractal adds elegant, challenging, and unique elements to their puzzle game. While it might seem like a puzzle grid that you’ve seen before, Fractal quickly proves it’s something special. Touch around the grid to push glowing cells around to create blooms that then explode, racking up points in the process.
What’s so incredible about Fractal isn’t the concept, but the package it comes in and the progression of the game. The soundtrack is mesmerizing, the typography is stunning, and each level unfurls a new layer of complexity and challenge. It takes a while to really wrap your head around the strategy, but once you do, you won’t be able to put it down. With three different play modes to keep you occupied for hours, Fractal is a great choice for those seeking visually stunning puzzlers.
It's been out for a bit, but I just got an iPad, so bear with me on this. I am balls-out, hands-down obsessed with Tiny Tower. It's a simulation game with simple rules and simple gameplay: build one store per floor in your tower, move in "bitizens" in another floor to work them, sell product, make money, then rinse and repeat until you’re the proud manager of your very own skyscraper. This sim game might be simple, but it's far from boring. In fact, it's pretty fun to see what random shop you get when you construct a new floor, and it's a great game to play with others on Game Center (your competitive side will go crazy if your friends are playing).
Not only are there 85 different commercial floors across five categories, there are also 54 themed residential floors for your bitizens to move into. My favorite part of Tiny Tower? The "BitBook," where your bitizens post their fictional status updates. There are strange and hilarious people living in my Tiny Tower... If you enjoy sim games, don’t miss this one.
Ashley Esqueda is a semi-notable tech enthusiast and all around mobile junkie who currently covers mobile tech and hosts tech-related shows for sites like Android Central, TiPb, This Week In, and Tecca. She's thrilled to be booting up the Mobile Games Roundup here on G4TV.com, since mobile is a huge space with some incredible games. Every week, she'll round up her five favorite mobile games in every genre, and she's always on the lookout for the next big thing.
If you've got a game you think should be considered for the roundup, tell her about it in the comments or hit her up on Twitter@ashleyesqueda!