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G4's Knuckle Up: The Best Mobile Games - Week of September 5

AshleyEsqueda
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Posted September 9, 2011 - By Ashley Esqueda

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, plus a bonus look at the brand-new iPhone/iPad game from Harmonix: VidRhythm


JETPACK JOYRIDE
(iOS)
iPhone/iPad: $0.99 

Halfbrick Studios captured our hearts with their smash hit Fruit Ninja, and they’ve done it again with Jetpack Joyride, a side-scrolling arcade game that challenges you to go as far as you can when Barry Steakfries takes a science lab’s jetpack for a spin. The controls are simple enough – touch the screen to ascend, and release to descend – but the game itself is a challenge.

You’ll spend hours dodging obstacles, completing missions, and taking advantage of power-ups while you race through the labs on your jetpack (and dying repeatedly). Collecting coins during your jetpack flights allows you to purchase new costumes and jetpacks in the store. My favorite combo quickly became the zombie costume with the rainbow jetpack. Win!

Jetpack Joyride is addicting in all the right ways. For a buck, you’re getting incredible replay value, too. Don’t miss this one. It’s too much fun!


CUBES VS. SPHERES
(iOS)
iPhone/iPad: $0.99 

It’s one thing to create a feeling of tension and heart-pounding adrenaline when you’re surrounded by slow moving zombies in Resident Evil, but when you can recreate that feeling of panic in a game whose main enemy is a cube, I’d say you’re doing something very, very right.

Cubes vs. Spheres is a game in which you generate spheres to launch at an incoming onslaught of cubes. It’s a 3D environment, and launching those spheres is a challenge at times, but what I was most impressed with was the feeling of terror as those cubes roll closer and closer. They encroach on your spot in such a delightfully claustrophobic way that when you make them explode with your sphere, it’s very fulfilling.

The clean renders really make those nefarious red and black cubes pop against the grey and white backgrounds, and the levels get very difficult in Hard mode if you’re seeking a challenge. If you’re into minimalist 3D graphics, hypnotic music, and simple gameplay, pick up Cubes vs. Spheres.


INFECT THEM ALL! HD
(iOS)
iPhone/iPad: $0.99 

There’s nothing I like more than zombies. In fact, if you haven’t noticed, I’ve mentioned the living dead in my previous two reviews. But this is a bona fide zombie infection game that’s easy to play and lets you be the bad guy (or zombie)!

Infect Them All! HD is the much requested iPad version of the very popular iPhone/iPod game, and it doesn’t disappoint. Tilt-based controls maneuver your zombie around the playing field, where you can either eat or infect the unfortunate folks who happen to still be alive. Different kinds of people have different abilities, and you can upgrade your zombie at the end of each level in various ways.

There are three gameplay modes (campaign, survival, and blitz), giving Infect Them All excellent replay value. In addition, who doesn’t like turning people into zombies and watching your undead hordes grow?


MUFFIN KNIGHT
(iOS, Android)
iPhone/iPad: $0.99 
Android: $2.99 

Oh, Muffin Knight. I wasn’t sure about you when I first heard about you. Then, I heard there was a playable unicorn that craps rainbow bombs, and I became intrigued. Fortunately, I wasn’t disappointed with the rest of the game, and can heartily recommend Muffin Knight as a silly and smart arcade platformer.

Here’s the setup: a witch wants you to get her muffins back, so she turns you into a knight and sends you off to collect them. When you pick up a muffin, though, you randomly transform into creatures/people with different ways to dispatch your spawning enemies. Heroes include the aforementioned rainbow-pooping unicorn, a black hole shooting Cyclops, and Mr. Rainbow, a slug that dispatches all enemies on screen with a double rainbow.

In addition to good arcade style action, there’s also a pseudo-RPG element in that you can buy perks and upgrades for each type of transformation. Add cross platform local multiplayer to that (play with your Android and iOS friends!), and you’re in for a treat.


BATTLEHEART
(iOS, Android)
iPhone/iPad: $2.99 
Android: $2.99 

I know Battleheart has been on both Android and iOS for a while now, but I think every now and again I’ll mention an older game if I still find myself playing it. Battleheart is the kind of game that will qualify as a mobile classic someday. The mobile RPG is one of the few games that truly takes advantage of multitouch – so much so that you can’t imagineit on any other platform but mobile.

Hire adventurers and head out into each battle; sounds simple enough, right? Well, it’s a bit more complicated when you realize that each battle requires some serious multitouch party management, not to mention you have to choose your party wisely before heading into battle.

If you’ve got a tablet, Battleheart is an absolute must. It’s one of the mobile games I recommend to every person new to tablets on either Android or iOS, and I still feel the same way about it today as I did when it first dropped.

BONUS ROUND:


VIDRHYTHM
(iOS)
iPhone/iPad: $1.99 

This one just hit the App Store, but I’ve got to mention it, as its bizarre (yet fun) content makes it a great choice to pick up for parties. VidRhythm is a weird video music game crafted by Harmonix, makers of Rock Band and Dance Central. So what is it? Well, you choose a sample track and theme, and then perform the sounds and notes the track requests of you (make sure you put something interesting on camera while you’re recording each piece!). Then it’s assembled into a really wacky video remix. If you don’t believe me, watch the trailer.

VidRhythm’s creations are strange and oddly enjoyable, especially when you play with friends. In addition, making a video only takes a few minutes from start to finished video. I can already imagine all my drunken friends making video remixes to a sample and using Apple TV to push it to the big screen. This game has viral video creation potential written all over it, but I do wish a few notable DJs had created samples for it. If you’re looking for something to entertain the family (or a rowdy party), VidRhythm provides enough wacky delight for days.

 

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 CentralTiPbThis 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!

 

G4's Knuckle Up: The Best Mobile Games - Week of September 5
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