The Best Mobile Games - Week Of October 9: G4's Knuckle Up

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Posted October 14, 2011 - By Ashley Esqueda

The best mobile video games can be hard to find, simply because of the sheer amount of titles out there. But, worry not! 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.

iOS: $5.99

I’m constantly impressed with the graphical improvements being made on mobile devices, and Dark Meadow is no different. This is a grand first-person horror title, bringing you an Infinity Blade feel with Silent Hill looks. You awake in a strange condemned building with amnesia, like so many other stories; however, you (might) have an ally in a strange old man in a wheelchair, telling you about the place and its inhabitants.

The movement in this game is very similar to Infinity Blade: on-rails movement to markers with some navigation options when you approach multiple doors and the ability to tap on bags of gold, gems, and pages of lore that help you fill in the missing pieces of story. Combat’s almost exactly the same, with the exception of a crossbow for ranged fighting before enemies close in, and you’re then forced to fight with a sword and dodge slashes and swipes from the demons you face.

Overall, the gameplay can be a tad on the repetitive side (the post-combat screen is the worst offender in the ‘taking you out of the action’ category), but it’s so beautiful and easy to play that it wasn’t difficult to overlook. The old man’s voiceover is also really well done, and ranges from funny to downright crazy, so there’s always something interesting to listen to as you explore and take down demons. If you enjoyed Infinity Blade, you’d be crazy not to pick Dark Meadow up.

iOS: $6.99
Android: $6.99

Before you hit that trailer, be warned: 9mm has an age restriction of 17+, and features some highly colorful language at every turn, so you might want to wait until you’re out of your boss’ earshot range or wearing headphones before playing it. In 9mm, you play John “Loose” Kannon, a highly volatile cop looking to bust some drug dealers. Of course, as so many cop stories go, it all starts with a drug deal gone bad...

There’s lots to enjoy in 9mm, including the bullet-time combat aspect that allows you to slow down time and cap bad guys right between the eyes. In addition, there are some fun little side games; for example, when you interrogate a suspect you have to tap markers on the screen and certain words to get the suspect to talk. It’s something I’ve not seen in a game like this, and makes it a little more interactive.

While the world isn’t free-roaming (it’s confined to zones with markers to point you in the right direction), it’s still a heck of a lot of fun. The multiplayer component is an interesting addition, and can get laggy in spots, but the real star is the single-player story.

iOS: iPhone $0.99

Maybe there’s something horribly wrong with me, but somehow Jaws Revenge delights me. In the original iOS Jaws game, you had to draw these paths for swimmers to escape the water and avoid death by shark; in Jaws Revenge, you get to play as effing JAWS. Yes, the entire goal in Jaws Revenge is exactly what the title suggests: enact your shark vengeance upon the hapless humans who decided to go swimming today.

One-touch controls make Jaws Revenge super easy to play: touching the screen makes Jaws dive, and releasing makes him ascend. He’ll leap out of the water if you rise from deep enough, and you can chew up all kinds of people along the way. You’re given missions in which your goals range from racking up points to eating certain types of swimmers.

Like I said, I’m probably not right in the head, but I’m enjoying Jaws Revenge way too much this week. And at a buck for the universal app, you literally cannot go wrong with it. Especially when you pick off rich jerks enjoying martinis on a yacht and their vapid girlfriends!

EARLY BIRD (iOS/Android)
iOS: iPhone FREE | iPad FREE
Android: $0.99

Yes, it’ll garner immediate comparisons to that other bird-based physics game, but Early Bird is totally worth a look, as it adds a couple of fun twists to the genre. The concept’s simple: each level features an adorable little bird looking to capture a worm as its meal. You accomplish this by taking flight via swiping the screen and utilizing bouncy flowers, wind, and other fun gameplay mechanics to get you across the level and within pecking range of the worm’s hiding hole. While a lot of the levels are easily three-starred, some of them are nearly impossible to perfect, making it easy to pick up and play, but tough to master.

Even though it’s relatively new, Early Bird offers a plethora of levels (almost 100), and some great value for its price. It’s easy to draw comparisons to similar games, but after playing for a while, there’s something special about Early Bird that’s relentlessly charming.

iOS: $1.99

Platformers are one of my favorite genres of games, and Arcade Jumper is a nice addition to my library. You’re Eddy, and your brother’s been abducted by Ghosty. Did I mention Ghosty’s also sucked you into an arcade machine? He’s a jerk. Your goal is to cross the side-scrolling level, collect a warp token, and return to the machine at the beginning of the level before the timer runs out.

Plenty of obstacles and shiny collectibles stand between you and your roundtrip, and when you reach the warp coin, a lot of the bad guys respawn (so no free ride back to the beginning). The controls are simple, but sometimes a bit loose for my taste, reminding me of great 8- and 16-bit titles with sometimes frustrating control moments where you find yourself yelling, “I TOTALLY JUMPED!” at the screen after your shocking death.

Arcade Jumper is a great purchase if you’re into old school side-scrolling platformer action, not to mention the cool cabinet display when you play the iPad version of the game.

Ashley Esqueda is a semi-notable tech enthusiast, blogger, and all around mobile junkie who currently covers mobile technology and hosts shows and podcasts for sites including Android Central, Techfoolery, and Tecca. She's thrilled to be booting up the Mobile Games Roundup here on G4TV.com, since mobile games are proving to be compelling, fun, and constantly evolving. Every week, she rounds 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, hit her up on Twitter @ashleyesqueda!

The Best Mobile Games - Week Of October 9: G4's Knuckle Up


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