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G4's Knuckle Up: The Best Mobile Games - Week of October 16

AshleyEsqueda
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Posted October 21, 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.

GAME OF THE WEEK


SCRIBBLENAUTS REMIX
(iOS)
iOS: $4.99

On its surface, the Scribblenauts series of games looks innocuous enough: a child’s game requiring some imagination and creativity. When you peel back that layer of first impressions, though, the Scribblenauts franchise blooms in ways you never thought possible. A combination of Scribblenauts and Super Scribblenauts (with some added levels thrown in), Scribblenauts Remix is some of the most fun available on iOS right now.

If you’re unfamiliar with how it works, you’re a boy named Max who must come up with items to spawn (sometimes with specific adjectives) in order to complete tasks like populating a schoolroom, completing police training, and wiping out the dinosaurs. Sure, you can play the game straight and only type in “books” or “police uniform” -- but where’s the fun in that? I preferred to learn the hard way that spawning a Kraken on top of my unsuspecting friends looking for a beach party did not, in fact, complete the level. There are over 10,000 words Remix knows; combined with adjectives, the possibilities are nearly limitless.

In addition to the gameplay, Remix also has iCloud support and is a universal app, meaning you can pick up right where you left off across all of your iOS 5 devices. If you’re jam packed with imagination and need an outlet, Scribblenauts Remix is what you’ve been looking for.


SIEGECRAFT
(iOS)
iOS: $0.99

Every now and then, I’m in the mood for something a little less complex than a standard RTS or tower defense game, but still something in the same ballpark. Siegecraft fits that bill nicely, as it’s casual enough to get in a couple rounds of quick play when I’ve got a little free time. Touch and pull your on-screen catapult or crossbow to fire it, shooting down enemies and grabbing power-ups in each level. Some levels require a finite number of foes be defeated, while others challenge you to last as long as you can and take out as many enemies as possible.

It’s true that there isn’t a ton of deviation throughout Siegecraft, but there’s a lot of fun to be had shooting down all kinds of would-be invaders. The game also includes two different multiplayer modes: one a turn-based, asynchronous online multiplayer; the other a free-for-all using a single iPad as a splitscreen playing surface.

Again, this isn’t your standard RTS or tower defense fare, and some seeking serious action or deep gameplay might be disappointed in Siegecraft. But if you’re looking for a quick, fun little game that offers some old school pew pew action, it might be what you need.


BRAIN CUBE
(Android)
Android: FREE | Premium $1.99 | HD FREE | HD Premium $1.99

Someone mentioned Brain Cube as an Android-exclusive title worth checking out, and it’s certainly deserving of some word-of-mouth here on Knuckle Up. This is a puzzle game that will challenge your noggin. If you’ve ever played EDGE for iOS, it’s a similar premise, only Brain Cube adds a couple of twists: you’re controlling a cuboid instead of a cube, and instead of hitting a switch at the end of the level, you have to manipulate the cube in order to get it to fall through the hole in the floor.

Developer XiMad keeps the game fresh by adding elements like collapsing floors into the mix, and the soundtrack is soothing enough to keep your rage in check when a particular puzzle stumps you. Points are awarded based on how many moves it takes to finish the level. If you’re smart (or lucky) enough to solve a puzzle in the minimum number of moves, you get 1000 points, but you can score even more by solving a level under “par.” Brain Cube is an excellent title to sharpen your puzzle skills.


ZOMBIE SMASH
(iOS)
iOS: iPhone $0.99 | iPad $3.99 | iPhone FREE | iPad FREE

Zombie Smash is, simply put, a cartoony, bloody castle defense style of game that keeps you coming back for more undead carnage. Your house is under attack by mindless zombies looking to rip off your boarded up windows and eat your face off. But how does one rid each stage of these pesky living dead? By using the touchscreen to fling zombies around and destroy them, of course! It’s an excellent use of multitouch, and provides great fun when tossing around the undead and then smashing them into the ground.

Picking up stars from each zombie’s death, coupled with some really cool power-ups and various types of zombies to destroy makes Zombie Smash an macabre title with that little something extra. Recently, multiplayer support with voice chat was added to Zombie Smash, and there’s enough variation in levels to offer high replayability. Bonus: the “Finish Him!” cam, where time freezes while you mete out your vengeance on the last zombie in a level, take a screencap of said violence, and then share the visceral memory online with social networks.


HAMSTERIA
(iOS / Android)
iOS: $0.99
Android: $1.00

Hamsteria is an odd little indie title, but I’m thrilled I came across it, because now I can share it with you, fair reader! In the future, we build spectacular floating cities, way up in the sky; unfortunately, giant alien hamsters have invaded, looking to destroy our planet. So do we take up arms and fight the hamsters in Hamsteria? No way! You’re playing the hamsters in this game, baby, and your goal is to roll around and destroy everything in sight. Pure destruction gaming with an indie heart and soul, Hamsteria is a blast to play.

Developer Sean McCracken put a lot of time and energy into creating Hamsteria; even the music was created by him. His dedication and joy toward his product shines through while you play. The game’s time sensitive, so if you’re playing during the daytime, your hamster rolls by day; if it’s night or dusk, the game follows suit. There’s something really appealing about a game with two simple goals: destroy everything in sight, and don’t fall off the city while doing so. McCracken mentioned to us this week that he’s hoping to have leaderboards for the Android version of Hamsteria available by the time this goes live. With that kind of dedicated support and uber-fun gameplay, Hamsteria is worth checking out.

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!

G4's Knuckle Up: The Best Mobile Games - Week of October 16
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