The best mobile video games can be hard to find, simply because of the sheer number 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
If someone told me two weeks ago I’d be choosing a grocery bagging game as my game of the week, I’d have laughed heartily and recommended therapy. Yet here I stand, foot in mouth, telling you that Bag It! evokes all the best parts of your Tetris nostalgia and is fully deserving of the praise it’s getting.
The objective is simple: take groceries off the conveyor belt and stack them neatly in the paper bag. Where it gets complicated, however, is in the weights of the different items. Eggs will break under the weight of something heavier like a watermelon, so you can’t just toss everything in the bag and hope for the best. Even worse, the game makes you do a tilt test to ensure the integrity of the stacks you create.
With a plethora of game modes to keep your gears turning (our favorite is Udder Mayhem, in which you crush as much as humanly possible), a variety of supermarket items with individual personalities, and some decent physics, who knew bagging groceries could be so much fun?
iOS (Universal) $0.99
I love a good alien invasion. Even more so when a hero comes forward to save the day. And the most when that hero is a comic book geek! That’s the gist of Don’t Run With a Plasma Sword, one of the most fun side-scrollers I’ve played in a while on iOS. The game runs on rails, and each level consists of aliens for you to whack with your plasma sword, which looks suspiciously like a LucasArts-copyrighted weapon, but I’m not complaining.
You’ve also got to jump and slide over/under obstacles, and collect stars to gain XP points used to purchase gear, moves, and other upgrades and unlocks. There’s in-app purchases available, but they never feel forced, which is a huge plus in my book.
The different play modes, great comic book art, funny story, and quirky soundtrack make DRWAPS one of my favorite 2D side-scrollers on mobile. Don’t miss this one.
It’s pretty rare to see a puzzle game with a story; that’s why These Robotic Hearts of Mine is unique. Set across 36 levels with a heartbreakingly sweet story interlaced between them, TRHOM makes a simple, 8-bit puzzle game something special. Each level has a field of hearts and gears, and the goal is to rotate the gears in order to make all the hearts right side up. Once you finish a level, you’ll get another piece of the story.
If there’s one downside to TRHOM, it’s that there’s no gated content; that is, you can access the entire story and every level from the get-go. While I actually enjoy the idea of accessing every level for the puzzle challenges, perhaps unlocking the story when you finish a level might have been a better way to entice players to complete each one.
Regardless, the game itself is simple, but it’s also wildly effective... or maybe I’m just a romantic at heart.
If you’re a fan of 1950’s sci-fi B-movies, you’re going to love Grabatron.You’ll take control of a sweet looking spaceship equipped with a massive claw. The world is your claw machine, and you must pick up all manner of Earth objects, both living and non. And let me assure you, there’s nothing quite so gleeful as using your spaceship’s gigantic claw to pick up a cow and subsequently chuck it into a giant mob of unsuspecting humans.
There’s something really cool about the art in Grabatron that’s unique with a great B-movie vibe, and the music is equally wacky and fun. The game is basically one big endless mode with 42 missions within that mode to complete at your leisure. Scoring points is as simple as causing mass destruction with your alien spaceship and its claw of doom, and it’s a hell of a lot of fun doing it. Grabatron is an absolute gem!
iOS (Universal) $0.99
McGyro is a bit of an odd concept: Sheriff McGyro can’t stand the idea of actually killing people, so he imagines them as wooden targets instead. While that’s a really weird justification/manifestation to kill other people (including some not-so-nefarious-looking targets), McGyro’s a lot of fun.
It’s very much like a standard shooting gallery, but utilizing the gyroscope for aiming makes McGyro a fun little twist on the generally stale shooting gallery genre, plus you get shot back at, too. Bad guys show up, and you have to take them down before running out of stars/health.
The gyro aim takes a bit of getting used to, but before long you’ll be a crackshot with your iPad. There’s also a multiplayer mode coming soon that looks to add even more awesomeness to an already good game.
Ashley Esqueda is a semi-notable tech enthusiast, blogger, and all around mobile junkie who contributes to Mobile Nations, Techfoolery, and Tecca. If you're playing a game you think should be in Knuckle Up, follow her on Twitter or circle her on Google+ and send it over!