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
There’s nothing quite like Sin or Win, and I mean that in the greatest way imaginable. This is a simple game with a simple premise, and yet somehow, it asks some heavy questions of our morality. So, do you feel wrathful, or forgiving? Sin or Win features one screen with twin reapers (Stephen and Arthur) on each side of a fiery pit. Cavemen leap into the air, and you must decide whether to save them by flinging them into the clouds, or smite them by chucking them into the hot hole in the ground.
When the pit fills up -- and trust me, it’s easy to let that pit fill up -- the game ends, and you’re awarded points based on what you did during the game. Sinning is actually harder than winning, since you have to continually find ways to empty the pit, but either way you decide to play it, Sin or Win is an absolute blast. That dragon hiding out in the clouds is a caveman-crisping jerk, though.
If there was ever a question that our mobile devices were getting more and more powerful in our pockets, Grand Theft Auto 3: 10th Anniversary Edition takes that question, runs it over with a stolen car, shoots it twice, and leaves it for dead in the streets. If you haven’t read our full GTA 3: AE review, this is a complete port of the original GTA3, minigames and all. The story, the open world exploration, the taxi cab fares... they’re all here and waiting for you to take advantage of them and start building up wanted stars.
While there are some issues with controls being a bit overwhelming (there are a lot of buttons on your screen), you can customize them to your liking. Overall though, it feels good to be back in Liberty City, and we’re hoping to see even more GTA franchise titles come to our tablets soon with even more touch optimization.
iOS (Universal) $0.99
It’s been a while since I’ve run into a game as deceptively simple as Fathead, and thanks to one of our eagle-eyed readers who suggested it last week (thanks, by the way!), I’m happy to put Fathead on this week’s list. This is a gorgeous little game with a crazy amount of physics crafted into its premise: ride as far as you can on your dirtbike and perform tricks while you go to get more points.
The controls are simple: touch to accelerate, let go when you reach a peak, and long press while in mid-air to flip. What’s so cool about Fathead is the rider’s physics as you flip the bike; there’s a definitely learning curve to controlling your Evel Knieval look-a-like as he puts down the course. This 2D bike game is an absolute gem.
Usually, video games born of movie releases are rushed, sloppy, and downright terrible. Fortunately for iOS and Android users, The Adventures of Tintin - The Game is none of those things. This is a great title with a whole lot of charm and cheer attached, made possible by some stunning graphics and great touch optimization.
You’ll play as Tintin, his dog Snowy, and good old Captain Haddock. This is a straight story port of an original Tintin story brought to life by comic book panels and some very pretty 3D rendering. While the touch controls are done beautifully during some twitch-based sequences, I did find myself wishing for a less than fixed POV camera every now and then. Tintin won’t disappoint any fans of the franchise, and many of the uninitiated will find themselves loving it, too.
iOS (Universal) FREE
Do you love training small adorable monsters to battle? Do you love action RPGs and beautiful cel art? If you answered “yes” to all of those questions, you’ll love MinoMonsters. This game is a great concept with some huge aspirations and great gameplay to back it up.
You’re a faceless hero who collects Minos across four worlds, and then trains those Minos to fight by your side as you complete quests given to you by locals. The overall experience in MM is a lot of fun, and capturing and caring for your Minos is very reminiscent of another adorable-creature-catching franchise...
The only downside is the item that captures Minos (candy) is only available if you wait for a day in-game, or buy more via in-app purchase; it does makes you feel forced to buy candy if you don’t want to wait a day in-game for more. For a F2P game, though, MinoMonsters is as cool and satisfying as an ice cream in a heat wave.
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!