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
CAVE is a Japanese developer that makes some amazing games, so when they port any of their acclaimed shooters to iOS, we tend to sit up and listen. Bug Princess is a port of the 2004 Japanese arcade game Mushihimesama, and it’s been optimized beautifully for iOS.
Bug Princess offers three distinct modes of gameplay (Original, Maniac, and Ultra), as well as four difficulty modes. Along with that, you’ll also have the option of three different ship types, each with a different kind of firing style. It helps make the gameplay more interesting and customized, as each style has its pros and cons.
The last difficulty level (aptly named “Hell”) will test every ounce of your vertical shooter prowess, even for the most hardened veterans. Bug Princess is another magnificent installment from CAVE and provides any arcade fan with some classic action.
LostWinds is a port of a 2008 Wii game that’s finally made it to iOS. This lovely little platformer packs a whole lot of charm and beautifully rendered landscapes into a handheld package. You play Toku, a village boy who discovers a wind spirit named Enril. Enril’s been trapped in a stone with a very evil spirit named Balasar, but now a more-powerful Balasar threatens to cast a dark curse upon the land, and has broken free of his stone bonds (breaking Enril out as well).
Exploring involves swiping the screen to use Enril’s powers of wind, like propelling Toku upwards to scale large obstacles and environments and blowing gusts to manipulate scenery like fire and water. It’s a very clever mechanic that translates well enough to tablet play; however, there are moments where I wished the controls were slightly more forgiving. It’s a minor shortcoming though, and overall, LostWinds is an adorable game with a lot of heart.
It’s been a while since I’ve included a zombie game (you’re welcome, zombie-fatigued readers), but I had to talk about Paper Zombie. This is a hilarious little game that proves handheld titles don’t have to push graphical limits to be addictive and fun. You’ll need to defend innocent old ladies and other civilians from the undead, all brought with a papercraft-esque design that makes cutting up the zombies even cooler.
Doodle Jump has been an incredibly popular mobile game for a long time, but it just recently added an updated level pack on iOS, giving me a great excuse to gush about it. If you’re not familiar with Doodle Jump, it’s an endless vertical climbing game that features hand-drawn graphics. Your avatar is an adorable little Doodler looking to jump into the stratosphere via platforms strewn about the screen, and pick up powerups and shoot bad guys while you’re hopping skyward.
It’s a very, very simple concept that’s surprisingly difficult to master, but once you get the hang of Doodle Jump, it’s a blast to challenge yourself to see how high you can climb and how big of a score you can rack up. Not one to rest on its laurels, developer Lima Sky recently released a new update for iOS featuring the “Ice Blizzard” world, with all manner of new, chilly hazards for Doodle to avoid.
Oh, how adorable little Ozzy is; unfortunately, he’s beholden to gravity, you see. Ozzy’s Odyssey is a puzzle platformer with a little physics tossed in as the twist. Each level requires you to manipulate the little robot to the exit while collecting as many batteries as possible. Seems pretty easy... except Ozzy can’t jump, so you’ll find yourself making timed falls onto moving platforms and utilizing Ozzy’s handy tractor beam, which allows you to pick up items that will help you make it to the exit.
This is an adorable Android exclusive that makes for a great quick play session, since the levels don’t take too long to complete (the earlier levels, anyway), and its control scheme is well-executed. If you fail a level, Ozzy’s little robot head falls off, and you can try again; there aren’t time limits or other factors that force you to complete levels quickly, so it’s also a great game for kids, too.
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