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
I often find tower defense games to be fairly rinse and repeat, but playing Kingdom Rush was a nice change of pace in the often-stale genre. Sure, there are a lot of things that are typical of the category (medieval theme, tower types/upgrades), but there are also some really excellent twists on those old standards.
As mentioned, you’ll have towers to build to defend from the various evil creatures coming at you. As you complete each level, you’ll gain stars to spend on upgrades, and you’ll also get the ability to split off and grab advanced versions of the towers you build. You also get two abilities that are cooldown-based: reinforcements, which you can place to help defend the path every 10 seconds; and meteor strike, a high-damage ability used for boss creeps with a long cooldown. They’re creative additions that help make fights more interesting, not to mention they come in handy when you’re overwhelmed by creeps.
Kingdom Rush is a stylish, fun tower defense game that never takes itself too seriously, and benefits from that mindset. You’ll get hours of enjoyment out of KR, and with GameCenter support on the horizon, Ironhide Game Studios has a great title on its hands.
I was thisclose to making Windosill my Game of the Week this week. This game is an incredible show of 3D vector art, combining puzzles, physics, and gorgeous visuals, all rolled into a neat little package. It’s been available as a Flash game for a while now, but Windosill has been totally optimized for the iPad, and it’s a whimsical and special journey that ends far too soon for my taste.
Each level is a puzzle, requiring you to locate a tiny cube and insert it into the slot above the exit door. As you toy around with each level, you’ll find every vector is delightfully animated in strange and wonderful ways. It might take a little playing around to figure out each puzzle’s solution, but once you do, it’s incredibly satisfying. With just 11 levels, you’ll finish Windosill quickly, but we’re hoping Vector Park creates even more magical areas for us to explore soon.
There’s only one racing title that’s numero uno in my heart, and that’s Mario Kart. Imagine my surprise when I noticed Tiki Kart 3D on Android, which had screenshots that looked similar to the legendary franchise. I grabbed it in the Android Market, and I’ve been playing it ever since. This is an awesome racing game that’s reminiscent of Mario Kart in all the right ways.
There are power-ups during races ranging from boosts to explosive tracking missiles, and both practice and circuit modes (with the latter offering 50-, 100-, and 150cc choices). The karts are easy to control and steer, though sometimes turns can get a little hairy at higher cc levels. I can’t recommend this one enough if you have a soft spot for kart racers.
If you had to pick the accurate part out of Justin Smith’s Realistic Summer Sports Simulator’s extra long title, it would be “Justin Smith.” This is an anything but realistic simulator, and JSRSSS shines because of it. It’s a weird Atari-esque retro title simulating Olympic games in the most bizarre way possible.
Your athlete plays for any number of fictional countries (Madagascerbaijan, anyone?) and competes in a series of games attempting to win the gold. You must swipe around the screen to complete each of the events... but you control your “athlete” via a spring that extends from their body, and must figure out how to finish games without getting disqualified or taking huge time penalties.
You can play with up to three friends, but each play session is single serve, meaning you won’t be keeping tabs on your progress or competing via GameCenter. There’s no rhyme or reason to it, and it’s all part of the game’s immense charm, making JSRSSS an absurd little title worth having around.
Angry Gran is the kind of grab-and-play game that can get repetitive, but for some reason, I can’t stop giggling when I pick it up. The premise is simple: granny walks to the right, and you tap the screen to whap the heck out of objects and people as they pass by. Whacking self-entitled bimbos wearing matching tracksuits and rich businessmen was surprisingly therapeutic, and watching coins go flying as that little old lady wrecks everything in sight is downright hilarious.
There are various upgrades to be bought with collected cash, including an umbrella, the classic rolling pin, and even a lightsaber; in addition, power-ups and stat upgrades are available to make your pissed off grandma runs even more entertaining. I wish there was an ad-free version, but overall, it’s a silly romp that hits some fun notes.
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!