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
Where do I possibly begin with the greatness that is Unstoppable Gorg? From the very first glorious retro sci-fi cutscene (gorgeously depicted in true serial fashion), I was hooked. And if you think the gameplay can’t possibly live up to the pretty face it presents up front... well, think again, because UG is one of the finest tower defense games I’ve played on iOS.
You’ll be defending the space station from King Gorg’s legions of extraterrestrials, placing different types of satellites on the rings of orbit surrounding the base to gain money, earn tokens, and shoot down the bad guys. My favorite game mechanic is the ability to rotate each individual orbit ring, changing your pew pew range (or shielding your research satellites) for oncoming UFOs. It’s a really cool feature and adds a little twist to each wave of attacks.
It’s nearly impossible not to love Unstoppable Gorg; in fact, I’d argue that it embodies everything that’s great about iOS games, and accomplishes that feat with a gorgeous look and B-movie swagger.
Paper Monsters certainly takes a lot of its cues from Paper Mario; however, if imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, that’s actually not a bad thing. This is a whimsical platformer you’ll find easy to enjoy as you control Little Box Guy around each level. No platformer is complete without collecting challenges, and Paper Monsters is no different: you’ll pick up silver and gold buttons, paper clips, and powerups throughout the game.
You’ll also be bopping bad guys on the head by jumping on them. The controls are masterfully crafted, with a “floating” joystick option or a classic touchpad; you’ll never find yourself frustrated at overly loose or tight movements while playing. In addition, fun costume changes reminiscent of Little Big Planet and a fresh, original soundtrack add those special touches to an already solid game. This is the kind of homage we like to see translated to mobile, especially considering we won’t be seeing Nintendo offering first-party franchise games on tablets anytime soon.
Osmos has been on iOS for quite some time, and is generally regarded as a “Greatest Hits” title for iPhone and iPad. Now, it’s made its way to Android, giving even more mobile gamers the chance to experience the mellow, beautiful world that iOS users know and love. This isn’t your typical game; that’s to say, there are no coins to collect, no powerups to grab, no clocks to race against. Osmos is an oddly relaxing game that provides endless hours of enjoyment based on the source of its namesake: the scientific process of osmosis.
You begin as a mote that propels yourself around an area littered with other motes with a simple tap of the screen. You merge with other motes, but lose mass when you come into contact with motes larger than you are or propel yourself around the screen. I should also mention Osmos is absolutely, drop-dead gorgeous, not to mention it features an incredible soundtrack that will haunt your daydreams in all the right ways.
Puzzlejuice claims to be “a game that will punch your brain in the face.” Skeptical as I was about that bold statement, I can now wholeheartedly agree with that assessment and endorse Puzzlejuice as one of the craziest mashups I’ve ever seen hit mobile gaming. You’re playing a game that’s part Tetris and part Boggle -- as if both of those aren’t tough enough individually -- and it will test every ounce of your brain power.
Shapes fall into your play field, and just like Tetris, you’ll create lines with them. Instead of those lines disappearing upon completion, however, the line transforms into letters. You’ll need to trace adjacent letters to spell words and blow up the blocks, preventing the game from ending. Puzzlejuice completely and utterly satisfies any of us with a serious multitasking addiction, which is why I can’t stop playing it (and one play session can last you hours). It’s the most fun your brain can have whilst being punched repeatedly.
One year ago, the infamous Randall-narrated Honey Badger video hit the internet. Now, we have The Honey Badger for iOS and Android. There are some out there who would argue it’s an old meme that’s losing its luster (or has become so popular it’s crossed the line into Obnoxious Town), but I’m still stupidly cracking up at Randall’s honey badger video. That’s why I had to mention The Honey Badger in this week’s Knuckle Up. It’s a simple title, but one I’m having a lot of fun playing right now.
Take control of the super bad ass honey badger and do what it does best: attack and eat everything you can. It’s a 2.5D side-scroller, and your honey badger has to make it through the level without starving or taking too many hits. The cartoonish nature of the game is appropriately goofy, but the true silliness is provided by the one and only Randall, the original meme’s narrator. Honey badger don’t care if you pick up this game, but if you call yourself a Randall fan, just buy it!
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!