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G4's Knuckle Up: The Best Mobile Games - Week of February 17th

AshleyEsqueda
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Posted February 17, 2012 - By Ashley Esqueda

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 are our top five games this week:

GAME OF THE WEEK

THE TINY BANG STORY HD

iOS (iPad) 

If you’ve been reading Knuckle Up for a while, you’ll recall how much I loved Machinarium a while ago. Now, I get to gush about The Tiny Bang Story. This game operates in a similar fashion with a couple of changes on board. You won’t be controlling an adorable robot. Instead, you’ll be putting back together Tiny Planet. It’s been hit by a meteor, and it’s up to you to pick up the pieces (sometimes literally) to rebuild.

There’s no text to read or conversations to be had with characters in The Tiny Bang Story, but you’ll find yourself immediately taken with the soft, whimsical music and beautiful landscapes as you make your way through Tiny Planet. Not only will you scour each location for puzzle pieces, you’ll also discover interesting (and sometimes exceedingly difficult) puzzles that must be solved to move on.

With games like The Tiny Bang Story and the recent Double Fine Kickstarter Project proving to be a major win for point-and-click adventure games, it’s pretty obvious the genre isn’t dead.

LEAGUE OF EVIL 2

iOS

Oh. My. God. How awesome is League of Evil 2? If you didn’t play the original LoE, you missed out on excellent platformer action and some incredibly evil scientists aching for a punch in the face. The sequel is more of the same, but that’s not a bad thing; in fact, the controls are tighter, there’s an actual story this time, and even more scientists have offered up their faces for some hardcore fist action.

Your character, The Agent, must jump, wall kick, and punch the crap out of everything in your path to restore world peace. While many times games like this come equipped with lackluster, loose controls; LoE 2 offers up controls that feel so good, you forget that you’re using a touch device. The pacing of the game is tight, racing you from level to level so quickly you don’t have a second to consider stopping, and you’ll easily sink hours into League of Evil 2 without realizing it. The illustrated comic book depicting the story and costumes for The Agent are hilarious bonuses in an already divinely good time. Don’t think twice about this one, just buy it.

THE PINBALL ARCADE

iOS | Android

The Pinball Arcade pays attention to detail in such a way, you’ll be instantly transported to a virtaul arcades where pinball reigns supreme. This isn’t a silly rendition of pinball with goofy tricks and graphics. This is the real deal with meticulously scanned renditions of machines you may have seen long ago (or even recently) in an arcade.

For $0.99, the game comes with “Arabian Nights,” and you’re able to pick up other machines via in-app purchase. My personal favorite? The ultra-realistic render of “Ripley’s Believe It or Not,” which comes complete with bonuses and multi-level play fit for both beginners and experts. It’s great fun with a lot of replayability and depth.

There is no other pinball game I want to play after getting hold of The Pinball Arcade. The graphics are so pitch-perfect, I found myself sucked into hours upon hours of flipper madness.

HEAVENHELL

Android

I feel like HeavenHell is a hidden gem in the Android Market, but maybe I’m just behind the times in my recent discovery. This is an adorable little physics game where you must roll angels scattered around into little red devils, thus knocking the devils into the fiery pits below and helping good triumph over evil. The premise is simple, and at first, grabbing diamonds and rolling devils off the platforms; however, the game gets tougher in later zones, where you’ll need to really use your noodle to figure out how to drop those dudes into the fire and collect all the gems without sacrificing any angels.

The trick is in the characters themselves: tap on them once, and they become a rolling ball prone to gravity; tap on them again and they reform into a block, stopping their motion (but at the same time providing a platform for another ball to roll across, if need be). HeavenHell is highly addicting, and if you’re dying to have it on iOS, fear not, as developer Nelphy Games already plans on releasing the game in the App Store.

BEAT HAZARD ULTRA

iOS

 

I don’t think there’s anything quite like Beat Hazard Ultra out there right now, which is saying something when you consider how many copies of copies of copies are in the App Store at the moment. This is a shooter that allows you to utilize your own on-device iTunes music as part of the game. Since this is a short review, I’ll briefly mention you can play via internet radio or with the game’s default tracks, but I’ll focus on the custom play experience.

The visualizations in Beat Hazard Ultra are, in a word, insane. There’s a reason for that photosensitive seizure warning, as the screen uses strobe lights and every color in the spectrum to provide you with an experience you won’t soon forget (unless your hippocampus is reset when you’re exposed to strobe lights, in which case it’s not a great idea to play Beat Hazard Ultra). Yes, we’ve seen shooters of all kinds, but this one is worth experiencing.

Ashley Esqueda is a 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!

G4's Knuckle Up: The Best Mobile Games - Week of February 17th
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