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
Beat Sneak Bandit is the kind of game I love discovering, and the kind of game I love to see on mobile devices. It’s a rhythm game, but one that’s like nothing you’ve played before. Duke Clockface stole all the clocks in Pulsebury, and it’s up to the Beat Sneak Bandit to get the clocks back by sneaking into the Duke’s mansions and pilfering them. The rhythm part of the game is where its genius resides: you can only move the Bandit by tapping the screen to the beat of the song playing. At first, it’s very rudimentary; however, in later levels of the game, you’ll find yourself eyeballing the paths and rotations of spotlights, cops, and walls in order to collect the clocks and complete the level.
Each mansion has one clock with a red flag on it, which completes the area and allows you to move onto the next, and collecting the other clocks accumulates a tally over time, unlocking cool secret areas, like shadow levels. The music really pops, and the artwork is funky and gorgeous. One of my favorite parts of Beat Sneak Bandit is if you’re truly stumped on a level and fail it multiple times, the game asks if you’d like to skip it for the time being. It’s a nice touch that makes Beat Sneak Bandit even more fun for everyone in your family.
Pizza vs. Skeletons. The name alone screams, “PLAY ME,” doesn’t it? Fortunately, the gameplay lives up to its silly title, and you get exactly what it trumpets: a giant pizza conquering armies of skeletons by rolling around and smashing ‘em into dust. That’s not all you’ll be doing, though. You’ll be platforming, balancing, and performing all other kinds of moves with your rolling wheel of delicious, cheesy doom, too.
Taking control of your pizza is easy, as rolling is entirely tilt-based (and well-polished), and tapping the screen once makes the pizza hop. Tapping a second time sends you hurtling back toward the ground, making for an excellent smashing mechanism. There’s a lot to love in Pizza vs. Skeletons, with other 100 levels to keep you otherwise occupied. Lastly, the customizations are a riot, with loads of toppings, faces, and costumes available for purchase in the game’s shop. No in-app purchase, though; on the contrary (and to my pleasant surprise), you can unlock and earn every single customization via collecting coins during play sessions. Unexpected side effect: Pizza vs. Skeletons may cause sudden and irrational pizza cravings!
Prepare yourselves, because Ragdoll Blaster 3 has overloads of saccharine cuteness. If the cutesy stylings of games like LittleBigPlanet aren’t your bag, RB3 probably isn’t in your future. That being said, I think it’s worth a shot. Or two. Or three. In its previous iterations, the Ragdoll Blaster series felt like it was just shy of greatness. That’s no longer the case with the third installment, as Backflip Studios has carefully crafted a physics game that’s hard not to fall in love with.
Adorable little Sackboy-esque ragdolls are shot out of cannons with a drag-and-tap of your finger. There are all kinds of ragdolls, too: icy, fiery, fat, and magnetic dolls all feature at some point throughout the game, all assisting you on your quest to hit the bullseye and collect as many buttons as possible before the level is complete. You can unlock each type of doll by firing a normal one into a special cannon (my personal favorite being the cupcake cannon that transforms your regular doll into a fat, heavy one). With its ultra cute artwork, loads of costumes, and incredibly fun and creative levels, Ragdoll Blaster 3 is sweet enough to give you a cavity.
When one of my Twitter followers recommended Legendary Heroes, I leapt at the chance to check it out. After playing it this past week, I noticed a lot of similarities to another popular title, League of Legends, in its execution.I know a lot of people addicted to LoL, though, so it’s easy to recommend for anyone who enjoys action-strategy games. You’ll take control of a group of heroes and progress through campaigns consisting of destroying enemy towers before they crush yours. You can only control one hero at a time (the others operate on some decent AI on the battlefield), but you choose their upgrades and abilities when they level up.
It’s a free-to-play title, so there’s no initial investment, but there are (of course) in-app purchase options available should you feel compelled to spend a bit of cash for crystals or gold. There’s one pretty big feature missing from the game, though: Legendary Heroes doesn’t currently support multiplayer, which makes a noticeable hole in gameplay. Fortunately, developer Maya has already promised that important feature in a coming update. Hopefully, we won’t be waiting too long to play with our friends, but until then, the solid single player campaign will easily tide you over.
Just when I figured there weren’t any more new angles you could take to the falling blocks game, Puzzle Prism came into my life and bowled me over. It’s not the prettiest puzzle game, but the gameplay more than makes up for its lack of graphical perfection. This is a crazy 3D Tetris-style gamewhere you watch a 3D “building” slowly rotate, and must drop three dimensional pieces onto that foundation to create completed “floors” (instead of the simple 2D lines you’d make in Tetris). Creating a full floor clears it, and the pieces drop into place again.
If the premise sounds insane, that’s because it is; placing blocks can be simultaneously adrenaline-pumping and infuriating, and to keep playing, you can’t allow the building to reach the blocks you’re dropping down. My first few play sessions were incredibly short-lived, as it’s an overwhelming experience when you first start playing. Over time, though, you’ll quickly learn how to chain combos and stay alive; that’s when the real fun begins.
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!