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
Fun fact: the same development company responsible for our Game of the Week is also responsible for creating one of the best sci-fi FPS games ever created in Crysis (and its glorious sequel). Fibble: Flick ‘n’ Roll isn’t anything like what I expected Crytek to make when I heard they were making an iOS game; however, that’s definitely not a bad thing, as Fibble is a really fun game with some very high production value.
Fibble’s an alien who’s crash landed on Earth, and it’s your job to help him navigate the house he’s landed in and find his alien friends. Each level consists of a little track for Fibble to roll through, and an environment with beautiful renders of objects corresponding to the room you’re currently in (toys, groceries, etc). Finding Fibble’s alien buddies lets you place them around each track to get to places Fibble wouldn’t be able to go by himself; for example, Byte will launch Fibble into the air if you tap the screen while Fibble is in proximity, getting him to otherwise unreachable areas.
Fibble is Crytek’s first foray into mobile gaming, but it’s a solid iOS title that brings great gameplay and gorgeous production value to your iPhone or iPad. It’s pretty crazy to see the makers of ultra slick sci-fi shooter Crysis also bring us the silly, fun world in Fibble: Flick ‘n’ Roll, but at the end of the day, all that matters is that Fibble is packed with delights you won’t want to miss.
I can’t tell you how close Gunman Clive came to being on top this week; it was a very tough call, and almost any other week, this game would have easily topped the list. If you have a deep love for the Mega Man franchise, you’ll likely enjoy the heck out of this Old West side-scroller. Don’t worry though, you’ll also love it if you enjoy simple and elegant games on your smartphone or tablet. Gunman Clive takes place in the wild west of the early 19th century. The mayor’s daughter has been kidnapped by some nefarious outlaws, and it’s up to Clive to go in guns-a-blazin‘ to rescue her.
Make no mistake, the first thing you notice about Gunman Clive is the gorgeous, hand-drawn and -shaded graphics. They shimmer with motion as you progress through each level, and a lot of the game’s old-timey charm comes from them. That’s not all the game has to offer, though; there are some downright tough boss battles, and some great platforming action to be had, making Gunman Clive a must for pretty much any Android or iOS gamer out there. And if you’re not digging it, at least give the hilarious, self-effacing trailer a look.
You guys are going to think I’m totally weird, but I’ve somehow placed 8-Bit Ninja into this bizarro game narrative that takes place between Tiny Tower and Fruit Ninja. You see, one of my bitizens from Tiny Tower is a ninja. He wants to attend the ninja tournament in 8-Bit Ninja, and his experience there causes him to hate fruit, subsequently spawning Fruit Ninja. Yup, definitely a weirdo.
Fortunately, DogByte Studios kept me from a straightjacket by admitting one of their inspirations for 8-Bit Ninja was, in fact, Fruit Ninja. It really shows in this lovely little pick-up-and-play title, where your ninja must dodge left and right to keep himself from being squashed by massive, bouncing fruit. It’s not quite that simple, though, and collecting experience points, eggs, and gems will keep you unlocking and upgrading your characters for a long time. Another welcome perk? In-app purchases never feel mandatory.
Finally, Canabalt, one of the coolest iOS titles I’ve had the pleasure of playing, is available for Android. This is a slick yet simple endless runner from Semi Secret Software (Aquaria, Steam Birds, Gravity Hook) that never quits. The premise is really straightforward: you’re a guy on the rooftops running from a crazy alien invasion (which you can see happening in the backdrop). One-touch controls make playing easy, as you only need to jump over obstacles.
Those obstacles get more intrusive as you run, natch, and each session goes by pretty quickly. I’ll admit my complete worthlessness at first in Canabalt made me want to go farther even more than if the game was easy, and it’s not difficult to find yourself sucked into a lengthy play session as you attempt to best your own score. Lastly, do not miss out on the incredible, adrenaline-pumping, aural experience Canabalt’s soundtrack provides.
Rinth Island is a huge hit on Facebook for a reason, and Buzz Monkey Software is making sure you don’t miss what the fuss it about on iOS, as it’s a faithful port that will keep you engaged and entertained for hours and hours. This is a 3D puzzle game that involves a little bit of platforming: you’ll walk around a cylindrical structure, solving puzzles that enable you to climb higher and complete each area. Not only will you be pushing blocks and climbing ladders, you’ll also need to help your town pick up the pieces of the awful storm that’s stranded all of you on a desert island.
At first, the puzzles are easy, teaching you how the three-dimensional world works and how your hero can manipulate it. Later, the puzzles become far more difficult and dizzyingly complex, so you’ll never feel like you’re not getting a well-rounded gaming experience while you play. Rinth Island is definitely up there in the echelons of “best-in-genre” for the puzzle category, so fire up your iOS device and give it a whirl. You won’t be disappointed.
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!