Welcome to G4's Knuckle Up, where we bring you a byte-sized view of our five favorite mobile games every week. The phone and tablet 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
Before everyone got struck with the angry avian flu, we spent our time taking down little army men, one massive wave at a time. The original Fieldrunners made throwing down turrets popular and spawned a whole new genre on the iPhone. But can the grandfather of mincing minions make a comeback after all this time? My near dead iPhone battery can certainly agree that Fieldrunners 2 improves on just about every aspect of the original.
Even if you’re one who likes to build mazes with cheap turrets or build out the gauntlet one piece at a time, there’s a little something for everyone in Fieldrunners 2. Every area gives you a little something new to play with such as the new medic units, environmental hazards, or little ramps that weave the men in and around the arena. Multiple modes such as Sudden Death that will kill you sooner or later; it’s only a matter of how long you can survive.
For anyone who has thrown down a turret and held his or her breath, you need to download this game immediately.
This game almost took the top spot of the week. Take a bit of dungeon crawling action with a splash of Bejewled and you get this highly addictive, 8-bit adventure crawl that will keep your fingers moving. The game starts with you waking up in a disheveled castle. To escape, you need to race through the ever-changing dungeon, kill skeletons, unlock treasure chests, and hit a set number of points to escape.
Go on. Guess how many points you need.
You’ll battle, pick locks, and survive by matching three of the same items in a row. Swords, magic wands, and keys will help you on your way along with chests and assorted resources you can pick up to open up new rooms in the castle. Each of these new areas allows you to upgrade tiles to give you more power or better protection as you face increasingly difficult monsters in the dungeon. Side missions, upgrading rooms as well as your self will keep you occupied for hours if not days. You may never need another game again.
Turtle Power! Well, not that kind. Think of yourself as a very slow goblin-killing machine. Shellrazer puts you in command of a large turtle that can house up to three different units to take out the goblin onslaught. From machine guns to a little heavier artillery, your slow moving command center continues forward as take aim at your adversaries by either sliding your finger from the unit you want to use or use two fingers to aim. Goblins attack from both the air and the land in order to stop your plodding movement to the finishline.
With every round, you gain a little cash to upgrade your artillery, buy accessories to power them up, or a couple of one use items to help you along the way. The IAP option lets you earn a little cash for real money. And thankfully, that’s it. With plenty of units to switch out and upgrade, you’ll always have a new way of tackling any situation. I will say that my large awkward thumbs sometimes pushed the turtle, which makes it go faster, rather than landing on the machine gun right above his shell. Just be careful before you go poking the turtle.
Loot? Check. Weapons? Check. Vengeance? You better believe it.
ORC: Vengeance delivers a stunning-looking dungeon crawler that’s easy on the fingers. As one of the last orc survivors, you’ll need to make your way through the skeleton-infested hallways and undead skyways looping around the castle. As you watch your enemies fall before you, you gain new weapons, experience, and plenty of loot for you to buy new stuff or simply upgrade what you already have on hand.
Even on the small iPhone screen, ORC: Vengeance looks amazing as you see the castle disappear into the background or the levels descend into the inky darkness below. Though pretty, the trip can get tedious at times, as you tend to slay the same foes with the occasional boss battle to break up the monotony. With every level you gain, you can focus on putting more power behind every swing or add in more special attacks, which can be performed with double-taps or swipes of the finger. While it doesn’t have the depth of some crawlers, Orc Vengeance gives you just enough to scratch that loot-finding, skeleton-killing itch.
Summer is almost over, but you can keep it going – for free. 9 Innings 2013 puts you back on the field with some amazing visuals and a full season for your fingers to enjoy. This game gives you all the players you recognize even if the team names are limited to the cities. Connect the dots and you should be fine. Pitching and hitting have an old-school RBI Baseball sort of feel to them, which works well for on-the-go play. We’re not talking about anything too complex, but it does the job, and it’s the content that keeps you coming to bat.
Cards can be purchased with in-game currency or IAP will give players a much-added nudge towards faster runs or harder swings. With a little bit of sim mixed with a good dose of RPG, 9 Innings 2013 delivers as a very quick pick up and play baseball game that will help you scratch that diamond-shaped itch wherever you are.
Rob Manuel is just some guy filling in for Ashley Esqueda until she comes back from her secret mission overseas. You can always talk to him about indie games on twitter.