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 five favorite games this week:
GAME OF THE WEEK
Max McMann is a terrible role model, and our new hero. Devil’s Attorney revolves around the dashing, self-centered McMann and his quest to get the dregs of society off scot-free, while simultaneously furnishing his apartment, dressing well, and upgrading his sports car. It’s not always easy to get that “Not Guilty,” though...
If we had to describe the gameplay in Devil’s Attorney, we’d probably say it was like a simple card game, but with hilarious dialogue and a protagonist you hate to love (he reminded us a little of one Sterling Archer). Each case offers a funny intro, and then you’ll spend points over your turn chipping away at the prosecution, who trot out evidence, witnesses, and modifiers to them that complicate your plan to win.
There’s so much to love about Devil’s Attorney, we couldn’t possibly squeeze it into such a short review. It’s a “pure” mobile game, free of IAP and ads, making it a crime not to buy it. The gameplay is so solid and amusing, you’ll end up replaying it just to listen to Max’s banter with each prosecutor. The only thing we’re guilty of is loving this game too much.
It’s been over a decade since we were introduced to Brian Basco and Gina Timmins in the point-and-click adventure Runaway (and its sequels). Now, Bulkypix and Pendulo Studios have teamed up to bring us Hidden Runaway, a fantastic hidden object game that takes place during the events of the original story. A movie studio is developing a major blockbuster based on Brian and Gina’s story, and the film’s director pays them a visit to get the real dirt on what happened during their adventures.
As Brian and Gina retell their story, you’ll be transported back to different points of the tale and asked to complete various puzzles. It’s mostly a hidden object game (with some other types of puzzles sprinkled throughout), but Pendulo manages to keep things interesting with a fun storyline and great dialogue. Hidden Runaway is a great way to bring this classic franchise back to the mainstream, and the concept works perfectly on iOS devices. Now, where’s a new, full Runaway point-and-click game for us to enjoy, hmmmmm?
Infectonator began its life as a flash-based browser game, and now, it’s found its way to both iOS and Android in Infectonator 2. This one’s a zombie infection game framed by a retro look and feel, and it’s an effective combination, offering a fun and -- dare we say it -- infectious romp through a universe where it’s your job to infect as many humans as possible, and collect as much money as you can along the way. And oh, how Infectonator’s path to planetwide human extinction delights us!
Each level takes you to a new major city around the globe, where you’ll be given a task: killing citizens within a time limit, collecting coins, taking down specific people, etc. Each level is a quick fix, and lasts for a short amount of time. At first, it feels like your outcomes aren’t under your control, but after a few upgrades and skill unlocks (easily attainable, as there are unlimited replays), you’ll be wiping out swaths of humanity in no time.
Funky Smugglers reminds us a lot of an Adult Swim game: it’s funny, clever, simple, and crazy addicting. As a security agent, you’ll be looking through your X-Ray scanner and removing those pesky prohibited products from boarding passengers. You’ll pretty much never look at a (seemingly) sweet little old lady at the airport again, especially after you’ve ripped 100 hazardous items like hatchets and hand grenades from purses.
For a simple concept and gameplay, Funky Smugglers offers some really cool modes to check out. The single player has missions to complete, in the same vein as Jetpack Joyride and a bunch of other games of its ilk. The team battles are epic, offering huge high score competition (and it’ll be cross-platform when the game launches on Android). The cherry on top is a funky (and hilarious!) soundtrack that will keep you grooving as you yank illegal items from the scanning line.
This one’s not a “game” in the linear, questing/shooting/solving sense, but it’s certainly worth a look if you love things like Minecraft and The Sandbox. This is a world building “game” that lets you create your own little planets (complete with animals), and it’s exciting to not only take a spin in the worlds of Topia, but also to imagine the future of this little creation sim.
The controls in Topia are fluid, and allow you to explore your world with relative ease. Graphically, the game’s gorgeous: water, land, and sky are all rolled into a stunning package for you to unwrap. In the future, we’ll hopefully see additions like challenges and more species, but for now, we love how much potential resides in Topia, and we can’t wait to see future updates from Crescent Moon Games.
Ashley Esqueda is a host, cylon, and all-around mobile nerd who also works for Mobile Nations and runs an obscenity-laden tech podcast called Techfoolery. 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!