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
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past week, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of Rovio’s newest franchise-joining blockbuster, Star Wars Angry Birds. And as much as we might want to be sick of those birds and pigs... dammit, Angry Birds Star Wars is freaking awesome. It’s a collaboration among the greats of franchise mash-ups, and is easily the best in the franchise.
The birds have been redesigned to mirror your favorite Star Wars heroes: Luke, Obi-Wan, Han, and more all make an appearance. As always, each bird has special abilities; this time, the birds’ specials are specifically Star Wars themed: the “Luke” bird has a lightsaber, “Han” shoots his pistol, and so on. It’s a brilliant way to integrate the Star Wars universe into the world of Angry Birds.
Areas like Tatooine, the Death Star, and Dagobah combine the traditional feel of Angry Birds and the mad genius of Angry Birds Space -- and it’s easy to see why Angry Birds Space is already one of the top paid apps in both the App Store and the Google Play Store. If you’ve ever loved either franchise, don’t hesitate to pick this one up.
iOS (Dec 2012) | Android (FREE)
We love Spacetime Studios’ mobile MMORPGs (Dark Legends, Pocket Legends), and they’ve struck gold again with Arcane Legends, the newest installment in the Legends series. It’s the same kind of flavor as previous Legends titles, but this time, you’ll choose a hero (warrior, rogue, or sorcerer) and also a companion animal to fight alongside you as you defend the world of Arlor from evil monsters.
As franchises go, Spacetime has a knack for polishing and streamlining every time out, and Arcane Legends is no different; jumping in and playing Arcane is easy for everyone, even a first-time player, but veterans of the Legends series will still find new and interesting mechanics to enjoy as they work their way through the game. Bonus: Platinum is much easier to earn this time around, too!
Sleepwalker’s Journey is a seriously adorablt title featuring a protagonist named Moonboy. You see, he’s been sneezed out of the moon, and must sleepwalk his way back to a comfy bed. The resulting game is one that actually looks like it came straight out of the illustrations in children’s book: whimsical, dreamy, and soft.
Moonboy sleepwalks automatically through each level; it’s up to you to manipulate upcoming obstacles (ramps, platforms, and so on) to get him safely to the end. There are three moons and a set number of stars to collect in each level, in addition to a sleep timer that ticks down as Moonboy wanders around. The second you take control of Moonboy, you’ll realize you’re not immune to sleepy charm Sleepwalker’s Journey offers.
Another week, another brilliant game published by Adult Swim. This time, it’s Heads Up! Hot Dogs, a bizarre yet hilariously fun and addicting game that will lead to seeing hot dogs falling from the sky well after you’ve left your iPad. It’s such a simple concept, but one that’s self-aware of its goofy premise (and gladly wears it like a badge of honor). The result is a game you’ll find yourself saying, “just one more round” a few times in a row.
It sounds insane, but here’s what HU!HD is all about: pixellated folks go about their business while hot dogs fall from the sky, and it’s your job to pick them up (before they go bad after the five-second rule expires) and place them on passersby’s noggins. It gets pretty crazy after a while, with combos and other elements available during play. Basically, we’ve never played a more awesome game about putting wieners on people’s heads.
Storm the Train is a pretty cool spin on the “endless runner” genre -- it’s not quite that, but it’s not quite a level-based game, either. The entire game is based on one of our biggest action hero fantasies: taking down bad guys, collecting cash, and generally raining destruction, all while on top of a speeding train. And if this is as close as we’ll ever get to the real thing, that’s a-okay by us.
Each run starts with your character of choice (there are three available) getting dropped onto the caboose via helicopter, and you must work your way toward the front of the train. Coins and power-up crates are littered along your way, and a deep mission system along with an in-game “Mayhem” gauge offer some depth while you’re laying waste to your would-be killers. For a free game, Storm the Train never feels like it’s begging for your cash via IAP -- making it a great pick for anyone seeking some casual gameplay at an unbeatable price.
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!