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
We’re all familiar wtih Tetris, the classic shapes-falling puzzle game that captured gamers’ hearts (and left them with the soundtrack incessantly playing in their heads). Strategically placing tetrominos are back in a big way with Dream of Pixels, an interesting puzzle game inspired by the old classic. This time around, though, you’ll be playing what amounts to “backwards Tetris,” in a way.
A cloud cover descends on your iOS device’s screen, and you’ll be presented with a tetromino to place at the cloud’s edge. Dropping a piece clears that bit of cloud, so instead of making lines, you’ll be clearing them -- and the descent speeds up every 10 lines cleared. There’s more than just one way to play, too: in addition to Classic, other modes include Pro, Nightmare, Shattered Dreams, and Puzzle.
Dream of Pixels is a brilliant twist on classic Tetris, offering an interesting and somewhat relaxing jaunt through the world of tetrominos and stunning visuals, all set to a mellow soundtrack that will keep you calm as you reach higher levels.
We loved Motley Blocks a lot when we saw it at Square-Enix’s E3 booth earlier this year. Now, it’s finally made its way to the App Store, and we couldn’t be happier. It’s a relatively simple game in terms of how to play, but there’s something special about it that separates it a little from the usual pack of puzzle games, and we’re really digging it. Each level consists of a shape made out of little cubes.
That shape explodes, separating each cube into a carousel of color, and as they orbit, you trace your finger over cubes of the same color. If you touch a cube of a different color, though, the chain is broken and no cubes disappear. The goal is to pop all the cubes before they finish a set number of “laps” around, which is a lot harder than it looks. Motley Blocks is a great pick for kids and adults alike (and the custom shape creator is pretty fun, too).
Arranger is one of the weirder games we’ve covered here on Knuckle Up, but that doesn’t make it any less awesome. In fact, its Atari-esque style and bizarre mini-games make it one of the cooler titles we’ve had the pleasure of playing recently. As a tiny pixellated blob that also happens to be a music arranger, it’s your job to travel the lands, complete mini-games and tasks for its denizens, and collect musical instruments to add to your mustical prowess.
Certain characters have “arrangement” games that require you to choose specific instruments to produce their desired sound, while others require puzzles to be solved or items delivered in order to continue. Oh, and the creatures that live in Arranger’s world consist of people, numbers, monsters, and other weirdos. It’s strange, fantastical, and well worth a dollar and a few hours of your time.
Beatdown is totally rocking our world this week. A man wrongly fired from his office job goes totally Falling Down and sets off to give the CEO of his ex-job the beating of a lifetime. Along the way, he’ll have to contend with all kinds of bad guys looking to give their own beatdown. If you remember anything about the fun you used to have playing Double Dragon, you might feel some pangs of nostalgia when you boot up Beatdown.
The game offers a simpler variety of gameplay than a Double Dragon would, in that there arent a myriad of upgrades and attacks to purchase; however, Beatdown does have a pretty great vibe attached to its gameplay, which helps make up for the lack of options in upgrades (and we’re hoping to see more added in the future). If the 2.5D side-scrolling brawler is your cup of tea, then get in game, grab a tack hammer, and start kicking ass!
We never imagined we’d enjoy a game about shoving as much as we’re enjoying Shove Pro, a ridiculous game that centers around stuntman Lars Speedwagon, the original “chase scene guy.” It’s a solid parody of the action genre, and offers different movie sets for Lars to scamper around in, bump into innocent bystanders, and shove them into the men looking to catch him.
Imagine an endless runner like Temple Run, add huge doses of silliness and movie parody to it, and you’ll get what the core of Shove Pro is. Lars Speedwagon is a great “hero,” tossing old ladies into cars and couples into helicopters is wildly amusing, and the physics (while admittedly a bit odd, considering he runs forward and literally throws people backwards) is still fun to play with.
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!