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.
This week, we’re talking about our most anticipated games for 2013. Check out what we’re looking forward to in mobile gaming next year:
INFINITY BLADE: DUNGEONS
The biggest iOS franchise ever will be returning next year with something a little bit different. Infinity Blade: Dungeons looks to bring a top-down, Diablo-esque feel to the IB universe. It’s also a pretty awesome plot that’s a prequel to the first and second Infinity Blade: you’re the apprentice to the Master of the Forge, and you must battle your way through the game in order to craft the Infinity Blade. If that isn’t awesome, we don’t know what is.
The first time we saw a glimpse of Dungeons was at the iPad event back in March of 2012; however, there were a few shifts in development (including a transition from Epic’s North Carolina studio to Impossible Games), so Dungeons got pushed back to 2013. Sure, we wish we were already playing it now, but the trailer holds so much promise -- not to mention Impossible Games has been adding their genius and baking even more awesome in -- we’re willing to wait a little bit longer for what looks to be one of the biggest iOS titles of the year.
iOS (Q1 2013)
When we think of Simogo Games, we think of cute, upbeat titles like Beat Sneak Bandit. That’s why we were so surprised when they took the wraps off Year Walk, a game that claims to be a "2D adventure about folklore, strange creatures, and maybe a little bit of the occult." That’s certainly piqued our interest about the game, which takes place in 1800’s Sweden on New Year’s Eve. The announcement trailer doesn’t reveal much, but it does give a glimpse into the vibe of the game, which we’re totally digging.
The game centers around an old Swedish tradition of taking a long walk to get a look at what might happen in the future year, but it’s obvious by the trailer we’ll be seeing more than just some leaves and fluffy forest creatures. There’s definitely a lot of weird, melancholy imagery packed into the video (we’re partial to the super creepy goat heads), and we’re very much looking forward to checking it out this winter. Will we get it sooner than we think? Let’s hope so.
iOS (Spring 2013)
Morning Star is the brainchild of Industrial Toys, a new studio with some heavy-hitting founders: Bungie co-founder Alex Seropian, Seven Lights co-founder Tim Harris, and Oni lead engineer Brent Pease. They’re looking to shake up gamers’ expectations for mobile games with Morning Star, a sci-fi FPS set in the year 2133, where it seems things have gone very wrong for humanity...
Obviously, these guys know how to create a first-person shooter, and Morning Star looks to be no different: they’re promising events, multiplayer, and updates like nothing you’ve seen before on a mobile device. If that’s not exciting enough, they’ve tapped System of a Down frontman Serj Tankian to score the game’s soundtrack. This is definitely one to look forward to, especially if you love games like Dead Space.
iOS (Feb/Mar 2013)
One of our favorite XBLA games is Limbo, and Frogmind’s Badland offers a visual landscape similar to the award-winning title. Incredibly, Badland is developed by a team of two Finnish developers, and it’s incredible what they’ve created thus far. Set in a beautifully silhouetted world, you’ll control a denizen of the forest out to discover why something terrible seems to be happening.
We don’t have a lot of information on Badland beyond the fact that we know what it looks like, and that it will employ one-touch controls, with the plucky hero creature flapping its way through each level (which seem to be filled with some gnarly traps and cool physics). There’s no doubt that Badland will be a well-received iOS title when it’s finally released in Spring of 2013, but for now, we’ll just have to keep gazing at the gorgeous concept art, wallpapers, and trailer.
DOUBLE FINE ADVENTURE (CODENAME: "REDS")
iOS, Android (TBA)
We’re already clamoring for the Double Fine Adventure, even though it’s a ways off; evil genius Tim Schafer and his merry band of development miscreants put together a Kickstarter for a traditional adventure game in mid-2012, asking for $300,000. The result? Over $3 million bucks from adventure fans, giving Schafer & Co. the opportunity to branch out development to other platforms, including iOS and Android. Hooray for us!
The game, codenamed "Reds," is mid-development at the moment, and we’re pretty sure that if it’s anything like previous Double Fine efforts (Psychonauts, Costume Quest), adventure and mobile gaming fans alike will be thrilled with the result. If you want in on helping shape the game, there’s still Double Fine’s "Slacker Backer" option, which allows you to donate to the game’s budget and get into the exclusive REDS forums, even though the Kickstarter is long over. If you call yourself an adventure fan, we know you’re probably in the top secret DFA forums.
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!