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Mobile

Angry Birds

According to Angry Birds developer Rovio, the incredibly successful game, and its two iterations, Angry Birds Seasons and Angry Birds Rio, were downloaded a whopping 6.5 million times on Christmas Day 2011. Coincidentally, that's also close to the number of smartphone activations that were said to have happened over the holiday.

“We’re really excited to have such a massive number of new people get acquainted with Angry Birds over the holidays — we have exciting new releases lined up for 2012, and can’t wait to introduce them to the public,” Rovio’s Ville Heijari said.

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The Indie Games of 2011

Monaco will be the game that people will pop on during parties. Fez should start building another shelf just for all the of the “Best of the Year” awards. And everything from Antichamber  to Zombie Grinder is just waiting in the wings for this year to unfold. Yes, 2012 is the year that everything changes as indie games take over consoles, PC’s, and iPhones. Here are just a couple of the titles that you need to know about before everyone else is already talking about them.

Gratuitous Tank Battles

The man who brought you so much real-time space combat that it was outlawed in Nebraska is back to tackle the tower defense genre with plenty of treads. Gratuitous Tank Battles puts you in the trenches of this World War nightmare as it clashes with futuristic weaponry. The heavy thuds of mechs and the rumble of tanks shake the ground as they march towards a gauntlet of trenched soldiers, giant cannons, and their awaiting fate. Players will work both lines of the battle as they try to stop the endless waves of attackers or send countless waves of men towards victory. Just as with Space Battle, it’s both the scope and detail of the game that’s most impressive. Zoom out too far and you’ll lose yourself in the chaos of the war. The adaptive AI promises that every battle will be different as the computer learns to counter your strategy. Create the perfect fighter or defense with the custom unit editor. You can also create your own levels with your particular units. When other players upload your map, they’ll be playing against a virtual you in the stage. Gratuitous Tank Battles will hopefully live up to its name once it comes out this year.

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The best mobile video games can be hard to find, simply because of the sheer amount of titles out there. But, worry not! Welcome to G4's Knuckle Up, where we bring you a byte-sized view of our five favorite mobile games every week. The mobile 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's our top five games this week.

GAME OF THE WEEK

BUG PRINCESS

iOS (Universal)

CAVE is a Japanese developer that makes some amazing games, so when they port any of their acclaimed shooters to iOS, we tend to sit up and listen. Bug Princess is a port of the 2004 Japanese arcade game Mushihimesama, and it’s been optimized beautifully for iOS.

Bug Princess offers three distinct modes of gameplay (Original, Maniac, and Ultra), as well as four difficulty modes. Along with that, you’ll also have the option of three different ship types, each with a different kind of firing style. It helps make the gameplay more interesting and customized, as each style has its pros and cons.

The last difficulty level (aptly named “Hell”) will test every ounce of your vertical shooter prowess, even for the most hardened veterans. Bug Princess is another magnificent installment from CAVE and provides any arcade fan with some classic action.

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This is kinda neat. The games-loving smartphone users among us have all been tripping out over the past few weeks about the novelty of being able to carry around the beast of a game that is Grand Theft Auto 3 in our pockets, thanks to the 10th anniversary iOS and Android release. The game features updated textures beyond what we all saw coming out of our PlayStation 2's back in the early Aughts. Turns out, that's not enough for some folks.

Now that the game is out in the wild, modders are learning that it's not so difficult to tweak the game. Actually, it's quite easy. Like "copy these files into a folder and hit play" easy. And it seems that a bunch of pre-existing PC mods are already compatible. Wacky, right? DroidGamers (via Joystiq) links to a bunch of guides, so give it a look if you want to soup up your Android version of the game.

Fear not, iOS-folk. There's joy for you too. It turns out that you can also mod the App Store release, according to TheTechErra. Best of all? You don't need to have a jailbroken device! I haven't tested either the Android or iOS methods myself, but let us know how they work if you decide to give it a shot.

Source: DroidGamers, TheTechErra

The best mobile video games can be hard to find, simply because of the sheer amount of titles out there. But, worry not! Welcome to G4's Knuckle Up, where we bring you a byte-sized view of our five favorite mobile games every week. The mobile 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's our top five games this week.

GAME OF THE WEEK

SIN OR WIN-- iOS (iPad) $1.99

There’s nothing quite like Sin or Win, and I mean that in the greatest way imaginable. This is a simple game with a simple premise, and yet somehow, it asks some heavy questions of our morality. So, do you feel wrathful, or forgiving? Sin or Win features one screen with twin reapers (Stephen and Arthur) on each side of a fiery pit. Cavemen leap into the air, and you must decide whether to save them by flinging them into the clouds, or smite them by chucking them into the hot hole in the ground.

When the pit fills up -- and trust me, it’s easy to let that pit fill up -- the game ends, and you’re awarded points based on what you did during the game. Sinning is actually harder than winning, since you have to continually find ways to empty the pit, but either way you decide to play it, Sin or Win is an absolute blast. That dragon hiding out in the clouds is a caveman-crisping jerk, though.

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Does Grand Theft Auto 3 Mobile Live Up To The Original? Read Our Review!

It's all the rage these days to port older games to handheld devices. As the number of people gaming on the phone increases, so do the offerings. To celebrate the 10th anniversary of Grand Theft Auto III, Rockstar has released a port of the game for iOS and Android devices called Grand Theft Auto 3: 10 Year Anniversary Edition.

Does the on-the-go version live up to the excitment of the original? Our reviewer Ashley Esqueda chimes in:

"The best part of GTA3’s open ended world is still here for you to enjoy and all of the fantastic side quests and mini games are available from the original. If you want to drive around town seeking ramps to launch your freshly-stolen ride off of to gain points (and feel like Steve McQueen), they’re waiting for you. If you’re a more gentle criminal, and feel like ferrying about citizens of Liberty City, carjack the nearest cab and start collecting fares. Completionists and overachievers (like myself) will recall the days of yore when one spent 100+ hours seeking out every bonus and exploring every nook and cranny of Liberty City."

To find out more, read our entire Grand Theft Auto 3: 10 Year Anniversary Review!
 

The best mobile video games can be hard to find, simply because of the sheer number of titles out there. But, worry not! Welcome to G4's Knuckle Up, where we bring you a byte-sized view of our five favorite mobile games every week. The mobile 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's our top five games this week.

GAME OF THE WEEK

SONIC CD

iOS (Universal) $1.99 | Android $1.99

There’s nothing better than recapturing some of that old nostalgia from a beloved gaming mascot, and Sonic CD is doing just that. For those of you old enough to remember the original, you’ll recall Sonic CD was one of the most critically acclaimed Sonic games ever. Sega’s now brought this classic over to iOS (and many other platforms) with some enhanced features and the same exuberance we’ve come to love from the Sonic franchise.

As always, Sonic’s got to stop Dr. Robotnik (“Dr. Eggman”) from acquiring items that will allow him to take over the world. It’s been ported beautifully to iOS, with the same killer time travel mechanic (which allows you to play past, present, and future versions of each level), alongside some nice touch optimizations and enhancements to the original game. In addition, the original Japanese soundtrack is in this version of Sonic CD, making this a must-buy for any old school gamer looking to relive the glory days of 16-bit, especially if you missed it the first time around.

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Who says platformers are a dying genre? This year saw the rise of several epic installments to the library of platforming greats – some new face, some familiar, but all of them every bit of fun, like a great game should be. Below we've got a sampling of what we think are five of the year's best. Whether you’re simply curling up with a cozy old franchise or taking a chance on a newcomer, you can’t go wrong with these fantastic platformers of 2011.

Jetpack Joyride

Jetpack Joyride

There have been so many addictive mobile titles released this year, it’s hard to choose only one to represent them all (like Lord of the Rings of the mobile game world). But if hard-pressed to make a decision, we gravitated toward Jetpack Joyride, which isn’t a traditional platformer per se, but a delicious morsel of blue-sized fun perfect for that long commute to work. Your only real concern is keeping protagonist Barry Steakfries from harm as he hurtles through a seemingly neverending laboratory avoiding laser deathtraps and other malevolent speedbumps. This is all accomplished via touching and holding a spot on the screen to propel Barry upward or letting him fall to the ground, avoiding the hazards that would otherwise befall him. It’s insanely fun and the coins collected along the way work to make this 99 cent gem as rewarding as any triple-A title. It's a testament to the fact that spectacular graphics and explosions don't mean a thing if you don't have a solid premise, and Joyride has it.

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The best mobile video games can be hard to find, simply because of the sheer number of titles out there. But, worry not! Welcome to G4's Knuckle Up, where we bring you a byte-sized view of our five favorite mobile games every week. The mobile 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's our top five games this week.

GAME OF THE WEEK

BAG IT!

iOS (iPhone/iPod) $0.99 | iOS (iPad) $2.99 | Android $1.99

If someone told me two weeks ago I’d be choosing a grocery bagging game as my game of the week, I’d have laughed heartily and recommended therapy. Yet here I stand, foot in mouth, telling you that Bag It! evokes all the best parts of your Tetris nostalgia and is fully deserving of the praise it’s getting.

The objective is simple: take groceries off the conveyor belt and stack them neatly in the paper bag. Where it gets complicated, however, is in the weights of the different items. Eggs will break under the weight of something heavier like a watermelon, so you can’t just toss everything in the bag and hope for the best. Even worse, the game makes you do a tilt test to ensure the integrity of the stacks you create.

With a plethora of game modes to keep your gears turning (our favorite is Udder Mayhem, in which you crush as much as humanly possible), a variety of supermarket items with individual personalities, and some decent physics, who knew bagging groceries could be so much fun?

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Batman: Arkham City Lockdown, a new app from Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment and DC Entertainment, is out now for iOS devices like the iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch. The game was developed by NetherRealm Studios, the creators of Mortal Kombat, on the Unreal Engine, and features many of Gotham's most dangerous criminals like The Joker, Two-Face, Solomon Grundy, and a special iOS-exclusive character named Deathstroke.

Batman: Arkham City Lockdown Launch Trailer »



The game plays a bit like Infinity Blade 2 and its graphics are honestly amazing. You'll fight through Gotham in a series of one-on-one battles and have use of several power-ups as you, "punch, kick and combo your way to cleaning up Gotham City."

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OnLive Gaming Service GDC 2009

UPDATE: OnLive set us straight on how your free LEGO Batman access will be distributed. A company spokesperson confirms that they're monitoring who accesses the mobile client and will be sending an e-mail notification within 24 hours to all qualifying users. At that point, the game should show up in your My Games list.

OnLive already made its mobile debut with a spectator-only Viewer app, but today the cloud gaming service brings its supporters what they've been waiting for: high-end gaming on the go, with touchscreen support on select titles no less.

The newly released app is currently available only for Android platforms, as the company is still awaiting Apple's certification for an iOS launch. Those who aren't able to connect a gamepad to their mobile device of choice will also be pleased to hear that 25 titles in the OnLive library have been updated with virtual touchscreen controls. It's certainly not an ideal way to play, but it's an option at least.

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Xbox Live iOS App ReleasedTo go along with the sweeping changes Microsoft implimented on Xbox Live yesterday, the company has released an iOS companion app that allows you to keep track of your friends, send messages, update your profile and gaze longingly at your gamerscore while you count the hours until you can return to your 360. The Xbox Live app is free.  Here's the app store link.

If you're a Windows 7 Phone user, there's love for you, too. The Xbox Companion for Windows Phone 7 is live as of yesterday, and that application lets you do everything the iPhone version does, but also lets you control content from your Windows phone. Amazing...and also, free.

Check out our Xbox Live dashboard preview for an overview of everything new on your system.


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Minecraft: Pocket Edition Plans Include Crafting, Mobs, Actual Game Stuff

Those who have Minecraft: Pocket Edition -- doesn't matter if it's the iOS or Android version -- have probably noticed that there's not so much going on with it yet. Longtime fans of the blocky world-building game would probably compare it to the early days of the PC game, when there was little more to do than just... build stuff.

Mojang is aware of Pocket Edition's feature shortcomings, and is working to correct that. A new blog post on the company's website runs through some of the planned additions, in-game features like mobs and an inventory system as well as behind-the-scenes fixes to make everything run better. You can get the full breakdown on Mojang's website, or just hit the jump for some friendly bullet points.

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Grand Theft Auto 3 Anniversary Release Date Revealed

Hey, video game criminals: Grand Theft Auto 3: 10 Year Anniversary Edition has a release date. You'll be able to play it on your "new generation" Android or iOS on December 15th and it's only $4.99.  That means you can own one of the most important games ever made for less than 5 bucks!

Below the cut, you'll find the full list of devices that will support the game at launch, as well as a screenshot that shows off GTA 3: 10 Year Anniversary Edition phone interface.

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Infinity Blade 2

If you haven’t picked up Epic Games and ChAIR Entertainment’s Infinity Blade 2, you’re missing out on the hottest sequel this side of mobile gaming. You can catch up on our full review if you haven’t read it yet, and if you decide to pick it up, we’ve put together this handy guide to help you get the most out of your IB2 experience.

A lot’s changed since the original Infinity Blade, including deeper combat, customizable weapons, armor and accessories, and a less linear map for you to explore. Let’s jump into Siris’ world and make you an unstoppable force.

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