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Infinity Blade 2

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.

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Desert Bus For Hope Ready For Fourth Ride

"Desert Bus" is finally available on Android, iPhone and iPad. The cult favorite game, developed by Penn and Teller and originally released on the Sega CD, puts players in control of a bus driving through the desert between Tucson and Las Vegas. The bus does not go over 45 miles per hour. The road is perfectly straight. There is no pause button. There is no traffic. The trip is in real time. At the end of an eight hour ride, the player is awarded a single point, and must then drive back. Don't think you can just leave it plugged in to drive by itself, either. Your bus pulls to the right.

It's only $.99, so I think you should download it, play it, and let me know how it goes. All the proceeds from the app’s sales go to this year’s Desert Bus For Hope event, which raises money for gamer charity Child’s Play.

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

MOVIECAT
iOS (iPhone/iPod Touch) $1.99 | iOS (iPad) $2.99 | iOS (Lite) FREE | Android (Universal) $1.99

G4's Knuckle Up: The Best Mobile Games - Week of November 21

I hadn’t heard of MovieCat before last week... but now that I know it exists, I’ve lost many hours to it. Yes, it’s old (it was released over a year ago); however, with Thanksgiving weekend upon us, many of us geeks will be relegated to spending it in the  company of family. And if you’re like my family, we love a little competition.

MovieCat combines two of my favorite things in this world: movie trivia, and cats. Seriously. While that might seem completely insane, it somehow all works, and so well that I found myself wishing there were actual cat versions of some of the movie scenes and costumes you’ll see while playing the game. This game will charm the hell out of you.
With a two player pass-and-play mode, question packs, and just flat-out fun gameplay, pick this one up for the holidays and play with your friends and family. If you’re a movie trivia buff, you’ll go crazy for MovieCat, so don’t miss out on it.

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Chair and Epic's Infinity Blade 2 captures "epic isolation." Which despie what you're thinking, isn't how I spend my weekends. I mean that is how I spend my weekends, but that's not whtat we're talking about right now. We're talking about Infinity Blade 2's unique design style that allows gamers to feel alone in the magnificent world they've created. The Unreal Engine and the updated iOS of the iPads make one of the most visually stunning mobile games to date. Take a look.

Infinity Blade 2 "Visuals" Trailer »


Infinity Blade 2 will be released on December 1, 2011. 

Check out another video for Infinity Blade 2's story while you're in the mood.

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The Indie Games of 2011

Digging Deeper: The Impact of Minecraft

Something happened last Thursday. One of the mothers in the office approached me with her son to ask when the new patch for Minecraft for the full title, whether he would have to stay up until midnight or wait until later that Friday. In a season of so many games coming out, this one young teen wanted to wait for a game about digging in the dirt. Minecraft, of course, encompasses far more than digging, building, and exploring. With a community of millions of people, this one title without any publisher and only a handful of developers has created a world far greater than the game itself. Last weekend, thousands of people filing into Las Vegas proved that as they attended the first ever MineCon.

Markus “Notch” Persson along with the rest of the Mojang team created a game that not only inspired a community, but also created a lasting impact in indie gaming. Today, I want to look at the bigger picture of the influences of Minecraft as well as how it’s changing the way indie games move forward. See it as just a big sandbox or a blank canvas, no one can deny this one game changed the course of games to come.

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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

GREED CORP

iOS (Universal) $4.99 | Android FREE

Sometimes, steampunk is really overdone these days; fortunately, Greed Corp manages to strike a perfect balance between a steampunk look and great gameplay on both Android and iOS. This is a fantastic turn-based strategy game with some interesting twists, and even if you’ve played it on XBLA, PS3, or PC, you’ll want to pick it up on your favorite mobile device.

There’s standard strategy fare like harvesters, cannons, and units to build, but Greed Corp ups the ante significantly by utilizing a land collapsing mechanic; that is, each time your harvesters pull resources at the start of your turn, the land crumbles a bit more. Run out of resources and that part of the grid falls into the abyss, taking any units placed on it, never to be seen again. It’s a relatively small tweak, but makes a huge difference in gameplay and strategy.

The single player campaign in Greed Corp is excellent, and offers a fun 1920’s style soundtrack to play to. In addition, the multiplayer provides local, online, computer or any combination of the three to face off against. You won’t regret this one.

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The Indie Games of 2011

Every year, there are more amazing indie games that slip through your fingers than titles on store shelves. If anything, this year proved that these small development teams have yet to exhaust their endless supply of creativity or passion for making great games. With the holidays quickly approaching, I figured that this would be an opportune time to remind you of some of the incredible titles released early this year for Steam. Knowing Gabe and the rest of the crew there, you’ll be able to pick up most of these titles for only a couple of bucks very soon. Winter sales are coming.

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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

ELDER SIGN: OMENS

iOS (iPhone/iPod Touch) $3.99 | iOS (iPad) $6.99 | Android $3.99

Yes, I’m aware that by making this my GotW, you’re all now aware of how big a geek I am. If you love the tabletop game Arkham Horror, you know how creepy and awesome good tabletop gaming can be, but with around 700 tokens, cards, and markers, it’s definitely time consuming to play out a full game. Creator Fantasy Flight Games recognized this and created Elder Sign, a more compact experience, and from that, comes Elder Sign: Omens, the most awesome tabletop-to-tablet translation of a game I’ve ever played.

Obviously, explaining the concept of a tabletop game is best left to tutorials and how-to videos on YouTube, but you’re attempting to keep Azathoth (one of Lovecraft’s Ancient Ones) from awakening. To do this, you’ll have to assemble a team of 1-4 members from a field of 16. Each character has their own bonuses, sanity, stamina, and other pros and cons, so choose wisely. The game is set in a museum, where you’ll take missions and attempt to complete them by rolling the virtual dice and matching the symbols.

Even if you don’t play tabletop games (or they intimidate you, but you’ve always wanted to try one), Elder Sign: Omens makes it fun and fairly easy to pick up and play. There are tutorial videos to help you get started (it definitely helped me), but overall, this is an absolutely brilliant translation of a tabletop game without all the pieces to clean up (or lose, which I’ve done). Fantasy Flight, you’ve got my permission to make more iOS versions of your games!

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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

Aquaria for iPad Teaser Trailer from Kert Gartner on Vimeo.

AQUARIA

iOS (Universal): $4.99

Truth be told, I was skeptical of Aquaria at first. At first glance, it seemed like a silly, cutesy underwater adventure for girls; however, after sitting down and playing it, I’m happy to jam my foot in my mouth, as Aquaria is an incredible title worth the accolades it’s raking in. Imagine parts from classic franchises and old 16- and 32- bit games like Metroid, Castlevania, and Ecco the Dolphin stitched together to create a game that’s one of the loveliest and deepest games I’ve played yet on the iPad.

You control Naija, a beautiful sea creature who’s suddenly rocked by the notion that she’s all alone in the world after encountering a strange being. She sets out to discover a world (named “The Verse”), and quickly learns it’s not all filled with peaceful denizens. The game’s controls are excellently ported from PC to touchscreen, and there is a mechanic that allows Naija to use the Verse by singing various songs.

It’s easily apparent how much love and care went into crafting this game, from the lonely yet rich expanse of the ocean, to the soundtrack, to Naija’s voiceovers. Beautiful to its core, Aquaria will remind you why you love the adventure genre.

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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

WHALE TRAIL (iOS)

iOS: $0.99

If you’ve been following Knuckle Up, you’ve probably noticed I am obsessed with two things in particular: zombie games and weird, colorful games that make you go, “WTF.” Whale Trail falls into the latter category, and it’s so much colorful WTF fun, you’ll feel like you’ve eaten a bag of magic mushrooms while also dropping acid. You play as Willow the Whale, a cute little whale looking to escape the clutches of the very dark and evil Baron von Barry by taking to the skies.

“But that’s not real,” you say. “Whale’s can’t fly, you madwoman!” You’re absolutely right. That’s why you have to collect colorful orbs mid-flight to keep fueling your crazy journey through the heavens. Oh, and you have to avoid mean storm clouds and collect stars, too. Did I mention this game reminds me of a Japanese game show?

Even though the game seems basic, it quickly becomes apparent it’s the kind of game that’s very easy to play, but tough to master. It’s very reminiscent of Tiny Wings, but I found Whale Trail to be even more fun and cheerful. This game is, hands-down, a must buy for anyone with an iOS device.

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Xperia Play

You know how you got used to saying "Sony Ericsson" when discussing mobile phones? Well get un-used to it, pronto. Sony has purchased Telefon AB L.M. Ericsson of Sweden, because Sony would like to boost the company's strategy to connect its mobile-gadget offerings with an online network of music, videos and games. In other words, compete with Samsung, Apple and and everyone else by merging your TV, your phone, and your game system.

What did this sure-to-be successful venture cost Sony? One and a half billion (with a "B") dollars.

How well Sony can compete with the iPhone will depend on the products it releases, obviously, and one of the products Sony seems very keen on is the Xperia Play, an Android-based handset that takes full advantage of Sony's PlayStation brand. Plus, you can play Minecraft on it, which is almost enough to get me to switch phones.

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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


SCRIBBLENAUTS REMIX
(iOS)
iOS: $4.99

On its surface, the Scribblenauts series of games looks innocuous enough: a child’s game requiring some imagination and creativity. When you peel back that layer of first impressions, though, the Scribblenauts franchise blooms in ways you never thought possible. A combination of Scribblenauts and Super Scribblenauts (with some added levels thrown in), Scribblenauts Remix is some of the most fun available on iOS right now.

If you’re unfamiliar with how it works, you’re a boy named Max who must come up with items to spawn (sometimes with specific adjectives) in order to complete tasks like populating a schoolroom, completing police training, and wiping out the dinosaurs. Sure, you can play the game straight and only type in “books” or “police uniform” -- but where’s the fun in that? I preferred to learn the hard way that spawning a Kraken on top of my unsuspecting friends looking for a beach party did not, in fact, complete the level. There are over 10,000 words Remix knows; combined with adjectives, the possibilities are nearly limitless.

In addition to the gameplay, Remix also has iCloud support and is a universal app, meaning you can pick up right where you left off across all of your iOS 5 devices. If you’re jam packed with imagination and need an outlet, Scribblenauts Remix is what you’ve been looking for.

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SkinvadersWe get many, many emails and announcements regarding iOS games. There's a bit of a gold rush going on in the iOS space: Cheap development costs plus success stories like Rovio's Angry Birds means a lot of folks are trying to jump onto the iPhone game bandwagon -- it's like a slot machine. It's a bit overwhelming, honestly. But sometimes, a game comes along that's so unique, I have to tell you about it. That game, today, is Skinvaders, a augmented reality game in which tiny monsters attack your face.  Not only that, they lay eggs in your skin.

It is just as creepy as it sounds You stare at your own mug being attacked by horrible bugs, aliens and other creeps, while tiny maggots (I guess) hatch from your abused skin. Judging from the above art and the below video, Skinvaders perfectly mimics a cocaine overdose, and the delusional "cocaine bugs" that druggies try to dig out of their flesh.

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Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto 3 is 10 years old, ladies and gentlemen, and it still looks impressive. It's time for you to relive a decade of gaming memories with this fond look back at the granddaddy of all open-world game, Grand Theft Auto 3!

Grand Theft Auto 3 10 Years Anniversary Trailer »


 

Earlier this week, we brought you guys a Grand Theft Auto 3 for mobile preview. The game is so new that no official videos have been released. But that doesn't mean you can't see it in action. Some sneaky person played the game at New York Comic-Con and seems to have surreptitiously recorded his/her experience and posted it to the internet. Tsk, Tsk.

The video is not the best quality, but it has that illicit feeling you get from seeing something you're not supposed to be seeing, no? Check it out, while it's still up:

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