The lights are on
This Week in Mobile brings some big names to the touch screen, as well as a few relatively unknown indies. If you play your cards right, you might also get a Swedish spelling lesson.
DropchordDeveloper: Double FinePlatform: Android; iOSPrice: $2.99
Tim Schafer’s Double Fine Productions isn’t known for music games, but it knows how to make one. Dropchord is now available over Android an iOS, offering players a chance to tilt and touch their way through challenging levels to the sound of an originally created electronica soundtrack. While this isn’t a rhythm-based game, it does seamlessly incorporate music into gameplay. Headphones recommended.
rymdkapselDeveloper: GrapefruktPlatform: Android; iOSPrice: $3.99
Swedish game designer Martin Jonasson describes his latest title, rymdkapsel (no, it’s not capitalized; yes, it’s spelled correctly), as “a meditative strategy game set in space.” More specifically, this multiplatform game tasks players with building up a space station while fighting off polygonal enemies. There are neon-colored rooms to be constructed, workers to be managed, and intricate planning to be done. rymdkapsel decidedly trades in the complexity of some strategy games for a more accessible approach to the genre.
The DrowningDeveloper: DeNA; Scattered EntertainmentPlatform: iOSPrice: Free
Ben Cousins, general manager of Scattered Entertainment, used to be executive producer for EA on several titles in the Battlefield series. He’s since moved on to develop smaller, free-to-play games, and The Drowning is his first major project. Set in a zombie-filled, post-apocalyptic world, it’s a touch-based FPS that uses an innovative two-finger firing control scheme. I don’t expect this game to revolutionize any genres, but it’s definitely worth checking out.
Kid TrippDeveloper: Not Done Yet Games; Mike BurnsPlatform: iOSPrice: $0.99
Not Done Yet Games is a small, American-based indie studio led by 19 year-old Mike Burns. Its latest project is Kid Tripp, a heavily-pixilated, heavily Mario-inspired side-scrolling platformer. Although many of Kid Tripp’s stages are brief, its platforming components require quick reactions and very precise timing. This game is simple, but it’s very well-crafted.
A Ride into the MountainsDeveloper: Chia-Yu Chen & Lee-Kuo ChenPlatform: Android; iOSPrice: $0.99
In A Ride Into the Mountains you play as Zu, a young boy equipped a bow, arrows, and a trusty steed. Your sole purpose is to protect a mysterious mountain relic, which takes a difficult turn when a meteorite filled with demons lands nearby. Your primary mode of defense is archery, which requires a simple pull and release touch method. Shots can be charged by increasing hold time, and tapping a second finger can activate a slow-motion focus mode. The overall aesthetic of this game has a very zen-like quality, and is best understood by simply trying it out.