Best new Android games (mid-September edition)

September 15, 2012
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Pig Rush

What is it with animals and the ability to launch themselves high into the air? Not too long ago, we talked about a sheep that was late for God’s party and had to leap his way across heaven. In Pig Rush, one brave pig has decided that he has had enough and that he is escaping the farm. However, he can’t do it alone. You’ll need to aid him in his great escape.

Pig Rush is a game that looks like a 2D side-scroller but has some 3D elements cleverly mixed in. It’s also equipped with catchy music that will definitely keep you hooked. Our brave piggy named Jumpy doesn’t want to become tomorrow’s dinner and makes a break for freedom but the road to it is certainly not easy. The farm is riddled with obstacles such as deep ravines and bonfires. Luckily Jumpy has some killer legs on him. You can tap on the lower portion of your device’s screen so he can perform low jumps, but if you need the extra height, tap on the upper portion of your screen to launch Jumpy sky-high.

You can also collect power ups to give Jumpy an advantage, such as the firefighter suit to withstand fire or another powerup that will make Jumpy gigantic so he can cover more ground and avoid falling down ravines. On certain jumps, the pig does a 360-degree turn that would make The Matrix’s Neo envious.

The game is ad-supported and those ads sit at the top of the screen in the main menu. When you start playing, however, the ads disappear so you can focus on the pig’s escape from the farm.


Dragon Rush

No, this game isn’t about helping dragons flee from a farm or a castle. Instead, it’s the very opposite. Dragon Rush is a tower defense game that pits you against dragons that want to gain more magical force and drown the world in chaos. Stop the dragon army by putting towers on floating islands and make sure that none of them gets through your defenses alive.

When you first start the game, you’re given two types of towers, the Arrow tower and the Lightning Tower. Set them up on the islands with glowing beacons and prepare for the waves of flying dragons coming your way. These towers aren’t the only things in your arsenal. You also have a Lightning skill that you can use when the going gets tough. Your towers and your skills can be upgraded in between levels. You need to purchase the upgrades by using Dia, which you can earn every time you win a battle. More types of towers and more skills can also be purchased, but to access them, you’re going to need a lot more Dia.

Simply wiping the field clean of dragons can get you Dia but if you want to milk a level of all the Dia it can offer, you need to meet the requirements that each stage gives you. Stage 1, for example, needs you to use your Lightning skill twice and set up towers on all the tiles. Stage 2 needs you to win without using any skills and transform your Arrow tower. Accomplish these missions on each stage and wipe out the waves of dragons can get you lots of Dia so you can soup up your weapons.


ANTIBIOTIC HD

What happens when Osmosis Jones meets Dr. Mario? Answer: ANTIOBOTIC HD! For those of you who are having a hard time imagining it, imagine your body, but go deeper. Think on a cellular level. Now imagine that every bug and virus that enters your body is being attacked by the medicine you’ve just ingested. Instead of spontaneously combusting, these nasty germs are being stringed together with lightning and then blow up. That’s basically what ANTIOBOTIC HD is about.

The game might look deceptively easy, with you needing to match three or more of same-colored viruses, but when the viruses are on the move, tumbling through the digestive track, you’ll need to put your ingenuity to the test. You’ll need to clear a certain number of viruses on each level before you can continue to the next one. You’ll need to move fast because on certain levels, such as level 3, the viruses are constantly moving. If similar viruses drift too far from each other, the electric charge between them fizzles out and you’ll have to look for another way to get rid of them.

There are different levels you can enjoy with different setups. Finger mode has viruses constantly moving, whereas Brain mode has you figuring out puzzle types. Though straightforward, the game is definitely clever. One level challenges you to create a 15-virus chain.

While testing the app, my only complaint was that the viruses were rather tiny, which made stringing them together rather difficult on an HTC Sensation. I can only imagine how much of an easier time I would have had if I had been using a Galaxy Note with a stylus or on our Nexus 7.  (That’s my way of saying, “Try this game on a 7-incher, at the very least.”)


Cut a Sheep

Some puzzle gamers might be familiar with the game UnTangle on iOS. Cut a Sheep is built around the same premise, but instead of untangling the criss-crossing lines, you must entangle the sheep instead. It’s the only way to hold them down and give them their much-needed shearing.

You’ll know that the sheep aren’t quite tangled up because the lines connecting them will be a light color. Drag the sheep around to cross their lines. You’ll have succeeded in entangling them when all the lines connecting them are a dark gray. When the scissors come, all your sheep will be snipped clean. You can actually see the sheep’s expressions change. Before you entangle them, they’ll look quite smug, but right after you make life difficult for them, they’ll be sad.

Keep in mind that there are times when you can’t move the sheep. If a sheep is facing the screen, you can move it all you like, but when a sheep has its back to you, you’ll have to think of a different way to entangle it.

Cut a Sheep is ad-supported, but the developers made the ads match the background. Though ads appear at the top part of the screen, they are not highly distracting.


Soulless Night

Here’s a dose of something a little darker. Soulless Night is a game about a character who is only depicted by his silhouette. The game starts out rather gruesomely, actually. At first silhouetted in white, our mystery hero walks across the red and purple background and towards a figure painting something. But, the painter is suddenly struck down and her blood splatters all over the canvas. Our hero then wakes up, silhouetted in black and wearing a top hat in the middle of a fork in the road, with one path going to the Forest and the other to the Field.

The dominance of black and white in the game is reminiscent of games like Limbo and Naught for the iOS but with brighter background colors such as Spirits. The game has a tense atmosphere as you guide the nameless hero through the forest.

You’ll find items and encounter creatures in the forest. You might think that items might be hard to find in such a dark environment but a lot of the items are brightly colored. If they are hidden, our hero will give you a hint via a thought bubble.

Control the hero by pressing the Back or Forward button in the lower-left corner of the screen. Tap on the top hat icon in the lower right to see what our hero has in his inventory. You must give certain items to monsters. One Slenderman-like monster actually just wants your golden apple. Don’t attempt to just walk past monsters. If you don’t give them what they want, they’ll eat you.

When I took screenshots for this review, the game force closed on me. When I returned to the game, I needed to tap Continue if I wanted to get back to where I was last. It’s not extremely inconvenient at all, unless you’re the type of player who must take screenshots of your progress.


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