Free Game Picks of the Week

September 10, 2011
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I grabbed myself a few free Android games a while back from GetJar and the Market recently, and all of them were quite excellent. Here’s a quick rundown of my thoughts on each of them

Robotek HD

This game is from the makers of Totemo and Everlands and offers a very rich tactical game for the low price of free. You play the last hope of mankind during a time when machines rule the world. Your goal is to defeat these mainframes one at a time, improving your own human-controlled mainframe’s abilities and skills along the way.

Each battle, you roll a slot machine-like device to see what kind of powerups you get for that round. Getting a three in a row gives you a free turn which ups your advantage, if utilized properly. After you get your powerups, your robots and server duke it out with the opponent’s and afterwards, the turn passes to your opponent for its powerups. This lasts until one side is eliminated and if you win, you gain experience as well as coins for increasing the chances of bonuses during the battle.

Each lost battle costs you power and if you don’t have power, you can’t fight anymore. This is how the devs earn from the game, through selling you power as well as coins so you can gain the upper hand against those nasty automatons. Of course, you don’t need to buy anything to get finish the game, especially if you know your battles (but you should buy, just so you can give back to the devs). And like all good games, it even has a strategy guide which has certainly been helpful to me and aided my progress of defeating half the servers already.

Go ahead and get it. It’s one of the best free strategy games I’ve played for Android.

Nano Panda

 

If you’re thinking this is one weird name for a game, wait till you play it. Here, you use pandas shrunken to subatomic size to fight evil atoms infesting your lab. Yes, you read that premise right, you have an arsenal of nano-sized pandas hence the game’s name. It’s quirky for sure but it does add a humorous twist to the game.

Like other games of its genre such as Cut The Rope, you use physics to complete stages. You have cannons for launching pandas and having two or more of the microscopic mammals on the field creates a sort of magnetic field between them, altering their trajectories so you can meet your goal of colliding with aberrant subatomics.

I like the refreshing mood they bring to the casual physics game genre and the fact that it’s free right now in GetJar. Each new stage brings more pandas and more tricks so it’s definitely on the same addicting level as other physics-based casual games.

Happy Vikings

 

Another free game off GetJar, this plays like a cross between a platformer and a matching game. You play one of a merry band of vikings, plundering and pillaging their way across the world. You don’t do those henious deeds yourself though, being relegated as chief treasury arranger and trying to sort out all the loot your clan has amassed.

Lift, push and carry blocks of sheep, ale, gold and what have you around then match them at least three of a kind to get them squared away. Like other puzzle games of this type, you can match more than three for more points and even create combos. To control your viking, you’re given an onscreen keypad to move him left, right and make him jump or pick up treasures. I would have loved it if you could swipe or tap around instead, but that’s just me.

Happy Vikings is a great game to while away your time and hardcore casual gamers (is there such a thing?) will like the neat tricks the devs have snuck in to make your game more challenging.

Paper Glider

This was free a while back at Amazon and recently got into GetJar’s list as well. As the name and icon implies, you control a paper airplane which you launch from your backyard. The goal is to get this craft as far as possible. To aid you in your quest, you can add wind beneath the wings of your glider. It’s like the way you blow under you paper plane as a kid but instead of smooching the screen, you just need to tap on your device.

Sure the gameplay looks simple but that’s often what makes us want to play these games over and over again. Each time you finish a game, you get cash to spend on upgrades. This ranges from refilling your wind meter, crucial for longer sustained flights, to rocket boosters which propel you to the next stage. You can also show some patriotism by buying a plane with your country’s colors.

The backdrops of the stages were particularly interesting, both tracking your progress as well as showing you new scenery to aim for. I’ve passed through the town, city, jungle and even to the moon. This is a battery drainer for sure so don’t stay on this game too long.

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