17 amazing games — that's got to be some sort of Week in Gaming Apps record. I go on holiday for a week and all the good games come out at once.
Luckily a good portion of my vacation was spent sitting on my arse with my iPad or Nexus 7, downloading bite-sized games and playing my little heart away on my back porch while the leaves died. It's the simple things.
And the complex things. The text adventures reborn, the flying squirrels, banana-retrieval quests and Earth re-invasions. Maybe a little LEGO and some awesome rhythm-running for good measure. This is what I did on my holiday and it was brilliant.
What I played the past two weeks
Sorcery! 2 — inkle — iOS — $5.49
Steve Jackson's interactive adventure book series comes to life once more, taking adventurers on a perilous trip through Khare: the Cityport of Traps. With new mini-games, the ability to choose a female hero and more than double the content of the first amazing game, this is another spectacular rendition of classic interactive fiction.
Pathogen — Birnam Wood Games — iOS — $2.99
Pathogen is a tactical strategy board game, tasking players with taking over the playfield with their infectious pieces. It feels like a classic game updated, but it's a whole new animal. There's an extensive single-player mode, multiplayer and a level editor to make your own boards — much more than $2.99 should get you.
LEGO Lord of the Rings — Warner Bros. — iOS — $5.49
It's the entire Lord of the Rings movie trilogy in LEGO form. Maybe don't cast it into the fire just yet. Controls aren't as solid as the console versions, of course, but this one fits in your hands much better.
Blocky Roads — Dogbyte Games — iOS — $1.99
Minecraft meets driving down a path, collecting coins? The voxel landscapes are beautiful, the ability to flesh out your own farm is random. Not a bad little joint.
Naught 2 — Blue Shadow Games — Android, iOS — $1.99
The sequel to one of the coolest mobile games going, the shadowy gravity-twisting cat creature Naught returns for a second outing, with new skills, fresh enemies, a host of new levels and the promise of more on the way. Naught is awesome. So is Naught 2.
Football Heroes — Run Games — iOS — Free
I am not a football fan, but I love me some arcade football and Football Heroes might be the best arcade football game on mobile devices. Special moves, players levelling up, great swipe controls — this one has it all. Love it.
Octagon — Lucas Korba — iOS — $1.99
Octagon is labelled "A Minimal Arcade Game with Maximum Challenge", which is an apt description of this beautiful scrolling maze game. Great music, minimal visuals and a difficulty that will kick your arse all over the place.
Meltdown — Bulkypix — Android, iOS — $1.99
A four-player action game with guns, melee attacks, randomly-generated levels and cross-platform multiplayer? That's OK with me. Mind the blue character, I was getting shot in the screenie.
Romans from Mars — Majesco — Android, iOS — Free
A game where you shoot at Romans with a ballista. Or Martians. I guess both. This is an intense little game, tons of fun to be had for the low price of free. Plus, Martian Romans.
NinJump Rooftops — Backflip Studios — iOS — Free
What a great idea for a sequel to the popular endless wall-running game! The ninja has reached the rooftops now, running across those collecting coins and defeating enemies in groups of three to activate power-ups. Any game where I can ride a giant squirrel wins.
Pocket God: Ooga Jump — Bolt Creative — iOS — $0.99
A bare-bones mini-game from Pocket God is reborn as its own damn game. Pilot a pygmy forever upward on a quest to... go upward.
Anomaly 2 — 11 bit studios — iOS — $5.49
Plenty of $5-plus games this week and Anomaly 2, the port of the PC sequel to one of the best tower offence games out there, is worth every penny. We're taking back the Earth! Woot!
Bit.Trip Run! — Gaijin Games — iOS — $4.49
It's my favourite Bit.Trip game in mobile form, so you know it was gonna make its way onto this list. Gaijin has tossed some auto-jumping into the mix to keep iPhone and iPad users from tossing their fragile devices at the wall, but it's more or less all the good things in one.
Monsters Rising — Nine Tail Studio — iOS — $4.49
Mad Yama's hordes are taking over the world, and you're in the lead. Monsters Rising is a 3D action stragey game with a deep single-player campaign in which players level up monsters based on Chinese mythology and use them to take over the planet, because that's what you do. Tons of fun.
Ookibloks — Lampert & Sons — iOS — Free
Ookibloks hearkens back to the heyday of the Dreamcast, when colourful, Japanese-developed puzzle games were available on store shelves everywhere. You're a monkey collecting bananas, because why not? It's bright, colourful, cheery and challenging, all at once. Love this game so much.
Geometry Dash — Robert Topala — Android, iOS — $1.99
Talk about your challenging rhythm-based running games. Geometry Dash will hurt you in the best way possible. Outside of practice mode there are no continues or checkpoints, so you'll have to endlessly restart if you want to catch all of the gorgeous music in the game. Frustratingly wonderful.
Crazy Wheel Rider — NuOxygen — iOS — $0.99
A cool take on the endless-running genre, where instead of running you're a flying squirrel spinning around on wheels, launching yourself forward in an attempt to outrun an out-of-control Ferris wheel. Again, squirrels= win.
My god, that's a lot of games. Surely there's something in there that appeals to your senses? If not, share a game that does in the comments!