Believe it or not, some mobile games have deep mechanical substance without fluff or cheap psychological manipulations. This series exists to highlight some of these exceptional specimens.
And if you’re wondering, yes, this is an attempt to grab SEO traffic from folks who just got a new mobile device. I make no attempt to hide that. All apps are iOS-friendly. Plus, we’re 3/5 for Android today and we aim to keep that standard.
So without further ado, this is our list for May 17, 2013:
Guacamelee is critically praised. It has a metacritic score of 84 for PS3 and 87 for Vita. It’s got piñatas full of indie cred (with on-game props to almost every major indie dev), a self-awareness in the metroidvania genre, and enough zany Mexican characters to make you salsa dance.
But the real question is this: does Guacamelee have mechanical substance?
I believe so.
Every year Harvard students show off their tinkering talents in the annual Design & Project Fair at the school of Engineering and Applied Sciences.
There’s remote-control power outlet hacked to connect into a home’s wireless network, a mathematical system for crowdsourcing stock picks, an automatic fish feeder, a one-wheeled self-balancing electric vehicle, you get the picture. But student Tommy Chen had quite a different idea.
Was I the only person who read every codex entry about every planet in Mass Effect 2 and 3? Jumping from system to system, planet to planet, reading every little bit of information about each planet was surprisingly addictive. This is coming from a guy who is usually not the meta type. But there I was, spending hours upon hours exploring every nook and cranny digging for those gems o’ information to fill my codex. Those little twinges of glee which pulsed through my brain when I discovered some random fact that related to a character in my party.
Now what if you took that concept, but instead of exploring the non-existent universe of Mass Effect, you could explore our own galaxy? The site 100,000 Stars scratches that same exploring itch with the added twist of, dare I say it, educating myself!?
A free game today only!
[Full Disclosure: I have a personal relationships with the developer of this game. And I'm employed by the company who provided the tools for the development kit.]
Today is free comic book day! So go get yourself some free comics at your local comics store. To celebrate, Atomic Robo: Violent Science for iOS is also free!
I really miss playing tabletop RPGs. Getting together every week with friends while banding together against a common foe was always a good time. But as I got older, game nights became more difficult to attend. That and over the weeks and months, keeping track of stats, maps, and characters turned into a confusing mess. Wait I thought I had a dexterity of +10. Or was that a +10 to vitality? No I had 5 hits points last game, not 8! This led to frustration, which in turn got in the way of the fun. When the game night was going well, it was a blast. It was all the other junk and micromanagement which seemed to put a damper on the party.
If only we had some way to track all of this information on a portable device. Some magical tablet which would store the data for later use or allow us to play remotely. Such a thing could only be conjured by the most powerful sorcery!… Well not sorcery exactly. It’s a smart phone app for iOS, Android and desktop called ‘The Calamus’.
Anyone who’s moved an arcade machine knows it’s quite an undertaking. Driving to the location, loading it up, moving it back, and unloading it into your house can take the better part of a day. Well take that and multiply it by 2,190 and you’d have the approximate time one collector and a group of stalwart friends have put into dissembling, moving, and reassembling one of the biggest arcade games of all time: Galaxian 3.
Six years ago, an arcade enthusiast by the name of Bruno had the hair brained idea to do just that. For those not familiar with the story, you can catch up on the story here. Though a machine of this size wouldn’t exactly fit in the typical family basement. No something this momentousness would need it’s own structure. A building dubbed the “Nuno Lair V3″ was constructed to house this great gaming giant. After five years in storage, the machine has been awoken from its slumber to finally be made whole once more.