Mobile Gaming Roundup #8Platforms: Android
Gaming isn’t just for the sofa-bound, oh no. Have a look below to discover the latest wonderful releases that prove what joy can be wrought from your telecoms device!
Kooky Swedish developing duo Simogo impressed greatly with last year’s clock-pilfering rhythm theft game Beat Sneak Bandit, and while this latest offering is equally amazing it couldn’t be further apart in terms of tone. Based on the professed long-forgotten Swedish custom of year walking, the practice of trekking through the frozen wastes after having placed oneself in a receptive, mildly hallucinogenic state by being deprived of food and natural light for several days, it’s a risky ritual which promises the walker a glimpse into their own future. A washed-out collage art style hides testing, abstract puzzles for your unidentified walker to solve as he explores the snowy tundra in search of answers.
Why the long face?
A free companion app is available for the title, a kind-of encyclopedia detailing the origins of the mythic folkloric figures you encounter during the game, but also tying into the gameplay in mysterious and unexpected ways. Genuinely creepy and surprisingly moving, Year Walk is one of the best and most original mobile games to date. Going into too much detail here would spoil the experience, but there’s definitely more to this game than is first apparently evident. Definitely one to play on a stormy night under a blanket.
A highly polished and damn fun reboot of their first ever simple flash game Radical Fishing, Dutch dev studio Vlambeer enlisted the help of Greg Wohlwend (Hundreds) and Zach Gage (Spelltower) to refine and jazz up the concept in bringing it to the mobile platform.
Assuming the role of fisherman Billy, you set sail to various choice oceanic spots where the fish are bitin’, then cast your line. Initially avoiding the fish to get your line as deep as possible, once you inevitably snag one, the goal becomes hooking all the ones you kept away from on the way down (except the yukky jellyfish). Once your mighty haul breaks the surface it is flung into the salty air, and your final task is to blast your scaly bounty to smithereens with your weapon of choice, initially a pistol, but upgrades are available for purchase later in the game.
Bill's gone to Iceland.
With supremely immersive gameplay using the tilt sensor and a wonderfully lilting 8-bit soundtrack from Eirik Suhrke (Spelunky), there’s always a reason to go fish, whether it be to save up for a new weapon or accessory at the store, check out what your avian and aquatic pals are posting on in-game Twitter parody Byrdyr, cast an eye on what kinds of marine life you’ve landed in the Fish-o-pedia, or simply see how far into the briny deep you can get this time.
NimbleBit, who first found favour with cutesy building management sim Tiny Tower and followed it up with the more ambitiously complex airline management sim Pocket Planes, are back with the semi-epinonimous Nimble Quest, a curious but engaging action puzzle hybrid.
This way lads!
Bedecked in the trappings of a 16-bit era RPG but with gameplay more reminiscent of old mobile stalwart Snake and the lightbike section of Tron, Nimble Quest has you select a champion as your starting character who must clear out each squared area of nasties without falling afoul of their wicked ways. Just as in Snake, you are unable to stop and new party members get added behind you so your ‘tail’ grows ever longer. Collision with enemies, the outer wall, or yourself result in an instant game over. Each hero is equipped with a different weapon so the order in which they get added will affect your tactics; brave knight Uther has a strong lance but can only attack what is directly in front of him, whereas fire mage Blaze can cast flaming projectiles in any direction. As seems to be de rigeur with mobile games of late there is an in-game currency system, but thankfully it is a balanced one and any unlockables can be earned through play without having to fork out. In addition to the main game there is an arena mode where you can practice your skills and check out online guild rankings. Like Puzzle Quest and Wizorb before it, Nimble Quest shows that adding a retro RPG overlay to a well-established gaming mechanic can be a winning move.
Finally, a quick reminder that the award-winning surrealistic social-gaming satire Little Inferno from Tomorrow Corp (who brought us World Of Goo and Henry Hatsworth) is now available on iPhone as well as iPad. Now you can enjoy the giddy thrill of combustion on the move!
Everyone should play this game as it is not only entertaining but a rapier-sharp commentary on gaming, technology and the value of our time which is forever ticking away. Watching the last vestiges of your material possessions dance and crumble in the flickering flames can give you pause for thought, but as Tomorrow Corp reassures us, don’t worry! There’s bound to be an end!
Burn baby burn.
“It's super important that things be accomplished on-the-go these days! Sitting still and feeling introspective is a huge waste of time, best left in the 90s. Games are best played while walking to the subway, grabbing a skinny mocha latte to go, before popping in some dental whitening strips that dissolve in 30-minutes or less so you can really maximize your unique mobile lifestyle!”
- Dandy Wheeler, Tomorrow Corp PR