Five random gaming-apps, five minutes a pop. Here’s what we made of them.
Name: Era’s Adventure
Era’s Adventure follows the story of a blue Yoshi in a red baseball cap. Apparently, adding a baseball cap gets round copyright laws nowadays. Okay, so the main character may not be the most original, but it’s an Android game with a fully 3D world; it can’t be all bad, can it?
The main hook here is to collect keys, then race to exit while avoiding traps in the fastest time possible. By ‘traps’ I’m talking fire pits, boxes, and an inability to move in a straight line or jump consistently. Simple tasks like jumping onto a box to reach a slightly raised platform is nightmarishly hard thanks to the terrible controls. The camera angles move of their own freewill. The jump button feels more like a request than a command. And to top it all off, dying causes you to start over.
Era’s Adventure is an annoyance.
On a more positive note, if you can get past the shoddy controls, repetitive music, and overly-cutesy characters, there’s a half-finished game about a Blue Yoshi. That’s a positive, right?
Should you download this app? No.
Name: Heroes of Destiny
Developer: Glu Mobile
Android games are at their strongest when they’re games designed for Android. This may sound obvious to most, but it’s something far too many developers seemingly forget. Heroes of Destiny does exactly this. It’s a game that attempts to create a micro version of a console experience but never fully realises its grand ambitions.
“Play the best ACTION RPG on Android!” their words, not mine.
The problem with HoD is that it’s ‘on-rails’; meaning instead of moving your party about, the game does it for you, leaving the player watching and occasionally swiping at some uninspired enemies who showcase the most rudimentary AI.
‘Best Actions RPG?’ No, not by a long shot. There’s better Android ARPGs out there already that allow the player to feel like they’re in control of the action as oppose to HoD where they are no more than a passenger watching what transpires.
Should you download this app? No.
Name: Sonic Jump
I won’t lie; given SEGA’s track record of late, I approached this game fully expecting it to be awful. As it turns out, it’s surprisingly fun, albeit a tad non-authentic.
The premise is simple, Sonic is constantly in a state of jump and it’s up to the player to tilt their device to navigate Sonic from platform to platform. He has the option to double jump – which allows him to spin attack baddies – and must collect rings while traversing his way to the goal.
It’s a simple enough game, and it’s not something you’ll be spending hours upon hours on, but it’s fun for a while. I would have preferred some authentic Sonic animations and music, but I can look past the rough edges in favour of an app that takes a well know IP and turns into something enjoyable.
Should you download this app? Maybe.
Name: Into The Dead
Developer: Pik Pok
Zombies! Everyone loves zombie, right? RIGHT?!
Zombie games on Android are like a regurgitated piece of cheese. What was once bursting with promise is now nothing more than a load of saggy zombollocks. While perusing new apps, every other game features something about zombies: Zombie Walk, The Stalking Dead, Day of the Zombie, Z-Day, Super Zombio Bros. It’s as though developers have no inspiration left and must go with what they think sells in order to create a successful app.
Interestingly enough, none of this actually applies to Into the Dead as it’s bloody brilliant.
Into the Dead takes the popular mechanic that is the infinite running game – a game where the player is forever moving forwards – and applies it to a zombie-infested world.
The player starts by legging it through a field, you then either tilt your device (or conveniently change the setting so there’s a left and right button) to manoeuvre yourself past the walking dead and avoid being nommbied.
While sprinting through different terrains, including a cornfield, there are items to be picked up. You may happen across a crate, that when smashed, arms the player with a gun with a lonesome eight bullets; giving you an edge when the screen becomes filled with too many biters.
It’s frustrating, but the more you play, the more perks you unlock. Meaning even when you do get bitten, you still feel like you’re achieving something; even if it’s just getting more coins to buy better equipment.
Into the Dead is perfect for that train journey, overly long loading screen, or that fateful trip to the khazi, and despite The Walking Dead inspired (read: ripped off) artwork, this isn’t just another zombomination that needs avoiding like the plague.
Should you download this app? Yes.
Name: The Simpsons Tapped Out
Developer: EA Games
Topping this week’s Appy Days Chart has to be The Simpsons Tapped Out. Somehow, EA Games have somehow managed to create a game that has me hooked to my tablet without actually ever doing anything worthwhile.
Tapped Out is a building simulation game set in the Simpsons’ town of Springfield. Homer has blown up the town – after, ironically, playing a simulation game on his tablet – and it’s up to the player to rebuild Springfield bit by bit.
The game revolves around building new houses – which take 24 hours to build unless you’re willing to spend – making money, and levelling up. Each house yields a tax return, which can then be spent on better homes. Certain houses even grant new characters who go on to fulfil quest requirements to get – you guessed it – even more houses.
Tapped Out, like Into the Dead, is the type of game that you play for five minutes at a time, which may put most off, but for those of us who primarily play on home consoles, five-minute blasts can be quite welcome. Loading up Skyrim from the disk tray? Why not check in on Springfield while you wait?
As the town blossoms into a thriving community, you can’t help but find more reasons to have a ‘five minute blast’, to the point you realise you’re spending more time worrying about the economy of a fictitious town that you are your kids. Oh shit! The kids! I don’t think I’ve fed them since last week!
Should you download this app? Yes. Unless you’re a parent.
Born in Cyrodiil but raised in Ferelden, more commonly know as England. Wesley Copeland is a passionate writer with more opinions than an ostrich.