If you couldn’t get enough of Dirk and Daphne from the original Dragon’s Lair, they’re back in the arcade sequel. Dragon’s Lair 2 was originally released back in 1991 on arcade laserdisc machines, enabling the beautiful 2D art from master animator Don Bluth to shine through. Dragon’s Lair 2: Time Warp is five dollars on the Play Store (the same price as the original) and is compatible with Android 1.5 and up.
The story in DL2 has shifted slightly – the protagonist’s “Happily Ever After” doesn’t last long, as Daphne is kidnapped by a time-hopping wizard. Dirk trades his trusty steed for a rusty time machine and gives chase, fighting off Bluth’s typically zany monsters and dying many, many, many times. The animation is as good as it’s ever been, and with high definition resolution, it might look even better than when you played it two decades ago.
The sequel uses the same extremely simple Simon Says-style gameplay as the original, which isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, so pass this one up if you’re looking for action. But if you want what’s essentially a playable cartoon with some great nostalgia value, give it a shot. The game has Xperia Play support, though those without physical controls should be able to play through just fine. Looking doe something similar? Try Space Ace, from the same classic production team.
We’ve already cruised through Liberty City and significantly lowered property values in Vice City, now it’s time for a west coast vacation in San Andreas. The third Grand Theft Auto game of the PlayStation 2 era just landed on the Play Store in its blocky, polygonal, sandbox glory, and you can pick it up for a cool $6.99. No in-app purchases, no time-outs, just good old-fashioned Rockstar madness.
San Andreas takes the GTA action to California with a huge, fictional city amalgamating Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Las Vegas, and some rural backcountry that hadn’t been seen in the series up to that point. Like Vice City before it, San Andreas moves the clock back, this time going to a slightly larger-than-life version of the early 90s. You play as CJ, a young African American making his way through the various facets of the criminal underworld. You steal cars. You kill people. You do other things that kids probably shouldn’t be allowed to do in video games.
This was the last GTA game on the PS2 and Xbox, and for a lot of players, it was significantly better than Grand Theft Auto 4, which tended to lose focus with too much to do in the fictional city. Improvements over Vice City include slightly better graphics, more vehicles, customizable cars and player avatars, an entirely new genre-spanning soundtrack, and expanded mini-games. The Android version features adjustable graphic settings and compatibility with MOGA and other Bluetooth controllers.
From points unknown, comes the one and only Colossatron. Like all giant serpentine robots, Colossatron is mainly concerned with destroying lesser civilizations, and you can take control of the action in the newest game from Halfbrick Studios.
This title is a sort of casual robot builder, if there is such a thing. Colossatron goes about its business, rolling around the screen, shooting at everything in range. Most of your interaction with the game comes in the form of adding new modules to the robot. If you connect three of the same color, they collapse into a single more powerful subunit. Match two of the primary colors, like blue and red, and you get a third color with a different power (purple in this case).
The game has clean graphics and a fun cartoony style with full support for immersive mode on Android 4.4. The developers also framed the game as a series of amusing, goofy news reports. Also, your enemy is called General Mustache – what more could you want? Still not sold? We’re pretty sure Colossatron’s core is made of a decapitated Power Ranger Dinozord.
Uncanny, right? Colossaltron is a buck, but there are some in-app purchases built-in.
The Cave was released way back in January as a downloadable title for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii U, Steam, and probably everything else that can slap together an Internet connection and a few polygons. Adventure game aficionados were thrilled, because it’s got quite a pedigree, coming from the designer of classics The Secret of Monkey Island and Maniac Mansion, along with being developed by the much-loved Double Fine. Now it’s out for Android, and you can pick it up on the Play Store for five bucks.
The Cave follows a handful of protagonists who are lured to… well, a cave, so I suppose you can’t fault the game for untruthful advertising. In a series of platforms and puzzles you’ll unravel the backstories of your chosen characters, switching between them to advance through the stages and get past traps and monsters. The eclectic story forces each one to confront his or her past as the narrative swings from black humor to drama like a pendulum, which is something that should be familiar to fans of Double Fine games and their progenitors.
Don’t expect Sonic-level platforming or Zelda-level puzzles here – The Cave isn’t interested in making you die fifty times to reach the end of the stage. Though the game has these mechanics thrown in to keep things interesting, it’s an adventure title at heart. Decent 2.5D graphics and character designs infused with personality make it look unique, though older Android devices may struggle to keep up. The Cave is compatible with phones and tablets running 2.3 or higher, and there are no in-app purchases.
There are a lot of ways to get text from your computer to your Android device, but perhaps none of them are quite so simple as the new Belt.io app and service. Simply install the app on your phone and you can send text and links from the web service after signing up. Naturally Belt.io also offers browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox, so you don’t even have to go to the website to use the service.
The browser extensions also tie in with the Android app, sending any selected link or text directly to your Android phone and giving it an optional notification as well. In an excellent example of a developer using the UI tools available, the app uses Android’s expanded notifications to allow users to open a link directly, copy text immediately to the clipboard, or share it via the standard share menu. The Belt.io website includes a basic invite function that lets you share with friends, but it’s only using email addresses at the time being – a tie-in with Google+ and Facebook would make it a lot more useful.
Text clipped to your Belt.io account is visible across all devices and browsers, and there’s an app available on iOS as well. (We have analytics, folks – we know that a considerable number of you are reading this on an iPad.) One final note: I don’t see any mention of security or encryption on the Belt.io site or app description, so your password might be the only thing protecting the text you send. It’s probably a good idea not to send sensitive information on Belt.io, at least for the time being.
From the company that brought us Nun Attack and the action-packed followed-up Nun Attack: Run & Gun comes Lightbringer: Saviors of Raia, an entirely different property that bears zero resemblance to the aforementioned titles. This new IP is decidedly less casual, and its 4-player multiplayer hack and slash gameplay might just be enough to keep Diablo fans satisfied when they’re away from their computers.
The game’s name is rather literal. Darkness has consumed the land of Raia, infecting the innocent and turning them into monsters. So it’s up to you and a trusty band of light-bearing heroes to gather your weapons, build your skills, and steady those thumbs in order to purge the world of evil. The action is fierce, and before the battle is won, you and your friends will face hundreds of foes on-screen at once.
The game is available for free, but it’s only supported on tablets. Keep that in mind as you check out the Play Store link below.
Game developer HandyGames has released a collection of titles ranging from topics as diverse as fending off Nazis in World War 2 to solving puzzles as a happy Viking to protecting your farm from aliens. If there’s one thing each of these games has in common, it’s wackiness. So when I say that the company’s next game centers around cats, know that this won’t be a Nintendogs-style experience. No, these are ninja cats. Ninja Hero Cats, to be precise.
People love cats. And do you know what else they love? Ninjas. Just make all the characters heroic, and viola – we have the premise for a game. It’s filled with top-down action, unlockable weapons, various worlds, and virtual analog stick controls, but most of what you need to know is in the name itself. Ninjas. Cats. Saving the day.
Ninja Hero Cats is free, but as you would expect, some items are tucked away behind in-app purchases. If this isn’t a deal breaker, you can get the game from the Play Store below.