Taylor's top five mobile games (July 2011)
While I'm not a huge supporter of mobile gaming – mainly because the controls are painfully cumbersome to use – there are a select few that I'll play on occasion. I have always liked to keep a few games on hand to keep me occupied whether it be while trying to doze off when laying in the bed, waiting at the doctor's office or while putting off work (ignore that, Aaron). Much to my surprise, I've recently found a handful of amusing games that I actually enjoy playing and have a hard time putting down.
Notice that I'm not specifying which type of mobile device or which platform these games are for. That's right, these are my favorite mobile games, independent of OS or device (tablet or phone). Without further ado, here are my top five mobile games:
Death Worm by PlayCreek LLC (iOS $0.99, Android $2.99)
This game is the newest of my collection of mobile games and one of the few I have actually become addicted to. In short, you are a man-eating worm. You destroy tanks, helicopters, airplanes, trucks, cop cars and soldiers, all while avoiding death. The levels are increasingly difficult, but they never get frustratingly hard thanks to the simple but elegant controls (one simulated, on-screen joystick). Throughout gameplay, you can also pickup perks like a speed boost and fireballs, which keeps the game interesting and gives you short-term, secondary goals. Death Worm is available on both Android and iOS, but I'd pick up the iOS version if I were you, and save two bucks. This game is very addictive ... you have been warned.
Battleheart by Mika Mobile (iOS $2.99, Android $2.99)
When I first saw this game, I thought, "That looks stupid. I'd never pay three dollars for that." Then Chris Chavez (@GamerCore) tweeted about it somewhere north of a million times and I caved. I'm glad I did, too. Battleheart is one of the most fun games I've played on a mobile device. It is a deeply involved RTS/RPG (real-time strategy, roleplay game) with all sorts of perks, upgrades and purchases along the way. You create a team of four heroes and well, battle the bad guys. Simple, fun and addictive with rather undemanding controls. It's well worth the $3, especially if you have a large tablet display to enjoy it on.
Peggle by PopCap (iOS $2.99, Android $2.99)
Peggle is a popular computer game by PopCap that has been brought over to the mobile world. It's definitely not anything new, but it's still just as addictive as it was on the computer. There are four different game modes to Peggle: Adventure, Duel, Quick Play and Challenge. The main goal in all of these modes is to shoot a ball and clear all the orange pegs in the level. There are different power-ups and multipliers to be had in each level, which keeps it fairly interesting. Peggle was dubbed one of the "top 5 most addictive games of all time" by MSNBC. Currently, Peggle is available for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch, and it can be purchased for Android through the Amazon Appstore, though it isn't tablet compatible ... yet.
Osmos for iPad by Hemisphere Games ($4.99)
I bought this game solely on the user reviews in App Store, which is rare. I looked at the screenshots a million times and couldn't figure out why it was getting such awesome reviews. Even looking at the screenshot I took above, it looks pretty bland and uneventful. To tell you the truth, it kind of is, and that's what's so great about it. Osmos is a relaxation game, signaled by the ambient soundtrack and laid-back gameplay. It's similar to other popular games like Grow and the numerous "eat or be eaten" games, but this one has little twists to it like speeding up and slowing down time and gravitational pulls, among other things. If you want to kick back on a Friday night and play relaxing game to wind down from a long, stressful week, Osmos is the game for you, that is, if you happen to have an iPad and $5.
Jenga by NaturalMotion (iOS $0.99, Android $2.99)
Jenga, a timeless classic. Do I seriously need to describe this game? Who hasn't played Jenga? You pull blocks out of the block tower and place them back on top. The object of the game is to stack them as high as you can. There are three styles of gameplay: Arcade, Classic and Pass 'n' Play. This digital version by NaturalMotion is an awesome depiction of the real game and it's fun, relaxing and actually fairly challenging. Much like Death Worm, the iOS version of Jenga is two dollars cheaper than the Android version, so if you have an iOS device, I recommend going with that.
What about you?
As always, these top five games are my favorite. There are hundreds of thousands of applications available for mobile platforms, and the chances that I've missed some of the best games available are outrageously high. This is your chance to give your top five game recommendations to me. Ready, set ... GO!