Middle-Earth: Shadow of War
Hack and slash fans will love against fantasy gaming's favorite fanged foes, the orcs, in the mobile version of Middle-Earth: Shadow of War. Released ahead of Monolith's AAA version, the free mobile game is a meaty offering all on its own. Essentially a strategy game with action RPG elements, you control heroes drawn from Shadow of War, its predecessor Shadow of Mordor, and the Lord of the Rings film trilogy in a series of small scale battles. As in the PC/console version, the game uses the Nemesis system to improve enemy tactics and Talion can enslave orcs and use them for the cause of good 1gb games for android download.
Middle-Earth: Shadow of War's battles aren't terribly hands-on to begin with, which is just as well, as it gives the player more time to enjoy the spectacle, which renders the heroes and villains of Middle Earth in the distinctive cinematic style. The tactical challenge comes in choosing your team for battle, and deploying crucial abilities and summons when the time is right.
At higher levels, the player's timing and skillful deployment of these abilities becomes more critical, and further heroes and orcs are made available to keep things interesting. Heroes are also upgraded with various loot items and rewards, which can get overly finicky and immersion-breaking, but worth it you're a Middle Earth fan wanting to see your favorite characters kick orc butt.
If you're not familiar with the Samorost series of games, the latest installment is a really good place to start and has utterly stunning visuals. Samorost charges you with completing puzzles and tasks in an immersive, ethereal-feeling world. This isn't your typical point-and-click adventure game, though.
Completing tasks in Samorost is almost secondary to exploring every inch of the gorgeous virtual world and drinking in the scenery. It's a pay-to-download one player game, you'll have plenty of time to amble along at your own speed.
Part of the game's charm is that you often won't really know what you're doing, what you're supposed to be doing or what actually just happened. It might sound annoying, but trust me, it's more of a feeling of mystery than frustration.
The actual controls are simple, you just tap the screen where you want to go and investigate and your character will waddle his way over. You also have a magic trumpet thing that can be dragged onto the screen to interact with certain objects. It's not always entirely clear what has happened in these events though.
If you want to wander around a gorgeous point-and-click puzzle game, then you could do a lot worse than Samorost 3. It's nice not to be bugged about in-game purchases or bombarded with ads, though it does mean you'll need to cough up $4.99 up front.
Micro Machines doesn't offer up the sort of ultra-realistic racing sim with detailed graphics that Real Racing 3 has been delivering for more than three years, but what it does do is offer a modern HD incarnation of a classic racing game that gamers of a certain age lost many hours of youth to. If you're old enough to remember the original console series in the mid-nineties, you'll get a nice pang of nostalgia to go along with your racing experience.
It's very much a pick-up-and-play affair, with cars split into different classes and a system of car part unlocks and upgrades to add to your garage as you progress. There are a few different race modes too (Race and Elimination) and a Battle mode where the aim is just to destroy your opponents with your weapons.
While it's free to download and play, and you're never pitted against racers a class or two above you, Micro Machines is an online-only game and you'll have to watch a few ads now and again if you want to boost your coins or points. It's not obligatory though.
With 84 vehicles (at current count) across 12 levels of vehicle, there's certainly enough to work towards unlocking, particularly when you include the upgrades. That progression is pretty well balanced though, and you also get new tracks as you unlock new levels and various attendance bonuses for playing every day.
Bullet Force is easily one of the most fun HD first-person shooters available on Google Play, and it also just so happens to be one of the most glorious to look at, if you like modern day shooters.
One of the nice things about Bullet Force is that it's not overly complicated for the sake of it. There's no long-winded learning process, but there is a simple practice mode that pits you against AI before you hook up an account to play online. Naturally, there's a weapon and upgrade system through which you can unlock new items too, or you can pay some cash via in-app purchases to skip the wait.
With excellent, precise controls (as you need in a FPS) and the sort of graphics you've come to expect from console shooters, Bullet Force is well worth checking out as a free download.
SBK16 is a fully dedicated bike racing SIM with realistic graphics for the bikes and riders.
The previously premium download is now free to play, and while the difficulty of a simulation won't be to everyone's liking, if you're looking for a racing game that'll take some time to master, SBK16 has a challenge for you. As it's now free, you'll see ads, or you can purchase an in-game unlock to remove them. Alternatively, you can beat the new Test Ride mode to activate the premium mode without paying any money.
You also get the traditional Championship mode that requires you to pick a rider and work your way up the ranks, as well as a Time Attack mode and Quick Play for when you just want to jump into a quick race. The Championship mode is where most of your time will probably be spent though, as there are multiple races and a practice session for each race event.
There are no online races (which could be a good or a bad thing, depending on your preference) but that does mean you get to choose the difficulty level of each event or practice session, which affects various factors about the race and how your bike rides.
The controls are fairly simple while remaining as true to life as possible, too. You need to accelerate and brake manually, and tilt your phone to lean into the turns, which works particularly nicely as it's a motorcycle racing game. Tapping the top right will change the camera angle (there are two on-board views, as well as the external one pictured below) and tapping the center bottom of the screen will give you a quick rear-view glimpse.
Just don't expect to be good at this game straight away. Or if you are, don't tell me about it - I'm awful.
Size: 246 MB
Compatibility: Android 4.0.3 and up
Price: Free (in-app purchases)