Thursday, March 14, 2013

Humble Bundle for Android 5

As of this writing, there are 5 days left on the Humble Bundle for Android 5. Typically, I just ignore the Android Humble Bundles because I don't have a high-powered smart phone.  However, this one caught my eye for a couple of different reasons.  One is that Superbrothers: Sword and Sworcery EP has been added to the list.  I like that game, though I play it on my PC through steam, and not on a tablet or phone.  However, if I had the appropriate machinery, I am sure I would want a copy of that game for Android, if for no other reason than it is pretty and the music is good.  Which brings me to my other point of interest:  my cell phone won't last forever, so at some point I probably will be upgrading.  At such time, I imagine high powered phones that can play many of these games will be available for used or for cheap, just like my current phone was.  I've actually really been wanting to talk about cellphone games, because I do spend a bit of time with them, and I am regularly searching for new games.

For me, the most important test for any cell-phone game is the toilet test.  That is the first place I usually try out a new game I've downloaded.  If the game holds my attention during a round of #2, then I will keep it, and probably play while I'm riding the train or waiting in line.  For me, cell phone games are as casual as they come.  That said, I have really torn through Angry Birds- by far my favorite smart phone game.

Other games I've been working on is Battleship (in Space), Math Workout, Wiki Trivia, Free Rice and a Puzzle Bobble clone.  I also enjoy the Word of the Day function on my Miriam-Webster dictionary app, but at this point I'm slipping out of the game zone.

Math Workout is kind of like a free demo version of Brain Age for the Nintendo DS.  It isn't as clever, it's more buggy, and there aren't as many options.  But it does have a fun graph of all of your scores in each mode!  I like making the graph go.  Basically this game is a series of timed math problems, for those of us that find that enjoyable.  

Battleship (in Space) is fun, but there are issues.  For some reason they interpret the rules that you can't place your ships directly adjacent to each other.  Lame.  And I didn't think that battleship was like pool, where you get a free turn after a successful hit.  And of course, the classic 'cheating AI' rules apply.  For example, the computer will be blowing up the aircraft carrier, starting in the middle, in a steady sequence, about to miss the final shot and give you one more chance.  Suddenly, the computer has a burst of inspiration and decides to backtrack and start blowing up the opposite direction, destroying the carrier with no chance for me to strike back before its gone.  It happens often successfully, and never happens in error.   Cheating.

Free Rice is a trivia game that is not formatted to fit my screen.  Which sucks.  I love the online version. I am particularly fond of the Geography "Countries of the World" series, even if it does have a tendency to repeat itself.

WikiTrivia's formatting is better than Free Rice.  But it has the poor design choice of having a "Select" button next to a "Next Question" button.  Each answer has a radio button to its left.  So what I end up doing is selecting the answer I like by highlighting the radio button, then clicking "Next Question."  The result is the question is skipped, my answer is not logged, and I don't get to find out if I'm right.  There is no 'back' button.  D'oh!

Bubble Shot (Puzzle Bobble Clone) is cool.  But I've never really gotten into it.  Idunno, my aim using the touch screen seems off.  It's a shame my cell phone doesn't have a stylus.  That would solve some of it.

What I've really been looking for is a good online chess app.  I wish gameknot just had its own app, but  there's nothing in the google play store by that name.  I've just downloaded "Chess Friends" but haven't played it yet.  Here's hoping.

All of the above games are free from the Google Play store.  Many or most of them have pay versions, but I just ignore those.  I am a cheapskate.  Another thing that may be noteworthy is that I play all of these games with the sound off.  I am usually playing in public, and I don't really like headphones for gaming except in special circumstances (Dear Esther, Proteus).


P.S. Super Hexagon is also included in the Humble Android Bundle 5.

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