Quite beautiful, is Badland. It’s a physics-based auto-scrolling game where you ‘push’ a bat-like creature through a series of atmospheric, silhouetted levels (and yeah, before you say it, we know its look is “heavily inspired” by Limbo). It sounds simple but the capricious physics engine and devilish, hazard-stocked levels make it frustrating tough at times – but if you get stuck there’s always the brilliant local multiplayer mode to fall back on, which lets up to four people play simultaneously on a single device.
SUPER MONSTERS ATE MY CONDO!
Super Monsters Ate My Condo! is a match-three game with a little bit of Jenga and a whole lot of mental. Coloured apartment floors relentlessly drop from the top of the screen. You swipe away unwanted ones to make matches and combos that ramp up your score. All the while, monsters flank the tower, demanding to be fed floors only of their colour, lest they get all stompy and destructive.
Everything's played at a breakneck pace and with the kind of neon-infused visuals that'll leave you exhausted and wondering if you've accidentally injected all the sherbet in the world directly into your eyeballs.
More after the break...
ASPHALT 8: AIRBORNE
Given that this is the eighth title in the Asphalt series, it probably comes as no surprise Gameloft's got a bit bored having sports cars merely zoom along at breakneck speeds and drift for ludicrous distances.
As this game's name suggests, Asphalt 8 now also regularly finds your vehicle catapulted into the air, whereupon it can perform crazy aerial stunts that are entirely not covered by your insurance plan. As ever, the hyper-real tracks are faintly barmy too.
iFighter 2: The Pacific 1942
A “bullet hell” vertical scrolling shoot ‘em up very much inspired by the 1980s arcade classic 1942, iFighter sees you steering a US fighter through waves of Japanese planes, ships and ground-based enemies, with each stage culminating in an epic boss fight. Power-ups to boost your armaments are spread throughout the levels, and the coins you collect can be spent to upgrade your starting plane.
Plants vs Zombies 2
A popular game franchise that has veered down a somewhat controversial freemium path, Plants vs Zombies 2 is what’s known as a “tower defence” game: you build towers and emplacements (or in this case, plant flowers, shrubs and veggies) to fight off hordes of incoming enemies (in this case, shambling hordes of undead). The badgering about micro-transactions can be a pain, but it doesn’t kill off the essential brilliance of PopCap’s game.