Here in the US it's a 3 day weekend, and even yours truly is kicking back a little and making time for fun and games. The Android game scene has improved markedly over the past 6 months and I no longer looking longingly at iOS for a little smartphone and tablet fun. So what's keeping me entertained this weekend?
1. To-Fu: the Trials of Chi.
No, it's not a cooking app. To-Fu is an incredibly cute and stretchy block of Tofu who wears a red martial arts headband. This is a puzzle game where you stretch and shoot To-Fu through a maze to collect all the Chi orbs. You'll have to avoid hazards and likely run through each puzzle a second time to reach the end in the required number of moves. It's cute, it's casual and the HD graphics and cute sounds are family friendly.
$0.99 on the Android and Amazon app stores.
2. Sonic 4 Episode 2
Everyone knows Sonic the Hedgehog and he's a blast from the past that keeps on giving (and running and jumping). This side-scroller is the follow up to Episode I and it uses a new graphics engine. Right now the game is available for Nvidia Tegra 3 devices, but it will be coming to the Tegra 2 platform.
Dark Meadow: the Pact
This isn't for the little ones or those of you who are afraid of things that go bump in the night. You wake up in a long deserted and decrepit country hospital to the lilting British voice of your sole companion. You don't get to see him; rather he talks to you over the mysteriously still functional PA system. With your trusty sword and bow, you'll fight all kinds of creatively repulsive monsters. While the monsters' moves are a bit repetitive, everything else about this game is wildly fresh. It combines the usual haunted-gruesome fighter genre with elements from hidden objects and RPG games. It's great fun and you'll want to keep going to see what comes next. It's a freemium game, but it doesn't gouge you. You could (with lots of patience) make it to the end without paying a cent. But with a modest $1.99 to $5.99 in virtual goods purchase, you're at the sweet spot for pleasing game progress.
The game runs on Nvidia Tegra 3 devices, but Phosphor Studios actually tests each device before green lighting download on the Google Play Store. We've played it on the Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime, Acer Iconia A510 and Asus Transformer Pad TF300. It's not yet available for the Toshiba Excite 10.
Already a hit on iOS, Temple Run is more good clean fun and it's compatible with a wide range of smartphones and tablets. Put on your Indiana Jones hat and get ready to be hooked on this casual game where you can do all sorts of moves EXCEPT STOP. Since you're running away from monsters with treasure in hand, why would you want to stop? It's a rollercoaster of adventure but keep your charger handy.
Where oh Where is Max Payne?
Under the "games I would be playing section" is Max Payne. It's out for iOS but suffers seemingly endless delay on Android.