Most of them sucked, hear more about how they sucked after the break.
But this article isn't about that. This article is about the hellish time before and after her birth, in which I was trapped in a hospital with a TV that only had 8 channels, and no WiFi to speak of (and also no gaming device other than my phone.) This article is about a man pushed to his boredom tipping point, a man who finally, after hours of doing nothing, stares into the abyss that is the Google Play store.
And as we all know, when you stare into the abyss, it also stares into you.
DISCLAIMER: ALL GAMES WERE PLAYED ON MY GALAXY S4, AND ALL GAMES WERE ACQUIRED FREE AND LEGALLY THROUGH THE GOOGLE PLAY STORE.
Game Number 1, ONLY ONE
Only One is a game about a man teleported onto a strange Mayan-looking rock in the sky, who's only job is to murder his way through waves of enemies and absorb their power, highlander style. You wield a sword and have to run up to hit enemies. There are several different enemies in the game, ranging from swordsman, to archers, to jellies that look not-unlike the ChuChu's from Legend of Zelda.
There are several different boss monsters that spawn on certain waves and are pretty challenging, and when you die you don't really feel like it's your fault. Sure the controls are a little floaty (as is the problem with most mobile games that require you to use a joystick-like input) but in my time with the game I believe that's intentional. The game all-in-all is just a goofy little rouge-lite that's pretty entertaining.
That's not to say there aren't downsides though. The game takes up quite a bit of processing power and causes my phone to run quite hot after just an hour or so playing it. As a side effect it sucks down a fair bit of battery. Added to that, the micro-transactions (an unavoidable staple of free-to-play mobile games) really make themselves known about 3 hours into the game. You start to get power ups less and less, and the currency in the game accumulates slowly enough to be a real pain, often times hindering your advancement.
At the end of the day though, I'd have to say I give Only One a solid 7/10. The visuals on the game look really good in that sort of 8-bit way, and the game really is fun to play. Knocking enemies off of the tower to hear them scream and say "I regret nothing!" never really gets old, and despite the paywall I continue to play it whenever I'm bored, so I suppose that's worth something. I don't know if I'll end up spending money on it, but for a game to play every-now-and-again it really does shine.
Game Number 2, Radiant Defense
Game number 2 is a Tower Defense game, one of my favorite genre's for passing time (not that any game really "passed the time" during my three days in essentially a really clean jail cell.) The plot it that aliens are invading, and the only way to stop them is with well placed lasers on the walls of the labyrinth the aliens have for some reason decided to funnel their bodies through.
The gameplay is pretty tight and somewhat unique (about as unique as it gets in the TD genre.) You place your guns, or lasers, or bombs, or whatever other weapon you want, and kill aliens. Welcome additions to the genre include the ability to actually place and delete pathing blocks, changing the layout of your maze and adding the ability to create choke-points, Thermopylae style. There are a number of different weapons (more if you pay money) that all feel separate enough to matter. You also have the option to upgrade existing weapons instead of just placing more, adding another layer of strategy and decision-making to the game.
Graphically the game really shines through. The visuals are crisp and neon, adding an 80's arcade feel to the whole game. This visual style is helped along by the fact that a lot of the enemies look like a mix between Space Invaders and Metroids. All of the enemies look different, and there are to issues discerning different game elements.
My one complaint with the game is the paywall. Of all of the free to play games I've played in my life, Radiant Defense probably has the hardest paywall I've ever seen. As of this writing, I have yet to get through the third level in the game, despite 15-20 attempts. In order to get the best and most efficient weapons, you have to purchase packs (you can't buy piece meal.) And while I respect and understand that developers have to make money, it's hard to justify the purchase after such a small sampling of what the game has to offer.
Over all I'd give Radiant Defense a 5/10. The gameplay is tight, and visually the game is stunning, but the paywall is so high and impassable it's really hard to enjoy past a skin-deep level.
Game Number 3, Alpaca Evolution
Oh man, Alpaca Evolution. I don't even know what to say about this game, or how to describe it. Basically, you play as a sentient alpaca, who absorbs other alpacas, evolving into different creatures after hitting a threshold of alpaca's absorbed.
The game is (I believe) a Japanese mobile game, poorly translated (intentionally) into English, which really explains a lot. The entire game is hand drawn, and the number of evolutions are simultaneously awe-inspiring and grotesque. The game's shtick is all about absurdist humor, a la Goat Simulator. And man, does it hit the nail on the head. It never gets old zooming around the map and punching smug little alpacas in their smug little faces, then absorbing their life force to become some unmentionable eldritch horror.
Gameplay-wise the game is incredibly shallow. You touch an alpaca to beat it up, then touch it again to absorb it. Rinse and repeat until next evolution, where you get to do the same thing, but you have to absorb more. It really does get boring after a while, but as long as you pace yourself you can keep it fun.
But honestly, despite the shallow gameplay and my lack of knowledge of Japanese (parts of the game aren't translated) the art and absurd nature of the game have me give it an 8/10. If you do not have this game installed, do yourself a favor and join the alpaca sensation.
That does it for this article, my daughter just spit up roughly a gallon of milk onto my chest, so I'm going to go clean that up. Please join me next time, where I play about 3 hours of Heroes and Generals and judge it harshly. And remember, HOSPITALS: NOT EVEN ONCE.