For those of us who spent many hours of our adolescent years hypnotised by a SNES or Mega Drive, or wandered through early life clutching oour Game Boy, it’s pretty amazing to see how far games have progressed.
Consoles boast lifelike graphics and gigabytes of storage, handhelds offer 3D screens and online connectivity via 3G and wifi. But the world’s largest gaming platform is the one that’s already in your pocket.
Your smartphone gives you an unprecedented level of access to games of all genres – even some that you may have enjoyed playing as a youth, which is where we’ll start our list of faves…
[library asset=3597]Sonic CD (iOS, Android) – £2.99-£3.79
We can’t talk about games without talking about the world’s most famous hedgehog.
If you owned a Sega Mega Drive, it’s likely that at some point, you spent days playing the original Sonic The Hedgehog. Then you’d spend the nights praying that your mum didn’t turn your console off while you slept, thanks to the lack of save a feature on early 16-bit cartridges.
If you were lucky enough to own a Mega CD, you’ll remember Sonic CD, with its groundbreaking graphics and amazing speed.
And if you’re too young to know what on earth we’re going on about, you can now see for yourself with the Sonic CD app. Remastered for today’s 16:9 screens and the Retina Display, you can guide Sonic through what is arguably the greatest game in the franchise as he battles Dr Ivo “Eggman” Robotnik and his latest, most sinister creation – Metal Sonic.
[library asset=3599]Angry Birds (iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Nokia Ovi) – £Free-£1.50
Where Sonic started out on consoles and moved to your mobile, Angry birds is set to do the opposite. One of the most successful game franchises ever is set to explode onto your home consoles later this week.
In case you’ve been living in a cave for the last three years, here’s how the game works. Using a slingshot, it’s your job to launch your Angry Birds at a group of pigs who have pilfered the birds’ eggs. As you progress though the different levels of the game, you’ll get to use an increasing variety of birds, each of which has a special destructive talent.
Easily one of the most addictive games ever created, it’s also a work of comedy genius, making it a joy to play. Its success has led to a number of follow-ups, the latest of which – entitled ‘Bad Piggies’ – arrives on iOS and Android on 27 September. Great – even more hours of our lives about to be lost.
[library asset=3595]Shopping Cart Hero 3 (iOS, Android) – £FREE
It’s not advisable to nick a shopping trolley from Asda and start flinging yourself down hills in it. This app is the next best thing. Starting off with a trolley and two legs, you’ll master the fine art of pelting down a hill, up a slope, jumping and landing your trolley right side up. Or you’ll fall out and break your stick man’s head.
With each jump, you’ll earn money to buy mods for your trolley, safety measures for your fragile noggin and tricks that you can perform during your jump.
As with some of the other games in this round-up, the simplicity of this game is what makes it so endearing. And, as any great game should be, it’s ridiculously addictive.
[library asset=3596]Jelly Car (iOS) – £FREE
Another example of a wonderfully simple game, Jelly Car is a brilliantly drawn app in which you have to get from A to B. Pretty straightforward for most cars, but slightly more challenging when you’re in a car made of jelly and facing some pretty puzzling courses.
Not only is this a seriously fun game to play, it also boasts a fantastic soundtrack – with man-made sound effects and a Lemmings-esque background music score which is as catchy as the game is addictive.
[library asset=3598]Tiny Tower (iOS, Android) – £FREE
Tiny Tower is the creation of Nimblebit, also responsible for Pocket Planes and Hanoi. In this simulation, you’re in charge of… well… a tiny tower.
It’s your responsibility to develop your tower into the tallest tiny tower possible. You can construct and repaint floors, to fill them with businesses and residents. The inhabitants of the game are called bitizens; you can assign their jobs, customise their clothes, even evict them. Your aim is to keep them happy – which you can gauge by checking out their posts on Bitbook – their very own social media network.
Like Pocket Planes, Tiny Tower is an extremely playable game. If you can put it down, the game continues in real time in your absence, earning you money while you’re away. One of the things we like the best about the game is its brilliant 8-bit pixel art, which takes us back to our gaming youth and never gets old.
And so we reach the end of our second post on The Blue where we randomly recommend some apps we love so that you can try them. Tell us about your favourite game in the comments below, or maybe suggest a genre of apps that you’d like to see covered soon. If you can stop playing these games, that is…