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5 Mobiles Games For The Dog Days Of Summer

Summertime.  My life used to consist of laying poolside, reading tabloids.  But now, I can bring the indoors, outdoors.  Here are my top 5 Mobile Game recommendations to get you though the dog days of summer.

SCRABBLE by EA

Scrabble got a facelift.  Out with the old mobile Scrabble, in with a friendly and easy user interface!  Currently in Beta Facebook connect gaming, Scrabble should be hitting iOS and Android devices very soon.

The premise:  … I don’t need an intro for this classic.  Instead, I will say that I <3 love love love <3 the new Scrabble Tile Chat system:

Scrabble mobile comes with a complementary Dictionary as well as a comprehensive “2 Letter Words” search.  I also admire the usage of “ELO Rating”!  The Elo Rating system is a method for calculating the relative skill levels of players in two-player games (used often in chess).  “Highest Word Score” is also calculated along with “Bingos”.  Bingos are where you use ALL your Scrabble Tiles in one turn, resulting in bonus points.  Just for fun:

Based on the tile frequency, the most likely Bingo is “OTARINE”and “ETAERIO”.

The highest scoring 7-letter bingo is “MUZJIKS”.  The tiles total 29 points and it scores 128 on the first move.

The highest scoring 15-letter bingo is theoretically “OXYPHENBUTAZONE” (an anti-inflammatory drug most often used to treat arthritis). With 8 letters already placed between three triples, the word can score 1785.  There are no reports of a triple-triple-triple ever being played in a competitive game, as it requires very unlikely circumstances.

Have you ever had a Scrabble Bingo?

 

BAND TOGETHER by Backflip Studios

OMG GO GET THIS GAME !!  First of all, it’s currently FREE for supported iOS devices — hop to it before they start charging.  Band Together debuted last week and is already getting very high praise.  Here’s the trailer:

Oh and that high praise I mentioned:

Band Together is like Little Big Planet meets Lemmings…but with thumbtack death machines! How cool is THAT?”
— Duane Stinnett, Art Director on Starcraft and Diablo

Band Together is a fantastic game to play. It is super cool. People are going to love it!”
— David Lynch, Director

“Countless times I’ve witnessed people get transfixed and mesmerized by Band Together (myself included). I’m impressed that students were able to craft a game so engaging and addictive.”
— Mike L. Murphy, Animator, Lord of the Rings

Three student friends created this Band Together over summer break with the help of indie game producer Dave Taylor, (DoomQuake) and Art Director / Game Designer John Chalfant, best known for his stunning character work inWarcraft 3, World of Warcraft, and Batman: Arkham City.

I’ve had so much fun in this game.  It’s a puzzle game platformer that’s captivating and creative in all the right ways.  In Band Together, the goal is to rescue tiny creatures called Bandies, so named for their propensity to band together, by waking them up with candlelight and guiding them through 30 intricate cardboard dioramas bristling with homemade traps, such as thumbtack death machines, pencil pits, and rolling baseballs.  The dioramas are designed and constructed by the young tinkerer Michael Silverstein (nicknamed “Midge” by the mean kids at school because he has tiny hands). As the game progresses, players are taken through Midge’s secret journal, which details his experiments on the Bandies.

The game supports the crisp Retina displays of the new iPad. Owners of the iPad 2 and New iPad looking to adopt and download their own collection of Bandies can find Band Together on the Apple App Store.

CATAPULT KING  by Chillingo & Wicked Witch

In just the last few weeks, Catapult King has launched into the hearts of thousands of people — becoming the #1 mobile game in over 20 countries.  Very impressive.  Here’s a little demo of Catapult King’s gameplay:

The premise:  Become the Catapult!  Think of this game like a really colorful, fantasy 3D version of destroying fortresses to save your princess.

Sidenote:  I’m normally not into the whole “save the princess by playing a male knight” thing – I personally believe it’s an old standard that presents women with a less heroic role right off the bat.  I know it’s a little more effort for game developers, but Chillingo & Wicked Witch (if you’re listening), it would be exceptional for you to allow gender choice at the start of the game, as well as the gender choice of who we’re saving.  And it doesn’t have to be romantic — maybe you’re choosing to play a heroic Princess off to save your father, the King.  Just an idea… because your game seems to present the right opportunity as the franchise is rumored to continue in the future!

Regardless, Catapult King is fun, addictive and adorable.  One of the coolest features is the Power-Ups or “Enchants” you gain by completing levels and earning magic to supe up your ‘Pult:  line of sight for accuracy,  Earth Shock to blast the bad guys away, or call in a devastating Lunar Strike.

realMYST by Cyan Worlds

Myst.  Many of us have fond memories of this once PC titan.  Although Myst held the title of best-selling PC game for almost a decade (until The Sims in 2002), I’m still a little biased… the game studio who created Myst is from my hometown of Spokane, Washington.  And now, it was just released for iOS on June 14th.

One of the most compelling features about Myst is it’s mostly nonverbal storytelling.  You are an adventurer – The Stranger – who uses a special book to travel to Myst Island.  The game is all about exploring, without the threat of physical violence.  As the player, you can move at your own pace while solving various puzzles through observation and logic.

For me, realMyst was a trip down memory lane.  It made me smile.  It made me feel relaxed.  It made me realize that good games like Myst never die.  And even if you never played the original, this is still a definite must buy.

The Act by React Entertainment

It’s a cartoon come to life and YOU are inside.  It’s a bit difficult to explain as it’s surely an experience.   You play a window washer who is trying to rescue your doofus brother while simultaneously winning the love of a pretty girl.

At once you’ll be watching the cartoon – as if it were on TV – when suddenly you’re asked to slide your finger around the screen in order to kinda con and flub your way though different relationships.

For instance.  Your brother is locked in a hospital and you dress up as a doctor to get past security.  However, while waiting at the elevator you end up in a group of real doctors.  With the flick of your finger you can match their moods by laughing along with them, or acting concerned, or generally “fitting in”.  It wasn’t as easy as I thought it was going to be either.  While the collision (for lack of a better term here) can be a little confusing at first, once you get the hang of it you’ll see how your touch screen movements change from relationship to relationship.

It’s a brilliant new way to look at interactive gaming — your movements on screen change your relationships and course of the game.  The music and sound effects are also highly adaptive to your every move.

The Act is very cute and definitely something fun to throw on in your summer game mix.

What mobile games are you playing?

And congrats to our winners of the Quantum Conundrum game code giveaway!  Please check YouTube comments Friday afternoon to see if you won!  Subscribe to my YouTube channel and I will send you codes through private messaging.  I made a playlist with an intro, review, giveaway, trailer and Kim Swift demo of Quantum Conundrum, but in case you missed the original HelloGiggles video I made – here it is:

=mm=

Featured Image: Scrabble / Electronic Arts

Additional Images Via:  Electronic Arts, BackFlip Studios / Band Together, Chillingo, realMyst via Moby Games, and The Act

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