Welcome back to one more week of the Weekend Games Corner. Whether it’s your first or fourteenth visit, we’ve got a quality mobile game for you. Whether it’s killing time at the doctor’s office or waiting for tardy roommates at a movie theater, there’s a fun game waiting to be played on Android, iOS, and Flash. Casual gaming has become a real business, and business is booming.
So, no matter what you may be looking for, the Weekend Games Corner has it. Except yogurt. We’re all out of that. For good measure, we also only pick free games. Most of the time this means we feature “freemium” games. They’re free to play but usually feature some sort of upgrade system based on virtual currency. That virtual currency is usually earned in-game or out-of-game with real money. Hey, if it means the games are free, we’ll take it. Here are our picks for this week.
Samurai vs. Zombies Defense (Android)
Samurai vs. Zombies Defense (hereafter referred to as SZD, an acronym only slightly less awkward than the full title) is not a game for kids. From the very first loading screen, the game is liberally coated in blood. It’s no Sin City, but it’s not something you would want a little kid to play. Parents beware.
Those graphics might be bloody, but they sure are gorgeous. Everything is rendered in soft colors and appealing three dimensional graphics (no glasses required). In a world where everyone wants to be Angry Birds and sports identical cartoony graphics, it’s incredibly refreshing to see something different.
The gameplay is also… different, to be nice about it. Despite playing as a samurai, you don’t actually get to attack people. You just move and he auto-attacks the zombies. The only attack you directly control is when to unleash the super attacks.
It might feel like there’s not as much gameplay. To be fair, there isn’t. However, there is a certain amount of strategy to SZD. Moving in and out of attack range and strategically unleashing the super attack are all necessary to playing well. Attacking and defending require careful planning of movement.
The out-of-game content is a little more fleshed out, thankfully. SZD uses a system of persistent upgrades based on two types of currency. Silver coins are earned in battle by killing zombies. Gold coins are purchasable through micropayments of real money. It’s freemium, this is sort of par for the course.
Upgrades are used to flesh out a collection of custom loadouts and weapons. Earning new swords and bonuses for your samurai is a joy as always. New loot can also be earned through playing pachinko, oddly.
SZD is an appealing mix of the simple (combat) and the complicated (upgrades) that should entertain just about anyone. Throw in graphics that are a genuine pleasure to look at and you’ve got a deal.
Download Samurai vs. Zombie Defense
Jetpack Joyride (iOS)
From the creators of the famously addictive Fruit Ninja comes a new masterpiece. Jetpack Joyride is already quite popular and some of you have most likely already played it. However, if (like us) you didn’t know what all the fuss was about, now is a great time to hop on the train (or jetpack).
The premise, like the rest of the game, is humorous and entertaining. You steal a jetpack and go on a spree of destruction as the factory workers desperately try to stop you.
Jetpack Joyride’s cheerful sense of humor is quite evident throughout the game. The jetpacks have ironic descriptions, there is a flying named Mr. Cuddles, and the missions tend to give bizarre goals like “High-five 10 scientists in one game.”
The gameplay is fast and addictive. Touch the screen to fly upward, release to fall down. It’s sort of like the old Helicopter games, except exponentially more insane. In any given run you might be blasted with missiles, incinerated by lasers, or electrocuted with bolts of lightning. It’s pretty fun.
What makes Jetpack Joyride special is everything else besides the core gameplay. In every run you’re trying to accomplish multiple goals like collecting coins, flying as far as possible, and other assorted challenges. The missions cycle through and do a good job of adding replay value.
Along the way you collect coins. These can be saved up and exchanged for better jetpacks or slicker clothing. And since Jetpack Joyride is freemium, coins can also be bought with small payments of real money.
In every run there’s also floating tokens (special coins). These tokens let you pull the lever of a special slot machine that appears at the end of the run. The slot machine might spit out anything from extra coins to bonuses for your next run.
All told, Jetpack Joyride is a whole lot of fun to play. It’s undoubtedly an amazing free game that deserves your time.
Download Jetpack Joyride
The unobtrusively-named Wiring is a clever puzzle game that tasks you with hooking up light bulbs with electricity. Whoever originally designed the circuit box must have been an exceptionally poor electrician, because it is an absolute mess.
That’s the challenge, of course. Click a piece and it rotates in place. Connect enough pieces and they’ll turn on one of the lights. The puzzle pieces reset after every successful connection, to keep things interesting.
Scoring is pretty simple. Points are awarded for connecting the light bulbs and hooking up multiple lights at once. Points are taken away for overloading the voltage.
It’s not too complex, but Wiring is some well-designed puzzle gameplay. Anyone in need of a quick puzzle fix should give it a shot.
That’s it for this weekend. Hope you enjoy these games!