Welcome back. It’s another week, and we’ve got another edition of the Weekend Games Corner. For our new readers (there’s got to be at least one, right?) this is the column where we at TechNorms play a bunch of iOS and Android apps to find some games that are free and fun. Oh, and we throw in a decent Flash game for those you who want to game on a PC but don’t have the horsepower to run Team Fortress 2.
This week features games from some of the TechNorms staff’s favorite franchises. We admit it, when we’re looking for good games for this column we tend to check for new entries in our favorite franchises. Lucky for us they’re good enough to be featured in the Weekend Games Corner as well. Here are a couple good games we found this week.
Serious PC gamers know and revere the name of the Civilization franchise. For the past two decades, Sid Meier’s games has been the premier turn-based strategy series in all of gaming. They’re that good.
So good, in fact, that a group of dedicated fans has spent the past few years recreating Civilization II in a new free, open source version called FreeCiv. The game is free to download for Mac, PC, Linux, and now Android.
As far as ports go, the Android version of FreeCiv is not terribly professional. Loading times are extensive. The interface is workable but ugly. The whole thing really feels like a PC game from ten years ago, with all the user-unfriendliness that comes with that age in gaming.
FreeCiv also brings to Android one of PC gaming’s greatest annoyances- heavy glitches. We could not get the game to run on our Evo 4G running CyanogenMod 7. Playing the game required flashing to an old Nandroid backup we saved of the Evo’s stock ROM. This game is still very much in beta.
Now, with all those complaints out of the way, let’s focus on the good stuff. First and foremost, this is a Civilization game. You get to be the President/dictator for the entirety of your nation’s history and deal with all the problems which come with such a position. Balancing diplomacy, war, research on new technology, culture, and other concerns is surprisingly addictive.
It may be on a small touchscreen, but this is still a genuine Civ game with all the awesome gameplay that goes with that. Seriously, we cannot emphasize enough how addictive Civilization games are. FreeCiv is no exception.
FreeCiv is a beta of a game that came out more than ten years ago, but damned if we’re not excited to play it. Android has a conspicuous lack of heavy strategy games, and FreeCiv is one of the only options to fill that gap.
Tiny Wings HD (iOS)
This week sees the release of not one, but two Tiny Wings games. First is Tiny Wings 2, the sequel to last year’s superb hit. The other is, at long last, a version of Tiny Wings optimized for iPad. The two are essentially the same game, so consider this our review for both.
When the first Tiny Wings came out, it was in some ways the perfect iPhone game. It was simple yet replayable, easy to learn but not boring, featured gorgeous graphics, and was highly addictive. Between the rock-solid gameplay and constant stream of updates with new content, Tiny Wings became one of our favorite games for iOS.
Tiny Wings 2 is essentially the same game, but packed with even more content. It includes the basic flying mode that proved so much fun last year, supported with new graphics and goals. This mode by itself is a lot of fun, as a year’s worth of gameplay can attest.
The second new mode is competitive racing against several computer players. Instead of flying across multiple worlds, these races have you traverse one world as fast as possible in a bid to outfly the other computer-controlled birds. The level design for these races is creative and varied, making the mode a blast.
Probably the coolest new feature, though, is the inclusion of local multiplayer. Using the iPad’s 10-inch screen, two players can each control a bird and compete to see who can outscore the other. It’s a feature we did not expect and find completely awesome. Find a friend for this, ASAP.
There’s enough Tiny Wings content to keep any fan of the first game busy for a long, long time. We were blown away by how much better an already fantastic game has become. The best part? It’s a free update for anyone who previously owned Tiny Wings.
Download Tiny Wings HD
Stuckfain is an interesting throwback platformer. First of all, the graphics look like they were created in the era of the original Game Boy. They’ve got that monochrome pixelated look that makes retro gamers hot and sweaty.
The gameplay is your typical puzzle platformer action. You push blocks around and use those to reach the exit. Unfortunately, the game falls prey to restartitis. If you push a block incorrectly, you have to start over the entire puzzle. That’s annoying.
The game is pretty funny. It likes to insult you in the directions. This too is an echo of retro games that were not fond of holding the player’s hand. Good work, guys.
Retro fans and anybody looking for a decent 2D platformer would do well here.
Have you played an of these games? Let us know in the comments.