Everybody loves playing video games in one form or another. However, it can be somewhat difficult to find a casual game for iPhone or Android that’s actually, well, good. Digging through thousands of listings on the Market and App Store for a game that’s cheap and entertaining can be tough sometimes.
That’s where this column comes in. We at TechNorms are always willing to lend a helping hand, especially if it means we get to play more games. Strictly for your benefit, of course. That’s why we go digging though the app listings every week, looking for a gem of a game in the muck. Here are a couple of games for iOS, Android, and PC that are quality casual titles.
Bouncy Mouse (Android)
At first, I thought Bouncy Mouse was a disappointing Angry Birds clone. The graphics and visual aesthetic is much the same as Rovio’s mobile juggernaut. However, once I started playing Bouncy Mouse I quickly realized that it was a very different game.
You are a small mouse whose arms and legs have been amputated and replaced with a magical rope that attaches to whatever peg you get near. The player uses the touch screen to drag and fling the mouse from peg to peg.
The goal in this peg-aiming is to collect as many pieces of cheese as possible. The level can be completed without ever getting cheese, but the ersatz floating bits of dairy count as a sort of scoring system.
Once the game gets a little harder, Bouncy Mouse is actually pretty fun. The physics are appropriately exaggerated and the levels are unapologetically video-gamey. Actually, some of the later levels feel a lot like Sonic the Hedgehog. You bounce off platforms and fly around the map, just like Sega’s mascot.
Bouncy Mouse is free to download, but the paid version is noticeably better. Drop some cash and you won’t have to deal with advertisements. The biggest difference is that over the course of the game you slowly unlock upgrades, However, these upgrades cannot be used outside the paid version.
Other than the moderately annoying ads, Bouncy Mouse is a pretty cool game that offers a good deal of entertainment based on a unique concept. People looking for something new will probably enjoy this.
Download Bouncy Mouse
Blood and Glory (iOS)
I’m not sure why this is, but most mobile apps seem to be fairly clean affairs. Maybe it’s just the influence of Angry Birds, but most apps seem to be on the bright and colorful and cartoony side.
Thankfully, Blood and Glory is here to buck that trend and save us from an App Store of boring G-rated games. Where other combat titles like Infinity Blade stick to sparks or special effects, Blood and Glory revels in drenching everything in as much gore as possible. So no, it’s not for kids.
Oh, speaking of Infinity Blade, there’s a small matter that has to be covered. Blood and Glory is basically a direct ripoff of Chair Entertainment’s well-known iOS fighter. The theme is different (gladiator instead of fantasy), but everything else is exactly the same.
Granted, Blood and Glory is free (with minor ads in the menu), so some people might appreciate the lack of cost and not mind its subsequent lack of originality. Well, that’s not totally fair. In keeping with the Blood and Glory’s more realistic theme, both players have very little health.
Apart from that single twist, everything is pretty much the same as Infinity Blade. To Blood and Glory’s credit, this is kind of good thing as Infinity Blade is a fairly amazing game. Not to mention that B&G features some truly stunning graphics which easily rival its inspiration.
Blood and Glory is still pretty fun. You swipe the screen to attack. Tap the corners or your shield to dodge. Time your swing just right and you can parry an incoming blow. The core combat is still very cool.
Throw in a fairly large store full of upgrades and you have a game that offers real motivation to play it. The weapons are all standard hammers, maces, and swords but the increasing attack values keep things interesting. The only thing missing is a way to organize the store by item.
Other than that, Blood and Glory is a decent off-brand alternative to Infinity Blade. If you’re curious about IB but want to try it before spending some cash, B&G is a good way to try out that style of gameplay.
Download Blood and Glory
Paper Cannon 2 (PC)
The popular Flash title returns for a sequel with more levels and more content. If you’ve never played Paper Cannon, it’s easy to pick up. Using variable aim and power, you try to lob exploding paper cannonballs at monsters. Blow up all the monsters and you win.
It’s a pretty fun game. The physics are decent, and the cannonballs generally bounce where you expect them to bounce. The doodly graphics make for an interesting visual aesthetic, but it’s a good one. I like it.
The issue with Paper Cannon 2 is that it’s really too easy. You get unlimited cannonballs. A really bad player could in theory just fire off as many cannonballs as possible in an effort to get lucky. The game should take a bit more skill.
Other than being too easy, Paper Cannon 2 is still a pretty fun way to spend a half hour. The gameplay is solid and it executes the basic concept well. I wouldn’t mind seeing this as a mobile app.
Play Paper Cannon 2
Which of these games would you like to check out? Which games are your favorites? Let us know in the comments.