spice-invaders-iphone-tower-defenseIt’s another week and we at TechNorms are back again with your Weekend Games update. It’s really a good thing that there are so many fun mobile games, otherwise we might be in trouble. Thankfully the amount of developers creating quality apps for Android, iPhone, and in Flash has never been higher. In today’s gaming industry, the biggest buzzword is “casual.” Just look at Zynga, creators of Farmville, Mafia Wars, Words With Friends, and other famous casual titles. They have actually become the largest game publisher in the world.

But enough about them. Let’s get back to the important stuff- awesome games. This week’s selection comes from a more obscure corner of iOS, Android, and the web. Also, due to a common reader demand, all of these games are free. Not everybody has the cash to shell out for a new game every week or feels the need to pirate. That’s okay. There are still a whole lot of great games that won’t cost a dime (see Team Fortress 2). Here’s a couple you might like.

Android:

Dragon, Fly! Free

There’s no way around this. Dragon, Fly is a piece-for-piece copy of the bestselling iOS game Tiny Wings. As of now the creator Andreas Illiger has no plans to create a version of his game for Android, which leaves the door wide open for clones like Dragon, Fly!.

dragon-fly-android-clone-ios-tiny-wings

To be fair, Dragon, Fly! is an awkwardly named but well-made title. It may be a blatant copy, but the creators did a good job copying everything. The game plays much like Tiny Wings. It’s a little less polished than the iOS juggernaut, but that’s sort of expected from the generic version.

The core Tiny Wings Dragon, Fly! gameplay is fun. By alternating between tapping the screen and not tapping (real complex controls here), you control the relative weight of a bird dragon as it flies across varied and hilly terrain.

The game also comes with unlockable achievements for minor things like completing five jumps in a row. There are also achievements for the complex stuff… just like a certain other game. Like we said, piece for piece.

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We might complain about Dragon, Fly! Free stealing all its ideas, but it’s still enjoyable. The free version is marred with ads but still plays quite well. Plus, the full version is only a dollar if you want to shell out.

Download Dragon, Fly! Free

iPhone:

Spice Invaders

If your reading skills are anything like ours, you probably just read that as “Space Invaders.” It’s surprising how long it took us to notice it actually said “Spice.” That’s an important difference. You won’t be defending earth from invading aliens- in Spice Invaders, you are the aliens.

Spice Invaders is another tower defense game. What helps it stand apart from being one in ten thousand other TD games is its polish. Spice Invaders is made by Chillingo, publishers of the phenomenally successful and TechNorms favorite Cut the Rope.

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Just like Cut the Rope, Spice Invaders stands out with flawless graphics, a friendly interface, and a good tutorial. All that adds up to a very unintimidating game which can appeal to more people. The gameplay is your vanilla tower defense, but Spice Invaders is still very well-designed vanilla.

The game also comes with some nifty flavors to spice up (no pun intended) that same old, same old gameplay. Chief among them is persistent upgrades. Complete a battle successfully and you earn spice. Spice is spent in the upgrade store for better units or cooler aliens for your team. Persistent upgrades are super addictive (see Call of Duty) and they make a good addition.

Spice Invaders is free, but it makes its money on microtransactions. Instead of endlessly replaying old levels to farm more spice, you can pay real money to get it quickly. Whether this is a good thing is debatable, but at least the game makes purchase optional.

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If you do end up replaying levels, there should be a couple new things each time. Every level comes in several different modes like basic defense, sudden death, and air attack. Those extra modes help add a lot of replay value. Also, knowing Chillingo, they’ll be updating Spice Invaders with loads of extra content.

The last notable addition is Game Center integration. Building an unstoppable race of alien spice pirates isn’t much use if can’t share them with friends. Game Center adds that capability to Spice Invaders.

In all, Spice Invaders is another great tower defense game. For something that’s free, this sure is a polished game. There’s really no reason not to download Spice Invaders. Who doesn’t love tower defense?

Download Spice Invaders

PC:

Hell Yeah Copter

Chalk up another flash game that’s not very complicated. Hell Yeah Copter is simple fun where you steer a helicopter through increasingly complex obstacle courses. It’s sort of like a scavenger hunt with guns as you have to pick up stranded people while under fire.

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The challenging part is dodging stationary turrets which shoot at you. At first the turrets are easy to dodge and don’t require much skill. As the game progresses the turrets begin to multiply and what was simple becomes dodging complex patterns of fire. It’s hard.

Other than that, Hell Yeah Copter is decent fun. The only annoyance is searching through a challenging level to find one straggler who hasn’t been picked up yet. Still, if that’s your thing, Hell Yeah Copter will deliver.

Play Hell Yeah Copter

Well, these are the games that we picked for you to check out this weekend. We are sure you would have loads of fun playing them. Which game did you like the most? Let us know in the comments.

Check out previous Weekend Games Corner articles for more fun games!