Sonic The Hedgehog
Should we even bother introducing Sonic, the most popular character in the entire SEGA universe? The spiky blue blur has a new home on Android, starring in several Play Store titles, both old and new.
For those who don’t know Sonic, he’s a blue hedgehog (yes, blue) who loves to run fast, bust bad guys and save his animal friends, all at breakneck speed in a world of devious traps and loop-the-loops. The games are simple, but far from casual-you’ll have to keep both eyes on the screen so you don’t run headlong into trouble.
The classic Sonic titles on the Play Store include the original Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (where he’s joined by flying fox sidekick Tails), and even the more obscure gem, Sonic CD. All are available for free with ads, but available to play offline without ads for a one-time payment of a couple of bucks.
Among all the games that have left a bit of an impression on me, I have a vague but rather fond memory of Crazy Taxi on Dreamcast and the arcade. What I loved most was obviously bombing it down the hills like a madman, dodging cars and cops, blasting teenage punk band Offspring at full volume.
Having replayed it recently, I can say that the handling and smoothness takes me back down memory lane, and good news, Crazy Taxi is (since recently) available for free.
Baldur’s Gate Enhanced Edition
Baldur’s Gate and its sequel Baldur’s Gate 2, taken together, is considered one of the all time greatest role-playing experiences in video game history. Certainly it’s the most faithful electronic translation of the cultural phenomenon that is Dungeons and Dragons, and a must-try for any fans of fantasy role-playing.
The Baldur’s Gate saga comes to touchscreen devices, with graphical and convenience enhancements and new content courtesy of Beamdog. Create your hero (or indeed, villain), and explore a vast world full of magic and adventure, fighting fearsome monsters and meeting engaging companions along the way.
Max Payne Mobile
Available since 2013 on mobile platforms, the ported version from PC/console to Android still pleasures action game purists, despite its old age. The gameplay keeps the smoothness of the original hard-boiled shooter, complete with the famous Matrix-style bullet time. In addition, the graphics have been remastered to HD quality for a better picture. It’s even possible to configure the controls and/or synchronize some external controllers.
At times like this, when more mobile-focused versions (like Lara Croft: Relic Run and Lara Croft Go) exist, it’s worth knowing that the OG version of Tomb Raider was also ported onto Android. That’s right, the first Tomb Raider game that propelled Lara Croft to superstardom in the ’90s.
Priced at just over a dollar on Google Play, the game suffers from the usual criticism of these ports: the touch screen commands can be awkward. True enough, the game didn’t have any major redesign for its controls, so expect a steep learning curve
However, once you’ve got a hang of it, it turns out to be an excellent action-adventure game on mobile, with totally reworked HD quality graphics. Personally, I still find it better than Relic Run or Go. Additionally, there’s more archaeological adventuring to be had with Tomb Raider 2 on Android.