Over the past few years, mobile apps have exploded into mainstream gaming culture. It’s gotten to the point where no modern gaming convention would be complete without a healthy dose of mobile games, and this year’s Too Many Games convention in Oaks, PA was no different. On display were plenty of in-development, new, and previously released mobile games for fans to try out. Here are some standouts that we sampled at Too Many Games 2014 that are available for download right now.
Crowman and Wolfboy — Wither Studios
Mobile platformers suffer one major downside that irks many traditional gamers: no physical buttons. Most games remedy this by using virtual buttons or sliders, but sometimes these can be difficult to target and judge in the midst of an intense game. Thankfully, Wither Studios’ “Crowman and Wolfboy” uses a unique gesture based control scheme that lends itself well to the mobile experience.
The entire screen is used as one large control, with players swiping in different directions to perform actions, such as swiping side to side to set the characters in motion in one direction, or swiping up and holding to perform a big jump. Platforming is a breeze, and I never felt cheated by the controls when I missed a jump because I could pinpoint the moment I lifted my finger too early or didn’t swipe far enough instead of wondering whether I tapped a tiny virtual button. The intuitive control scheme also makes is easier for gamers to appreciate the wonderful aesthetics of the game. A dark color palette invokes comparisons to Limbo, which fits with the official trailer’s description of the game as a “lovely, dark adventure for iOS.”
Adventure is exactly what this game promises. It’s always refreshing to learn about a mobile game that doesn’t skimp on story or world building. One of the most intriguing aspects of Crowman and Wolfboy is the premise behind the game. The story tells of Crowman and Wolfboy wanting to give up their evil ways and escape from their world of shadows to the world of humans, who the two characters believe will help them. Unfortunately, the darkness of Crowman and Wolfboy’s world doesn’t want that to happen and will try to stop them by chasing the players through the levels.
Check out our short interview with two of the developers from Wither Studios below to find out more about the game.
To find out more about the game and the developer, visit the Wither Studios website here. Crowman and Wolfboy has already been greenlit on Steam, so be sure to check out their steam greenlight page to stay up to date.
Lunch War! — The Automatic Gentlemen
Another game we got our hands on at the convention was Lunch War! by The Automatic Gentlemen. Lunch War is a simple 70s and 80s style shoot ’em up in which players guide scroll side to side defending against an onslaught of descending enemies. This particular game separates itself from the crowd by putting players in the the shoes of a lunch lady firing various lunchtime projectiles at students. The students won’t go down without a fight though, as some of the enemies we saw fired back with calculators (the developers joked that they were TI-83s for those wondering). Of course, there are also plenty of game altering pickups, different enemy types, and a creative anti-camping mechanic that nerfs the firing rate if the player doesn’t move their character.
The Automatic Gentlemen also had a brand new game on display called Feudal. Formerly called Not Chess (which I embarrassingly read as “Not CHEESE” at Too Many Games), the developers revealed on their blog that they changed the name to Feudal to reflect the the elegant, non-joke style (and because people at Too Many Games were misreading the name…whoops). Feudal is a tile based strategy game where players face off against the AI in placing structures and characters on a board in order to control the majority of the playing field.
Both games have bright, colorful art styles, and each were charming and fun in their own way: Lunch War for its humor and frantic action, and Feudal for its stylistic art and strategic gameplay. Make sure to check out the developer’s blog right here, and then head over to the app store to download Lunch War! Right now, Lunch War! is only available for iOS, but it will be coming to Android devices in the future.
Drive to Hell — Ghost Crab Games
With the convention coming to a close on the second day, we mostly wanted to play a few fun games and just relax. One game caught our eye with its promise of action packed co-op play. So, we capped off our visit of Too Many Games 2014 with one last demo: Ghost Crab Games’ Drive to Hell.
Some of our favorite gaming moments have come during fast-paced multiplayer modes, and Drive to Hell promises tons of fun in their 4 player co-op mode. The starts with each player choosing a type of car and a color scheme; Rich went with a big truck, while I selected a sporty orange racecar. The levels consist of the player vehicles driving down a road as swarms of different monsters assault the cars. Think of this game as Smash TV on wheels. If twin stick shooters weren’t hectic enough, Drive to Hell challenges the players by having the cars continuously progress down the road with terrain along the outside of the pavement slowing certain types of vehicles. In one level, guard rails forced us to remain on the two lane road, which felt incredibly claustrophobic as the minions of hell charged at us. Poweruups, a kill streak multiplier, and special abilities keep combat fresh and frantic. For instance, Rich enjoyed setting off nukes while I constantly used my turbo to soar around the playing field.
Ghost Crab Games’ Drive to Hell is already available for PC and mobile, and the developer tells us that they have contacted Sony and Nintendo to discuss bringing the game to the PlayStation and Nintendo platforms. You can help out the developer by voting for Drive to Hell on their Steam Greenlight page right here. Check out the Ghost Crab Games website to stay up to date on the latest news about Drive to Hell and their other games. Ghost Carb Games’ Drive to Hell and Bungle are both available for free on iOS and Android phones and tablets.