A famous author once asked: Do androids dream of electric sheep? While it’s hard to know if or what a robot (or tablet or smartphone) thinks, it’s safe to say that many Android owners have games on the brain this December.
You can join the fun by checking out some of the top Android games of January 2014, in which you can lead dragons into combat, pilot the Angry Birds in a new go-kart adventure and explore a special town that is equal parts educational and fun.
It’s the epic clash we’ve only dreamt about until now: Dragons versus vikings! The showdown in Dragon Mania pits your diverse stable of dragons against an evil horde of vikings set upon protecting their castle.
There are more than 50 dragons to collect and train, and each creature corresponds to one of 11 different elemental attributes. You’ll have to keep your dragons well-fed if you’re going to harness that strength, however – the babies have real appetites, so save some of that money that you collect from building rents to plant fruit trees.
Perhaps the coolest thing about Dragon Mania is its innovative combat system, which adds a more interactive twist to battles. In a similar games such as Clash of Clans, you put your units on the screen and then kick back as they duke things out, but you’ll need to be more on toes in Dragon Mania. Pick and choose dragons according to attribute – for example, select a fire dragon if you’re going up against an ice dragon – and then toggle the game’s combat controls
“Instead of dropping troops on the screen and watching them do their thing, you actually get to participate!,” explained Gamezebo’s John Anthony. “It’s a bit like a simplified Pokémon match where elemental strengths and weaknesses face off in the arena.”
As a free-to-play game, Dragon Mania has a wide array of upgrades that can be purchased with one of the game’s two currencies. Coins are good for stocking up on eggs to hatch new dragons or buying new buildings, while gems speed up the training process.
Angry Birds Go
Over the past four years, you may have gotten your fill of tossing disgruntled avians around in order to bring down a wooden shack or knock out an unsuspecting pig. Good news: The latest entry in the popular Angry Birds series switches things up, taking the feathery fiends out of the air and strapping them into go-karts for a racing adventure.
If you’ve ever played Mario Kart, you’ll feel right at home in this racing romp. The game has two main courses, each of which offers five different types of racing. In Versus mode, players go head-to-head, while in Time Boom you have to complete the course before a fuse blows. Fruit Splat mode is self-explanatory – drive through watermelons and strawberries, in a Fruit Ninja-inspired dash to the finish line.
There are bosses in each section, and if you defeat them three times, they become playable characters. Each bird has its own power-up that can be used a certain number of times during the race. Overall, Angry Birds Go is a much more 3D experience than its predecessors – the trademark slingshot is used to start the race rather than launch the birds across a 2D landscape.
“The handling feels great, with a choice of touch or tilt,” noted The Guardian’s Stuart Dredge. “As in most touchscreen driving games, tilt is more fun, but touch is better for actually controlling your vehicle. The way the various karts turn, fly through the air and smash into one another feels very good.”
Angry Birds Go is the first fully free-to-play installment in the Angry Birds franchise. You can spec-out your go-kart and unlock new game modes by spending coins. Your avian race car drivers also get fatigued after five races, so you have the option to pay to revive them.
Are you ready for a trip to a different type of city? Fun Town features an unusual metropolis with no letters or numbers over ten, but plenty of mini games that help kids learn about shapes, patterns and number sequences.
Since the businesses in Fun Town do not have lettering or descriptions, players have to identify them by their appearance.
These outlets host 14 different mini games, including:
• Building your own hamburger in the restaurant
• Matching shoes in the shoe shop
• Growing a flower at the florist
Fun Town is a paid app, with no ads or in-app purchases. Gamezebo’s Nick Tylwalk stated that this may make it a natural choice for parents. Additionally, the game has a unique animation style that gives the town a cardboard-like appearance, inviting players to touch and explore to discover new features