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Android Gaming Round Up: Apparatus, They Need To Be Fed, Zenonia 3 and Super Drill Panic

Recently there’s been a noticeable influx of great Android games. This is besides the slew of 3D titles heading to the LG Optimus 3D and a second wave of PS1 classics hitting the Xperia Play. There’s also a healthy glut of games available in the Android Market; we’ve rounded up four of the best here for your perusal and delectation.

Keep in mind that Gameloft UK is giving away a free game today, tomorrow and on Sunday; keep an eye out for announcements on Twitter (@Gameloft_UK) and Facebook.

If there ever was a weekend for you to get your Android game on, it was this weekend.


Apparatus

Apparatus is a physics-based puzzle game (yes, another one) where you have to get a marble from A to B by clever placement of wooden planks and supports.

It’s not the first Android physics ’em up we’ve seen (or indeed have written about). But we love the crisp, 3D graphics and fluid pinch to zoom, which allows you to easily see the bigger picture and get up close to examine trickier problems.

We’d recommend it to anyone on the basis that it’s a very slick puzzle game. But what’s really amazing about Apparatus is the sandbox feature.

This allows you to create whatever complicated structures you can dream up, run simulations and upload your creations to a community area. Here, you can have a go with other people’s efforts, like mrshad0w’s catapult unsolved v0.5.

The first few levels of the game pretty much serve as tutorials and how the physics work; they should also give you some food for thought for when you come to make your own Heath Robinson contraptions later.

Apparatus is available as a freebie version which just gives you access to the game. The full paid for version gives you all of the sandbox goodness. Apparatus is in public beta right now, during which the paid version – about £1.28 – is half price. If this sounds like something you could sink several hours of your life into, nows a good time to check it out.


They Need To Be Fed

Unlike Apparatus, the whole concept of ‘gravity’ gets thrown out the window here. TNTBF is an odd little puzzler where you guide jumping little critters across various platforms into the waiting mouths of hungry beasts – a bit like a more cannibalistic Cut The Rope.

The game features ‘360 degree’ gravity, meaning that fluffy concepts like ‘up and down’ are relative, entirely depending on which way up you’re little guy is standing.

You can walk around the edges of platforms, all the way round and not fall off, meaning that some of the jumps need to be particularly well timed.

It’s similar to Shift, but with the monochrome warrens of that game traded for more open and colourful environs. Plus the soundtrack from Jake Almond is irritatingly catchy – at 59p it’s a steal.


Zenonia 3

The latest instalment of Gamevil’s Zenonia series is in the Market now, currently going for the awesome price of free. Like the previous two editions, Zenonia 3 is all about the hacking the slashing and the harvesting of EXP.

Again, the graphics are from the same stock. Big manga-styled sprites with improbably huge weapons, that harken back to the glory days Secret of Mana and Chrono Trigger.

Regret, the hero from the first game, makes an appearance at the beginning, as the new protagonist’s father. It’s nice to see a linear narrative developing between these games, though the story is standard fare; a titanic through-the-ages clash between forces of Good and Evil and all that.

But that’s what you want from a fantasy RPG right? Annoying fairy sidekick? Check. Character classes? Check. Side-quests galore? Check; Zenonia 3 ticks every classic RPG box.

Super Drill Panic

Super Drill Panic takes the ‘tilting ball’ genre and flips it on its head – literally. Orangepixel’s Super Drill Panic boasts fun NES-esque graphics and puts you in the boots of an Indiana Jones-type guy who, naturally, is being chased by a giant rolling boulder.

You tilt your Android left and right to fall down gaps, picking up coins along the way for extra pointage. There’s a hammer pick up which allows you to smash down through platforms as well – handy when you’re just about to get squished. Things get tricksier later with the introduction of sliding doors and deadly lasers, making Super Drill Panic a cut above the usual ’tilt left and right’ style games.

It reminds us an awful lot of those closing sections of Metroid sidescrollers, where you need to keep jumping up to avoid the lava. There’s a free version with ads, or an ad-free one that works out at about £1.34.

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