I couldn’t open any of my news feeds without being inundated by all things Flappy. And then when the app came down — oh, my! Never have so many cried out about so little! If only they cared about stuff like, oh, I dunno, hunger, poverty, government overreach, jobs…
Let me say that I’ve a deep respect for Dong Nguyen. When he saw people being obsessive, he pulled down the game. Instead of raking in insane amounts of ad revenue, he did the right thing.
And he learned a hard, but valuable, lesson: Ignore the Internet. Things like Facebook, Twitter, etc, seem to bring out the absolute worst in people. Take people who would normally be voiceless, give them a medium to yell within, add a safe dose of distance and anonymity, and you’ve got a recipe for disaster.
There’s a reason why I disable comments all over the place. Out of a hundred of them, maybe — maybe, one is helpful. The rest are garbage. And disheartening. And just plain mean.
So, Mr. Nguyen, please keep coding. Just shut off all those “social” sites. Ignore them. And keep making stuff. It’s not your fault that so many people are social-psychopaths.
I like full blown racing games, but sometimes you need something a little light to spend a couple of minutes on. Here are a few that are on my Nexus 7 right now.
Hill Climb Racing
I did a review on this previously. A fun, goofy, way to spend some time.
Zombie Road Trip
Have you played Hill Climb but said to yourself: it needs zombies? Well, check out this freebie. It doesn’t have the cool physics of Hill Climb, but you get chased by, and have to shoot, Zombies. Controls are simple. When the car is in the air, rotate CW or CCW. Press the other area of the screen to shoot. No gas or brakes, but it’s a zombie game, so I guess that goes with the territory. Faster paced and, I think, a little less fun than Hill Climb, but it still gets game time from me.
Beach Buggy Blitz
If you have a device that will support it (it uses fancy graphics), check out this “mario cart” on the beach game. Race around, gather coins, you know the drill. It really shows off what devices like the Nexus can do.
From the makers of Beach Buggy, this is a pay game, but if you liked the other game, check this one out. You are a hillbilly in an air boat. That’s about it. You can collect money, and there is a (useless) trading portion. But the fun of this game is crashing into things and just being a goof.
I’d love if the developers would improve the game by: Making the cops chase you and “pull you over” — that stuff is fun. Dump the whole trading items stuff, it’s pointless. This game would be absolutely perfect if it had multi-player (local WiFi) play. That would be fantastic. (Same holds true for Beach Buggy Blitz — I’d love to see multi-player play.)
A couple of puzzle / word games I’m digging right now:
A game that has been out for a while and doesn’t get anywhere the respect that it deserves. Sick of Boggle and Scrabble re-makes? Check this game out. You get a big 3D cube of letters. The goal is to make words from adjacent letter blocks. The controls aren’t perfect, and it’s sometimes a little buggy, but if you like word games, it’s a must.
I just started this one and already like it. You move blocks around to fill in pegs — but the blocks are ice (and other materials) — so blocks can slide over each other, etc. Kind of hard to explain, so download the free version. Unlock more puzzles for a buck a set. But they give you plenty of puzzles to start with. It starts out easy, but ramps up nicely.
Little Things Forever
I can best describe this as Word Search with images. You get a big shapes (ex. a dinosaur) made up of hundreds of little images. Your goal is simple: find the images from the list provided. Harder than it seems. It can get you a little cross-eyed after a while, but it’s a good relaxing game.
The devs seem to make about a dozen versions of the same game, and I ended up with the Fruit version. A typical match 2 or more objects in a row game (like Zookeeper). But I’ve had a lot more fun with Swiped than with Zookeeper, so if you like this type of game, grab this freebie.
Bridge Constructor Free
As the name says, build bridges using the limited parts provided. See if they will support the cars and trucks that will go over them. A casual game with some stomach churns as you watch your badly built bridge buckle and fall. This is actually a pretty good introduction for kids as to how to build something that doesn’t fail (using some intuitive techniques).
I don’t play this too much, but it is a pretty good game. Spin the dial, collect the colored dots as they approach. Easier played than said. I can usually only do a couple minutes of it before it gets too fast for me.
Little Things Forever
Bunches of shapes hidden in a larger object. Find three per puzzle. Zero stress, though you can go cross-eyed after a time. This one would also be good for kids.
What the kids call a “platformer” but what I call, Pitfall II. Run around. Jump. Avoid objects. And you can set it easy so you don’t feel too stressed (I’m all about low stress). I’ve tried a couple of these types of games, but like this one the best. Two problems, though. First, the control icons are too small on the Nexus 7. The actual range of control is okay (you don’t have to hit the little icons), but still not sized well for a 7″ or greater tablet. Second, it was designed for a phone, so fonts and whatnot are way too small on the tablets. Otherwise, a lot of fun. Put it on easy, with a lot of checkpoints, and you won’t be annoyed too much. It has extremely retro 8-bit graphics, but they do the job.
Super Stickman Golf
Another 8-bit-like golf game. More physics than real golf, but a good time waster. It’s like those “angle” games of the past, where you have to judge angle and strength to get the ball in the right place.
Connect a train to it’s station, but not like some of the other train/track/plane games, since everything is on a grid. Kinda hard to explain, so just download and try it out. Starts out almost too easy, but ramps up. Give it some time to challenge you.
Sometimes you just want a brainless time waster that you can come back to. Here are a couple of good ones:
Word Search by Melimots
It’s word search. You can change the complexity. What more do you want? Non-distracting ads, which it has. A little banner ad. No biggie. Some people have complained that it has “words I don’t know” and “won’t recognize 3 letter words I find”. To which I say: you are an idiot. It’s freaking word search! The best version I’ve found so far. No glitz. No glamour. Just word search. Free.
Solitare by Mobilityware
This is on all platforms (iPad, Kindle Fire, Google Play) and is one of the best known. It’s Klondike and that’s it. If you want Spider or FreeCell, get their other apps. It works, it’s simple, and only has ads in-between games. If you complain about ads in between games, you are a cheapskate and/or play too fast. Deal with it. Devs need to make money. Free.
Zookeeper DX TouchEdition by Kiteretsu
I have mixed feelings about this game. First, the good stuff. It’s Zookeeper. If you liked that game on the Nintendo DS, you know what it is. Graphics and sounds are the same, but bigger (depending on your screen, of course).
On the down side, on a tablet, it’s too big. I found it a lot easier to play on the smaller screen of the DS. And a stylus works better, too. And maybe I’m getting older, but I found the Nintendo version ramped up in difficulty a lot slower. Which is good for an old man like me. This gets too hard too fast.
It’s a buck, and if you like Zookeeper, it’s worth it. Otherwise you can look for other “match three blocks” games (or whatever they are called).