Touch me!

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G.Silver
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Touch me!

Post by G.Silver »

I know some people here play games on iOS devices or maybe Android, and recently I've been checking a bunch out on iPad. I'm particularly interested in ones that use touch controls in a way that isn't comparable to a console controller, that is, ones that don't have virtual D-pads and stuff like that. But y'know, what are your favorite touch-screen games?

Here's the ones that passed my "did not delete shortly after trying it" test, in no particular order:

Punch Quest (trailer)
An infinite runner with a cool gimmick, in addition to the usual jump, you can also punch, which causes you to accelerate forward, so you can hurt enemies and regulate your speed at the same time. You can punch while jumping too, so the motion has a lot of nuance and complexity to it. It does use two virtual buttons but they're large and far apart, so I find it pretty comfortable to play. Also you can ride on a dinosaur, so points for that.

Tiny Wings
I think this is in that tier of iOS games that everybody knows about? You've got a bird that flies through the air, dives to the ground, and depending on what sort of slope it lands on, slides smoothly down the slope and up the next hill and launches into the air again. The only control you have is the dive, so it's a timing game, but because there's so much range in how that dive hits the ground, you get a lot of variation out of that one action. It's very pleasing when you start to get it right.

Final Freeway 2R (trailer)
It's a straight up Outrun clone that uses tilt controls and gas/brake buttons. You can't drift (I guess that's an Outrun 2 thing) but these guys really nailed the feel and it's quite nice looking.

Monument (trailer)
This seems to be the one people have been talking about lately? It's basically a point-and-click game but iOS is the place to play it and I think it's worth playing! I know there's some MC Escher appreciators around here and moreso than any other game that I'm aware of, this one is really Escher-like, with shifting pieces coming together in really clever (and spatially impossible) ways. It's short but very sweet, and not especially hard either (a definite plus for me, when it comes to puzzle games).

Major Magnet (trailer)
This is notable for being the game those guys stopped that Sonic 2 HD project for, and good for them to make something original instead! MM's another timing game, you activate what thing the Major is attracted to and he'll take up a steady orbit around it until you touch some other thing and he'll shift over to that, provided he's in the right position to do so smoothly. You can also boost around a little by swiping and there are some other play modes to break things up but that's pretty much it. Towards the end of the game there's a really great set of ice-levels that use the orbital motion along with slick Sonic-style loops to really great effect. I have to admit I really don't like the character design. Apparently there are lots of "jump to another circle"-type games out there but this is the only one I've played.

Crabitron (Gameplay)
This one is pretty cool. You control the giant space crab's claws with two fingers on each claw, dragging them around to bop things and opening and closing them to open or close the claws. It's very organic but not without problems, this is the only game where I've accidentally dragged my fingers right off the screen and onto the "close app" button, and if you take your fingers off a claw in the middle of some intense action then good luck getting them back on there (I've created some real tangled messes that way). But an interesting use of the touch screen and that's what I'm really into. At first I found it very cumbersome to control but I got the hang of it rather quickly.

Ziggurat (Weird Infomercial)
It's that Tim Rogers game! I like this game a lot, but mechanically the cool thing is the way you aim and shoot, by just dragging your finger across the screen you can aim in almost any direction, it's a unique approach that only works with a touch screen. The timing game with the charge shots (if you "overcharge" your shot, it reverts to a weaker state) is cool too.

Sonic Dash
I don't really know why I haven't deleted this one yet. I guess I kinda like it!

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Locit
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Re: Touch me!

Post by Locit »

I recently picked up Kero Blaster, fun by Studio Pixel, i.e. the guy who did Cave Story. It's really fun! Nowhere near as complex or exploratory a game as Cave Story, but great for what it is--a quirky little 2D platformer/shooter.

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Re: Touch me!

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I like Jumping. You get a very special prize if you win.

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Re: Touch me!

Post by Dr. BUGMAN »

I found myself unexpectedly captivated by Boulder Dash 30th Anniversary. It's BD as you know it with some minor gimmicks like incline planes, square boulder that cannot be pushed, and some items like TNT that destroy obstacle. The items being of course ostensibly noncompulsory purchases.

The controls are okish for touchscreen, they are intuitive enough but sometimes I occassionaly went in undesired directions, but that tended to happen when I was tearing ass so the problem may lay with me. I keep playing so it must be doing something right.

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Re: Touch me!

Post by Jingles »

There are a lot of visual novels on DS, and many of those were ported to iOS and Android in the past few years. The best part of these games are the controls - all you have to do is tap! I heartily recommend the Ace Attorney HD Collection, which contains HD remasters of the first 3 games, and 999, which is a straight port but with all the puzzles taken out. A lot of people liked Ghost Trick, but I found the gameplay (what little of it there is!) rather banal. There's also a Professor Layton game on the App Store, but it's not very fun and requires a very current machine. OH WELL!

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Post by G.Silver »

Heroki just came out--I believe it's made by some European indie company but it's published by Sega. Trailer here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g-e9SNkk7lM

I played this at PAX a couple years ago and it was pretty fun. There was a little video mixed in with Sega's main show floor "trailer" but the game wasn't demoing anywhere, and I'd never heard of it, but it looked like my kind of thing so I found a Sega rep to ask about it. They ended up bringing me to one of the developers, and I got to play it on his iPad. I remember liking it (sort of a vague memory) but mostly I remember disagreeing with the dev's demonstration technique, which involved touching the screen while I was playing to show me things. Back off and let me play!

Certainly a more interesting offering from Sega than Sonic Dash 2...

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Re: Touch me!

Post by Dr. BUGMAN »

I realize the point of this thread is about games that in some way capitalize on the strengths of these platforms, and that touch controls for traditional games are largely abhorred, but there was a slick new version of Lode Runner that was unceremoniously released for free about two weeks ago (though considering it was downloaded 100k times in such a short span means many of you already know...). And I emphasize free; there are no IAPs or ads, despite the Google Play store claiming it contains the latter. Lots of new levels, 100 old (presumably by the late Doug Smith himself) and a level editor.

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Re: Touch me!

Post by G.Silver »

Quite a few Load Runners on Android, is it this one?
https://play.google.com/store/apps/deta ... loderunner

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Post by Dr. BUGMAN »

Yep! It's an official licensee. I coincidentally searched for what Lode Runner would yield in the Play store about a month ago and only found stuff with dubious names, so I figured there wouldn't be much confusion...

Also forgot the caveat that this game requires a constant internet connection, in case that's something that bothers you.

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Re: Touch me!

Post by G.Silver »

Nope I am hemorrhaging internet, doesn't bother me at all.

I suppose maybe it's time for me to add to the thread again, too. After three+ years I have found more games I like:

King Tongue (trailer)
There's lots of 1-touch grappling hook games, but I like this one best of the ones I've played (note: totally in the market for other grappling hook games). The distinctive features of this one are that you can snag a target from just about anyplace in the level, rocket around at high speed, and your objective is to just slam into enemies, an action that the designers have managed to make feel really satisfying considering it's not directly related to button input.

Does Not Commute (trailer)
This is a two-switch driving game, and as those go, it's mechanically simple, but the cool thing is that as you take each driver to their destination, time rewinds and you have to take a new driver to a new destination, now without running into any of the vehicles you've driven previously. It's slickly produced and each driver has a backstory (some stranger than others) that progress as you play through different stages. I haven't finished this one yet, so I don't know if there are "endings," but I am really curious to know what happens to some of these people.

Super Cat Bros (trailer)
More two-switch. In this platformer, you tap (or double tap) the sides of the screen to walk or run, and the character jumps at the edges of any ledges, like 3D Zelda games. So with a limited jump, they end up making some clever puzzles that would be incredibly easy to solve if you could jump anywhere, so instead finding the right place to jump from is part of the challenge. Also the designers clearly love Super Mario 3D World.

Bean Dreams (trailer)
Kind of the like Cat Bros, Bean Dreams has you jumping forever, and moving left to right, so again, the objective is to maneuver yourself to the right spot with the right timing so your next jump launches from where you want it to. The real meat of the game is in trying to clear each stage in as few jumps as possible. When I first started this one it wasn't compelling to me at all, but once I started challenging myself to get the limited jump accomplishments, I really, really got into it. The level design and jump puzzles are great. It's actually the sequel to another Bean game, but it's way better.

Chameleon (trailer)
This is a very fast runner with specifically built levels, rather than random ones, and besides your usual one-button jump, this one has a color-swapping mechanic. As you proceed, the game gives you new moves and abilities, like touching the ceiling to gain an extra double jump, except it turns out you had those abilities all along and just didn't know it, which is a thing I like. One of said abilities is that if you swap colors just before you hit the ground, you get an extra boost of speed, so there's all kinds of little risk-reward options at your disposal. On the downside, the game is really, really, fiendishly hard, especially once you get into what I assume is the game's second half (I can only assume, because I didn't get very far in it).

Leap Day (trailer)
This one has you running back and forth in a pit, and you can jump, double jump, and wall-jump your way to the top. Of particular interest to me is that it is extremely vertical and quite reminiscent of Sky Puppy as you bounce back and forth off walls and dodge spikes and enemies. So for me, at least, it was really interesting to see a very different game tackle the same design problems in similar ways. Also they make a new level every day. They re-use a lot of elements, but there are several backgrounds and the final challenge at the top of each stage is always unique. I played this a lot before I got sick of it.

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Re: Touch me!

Post by Dr. BUGMAN »

I actually played Cat Bros and Chameleon. I adored the former, but the latter left me frustrated. I think it's the Dutch angle that got me.
G.Silver wrote: (note: totally in the market for other grappling hook games)
Y'mean like Usagiman and Wall Climb?

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Post by G.Silver »

Pretty much. I hope installing Wall Climb doesn't give Google the impression that I just want to play Attack on Titan fan games.

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Re: Touch me!

Post by Wombatwarlord777 »

I have to warn you guys about Minute Quest and Minute Frontier. Both are absolute time sinks where the player's avatar simply goes from left to right or right to left automatically slaughtering waves of enemies. Aside from customization of stat increases to a degree, that's it.

If you're into increasingly diminishing returns and have an addictive personality, you can dump dozens of hours into these things. I'm still futilely hoping that my Luck attribute in Minute Frontier increases to the point that I get non-stop weapon bonuses.

I can vouch that Super Cat Bros. is good. I also liked Steven Universe: Attack the Light, so I'm looking forward to Save the Light.

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Re: Touch me!

Post by Opa-Opa »

I've been playing A LOT of Punch Quest lately. I love the fact that I can turn the phone and play it with one or two hands. Perfect for the bus or the subway.

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Re: Touch me!

Post by G.Silver »

Glad you're liking Punch Quest!

I should probably mention Dandy Dungeon, as well, because I put a lot of time into that before sinking into a state of futility. I cleared the game but the extra dungeons seemed either too hard or just not giving me the loot drops that I needed. Anyway it's a quick little dungeon crawler (something my hours and hours spent at Desktop Dungeon indicate is a thing that I like) where every floor is a little puzzle that has you moving through in such a way that you only touch each tile once, just like that game you used to play with your TV remote control. (I assume I was not the only person who did this!) The story and characters are pretty entertaining, it's by that guy who made Chulip and a number of other off-beat rpg-ish games.

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Re: Touch me!

Post by Neo »

G.Silver wrote:just like that game you used to play with your TV remote control
dammit

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Post by Dr. BUGMAN »

So yeah, I enjoyed King Tongue enough to unlock all the achievements, but the Gravity Home one eludes me. What exactly am I supposed to, here? Nothing seems to be interactable. There's no useful FAQ for this game, either...

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Re: Touch me!

Post by G.Silver »

Gently tilt your phone back and forth on the title screen. I'm not sure what the criteria is for the unlock but it happened pretty quickly for me.

Glad to hear you liked it. I didn't get all the achievements, or even all the crowns (still missing a few..)

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Re: Touch me!

Post by Dr. BUGMAN »

Oh, I thought that might be the case, but the game doesn't seem to be registering the accelerometer. I guess I should be thankful it's compatible with my device at all, and the devs managed to sync achievements to my account rather than the device. It's far too common for either of those to not work, but I can't really blame these devs making software for a format with no real standard.

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Re: Touch me!

Post by G.Silver »

Gotta get in here again to recommend Million Onion Hotel, another one from the Chulip guy and the previously recommended Dandy Dungeon. The game is a really elaborate take on Wack-a-Mole. Hitting enemies lights up the panel where the enemy was, and lighting up a line of panels advances you to new stages, or if you can complete multiple lines at once, it'll take you into feverish high scoring modes where things get really crazy. Describing the mechanics is straight-forward enough but the game is really, really strange, and there's a compelling story though it all, filled with drama, onions, and unexpected nudity.

It costs like $4 and is totally worth it. It's simple but well-made and really sticks to its arcade heritage. A seriously hardcore game that just happens to be best on mobile.

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Post by Dr. BUGMAN »

I was feeling particularly skinflinty and had the idea of searching for "open source" rather than "free" since there aren't big enough quotation marks for the latter for gaming nowadays. Of course the former doesn't always mean free either, but typically does, but whatever. What did show up wasn't all that great; as to expected, beggars can't in fact be choosers. Something that did stand out however was VoltAir, which isn't quite a hidden gem, but is entire free of cost and of ads and of hidden traffic (I think) and only 57MB. It also has achievements.

It's a physics based platformer and a fairly substantial one at that, although the only action aside from horizontal input is a magnetic pull that you can use to orbit certain spheres to slingshot around and very occasionally draw small objects towards you to sovle puzzles. The physics aren't Sonic-good, but still worth checking out.

Curiously, despite all that and seemingly being a Google product made over four years ago, it has only around 10K downloads. No doubt advertising something genuinely free makes little sense, but still.

Also, being open source means anyone can port it to anything. Wonder if the dreamcast can handle it...

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Re: Touch me!

Post by Dr. BUGMAN »

Addendum to the above: Vector Pinball has grown on me quite a bit. It's a spartan pinball simulator, but one with satisfying ball physics running at a near-infallible 60fps. Additionally, it's genuinely free, 5.4mb, and has no hidden traffic or permissions.

My only criticism is it has no online leaderboards.

It's open source, too, so anyone with gumption can make a new table.

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Re: Touch me!

Post by Dr. BUGMAN »

Another game in the same vein as above. Tsunami Cruiser is a twin stick shooter, with the wrinkle being you're limited to horizontal movement. However as its name implies waves happen and increase in intensity as the game progresses. The crests and troughs don't slow you down or speed you up, but they do affect your projectile; shots above the surface are subject to gravity and thus arch, shots below the surface travel in a straight line until they're gone -- both shots will be negated by passing through the surface. The negation is one of the big challenges as the games goes on, but it's not the only one -- enemies come in swarms and are dangerous enough without the ebb and flow threatening to slam you into them. They're all distinct both behaviorally and visually, and well animated in the games rather nice fluid and colorful faux vectorbeam style.

The one and only blemish is that occasionally and unaccountably the ship lurches across the screen, but that could just be my shitty device.

The whole thing is no-strings free, and small in file size. It's no longer available via Google Play, but I've linked to the creator's website, which I will vouchsafe for. He's got tons of other free apps there, but this one is by far my favorite. Also, his name is Baron Von Schooten, how badass is that?

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Re: Touch me!

Post by Dr. BUGMAN »

G.Silver wrote: Final Freeway 2R (trailer)
It's a straight up Outrun clone that uses tilt controls and gas/brake buttons. You can't drift (I guess that's an Outrun 2 thing) but these guys really nailed the feel and it's quite nice looking.
Aaaand, it's gone, even the premium version, which I actually bought. So that's nice of them. I mean, the generous Google corporation gave me the whole dollar to spend on their store thereby covering the cost, but still.

Didn't appreciate the DRM it had even when it was still funct.

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Re: Touch me!

Post by Opa-Opa »

I've been playing a lot of Archero lately (trailer). It's a nice top-down roguelike shooter that you can play with one hand on the bus, subway, etc. It uses that annoying energy thing a lot of mobile games have, but after a while it doesn't bother you anymore.

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