Animals are our friends, right? Well, most of the time they are, unless they try to steal our food or beer, which a few of them try to do in the games we've selected below for our top Android picks for this week. So what have our Google-mobile-operating-system-loving GameSpot editors been playing on their Android devices this week?
Despite the positive public relations run birds have been having lately, thanks to a certain uberpopular mobile phone game, the truth is, sometimes, birds can be just as rotten as their piggy foes. In Shoot the Birds, airborne critters are the aggressors, and it's up to one, fed-up scarecrow to take revenge on the avian pests infecting his patch of field. Controls are pretty simple: You shoot at passing birds using the scarecrow's crossbow, pulling back by dragging your finger down and aiming before letting your projectile go. Skewering more than one bird per arrow gives bonuses, with even arrows that miss having a second chance to nab a foe on its return back to the ground. As with most games of this ilk, you've got a set amount of time in which to perform you bird murdering, so the challenge in game comes from beating your own (and a leaderboard's) score. Shoot the Birds is simple, yes, but like the best in this genre, it's also highly addictive, especially if you've had enough of all this bird-loving talk.
Sometimes, you just want to get away from all the cutesy, animal-based minigames crowding the mobile game space and, instead, indulge in some good old-fashioned high-speed vehicular hijinks. Reckless Getaway is a perfect game to sate your fuel-addled desires, with its quick, arcade take on driving action that is easy to pick up and play. As its name suggests, the game is all about escape, with your character hightailing it away from the cops as you try to flee from a robbery. Controls are simple: All you have to do is steer left and right, with acceleration taken care of automatically. You'll need to dodge in and out of traffic, with the game giving you points Burnout style for having close scrapes with other vehicles (short of crashing completely). You'll also pick up power-ups along the way, such as the ever-handy nitro speed boost and even a power that sweeps all cars away from you to clear your path. The game's vehicles control pretty loosely, but it's quite fun to weave your way around crowded streets while the number of cop cars in pursuit grows (and their tactics become aggressive).
Sticking with vehicular action, Lane Splitter is just as speed-happy as Reckless Getaway, but instead of being in a car, you're in charge of a motorbike. Your task in Lane Splitter is to take your speedy bike and maneuver your way around traffic (using your phone's tilt functions to move left and right), with the challenge being to get as far as possible without crashing. Because you're on a bike, most contact, no matter how fleeting, will result in your rider being flung from his ride. Bikes are fragile, as is the human body. But we digress…Lane Splitter is pretty easy at the start, with wide-open lanes and not much traffic to contend with, but as you progress, your speed increases, as does the number of other vehicles on the road. This will lead to some thrillingly close scrapes, giving the game an exciting edge. It becomes even more exciting in high-traffic situations, where the game slows your speed down slightly but gives you way more cars to deal with, forcing you to squeeze your way between vehicles with the barest amount of gap in between. Lane Splitter is a tense and thrilling experience in short bursts, and it is an easy recommendation for a download this week.
No, we haven't finished with cutesy animals on this week's list, but as with our first game in this round, the animals are the aggressors in this game. Greedy Pigs is a tower defense game that puts you in charge of a group of vikings, whose major concern in the world is to protect their massive kegs of beer being raided by a variety of woodland animals. Because as we all know, there's nothing better that a bear, pig, or ostrich likes than a swig of refreshing ale. As with most tower defense games, you'll have a variety of units at your disposal, and it's up to you to balance your unit mix and upgrade options as the waves progress. Greedy Pigs is an interesting take on the genre, with a colorful art style. There's also a free version that lets you try out the title before you're asked to commit to a purchase.
GameSpot's weekly mobile games recommendation list aims to bring you a snapshot of what games the editorial team members around the globe are enjoying (or maybe regretting) on their phones and tablets. For more games, be sure to check out our previous coverage:
Top Android Games - August 19, 2011
Top Android Games - August 12, 2011
Top Android Games - August 5, 2011
Top Android Games - July 29, 2011