KartRider Rush+, 2 Volt, and SpongeBob: Krusty Cook-Off
Welcome to the roundup of the new Android games that went live in the Play Store or were spotted by us in the previous week or so. Today I have a kart racer from Nexon that's actually pretty good. I also have a quality puzzle-based platformer where you'll play the part of a battery tasked with escaping a factory, not to mention the release of SpongeBob: Krusty Cook-Off, a children's game where you'll assemble food for all of the residents in Bikini Bottom. So without further ado, here are the new and notable Android games released during the week of May 11th, 2020.
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Looking for the previous roundup editions? Find them here.
KartRider Rush+ is a free-to-play kart racer from Nexon, similar in style to Nintendo's Mario Kart Tour. Luckily KartRider Rush+ offers worthwhile touch-controls, fair monetization, tons of game modes, and plays in landscape. Sure, the game is riddled with in-app purchases, but they are primarily for purchasing cosmetics that have no effect on gameplay. All in all, KartRider Rush+ is an enjoyable kart racer where you can easily race against your friends, and unlike Nintendo, Nexon realized this is what makes for a successful racer on mobile.
Monetization: free / no ads / IAPs from $0.99 - $89.99
Okay, Super Oscar Premium may not look all that great, thanks to its simplistic graphics, but the original has racked up over 10-million installs, and so it would appear that many people enjoy the 2D platformer. More or less, the original was a free game supported by advertisements, and Super Oscar Premium is a new version that forgoes ads for an upfront price, which should appease the fans looking for a premium experience.
Highrise Heroes: Word Challenge is actually an older title, but it was recently republished under a new publisher, and so this particular release is a new listing. The game comes from the creators of the Quell series, a group of successful puzzlers from the early days of Android. Highrise Heroes offers something slightly different as it's a word game where you'll create words on a grid of letters and obstacles in order to clear a path out of the title's highrise building.
Play and Learn Engineering: Explore, Design, Build
Play and Learn Engineering comes from PBS Kids, and so this is an educational children's game themed around engineering. It would seem encouraging career paths early is all the rage anymore when parenting, and so apps like Play and Learn Engineering often try to promote STEM fields to latch onto this trend. There are eight educational minigames within this release, and there's even a parent section that will detail how to engage your kid's interests.
Quantized Bit's 2 Volt is a striking puzzle-based platformer where you'll utilize electrical beams in order to interact with the game's environments. You see, you'll play the role of a refurbished lithium-ion battery searching for a way out of an automated manufacturing facility, and so you'll use your electrical abilities to interact with obstacles in order to progress through the title. It's a familiar setup, but it's a joy to play, and it also serves as the sequel to the original puzzle-based platformer Volt, so make sure you don't miss out.
Pico Hero may not look like much, but that's by design. This is a puzzle-based top-down shooter designed to evoke memories of 8-bit games, and it does a competent job doing so. There are over 100 levels to complete, and there's also a level editor for those of you that would like to create your own challenges. You can even share these levels with your friends, ideally creating a situation of unlimited content.
Monetization: free / contains ads / IAPs $0.99 a piece
Square Worlds is a tile-placement game where placing tiles will earn you points, and these points will fluctuate, depending on which tiles you've chosen. This makes for a game that's easy to play but difficult to master. Better yet, this is also a game with many hidden secrets, so the more you play, the more secrets you may uncover, which should ideally give you a leg up when it comes to scoring maximum points as you place your tiles.
Mine Rescue is a new release from VOODOO, and while the dev is known for casual games filled with ads, this title still offers some enjoyable gameplay. Somewhat like a Sokoban game, it will be your job to reach each stage's goal by moving blocks, but you'll also have to dig in the dirt, and often the position where you dig in the soil is the answer to each puzzle. All in all, the combination of these two mechanics makes for an enjoyable puzzler that's easy to pick up and play during your downtime.
Head to Head is a generic quiz game where you can battle your friends in real-time. Like most quiz games, you'll answer random questions, and whoever answers the most questions correctly wins the game. It's a simple setup everyone should be familiar with, and even though this game isn't much to look at, it works as advertised, though the monetization could be better.
Space Shooter is an early access release from Spirit Bomb, a developer that has also released Insect Invaders this week, which is also a top-down shooter that's in early access. Primarily both games look pretty similar, though the insect enemies in Insect Invaders look slightly different from Space Shooter's enemies. There's a total of nine ships to select from, along with 48 drones to collect, and yes, each drone offers its own unique abilities, which should provide this shooter with some longevity.
Insect Invaders is the second release from Spirit Bomb this week, and it suspiciously looks a heck of a lot like Space Shooter, though each game's enemies look slightly different in either release. So while the dev didn't bother to detail how many ships or upgrades are available in this particular title, you can still expect to fly through space as you blast every enemy you come across into oblivion.
SpongeBob: Krusty Cook-Off has been available for pre-reg since last year, and so the game had racked up over 15 million pre-regs. Of course, I can't say that it's remarkable that such a coveted property amassed those numbers when the game was sitting in pre-reg for so long. Still, it would appear that many children were eagerly awaiting the release of SpongeBob: Krusty Cook-Off, and what they'll get is a simple cooking game where they'll assemble food for customers. It's an extremely simple gamer, which should make it a great choice for children, though sadly, the developer has stuffed the title with in-app purchases, which feels a little shady when considering the game's license and that it clearly targets children.
Immortal Destiny is the latest release from Neocraft Limited, the same people behind Eternal Sword M and Tales of Wind. If you look at the game's screenshots closely, you'll see that there's a bunch of stars on the first image that look like awards or positive reviews, but these stars reflect neither. They are simply there to give off the impression that the game is indeed popular or well-reviewed, which is a duplicitous way to promote a product. But seeing that this is a game that's also filled with horrible monetization, I suppose the use of fake award imagery in promotional art is hardly a surprise.
Box Office Tycoon is an idle game, because, of course, it is. It would seem every dev and their mother has an idle game available on mobile, and Box Office Tycoon is clearly the latest release trying to capitalize on this trend. The first thing that gives this game away as a cash grab is the fact that it's a casual idle title filled with in-app purchases. For a genre that was originally designed to not be played (it's in the name people), it sure is odd that this title is filled with heavy monetization. Gosh, do you think the devs might have actively placed roadblocks in their game to force people into paying so that their idle game will once again idle?
NEO:BALL is an early access release, and it plays like a neon-infused top-down version of Rocket League, albeit rather simplified. The game only offers one-on-one matches, and really, the entire thing plays like a match of air hockey. The cars basically function as strikers, and so it will be your job to get the ball in the goal while blocking any attempts from your opponent. It's a classic setup that looks great in action, though the game is monetized rather aggressively.