Amazon loves its kindle users. Do you know how we know? We know because Amazon throws a free game our way once a day, along with a handful of spotlight games at discounted prices. These games range across genres, and there truly is something for everyone. There are so many games up for offer, in fact, that it can be hard to tell the good from the stinkers. That’s where hardcore droid comes in for backup. Every two weeks, our contributor Jen Schiller will round up the best and worst of the Amazon store and give you the rundown. Check out her last review here, and stay tuned for her dish every two weeks. -ed.
Diver Dogs <<<(free in Amazon Appstore)>>>
Calling all lovers of adorable games! Diver Dogs is the story of the D.E.R.P. squad (It stands for something, but does that really matter?) and their fearless leader, Sharkie, who go on many missions to save other pups from peril underwater. The evil power of ROCKTOPI have pupnapped all your buddies and hidden them under water; the reason for this is unclear, all you know is that they’re in trouble and you’re the only one who can help. As you save more dogs, you unlock more playable characters, though nothing changes if you do give Sharkie a break. Diver Dogs keeps things simple. You race against the clock and nautical obstacles to save three pups per level–sometimes through hidden passages that you’ll have to trust the sea-buddies to help you find. You can use the money you collect to buy adorable little outfits for whoever is doing the saving. The navigation system is, interestingly, in reverse if you somehow get turned around, but it switched consistently enough that a few minutes of game play allow you to get the hang of things.
Hot Wheels Track Builder <<<free in Amazon Appstore>>>
I don’t think Hot Wheels has ever made a move I don’t approve of, and Track Builder is no exception. This is a racing game with an extensive sandbox element to it–there are eight classic hot wheels cars to race, and a variety of tracks pieces you can use to build infinite unique racks upon which to race them. The game comes with four pre-made tracks, but you can also access tracks built by other players around the world, and upload your designs to let others see what you’re made of. Of course there is a merchandise tie-in, but this one is pretty cool: the game links to the Hot Wheels website where you can buy real track pieces and text out your track designs in real life. Hot Wheels Track Builder is fun for all ages.
Galazer Deluxe <<<($1.29 in Amazon Appstore)>>>
Space Invaders is my favorite classic game. As a direct result, I highly enjoyed Galazer Deluxe, which is a fancy update of the 8-bit game we all know and love. There really isn’t much else to say. You shoot at the bad ships, and sometimes they drop crystals that upgrade your weapons system. The ships are shiny and distinct from one another, and the mothership shows up every now and again. Other than that, the entire game is the same, and I love it for that.
Batman and the Flash Hero Run <<<(free in Amazon Appstore)>>>
Let’s start with why I downloaded this game in the first place—what in the world would bring Batman and the Flash together on a mission? Isn’t Batman kind of a lone wolf unless he’s with Robin? Is D.C grasping at straws here? If someone has an answer to that, I’d love to hear it. Here in Hero Run (a direct adaptation of Temple Run), Batman has to defeat a variety of villains who have been let out of Arkham by the Joker. The Flash just shows up to try and run faster than he ever has before, I guess. While the basic design is the same as Temple Run, the variety of obstacles, addition of projectile weapons, and character upgrade system take Hero Run head and shoulders above its predecessor.
Let Down of the Week: Timberman<<<(free in Amazon Appstore)>>>
This could be a cute little game that’s lots of fun, but instead it’s dumb and I’m deleting it immediately. Timberman is a 16-bit style game where you’re a lumberjack standing at the base of a tree and you have to switch what side you’re chopping to avoid getting smacked by a branch. I think. There’s no tutorial, no real points system, and apparently a time element that I still haven’t figured out. Add to that the fact that the controls are clunky and inconsistent, as well as the fact that there’s literally no other element to the game, and Timberman is the let down this week.