What makes an app so popular? What do the games that are highly addictive have that other ones don’t? Some of the top grossing or most popular free games in the Google Play store aren't the ones that require getting used, they're the ones that bring you right to the point, hassle free, yet offer challenging puzzles and missions which don't border on the impossible. The top 5 new free apps of the Google Play store are Into the dead, Cut the Rope: Time Travel, Catapult King, CRS Racing and 100 Floors Escape. Among them I could choose my favorite, as well as the ones that I can surely live without. Most took no time at all to install, even without a Wlan connection and provided me with a few hours of easy-going fun. Here's what I thought:
1. Into the Dead
Right when you start up Into the Dead, welcomed by the gruesome sounds of hungry zombies, you’ll have to choose which control scheme you’d like to use: tilt, touch, thumbstick or thumbstick mirrored (which is the same thing as thumbstick but on the other side of the screen). Then the gruesome game, with its awesome rock’n’roll soundtrack, gets started right off the bat. You find yourself in a misty field with eerie zombie shadows looming up ahead. While heavily panting, you need to run along and dodge the increasing amount of living dead. This is the classic mode where the point is to get as far as you can. Once you run into a flesh-eating monster, it’s game over, blood covers the screen as the zombies devour you. The number of achieved meters will be added to the score board.
As the game goes on, you’ll get more and more weapons and bonuses in your attempt in surviving the zombie apocalypse. Completing missions will also unlock new killing tools, as well as the other game modes: massacre and hardcore. I liked the creepy foggy feeling à la Left for Dead. As a fan of zombie movies and game, this one was right my alley. I also preferred the tilt control scheme, since it frees up your thumb for shooting.
2. Cut the Rope: Time Travel
Cut the Rope: Time Travel is a whole other app, with its light-hearted and welcoming music. This strategy-puzzle game gets started off with a cute animation where a little green creature is sucked into a time travel box when trying to rescue its candy. Again, you get started with the levels right away. The game concept is quite simple, yet I found it became challenging quickly. You need to cut ropes in order for the hanging candy to fall into the mouths of the little green guy and his little green friends from different eras, like the Renaissance, Ancient Egypt or the Stone Age.
Eventually, other elements will be added in, like popping the bubbles in which the candy is found or telekinesis to control them. You are rated on how intelligently you’ve solved the puzzle, with the less cuts possible. If you make a mistake, you can refresh and it will be start over. Other eras that contain more levels will be unlocked once you reach a certain amount of stars, which you also collect in each new scenario. It was a fun game and there were times when it took more than a few tries to figure it out. All in all, it’s a cute little pass-time that might just make smoke come out of your ears.
If you feel like you're getting stuck, you can always try the Cut the Rope Time Travel Cheat.
3. Catapult King
Chillingo, the makers of the popular Contre Jour app, have come up with a new game that has already addicted tons of people who have tried it. Yet another super cheerful game, Catapult King offers amazing visuals. In the game, from what I understood from the story line, you are a dragon who has captured a princess. Knights come to her rescue and build forts, which you need to destroy with a catapult. When you destroy their fort of boxes, you plunder their treasures and magic potions. The fort castles get further away and more complex, so it’s more than just a matter of shooting the catapult. You have to accurately aim to knock everything down and make the knights explode. There's also other ammunition like a planet that will make everything topple down or a lunar storm where moons will shoot down from the sky at your target.
I found this game to be OK, though it was a little annoying with all of its animal sounds and chuckling men in armor (which you can turn off in the settings). I think it could be fun for some, but it’s simple concept isn’t for me. I think, as the game goes along, it would become more challenging, though I chose not to waste my battery trying to get there. What I did find cool was that the graphics were very well done, and the fact that you can zoom in and around the landscape. If you’re looking for a light-hearted game to pass a couple of hours in the train, this could be the one for you.
4. CSR Racing
Unlike the other games, this one takes up a lot of space with its 148MB and took longer to download. It also requires a strong Wlan connection to install. This is due to its awesome graphics that you see right off the bat. It's got a super cool comic book look. A sexy agent tells you not drive too recklessly (but you don't listen duh!). Then the first race gets started where you learn how to shift up and down. CSR Racing will tell you when to shift up and you need to make sure you're not too slow. Before every race gets started, the camera pans around both vehicles, letting you know what you're up against. Did I mention how cool the graphics are?
After you win your first race, you'll get some money from a donor to spend on a new ride. You can choose through different ''normal'' cars like a Mini Cooper, a BMW 125i Coupe and a Nissan Altima Coupe, just to name a few. It will also present you with details on each car. After you've chosen, you can customize it, upgrade it and then race it! You're shown on a map where you'll be racing next and how full the gas tank is (you use gas with each race). It doesn't take too long to get the hang of and when you win, you get money to pay for gas or new cars. Eventually you'll meet the other racing gangs that you'll have to race against; these dominate part of the city and you race them to expand your own domain. This game was fun to play and I really enjoyed the fact that the cars are customizable and that there was a story-line. This kept things interesting. So rev your engine and give it a try.
5. 100 Floors Escape
100 Floors Escape is a cool puzzle game that at first looked a little daunting, but once you get into it, is pretty fun and challenging the further you get into the game. It's game concept is really simple, yet I really liked how diverse the different puzzles were! When you get started, you're on the top floor of a 100 floor building that is about to collapse and you need to get out ASAP. However, it's as easy as simply choosing ground floor when you're in the elevator. You need to solves puzzles all the way down, not an easy feet since there are 100 floors! I did the first 17 in about 20 minutes, but maybe you're faster! It's no surprise that this game is in the top 5 new game in the Google Play store. I realize that free apps need to somehow finance themselves and that's why there are ads. On the other hand, they came a little too frequently for my liking. I also have a confession: I can't get past level 17!
So what do you think of the top new games in the Google Play store? Are you already hooked?