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Best Games You’re Not Playing: Commuter Edition

by on May 6, 2014 4:15 PM 7

In this edition of Best Games You’re Not Playing we take a look at dog-fighting, space loneliness and assassinations. Another season, another slew of games you most likely didn’t play that deserve your attention. I decided for this installment to stick with games you could play on your handheld console or tablet for all my friends who only have time to game in transit.

I’m finally giving some mobile games some love. I’m talking about games that truly manage to engage you in mere moments and make you wish that your ride was just one stop longer. The only criteria for this list are games that can be played in short increments, but still undeniably fun as hell.

Luftrausers

Developer: Vlambeer

Platform: PC, MAC, Vita and Playstation 3

Price: $9.99

Luftrausers

Luftrausers came on my radar when it started off an addicting Flash game with its flawless free-fall gameplay. I was overjoyed when I found out there was a retail version that expanded on the survival arena shoot-em up.  As it turns out, over the top weapons (like a god damn NUKE), killer music and score multipliers are the perfect ingredients for fun on-the-go.

Momentum and gravity play a huge factor on how your tiny rauser (airplane) controls. The fun comes from using the unique movement of your plane to take on the overwhelming number of enemies that surround you at any given moment. A dozen or so bogeys on tail? Just kill the engine and free-fall to get a better position and take-em out. The start of every mission has you choosing from different weapons, chassis, and engines to make some outrageous deadly flying machines. I recommend going with random with your parts if you’re up for a challenge.

Why You Didn’t Play This Game
Luftrausers falls victim to the “great game, bad name” curse. Don’t let it’s fake German fool you, Luftrausers is a game you can’t miss. Fun side note: I’ve often referred to this game as luv-trousers until I was corrected by a colleague at PAX.

Why You Need to Play This Game
The guys over at Vlambeer know how to masterfully pack in so much rewarding gameplay into short fantastic spurts of awesome. I wouldn’t expect anything less by the team that brought us Ridiculous Fishing. Perfect game for Vita owners.

 

Out There

orbit

Developer: Mi-Clos Studio

Platform: iOS, Android

Price: $2.99

So here are some the ways I died in Out There; I ran out of air and died. I ran out of fuel, got stranded and I died. There was that time I plotted a course to a Sun that completely fried my ship. At any given moment anything can wrong in the terrible void of space. Out There is at its best when thing go bad.

Picture this: you wake up out in deep space by yourself with limited resources and only one goal — get your butt home! While navigating a fairly enormous star map you’ll learn alien languages, find long lost relics and make bad decisions. There are no saves and games really only last a few minutes. So don’t be afraid to make ballsy choices.

What really sold me on Out There was how you really feel a sense of isolation. Every decision can end in two outcomes; you manage to gather enough materials to regain fuel and oxygen and continue with your journey or a horrible, lonely death.

Why You Didn’t Play This Game

The similarities to another stellar indie game FLT:Faster Than Light may have caused some folks to dismiss this title out outright.

Why You Need to Play This Game

It’s like Oregon Trail in space except the only person who can die from your decisions is just you. The music and somber tone really captures the loneliness one would experience if they were stranded in space alone.

Hitman Go

47

Developer: Square-Enix

Platform: iOS

Price: $2.99

The Hitman games have always been about setting up a series of events that lead to the unfortunate death of your target. This turn-based murder sim is set like a fancy board game complete with die-cast figurines of Agent 47 and his victims. Even though it’s not set up like a traditional Hitman game, Go manages to keep a lot of the core mechanics. Predicting guard paths and staying out of sight until you’re ready to strike is still key for taking out your would be target. The neat thing about the game is the number of options you have to complete your objective.

Stealth plays a huge part; for example, 47 can distract and disguise himself past guard in order to put himself into a prime position to kill his mark. If you want to throw caution into the wind, you can take out the guards also. The bonus objectives really is its replay value. Trying to do a no kill run will rack your brain, but in a good way.

Why You Didn’t Play This Game

If you’re expecting the graphic violence and action of Hitman Absolution then you’re going to be sorely disappointed.

Why You Need to Play This Game

What Hitman Go lacks in gore it makes up in cleverly executed puzzles. The trial-and-error gameplay you’ve come to know and love is still here in this bite sized yet complex version of Hitman that nearly any fan would enjoy.

Honorable Mentions

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft (PC, iPad) — The reason Hearthstone didn’t make the top of the list is I sorta think everyone I know is playing the game already. This is more for the skeptics who haven’t dipped their toes in the water yet. Blizzard managed to make an approachable and predictably addicting collectible card game that will eat up any and all of your free time.  Also, it’s free.

Mario Golf: World Tour (3DS) — Many boring sports can be improved simply by putting Mario in it. Our recent review proves that Mario knows how to swing a club. It’s a golf game with enough personality and depth that’ll make you smile on the subway.

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So there you have it, you tablet troublemakers and handheld heroes. These games will manage to get your mind off your boring morning commute and at least entertain the person sitting behind you. I guess that’s better than them trying to read your texts.

Here’s the part where I turn to you guys and see what you’ve been playing on your videogame playing devices? Just sound off below and have the satisfaction of improving someone’s travels with a great game recommendation.

Join the Discussion

  • Boerewors

    Luftrausers is misspelled a couple of times… Excellent game tho! I’ve been fortunate enough to talk to these Dutch developers on several occasions and they are truly awesome guys. These guys deserve every success, especially since their IOS hit Ridiculous Fishing got stolen way before they were finished. They learnt some valuable business lessons the hard way and now they know you don’t show Americans what you’re working on ;) But with some perseverance, excellent PR (Rami) and a truckload of luck they managed to get through that rough patch and were able to bring us Luftrausers; by far my favorite indie game

    • Jorge Jimenez

      Good catch, its a title I always mispronounce/spell =p
      I’m glad Vlambeer was able to bounce back.

  • Masoud House

    Luftrausers is exactly a game where I’ve wanted to play it based on the acclaim but the name and look did little to inspire me. May FINALLY check it out now.

  • Nihelus Aurenis

    Luftrausers is a lot of fun, but only for short periods of time. I’m not sure if the name made it suffer or not. Personally, it was the name that made me check it out and ultimately buy it. Perhaps I’m in the minority. Also, Hitman Go is $5 on ipad. I had just assumed it was terrible when I read that it had in app purchases. I figured it was another iOS ripoff that charged up front AND had a necessary BS cash store in the game. It’s sad that the state of mobile gaming is so poor right now that I just assume games are trying to rip me off. Anyway, with that rant out of the way I think I’m going to go buy and try Hitman Go now.

    Btw, I really like that you’re focused on mobile games here. I’d like to see more of that in the future. There are so many terrible iOS/Android games designed around sucking money from your wallet to continue playing that it would be great if we could get a regular (monthly maybe?) column going.

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  • islan

    Lufrausers wasn’t as good as I was expecting.

  • jakdripr

    I didn’t buy luftrausers because I didn’t understand what the hell was happening in most of the trailers. I’ll probably check it out down the line, maybe one of these weekends where I have nothing to play, or before a road trip.

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