Seven Epic New Games You Should Be Playing on NVIDIA SHIELD
SHIELD Android TV is NVIDIA's next-generation SHIELD device. This powerful set-top box is an entertainment workhorse thanks to its NVIDIA Tegra X1 processor under the hood and its ability to stream stunning 4K ultra high-definition video and content. Whether you want to watch movies, settle down with some sports (easy to do with apps like Fox Sports Go and CBS Sports), or play AAA PC games streamed either via the cloud or a nearby PC via GameStream, SHIELD Android TV delivers without a hitch. In fact, SHIELD's capabilities as a gaming machine are well demonstrated through a host of critically acclaimed titles that are available to enjoy on NVIDIA SHIELD. Here’s a look at the latest slate of next-gen Android games SHIELD owners should definitely not overlook.
The Battle of Sol
It's the year 2500, and Earth has become an uninhabitable ball of radioactive waste thanks to the tender attentions of humanity. War, pollution, and overpopulation eventually drove us into the vacuum of space, where we began searching for other worlds to use and then crumple up like a Dixie cup.
Bit Planet Games' The Battle of Sol ($9.99) is an action/space sim that takes place in an era when humankind has set up several colonies throughout the solar system. There are still petty fights galore, until dire news arrives: the Sun is dying, and if it goes, so does everything humans have achieved up until that point.
The rival nations stop bickering long enough to form The United Colonies of SOL, which promptly sets out to find a permanent home for humankind in another solar system. It's even harder than it sounds, since a mysterious enemy is hell-bent on stopping our progress.
The Battle of Sol features tons of space-bound dogfights spread across its 21 campaign missions. You are Lieutenant Williams. Get out there, fly your best, and find us a new home.
From the mad geniuses that brought us the highly charismatic endless arcade hopper Crossy Road comes Pac-Man 256, an endless maze-runner starring the great Pac-Man himself now available on NVIDIA SHIELD for free. But Pac-Man 256 is miles beyond yet another mobile port of Namco's classic dot-gobbler. For one thing, there are power-ups galore to feast upon. Power pellets are all well and good, but they've got nothing on lasers that can dart from Pac-Man's infinite maw, turn corners, and roast any ghost unlucky enough to get close.
Cool stuff, but Pac-Man 256 (F2P) does one better with the introduction of the Pacster's most menacing enemy yet: the Glitch. There's no dawdling in this game. If you take your time, you risk getting eaten up by the ever-creeping jumble of colored pixel-junk that threatens to snap up Pac-Man as cleanly as he slurps down ghosts. In fact, the "256" in Pac-Man 256 references level 256 in the original arcade game, which is infamous for the glitchy kill screen that spreads across the playing field once you ascend.
Pac-Man 256 is free to download, and it's already looking like one of this year's best mobile games.
Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number
Many small developers adopt 8-bit NES-style sprites to lend their games the shades of nostalgic joy we remember from our favorite childhood games. That's not the case with the Hotline Miami series. Devolver Digital's top-down shooter convey murder, death, and violence through its chunky sprites—which serves to make Hotline Miami one of the more memorable game series available.
Fittingly, Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number ($14.99) doesn't subscribe to rules and order. The game's story follows events that occur before and after the first game, and much of what happens needs to be experienced in order to be understood.
In other words, it's a safe bet that Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number is unlike anything you've played before. That holds true even if you've already picked apart the original Hotline Miami. Blood, guts, chiptunes, surrealism—it all comes together in an unforgettable experience.
If Hotline Miami 2: Wrong Number takes your mind to faraway places, Chariot ($14.99) might be the comedown you need. This co-op physics platformer has some of the genre's cutest graphics. All those big heads and tiny bodies make you want to deliver some hugs—even to the game's surly king, who demands the perfect resting spot for his dead bones.
Pushed on by your father's "request," you haul his coffin all over creation in search of a place to plant him. The going's not easy, and you have to make use of wheels, ropes, and other simple (and not so simple) machinery as you scout for the perfect graveyard.
Chariot is a great single-player game, but it works best as a co-op experience. After all, when dealing with a pushy relative, it's good to have backup. Have fun, and take it easy on those bumps, will you?
Devolver Digital's Titan Souls ($7.50) takes inspiration from the PlayStation 2 masterpiece Shadow of the Colossus, but this top-down adventure title is wholly its own game. You play as a young archer who's on a quest for the titular Titan Souls, which will supposedly grant him power.
Said souls are guarded by massive titans, and as you might expect, taking them down isn't easy. You get one arrow, allowing you a single shot at the guardian titan's weak point. Unsurprisingly, a single attack from the titans you go up against will do you in. Titan Souls has received critical acclaim for its simplicity, as well as its sprite-based retro style graphics. Interestingly, though Titan Souls' visuals differ wildly from the nature-rich 3D world presented in Shadow of the Colossus, looking at the two side-by-side makes it easy to tell they're spiritual cousins. Both present a land that's buzzing with mysterious activity, yet seems almost unbearably lonely. It's very much worth playing, especially if you like the idea of viewing Team ICO's work through a top-down perspective a la The Legend of Zelda.
Madfinger Games' Unkilled (F2P) is one good-looking first-person zombie shooter. All of its rattling noise, groaning zombies, and blood-spatters remind us of a very important equation: the only cure for a zombie infestation is bullets. Tons of bullets. Luckily, the zombie outbreak driving the action in Unkilled is contained—sort of. It's your mission to make sure it stays that way. You play as a member of "Wolfpack," a private military organization commissioned to keep the infection from going worldwide. Prepare for a lot of overtime.
You should also prepare for a host of undead foes that think, move, and act very differently from each other. The cull definitely isn't limited to an endless ream of the stereotypical shufflers made famous by decades of zombie movies. But Unkilled also has an arsenal of over 50 weapons, so every member of the undead can be paired up with their very own method of undoing.
Whispering Willows ($9.99) is a 2D puzzle action game about a young woman who's looking for her lost father. Going on hunts for missing family members is always an intriguing way to pass the hours, but Whispering Willows' protagonist, Elena Elkhorn, has a particularly interesting search to conduct, because she needs to enlist the help of the spirit world.
Thing is, living beings aren't very good at communicating with the dead. That's why Elena slips out of her body with the aid of a magical amulet to talk to the ghosts hanging around the mansion grounds that claimed her father.
Elena's spirit form serves a secondary purpose. She can use it to slither in and out of crevices, and possess objects and machinery. Doing so lets her open up gates and pathways that otherwise can't be accessed.
Besides its cool spirit-based mechanics, Whispering Willows also features haunting environments and sound effects, all of which are laid atop a disturbing story of colonization and genocide. Fans of 2D adventure games like Another World will definitely want to give it a spin.
All seven of these new games are now available to download and enjoy on NVIDIA SHIELD Android TV, which is also available to purchase in the United States starting at just $199.99.