Every week, a slew of blurb-worthy games debuts in the iTunes App Store and on Google Play. In a lot of cases, the more innovative and independent publishers test the waters by releasing their games on iOS first. Here's a roundup of the best new games:
In this family-friendly game, you control the eponymous hat-clad character as he ascends to the top of each rotational level to be rewarded with a shower of confetti. Along the way, Mr. Crab is tasked with rescuing smaller crabs, collecting multicolored pearls and using clams or birds as springboards. While the settings vary, the game play mechanics stay consistent. This game is pretty difficult, but it's loads of clawtastic fun.
The Other Brothers
The Other Brothers from 3D Attack Interactive is the closest a mobile game has come to replicating the Super Mario Bros. experience. Instead of being plumbers, brothers Joe and Jim are auto mechanics who get roped into a typical rescue mission involving a distressed damsel. The game environment is grittier than Mario, featuring mobsters with uppercut attacks, machine guns, guard dogs and arduous boss fights.
Injustice: Gods Among Us
The major appeal of this Warner Brothers fighting game is that you get to pit famed DC Comics heroes and villains against each other. You start off with The Flash and less popular characters for your fighting squad. Characters level up with victories, and eventually you unlock Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and Green Lantern. The game uses fantastic touch and swipe controls for attacks and special moves.
Into the Dead
(iOS, Android; free)
PikPok Games has delivered one of the most visually memorable and intense first-person running games available. You're dropped into a field and must run away from packs of the undead. The developers smartly offer four control schemes from the get-go to make players as comfortable as they can be while they dodge snarling corpses and inanimate obstacles. At first, you're equipped only with your faceless character's shallow breathing, but you can pick up weapons during your endless escape. As a freemium game, you can purchase coins right away and 'fast unlock' all of the weapons. The horror elements here are for mature players only, since the last sounds you hear at the end of a run are screams and the munching of zombies.
(iOS, Android; free)
Nimble Quest is another throwback mobile game that combines fantasy role-playing and the arcade classic Snake. Instead of a rectangular snake that consumes squares and circles, you steer a "conga line of heroes," all of which boast specialized abilities and attacks. The better you do slashing bad guys, the more heroes you unlock. The game is set up with the service Everyplay, so you can share video replays of your most impressive Nimble Quest sessions via Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and email.
Tribune Media Services
Easy as pie
For Xbox Live gamers already spending too much time in front of their TVs, this can't be good. Microsoft and Pizza Hut have unveiled a new app that allows gamers to order pizza and other menu items directly from the Xbox. But they can get some exercise: The pizza can be created and ordered with hand gestures using Kinect for Xbox 360.
Samsung has loaded its soon-to-be released flagship Galaxy S4 smartphone with plenty of the "ahh" factor. But it's the "oh-no" factor clumsy owners should protect against. A new study by SquareTrade, a provider of protection and replacement plans for consumer electronics, predicts that one in four Galaxy S4 users will accidentally damage or break their phones in the first year, typically by dropping them.
AT&T has entered the home-security market in 15 areas including Long Island. The systems work with a consumer's existing broadband or wireless connection. Packages start at $29.95 a month plus a $149.99 installation fee for basic monitoring by AT&T. For extra charges, homeowners can add modules that allow them to use the Internet to control lighting, thermostats, door locks and even shut off the water if a leak is detected. -- PETER KING