What do the Google Nexus 7, the HTC One X and the Asus Transformer Prime have in common? They're among the fifty or so tablets and smartphones released in 2012 that are powered by Nvidia's Tegra 3 chipset, which is made up of a powerful quad-core processor and an advanced graphics chip. The popularity and strength of the Tegra 3 platform has led app developers on Android to produce special Tegra 3 games that boast much more impressive graphical fidelity than other games on the market.
To put it simply, Tegra 3 games for Android often look way better than anything else we've seen on the platform. If you've got a Tegra 3 compatible device, then check out our picks for the Top 5 Tegra 3 Games for Android!
5. Heroes Call THD - Free
Heroes Call is an interesting dungeon crawler game, rendered in a 3D with an isometric perspective. Like Diablo and other action RPGs, you'll be searching the halls and caves below the city of Brineside for enemies monster and human and the treasure that they guard. With an interesting storyline and a fairly wide range of environments, the game world is a surprisingly compelling one. The actual combat is good too, with the touch screen accounted for with special attacks performed with swipes.
Heroes Call was recently updated fairly substantially; a new Assassin character was added, the currency system was simplified and the wait times that were the minor bad point of the game were removed so you can play in long sessions if desired. The update should add quite a bit of replayability to the game as well and is a good sign that it hasn't been forgotten.
If you're looking for a game to sink a few hours into, then it's definitely worth checking out.
4. Galaxy on Fire II - Free, £6.49 in-app purchase for full game
Galaxy on Fire II is an open-universe space combat and trading game in the style of Freelancer and the X series. In a Buck Rogers style universe with warring factions and aliens, there's plenty of gunplay to go around. As well as fighting other ships in simplified X-Wing vs TIE Fighter space combat sequences, you can mine asteroids for minerals and trade supplies between space stations. Your ship can be traded and upgraded in order to maximise its efficiency, whether towards mining and trading or combat.
There are both story missions and randomly generated side missions found in the Space Lounges of space stations. The gameplay isn't quite as deep as the PC equivalents, but it's still satisfying enough.
Sadly the entire game isn't free; after the first chapter you have to pay $10 to play the rest of the game. Still, that's more than enough time to work out if you like the series or not. If you're a fan of space combat and/or trading sims on PC then this is an excellent mobile alternative. If you're not a fan of the touch-screen controls, then it's relatively straight forward to use touch emulation to make the game compatible with a gamepad like the PS3 Controller via the Sixaxis app.
3. Grand Theft Auto III - £3.84
Grand Theft Auto III was an instant hit when it came out in 2001, taking the 2D Grand Theft Auto franchise into 3D territory in a magnificent island-spanning escapade that's laid the groundwork for the later success of Vice City, San Andreas and GTA IV. The game's been ported ably to Android just ten years after it first came out, offering the same high quality graphics and much faster loading times than the PC version did on its release. The touch controls are workable enough, and the game supports some controllers as well if you'd prefer to have a console-like experience.
If you're looking for a game that you can take with you and really put in the hours, this is perfect. The story will take you many hours to complete and it's always fun just to do taxi missions or go looking for jumps in a sportscar. GTA III does have adult themes though, so if you're looking for a game for your kids then this one might not be it. For everyone else, you really can't do much better than a full, critically acclaimed title of yesteryear on your phone or tablet.
2. Samurai II Vengeance THD - £2.49
Samurai II is a fast-faced Samurai-themed brawler with manga graphics, a cheesy storyline of revenge and simple but addictive gameplay. Each level features growing numbers and varieties of enemies, who'll challenge your reflexes as you try to roll away from their blows and rain down your own combo attacks. New combos and increased health are the rewards as you defeat enemies and slice open barrels. There are also a few environmental dangers like swinging blades that'll neccesitate a little platforming ability, but the focus is definitely on the combat.
Samurai II is a very fun game, with just the right level of challenge that'll keep you coming back for more. The storyline isn't too long and there isn't much replayability here, but for pick-up-and-play action I'd rate it highly. Like a good fighting game, you'll learn to time your attacks, combos and rolls for maximum effect, making you feel like a total badass when you take out the final boss. I dig the art style, too - very cool stuff.
1. Dead Trigger - Free
I've spoken about Dead Trigger before and I really can't see past it for Tegra 3 quality. The game is a zombie survival shooter that places you against waves of the undead in a 3D arena. Whether you're trying to find medical supplies for your friends, take out a wandering pack of zombies or just survive until evacuation, the gameplay is fast and frantic. There's a good sense of progression in the game, with plenty of missions of offer and a gradually expanding arsenal of weapons and tools.
The game looks fantastic on Tegra 3 devices, with pretty good ragdolls and water effects where applicable. Dead Trigger also supports controllers like the PS3 controller out of the box, which gives you a real console-level experience. I can't recommend this game highly enough, and for the low price of free why wouldn't you try it?
So there we have it - five brilliant games for Tegra 3 optimised devices. You'll find that many of these games have non Tegra 3 optimised versions available too, so you can still play these on a majority of devices. There are also a bunch of other great games, Tegra 3 ones included, that I didn't have a chance to include.
Be sure to let me know which games are your favourites in the comments!
Thanks for reading, and have a good one! Follow on me at Twitter if you liked the article @wsjudd.
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