The best Android news you can get around the holidays: New, major game titles hitting the Google Play Store. Now, instead of listening to your annoying cousins squabble or performing family tech support duties, you can fight your way through dungeons or outduel opponents with magic. That's a gift worth giving to yourself.
Baldur’s Gate II is a popular role playing game (RPG), where you must battle a powerful wizard (you were expecting a weak one?) and unleash your magic for either good or evil. It’s on the more expensive side at $10, but its forerunner was well reviewed and the series has a good reputation on other platforms. It’s available for both phones and tablets.
Hearthstone Heroes of Warcraft takes a different approach. It’s a strategy-based card game, where you must deal the strongest hand in a duel with your enemy (much like Magic, The Gathering). It’s the work of Blizzard, which creates the massively popular World of Warcraft series. This game follows the freemium model, so you may rack up some costs along the way to upgrade your capabilities. It’s only on tablets for now, but we hope that will change, given the number of phones with near-tablet screen sizes.
The impact on you: Even if this genre of gaming isn’t your cup of tea, it’s good to see two major franchises make their way to Android. The gaming situation keeps improving: There are more games worth paying for, and Google is ramping up its social Google Play Games service.