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 ANDROID FEATURE

Top 10 best games for Nvidia Shield

Flip-top gaming
Product: Shield | Publisher: Nvidia
 
Shield Android, thumbnail 1
So you've taken the time to digest our Nvidia Shield review, you've plumped up the courage (and the cash) to import one from the States and you're patiently waiting for it to arrive.

So you're probably wondering what games you'll download first. Allow us to help, with our collection of the ten best games for the fledgling system.

This is a selection of top-notch titles that show off the console's gaming controls, and some good, old-fashioned entertainment to sweeten the deal.

Dead Trigger
By Madfinger Games - download free on Android

Dead Trigger

Madfinger's free to play zombie-blasting epic has been a mobile classic for months now, thanks to its stunning visuals, tight gameplay and clever use of IAP.

Dead Trigger was a lot of fun on a tablet or phone, but it's even better when fused with the Shield's physical controls.

Movement is mapped to the twin analogue sticks, with iron sights and firing controlled by the left and right triggers - just the sort of arrangement you'd expect if you're a seasoned veteran of Call of Duty on the Xbox 360.

The precision and accuracy afforded by this setup means you can be a lot more skilful with your shooting.

Asphalt 8: Airborne
By Gameloft - buy on Android

Asphalt 8

Gameloft's signature racing series takes to the air with this latest instalment, which has a strong focus on performing stunts while your car has all four wheels off the ground.

The game offers robust Shield support, and there's even a custom control layout screen that shows which of the console's buttons perform which action.

The analogue steering takes a bit of getting used to - largely due to the wacky drift mechanic used in the game - but once you find that sweet spot, Asphalt 8 quickly becomes a firm favourite and shows how smartphone games can be enhanced by those physical controls.

Hopefully Gameloft will include Shield support in all of its future titles.

Crazy Taxi
By Sega - buy on Android

Crazy Taxi

Recently patched to include support for the Shield, Crazy Taxi is perfectly suited for Nvidia's handheld. The physical buttons make those "crazy boost" starts even easier to execute, and the analogue control means you can steer in and out of oncoming traffic with a greater degree of precision.

The basic arcade mode is addictive enough, but this version also includes the bonus modes first seen in the Dreamcast home conversion.

A must-have - hopefully Sega will add Shield support to Jet Set Radio and After Burner Climax next.

Super Hexagon
By Distractionware - buy on Android

Super Hexagon

You might assume that Super Hexagon wouldn't really benefit that much from the introduction of a physical interface, as you only need to tap the screen on the left or right side to control the rotating action of the game.

However, playing Terry Cavanagh's trance-like epic on the d-pad makes it feel like a very different experience - the tactile response given by the pad makes it easier to perform quick changes of rotational direction.

Our own personal scores have improved as a result, which should be proof enough of the game's superior performance on the Shield.

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City
By Rockstar Games - buy on Android

Grand Theft Auto Vice City

It was hard to choose between this and prequel Grand Theft Auto III, but the awesome '80s soundtrack swung it.

Both games support the Shield's controls, automatically mapping all of the commands to the relevant buttons. Although both titles were perfectly enjoyable on a touchscreen, they were intended to played with a proper pad - and Nvidia's physical control arrangement allows them to unlock their true potential.

Shadowgun
By Madfinger - buy on Android

Shadowgun

Granted, Madfinger's Gears of War clone is seriously lacking when it comes to originality, but it sure looks pretty.

Optimized to make the most of the Tegra chipset, Shadowgun THD features some beautiful graphical effects - but what's most impressive is how the Shield's controls enrich the overall experience.

Everything from jumping into cover and aiming for the perfect shot is improved dramatically, so much so that it's genuinely hard to switch back to the touch-screen controls afterwards. Shadowgun was always screaming out for a decent physical interface - how it has one that it deserves.

Real Boxing
By Vivid Games - buy on Android

Real Boxing

Running on the powerful Unreal Engine, Real Boxing is a feast for the eyeballs.

And with the Shield's gaming set-up, the pugilistic visuals are accompanied by some excellent controls, allowing you to be more accurate with your uppercuts and time your guards to perfection.

A surprisingly deep and tactical sports title, Real Boxing benefits greatly from the more traditional control scheme offered by Nvidia's portable.

Riptide GP 2
By Vector Unit - buy on Android

Riptide GP 2

It's impossible to play Riptide GP 2 without thinking about Nintendo's classic N64 title Wave Race, but this smartphone outing is a competent game in its own right.

Support for the Tegra chipset allows for some truly impressive water effects - including drops of liquid running down the screen - but it's the inclusion of physical controls which takes this to the next level, making the stunt work much easier to stomach.

Max Payne Mobile
By Rockstar Games - buy on Android

Max Payne Mobile

It's the tragic story of a cop with a permanent grimace, but Max Payne will always been known as the video game which popularised bullet time.

Payne's move to mobile devices was impressive, but marred slightly by the occasionally stodgy touchscreen controls. Needless to say, it plays like a dream on the Shield, making each John Woo-style diving shot feel much more assured.

The Shield's powerful processor also means that this graphically demanding experience ticks along very nicely indeed, thank you very much.

Choplifter HD
By Inxile - buy on Android

Choplifter HD

A bombastic update of the classic side-scrolling action title from many moons ago, Choplifter HD is one of a new breed of Android titles which is happy to heavily promote its support for the Shield.

While the game does occasionally descend into '80s action movie territory, the explosive gameplay works brilliantly with the Shield's analogue control and physical keys - it's certainly a massive improvement over the touchscreen interface
 

Reviewer photo
Damien McFerran 31 August 2013
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Show: Latest | Oldest
Joined:
Sep 2013
Post count:
1
Davis Lin | 01:45 - 13 September 2013
Super Hexagon works with my SHIELD, thanks for your article.
Joined:
Sep 2012
Post count:
73
Elronza Williams | 08:10 - 7 September 2013
Great article and as an Nvidia Shield owner I'm glad PocketGamer is showing the Nvidia Shield some love.
Joined:
Sep 2012
Post count:
73
Elronza Williams | 08:10 - 7 September 2013
Great article and as an Nvidia Shield owner I'm glad PocketGamer is showing the Nvidia Shield some love.
Joined:
Sep 2012
Post count:
1
Sax Power | 17:29 - 2 September 2013
I'll add some unmissable games to this top :
- AVP Evolution, one of the most innovative and brilliant beat'em all ever, - - - Reckless Getaway, really fun and original racing game
- The Bard"s Tale, great RPG from PS2 era
- Virtua Tennis Challenge, no need to say anything about this legendary IP.

And for FPS lovers, try The Conduit HD, I didn't have the chance to play it, but it certainly has a lot of potential.
Joined:
Jul 2012
Post count:
491
Contest Chris | 19:15 - 31 August 2013
Might I recommend a post for the TOP 10 PC games that can be played via streaming on the device? Seems like the perfect thing to play platformers at least.
Joined:
Jul 2012
Post count:
491
Contest Chris | 19:14 - 31 August 2013
Really? Playing Super Hexagon on a d-pad? So let me get this right...you're playing basically with just the one thumb?

Also, I might point out to you that Terry Cavanagh totally DOESN'T RECOMMEND playing with anything but the L/R triggers on controllers for Super Hexagon.

So either you guys cooked up this story or just totally sucked before that you could suddenly and magically improve on your times.
 
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