Apkenv, which came out earlier this year for the DragonBox competition (and won a prize), provided you with the opportunity to run Android games without using Android. However, the supported games were very limited, and we were all yearning for more. Well, the wait is over since two high profile Android games have now been added to the latest apkenv update.
So, what do we get this time? Two great games. World of Goo from 2D Boy and Super Hexagon from Anthony Kavanagh. I have yet to try Super Hexagon, but I do not doubt one second that it works well. Believe it or not, I have known World of Goo way before everyone else (TM), probably.
When I was a proud owner of a Toshiba PocketPC (running something called Windows Mobile at the time) there was a very, very early version of World of Goo (and it was called something else) which was more or less a demo level. That’s the one you find the first world, where the sign says “they feel like they have done this a very long time ago“. Well, it refers to that very early demo made years ago on a much different platform. I wanted to take a video using my PocketPC but it stopped working after I dropped it in the toilets a couple of years ago. Note for later: electronics do not like to fall on marble floors.
But World of Goo on Pandora has an history on its own. When the Pandora came out people were already thinking that it could be a good game target for the hardware. To quote a post from WizardStan:
2DBoy was contacted a long while back when the Pandora was first “released”. They said World Of Goo was very floating point heavy and probably not something that would run well on the Pandora’s processor. Since then they did the Android port which probably involved a lot of heavy rewrites. In other words, even if you had the desktop version of the code it probably still wouldn’t work very well, not without extensive changes.
It was already possible to play it on Pandora with Android before, but on my Rebirth it was far from running very well, even at 850 Mhz. The best thing about having it run now via apkenv is that it runs even better than it does when running Android on Pandora. At 600 Mhz the game feels really smooth on my Rebirth. It plays very well with the stylus, too, but I still really wish the Pandora was a little more stable when pressing the screen hard when playing. You just need to get used to it.
World of Goo is still one of the best looking Android games available, thanks to its excellent design and physics engine. It’s fun and challenging at the same time. If you have never played it before, now is a good time to get it from the 2D Boy site (or use the apk from the former Humble Bundle if you bought it then). In short, it’s a real-time construction game using living balls of different properties, and you need to use their properties to build structures to reach the end of each level.
Now I cannot wait for the great Plants Vs Zombies to come on apkenv, provided notaz and crow_riot figure a way to make it work.