Late last year we saw Half-Life 2: Episode One hit as an exclusive for the NVIDIA SHIELD Tablet after Half-Life 2 and Portal arrived as exclusives on the SHIELD Portable. Suffice to say that Valve and NVIDIA’s SHIELD line are simpatico, and so it comes as no surprise that today we have Half-Life 2: Episode Two arriving for the newly launched NVIDIA SHIELD Android TV.
Half-Life 2: Episode 2 ($8), like the previous Half-Life ports, are exclusive to SHIELD devices, and I’m guessing those of you that clicked through and have read this far are familiar with the game. It’s exactly as you might remember it, and in my brief time with it, it plays smoothly on the SHIELD. That’s not terribly surprising given that the game was originally released in 2007, but the game is still a blast, and if you have never played it before, it is worth downloading. If you opted for the 16GB SHIELD then this might be the one that motivates you to take advantage of that microSD slot as it’s a 4GB+ install.
That’s just one of the new titles joining the lineup today, though. There’s also Q.U.B.E: Director’s Cut, Never Alone and Funk of Titans.
Q.U.B.E: Director’s Cut ($10) is a physics-based puzzle and platformer game in the same vein as Portal. You are guiding your character through a…wait for it…cube-filled environment and you are able to control colored cubes with the special gloves that you are wearing. If you enjoy Portal, you should really check this game out because it scratches that same itch.
Never Alone ($15) is a game that I missed when it was originally released on PC last year, but it was a huge hit and has lots of “Best of 2014” accolades to prove it. It’s a platformer that has you playing as a child and a fox making their way across the frozen tundra, switching between the two depending on the skills required. It can be played alone or in local co-op if you have two controllers. The game looks absolutely beautiful and was created in partnership with the Iñupiaq, an Alaska Native people whose stories inspired the game.
Last up is Funk of Titans ($5), another platformer with a somewhat unusual spin on Greek mythology. You are playing as Perseus, although that’s just the window dressing for a pretty standard platformer.
With the exception of Funk of Titans, these are the kind of games that SHIELD needs to win over skeptics that an Android TV can deliver an outstanding gaming experience. There are over 100 titles in the SHIELD Hub now and over 200 titles available in Google Play for the SHIELD. It’s not going to replace a console for a hardcore gamer yet, but for a casual gamer there is plenty here to keep you going.