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Courtesy of 2K Games "XCOM: Enemy Unknown" comes to the iPad and Firaxis Games and company manage to fit a huge game onto the device.

Over the next month or so, it'll be fairly quiet on the console front. Publishers are waiting to launch their big guns -- "Disney Infinity," "Saints Row IV" and "Splinter Cell: Blacklist" on Aug. 20. But the mobile side is a different story. Summer seems to be the season for hand-held experiences, and there won't be a shortage of them across the Nintendo 3DS, PlayStation Vita and iPad platforms.

With that in mind, here's a roundup of games you should be playing on the go:

  • "Animal Crossing: New Leaf": Nintendo's life simulator (for lack of a better term) is the antithesis of modern-day blockbusters. Players don't shoot anything. There are no swords. This is a simple, relaxing game where your avatar moves into town and builds it. You plant trees, collect wildlife and fossils for a museum, and decorate your house while making friends with the neighbors.

    Sure, it's not manly like eviscerating an army of ninjas, but "New Leaf" has its charm. The world moves in real time, and it's a title you return to each day to see something fresh. And with the new features to be mayor and design your town, it gives you more excuses to work for funds, improve the area and invite friends to check your place out. (Nintendo 3DS, $34.99)

  • "Hotline Miami": This is polar opposite of "Animal Crossing." The indie darling from last year is now on the Vita, and the system is perfect for its chaotic mayhem and violence. You take on the role of a nameless protagonist who gets a call and runs jobs that end with the slaughtering of the Russian mafia.

    What's so remarkable about "Hotline Miami" is how it tells an intriguing story, even though the campaign is done via a top-down 8-bit design. Despite its looks, the game boasts deep puzzle gameplay, where you are tasked with getting from Point A to Point B, and you have to figure out how to do it without being killed in one hit. It's harder than it sounds. (PlayStation Vita, $9.99)

  • "XCOM: Enemy Unknown": The core gamer has mostly pooh-poohed the iPad with its shallow touch-screen games. But this is the title that changes that. Using some dark programming magic, Firaxis has managed to fit a current generation console title onto Apple's device. That's no small feat, and the fact that they did it with one of the best games of 2012 is another plus.

    "XCOM" puts you in command of a secret global agency that has to fend off an alien invasion. As the top dog, you build combat squads and manage the secret underground base. The touch-screen is a natural fit for the turn-based fighting, and the visuals are serviceable for the system. This game proves the iPad can handle some fairly big titles. (iOS devices, $19.99)

    Contact Gieson Cacho at 510-735-7076 or gcacho@bayareanewsgroup.com. Follow him at Twitter.com/gcacho.