This is an exceptional week for mobile games. From ports of fantastic (and important) console and PC titles to hotly anticipated new games that are exclusive to mobile, the choices are overwhelming. It’s not a question of what to play anymore, but what to play first. Personally, I’ve been having a blast with Treasure Buster — but I’m also struggling to decide if I put it down to jump into Jade Empire (which I first fell in love with a decade ago), or continue my saga in the fantastic punchfest Dan the Man.
DECISIONS ARE HARD. At the very least, we’ve tried to make them easier by narrowing our new mobile game choices this week down to the following ten:
Originally released in 2005 on the Xbox, Jade Empire is Bioware’s love letter to Asian culture and myth. It’s one of their earlier games — it predates Mass Effect and Dragon Age, fitting snugly after Knights of the Old Republic in their release history — but you shouldn’t let its age turn you away. Jade Empire was a terrific mix of RPG elements and action, and with Aspyr Media (the team that brought KOTOR to mobile) involved, we have every reason to believe that this is a port that has mobile in mind.
- App Store ($9.99)
That Dragon, Cancer
Sometimes games don’t just have to be games. Sometimes they can be something more. Such is the case of That Dragon, Cancer. Released earlier this year on desktops (and OUYA), this is a very personal, autobiographical journey made by a developer whose own son was stricken with terminal cancer at a very young age. That’s a very heavy narrative, but if you’ve ever needed an example of how games can be about more than guns and princesses, you’d have a hard time finding a better example than this.
- App Store ($4.99)
Dan the Man
From Halfbrick, the creators of Jetpack Joyride and Fruit Ninja, comes a fantastic homage to the days of 16-bit platformers and beat-em-ups. This one has a really natural feel, and some great enemy designs. If you’re a gamer over 30, Dan the Man is not to be missed.
Looking for a racing game with a love of takedowns? It’s been a long time since we’ve seen a Burnout game on any platform. Lucky for us, Maximum Car is ready to pick up that mantle on mobile. If you’ve ever been a fan of the Burnout franchise, you owe it to yourself to take Maximum Car for a spin.
What if XCOM was a spy game of stealth-based tactics? In a nutshell, that’s what you’ll find in Stealth Inc — the latest game from the makers of Don’t Starve. The game saw critical acclaim in its original desktop incarnation last year, and was even a finalist for the Seamus McNally Grand Prize at last year’s Independent Games Festival awards.
- App Store ($4.99)
From the creator of Slayin’ comes a game that mixes Monster Strike style pull-and-release mechanics with Zelda-inspired exploration. As the name suggests, this one is as much about treasure as it is trajectory, so you’ll need to plan your shots right to gather up gold while striking the baddies as often as you can.
- App Store ($0.99)
Remember Pipe Dreams? Imagine that, but endless, and with golf courses that, once completed, clear from the screen. Putthole is a unique puzzling experience with a somewhat naughty name that’s well worth “puttering” around with this week.
Bubble Island 2: World Tour
Bubble popping fans have no shortage of games to pick from on the App Store, but Wooga’s Bubble Island was one of the first and one of the best. If you were a fan, you’ll be pleased to know its sequel landed today, offering plenty of puzzles and improved visuals.
Robbing banks is awesome. Being pursued by the police is not. That’s the premise behind Drifty Chase, a new one-touch driving experience that has players on the run from Johnny Law.
A puzzler set in a world of paintings, Inklings challenges players to use special elements to guide little creatures to an exit. It sounds a little like Lemmings, but looks much easier on the eyes.
- App Store ($4.99)