We’re almost at the time of year when “Best of 2016” lists will be flying at you from every possible direction. Seriously, you may need to duck or carry a shield of some sort to avoid multiple impacts.
Yet we don’t want to disparage the idea of ranking things. In fact, we humbly submit that if you check out the following seven games, which we think are the finest ones to hit mobile in the month of October, you might find a gem or two that you overlooked.
With that in mind, here are the best mobile games of the month we just left behind, according to the Gamezebo staff.
We gushed over this one, with our reviewer calling it “my perfect puzzle game.” There’s no doubt that Mini Metro is proof that you don’t need to make things unnecessarily complicated to have a good idea on your hands. It’s a subway sim, yes, but it also works in a more abstract sense — buoyed by its minimalist art style — as a straight up puzzler. The controls are great too, so whether you enjoyed it on Steam and just want to play it on the go or are new to Mini Metro, we feel confident you’ll be glad you checked it out.
- Mini Metro Review (5 stars)
Delicious – Emily’s Christmas Carol
Sometimes even excellent game series run out of steam at some point. It happens. Fortunately, that isn’t the case with Emily’s Christmas Carol, despite the fact that the Delicious family of titles now numbers into the teens. This entry presents classic time management gameplay with just enough tweaks to keep it from feeling like something you’ve played before. But it’s the holiday atmosphere that really wins you over, and if you don’t like it … well, the humbug you’re watching for this season might be you.
- Delicious – Emily’s Christmas Carol (5 stars)
Rusty Lake: Roots
If you fancy a little something disturbing to feed your need for the bizarre now that Halloween has passed, this is your number one candidate. Rusty Lake games are always on the unsettling side, but this one takes some things to a new level while presenting its challenges in an all new, level-based style. A treat for series veterans or newcomers alike thanks to an excellent tutorial, Roots plunges you deep into the story of one of the strangest families in video game history. Trust us, though: It’s the good kind of weird.
- Rusty Lake: Roots Review (4.5 stars)
Plants vs Zombies Heroes
You could be easily forgiven if you think the mobile gaming world didn’t need more collectible card games. What you’d really mean is that it doesn’t need more mediocre, cookie cutter CCGs, and Plants vs. Zombies Heroes is not that. While EA and PopCap did give it some familiar characteristics, both the gameplay and scope (20 different characters at launch) help it to feel fresh. Plus the designers worked overtime inventing new plants and zombies, making this an excellent addition to a beloved franchise even if you generally avoid card battlers.
- Plants vs Zombies Heroes Review (4.5 stars)
Dan the Man
Action heroes aren’t what they used to be. Dan is a notable exception, as he’s exactly what you might remember from the past, but with the volume turned all the way up. Halfbrick picks up where Studio Joho’s web series leaves off, turning Dan and Josie loose on hordes of well-armed retro-style enemies. The controls work amazingly well considering all the fists and feet that fly, the graphics and soundtrack are serious nostalgia fuel, and the whole thing is just tons of fun.
- Dan the Man Review (4.5 stars)
We’ve seen endless runners, endless jumpers and endless climbers. The number of things that can be made endless is almost endless itself, which is why endless pinball really shouldn’t be such a surprise at this point. PinOut makes it work, while also making pinball look cooler and more modern than in any game to hit mobile to date. If there’s a game with arcade-style action that I could see both my mom and daughter playing, this is definitely it.
- PinOut Review (4.5 stars)
That reaction I mentioned above when it comes to collectible card games on mobile could apply to city builders too, since there are a lot of them already on mobile. Concrete Jungle is different, since as our reviewer mentions, it’s almost like “a board or card game rendition” of a city-planning simulation, layering strategy over top of a fairly basic framework. If you like the thought of tackling the issues that come with building a metropolis but want something a little less frantic than SimCity can be, give this game a shot.
- Concrete Jungle Review (4.5 stars)