It seems like just last week we were bemoaning the fact that there weren’t a ton of new mobile releases. Oh wait, it was!
No such trouble this week, as intriguing new games didn’t even wait for the traditional Thursday iOS launch window to start popping up. It’s almost like the game developers and publishers heard our lament and kicked it into high gear.
Nah, surely not, right? Regardless of the reason, there’s a heaping helping of stuff you might want to download, and we’re here as always to help you sort through it all. And to the gaming companies out there, big and small, we’re sorry we doubted you. Carry on.
So you’re simply sitting around minding your own business and then bam, a wild Pokemon mobile game appears. Don’t you hate it when that happens? Ah, but you can’t, because it’s never happened before. Now it has thanks to Pokemon Duel, which was Japan only until earlier this week. It’s like a digital board game where you collect Pokemon figures and form a team of six to take on other duelists in real time PvP matches. Simple to learn but with surprising amounts of strategy once you play for a bit, Pokemon Duel even has a story and infectious music.
Ninja Spinki Challenges
Dong Nguyen is not going to be a one-hit wonder. Or at least he won’t be if Ninja Spinki Challenges is a success. You might remember Nguyen as the creator of Flappy Bird, the phenomenon that ensured its creator had 15 minutes of fame that he didn’t seem to really be all that crazy about. But he obviously still loves creating games, and this one shares on important thing with Flappy Bird: it’s reportedly very hard. People apparently like that sort of thing, though, so if you are among them, you’ll want to give this a try.
Let’s hear it for originality. Lots of mobile games promise revolutionary mechanics of some sort, but Splitter Critters actually delivers by allowing you to help brightly colored creatures reach their goal by drawing a line on the screen with your finger that literally splits the game world. You can then slide the portions of the world around as needed, which looks awesome. The App Store write-up says it will help you “think in new ways,” and it’s hard to imagine that won’t be the case. This is a premium game that looks well worth the download price.
- App Store ($2.99)
Sword Art Online: Memory Defrag
Never read the manga or watched the anime series? No worries, as Sword Art Online: Memory Defrag provides quite the introduction to the sprawling tale of different online games played in massive VR environments where the players can be killed for real if they die in-game. You’ll find Kirito, Asuna and a bunch more characters from throughout the story, putting them to use in action RPG style thanks to a gesture-based control system. The animation and music alone are worth the price of admission, which happens to be free.
One Piece: Thousand Storm
We were just talking about a promising, action-packed game based on a popular manga/anime franchise, so let’s do it again. Bandai Namco has blessed One Piece fans with mobile games in the past, but Thousand Storm ratchets the combat up a notch or three with multi-player battles and controls that can keep up with the fighting and still be pulled off with one hand. Characters from”2 Years Ago” to “New World” are included, and if you understand what that means, you’re a bigger One Piece expert than yours truly. I do know Luffy though, and he’s okay in my book.
Match-3, we’ve been here before, you and me. We’ve had a good run, but look, it’s time we … Holy crap is that The Rock laying the smack down after you make matches with the jewels on the gameboard? Just when I thought I was out, WWE Champions drags me back in with a number of WWE Superstars from yesterday and today, cool stylized art and virtual bouts that play out at the top of the screen with each match you make and each special move you activate. Wrestling fans trying it is a given, but also match-3/RPG mash-up aficionados looking for something new.
A Normal Lost Phone
Sometimes the title of the game tips you off to something going on that is well beyond what it seems on the surface. A Normal Lost Phone is one of those, since you know darn well it probably won’t be an ordinary phone. Or maybe it will be, and that’s where the game gets its drama. No, definitely the first, because the owner of said phone disappeared on their 18th birthday, and you’ve got to delve into the clues and fragments of life on the phone to try figuring out why. Story is the big key here, and this looks like a fascinating one.
Let’s get weird! Dandy Dungeon is your typical boy meets girl tale, provided your definition of “typical” involves the boy losing his job, deciding the only way to get the girl is to make the world’s greatest video game, and then putting himself, the girl and his former boss into the game too. Much of the action in Dandy Dungeon plays out in that game, but then there’s some real world drama as well. Plus it’s by the creator of Chulip, which means it is guaranteed to be packed with surprises both delightful and bizarre.
March to a Million
Kariosoft has turned just about everything into a management sim of some sort, but it hasn’t done music talent agents yet. Allow March to a Million to correct that oversight. Find promising singers, give them some training and turn them loose in front of judges. Then if they’ve got the right stuff, you can put them out on tour, have them mingle with fans and much more. If you’ve dreamed of finding the next pop sensation and know it’s not you personally, this is your ticket, particularly if you enjoy the time-honored Kairosoft gameplay and graphical style which appear to be in full effect here.
So you like building epic kingdoms but don’t want to be bothered with all the effort or having to form alliances with other people? Realm Grinder can help you with that. As what can only be described as an idle builder, you can pile up wealth even when you aren’t actively playing, then use it to construct the best darn kingdom ever. The game promises thousands of achievements and upgrades, multiple factions and the option of being a benevolent ruler or … you know, the opposite. Tap to build never sounded so good.
Block hockey is not a thing that exists, as far as we know, but it’s a thing we are anxious to try out nonetheless. Slap Shots! calls itself a “billiards-foosball-arcade-hockey hybrid,” which would be reason enough to download it and see what the heck is going on. Plus you can unlock a ton of characters, cities, people and even food. The aesthetic already has us interested, so if the gameplay is as zany as it seems, we’re there.
- App Store (free)
Turn-based people, come check this out. The mind behind the Might & Magic series would live you to give Creature Quest a try, enticing you with all the strategy RPG and collectible RPG elements you already love. We’re talking hundreds of creatures, battles that you can play with little effort or more in-depth strategy and both PvE and PvP modes. We’re so into the description we’re even willing to forgive the App Store write-up for its egregious overuse of capital letters.
last but certainly not least on our weekly list, there’s this opportunity to save the galaxy from invading robots. Not in real life, mind you, though that’s certainly coming at some point. Maybe you can at least learn some pointers in this RPG/puzzle mash-up, which makes the aliens the good guys for once. Level up and customize you aliens and power cards and maybe, just maybe, every planet will visit will thank you for stopping the robots. Unless, of course, they were doing all the domestic chores and the living beings have to start doing them again.
- App Store (free)