Sometimes you just hit a week when a whole wave of new mobile games seem to hit the App Store and Google Play all at once. This is one of those weeks.
Usually we try to narrow it down to somewhere between eight to 12 new titles that you might want to check out on a given Thursday, but we couldn’t do that this time and still accurately represent the volume. As one of our writers put it, the iOS App Store was “spewing new releases” early, with a bunch hitting on Wednesday night.
The important thing to do here is remain calm. We’re willing to dive into this ocean of new choices for you and come up with the potential pearls. That metaphor works, right? Yeah, we’re going with it.
Let’s start off with something undeniably unique. The creators of Stagehand are calling it a reverse platformer, because even though it looks quite a bit like the classics of the platform genre, it flips the script completely with its primary game mechanic. Instead of helping Frank Solway (yes, the guy from The Incident) run and jump through the levels, you move the levels around for him. If it plays even half as cool as it sounds, this could be tons of fun.
- App Store ($1.99)
We all know the machines are looking to take over someday, so in that respect, the ‘Malevolent’ part of the title is kind of redundant. Regardless, this game features both endless runner and shooter elements, blended together in an intriguing style that has a steampunk feel. Plus the protagonist has at least one machine on her side, and it’s called the Juggerbot. I kid you not, and that alone might make this one worth a look.
Miss Fisher and the Deathly Maze – Ep. 1
The title of this game sounds kind of Harry Potter-esque, no? It actually takes its inspiration from a very different source, that being the Australian TV series Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries. Set in 1920s Melbourne, the game also explores other locations as you attempt to help Fisher and other characters follow a series of clues to help track down the villainous Murdoch Foyle. It promises to be the most stylish adventure you’ve played in recent memory, at least from a fashion perspective.
- App Store ($2.99)
Nelly Cootalot: The Fowl Fleet
We do enjoy some wordplay here at Gamezebo, so the title of this adventure game is alright in our book. The brainchild of British comedian and filmmaker Alasdair Beckett-King, The Fowl Fleet is a point-and-click style adventure that pits the titular hero against Baron Widebeard, who has hypnotized birds into doing his dirty work. No need for that, man, just ask Hitchcock. It also features full voice acting in both English and German, including a gentleman Doctor Who fans might know named Tom Baker.
Billed as a “pocket-sized RPG,” Postknight puts you in the boots of an adventurer who simply has to deliver the mail. Actually, that’s not true. But your character is called up on to make dangerous deliveries, which in the fantasy realm of Kurestal means combat, potion-mixing, boss battles and … romance? Yep, seems that might be in the mix as well. Plus since deliveries and rewards keep coming even when you’re logged out, the Postknight can keep to his appointed rounds. Sorry.
You have to appreciate the restraint here. Instead of naming this Super Mega Hyper Golf or something equally hyperbolic, Okidokico Entertainment went for something a lot more laid back. It seems appropriate too, since the focus is on keeping things simple. No clubs to pick from or weather conditions to consider, just one game mechanic and holes based on some classic golf courses. Seems like it might be better than OK.
- App Store ($2.99)
Ketchapp Winter Sports
Never let it be said that Ketchapp doesn’t have a game for any theme or occasion, because well, it sort of does. In this case, winter sports like snowboarding, ski jumping and ice skating are all represented, each without the bitter cold and legit risk of injury that comes with tackling them in real life. If there’s one game on this list that’s almost certainly going to be higher up the App Store charts than you expected, this is it. Make of that what you will.
So you say you’re the Maze Lord, eh? Afraid we’ll need to see some proof of that first. Happily, you can do that in this game of the same name, which released last year on Steam and has now made its way to iOS. It’s a turn-based dungeon crawler with both puzzle and combat aspects, and it’s a roguelike to boot, which means death has serious consequences. In other words, you’ll be earning the title of Maze Lord for sure.
- App Store ($1.99)
It’s unfortunate that whenever a game has the word ‘Link’ in its title, the reflex action is to think of a certain very famous Nintendo IP. This has nothing to do with that, but that’s alright, as it’s a very interesting looking puzzle game with a style all its own. Link Twin won second place honors at The Very Big Indie Pitch at the most recent PGC London, so it’s already been vetted by some industry experts. Help these twins figure out what makes them special and you probably won’t regret it.
- App Store ($1.99)
There are many, many activities game designers have been able to fit in your pocket during this era of mobile games, but growing plants? That’s a new one. The interesting twist involved in this game is that it wants you to get up and get active, kind of like Pokemon GO, by turning your steps or other physical activity into energy you can use to grow and mutate plants. Sounds interesting, and if you’re going to be walking around anyway, you might as well double dip and use those steps for gameplay purposes as well.
I’m thinking that color blind people are going to be disappointed by this game, seeing as it uses color-based challenges to put your brain and reflexes to the test. Its app store write-up cautions that “the clock is always ticking,” so speed matters as you match like colors and try to rack up the highest scores possible. And as I do have some red-green color blindness, I’m already anticipating I’ll be horrible.
The Horus Heresy: Battle of Tallarn
Warhammer 40K fans have never lacked for choices when it comes to mobile games based on the franchise, and this appears to be another excellent option. The Battle of Tallarn is the largest tank battle in Imperial history, and you’ll get to fight it in classic turn-based fashion on a hex map. With multiple campaigns and tons of units and weapons, it looks like the kind of game you can sink your strategy teeth into for a long, long time. Plus you can keep the Emperor happy, and that’s always a good thing.
- App Store ($2.99)
Along with a cool spelling of the word in its title, this indie adventure is being called a “procedurally-generated science fiction novel.” Think of it as a choose your own adventure that’s different every time you play it and you have the gist. Using an alien gizmo called the Descent Device, your path will take you toward the center of the galaxy, but with no way of getting back, the only way you can move on is to press forward. There are tons of decisions to be made along the way, so there’s no time to waste: get reading and choosing!
Well, someone finally did it. Made a mobile game based on one of the finest movies of all time, that is. Interestingly, the write-up says that this features “an untold tale of money, power, and corruption,” so at least it’s attempting to blaze something of a new trail instead of rehashing what most of us already know. Make no mistake, though, because you can rise to become the Underboss to Don Vito Corleone, so that’s a goal to keep in mind as you build your mansion, increase the size of your crew and navigate a web of allies and enemies. Might be a game you can’t refuse.
EDM YES!!!!! Sorry, got a little carried away there. This is an auto-runner that asks you to move and jump in time with its music, which means the rhythm-impaired might struggle. Good thing video games have been working on improving our rhythm for years now. Come for the phat beats, stay for the impressive visuals and what looks like simple but challenging gameplay.
- App Store (free)
Are we at the end of this week’s list at last? Appears that way, though Dungeon Tails deserves some “last but not least” consideration. It promises “hours of infuriating fun” (seriously, the devs’ words, not ours) as you take your hero into dungeons full of loot, monsters and other stuff that dungeons tend to have. With 16 procedurally generated levels and tons of ways to customize your hero and other aspects of the experience, you’ll be writing your own Dungeon Tails for some time to come. Get it? I think I’m just punchy from writing so many blurbs this week. Until next time.
- App Store ($3.99)