There’s something special about a dozen. Hardly any other numerical groupings get their own special terms, and certainly, none are as famous or widely used as when 12 things are placed together.
So while we don’t shoot for a dozen new mobile games to highlight every week, it works out nicely when there is exactly that number that catches our eye. That doesn’t mean we have anything against, say, 11 or 13. Those are perfectly fine numbers too.
But they’re not a dozen, which is divisible by more different numbers than any grouping of less than 18. Go ahead, look it up. And with the math portion now complete, let’s get into the mobile games you’ll probably want to check out this week.
The Warlock of Firetop Mountain
Generally speaking, when you’re aware there’s possibly a warlock on top of any mountain, you probably don’t want to go up there to find out. Yet you’ll want to throw that logic out the window here since this is a game based on a legendary gamebook by Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone. It’s already seen one life on iOS way back in 2010, but this new take by Tin Man Games, a studio that knows a thing or 12 about gamebooks, is even more ambitious since it also incorporates many strategy game elements. And again, Steve Jackson. That guy was responsible for filling a lot of idle hours during this writer’s youth.
- App Store ($4.99)
What. The. Actual. Heck? Not only is this a crazy-looking title for a game, it also requires an extra step to search because just typing it into your browser makes your computer think you are trying to access a weird website of some type. Many reviewers have compared this to Pong, except with insanely detailed graphics that were done by hand, and, one would suspect, the tricks of the trade that come with the equivalent of a million years in video game time since Pong came out. It’s also set under the sea, which would make Sebastian happy.
- App Store ($2.99)
Rabbids Crazy Rush
Rabbids are one of those pop culture things that you probably either really enjoy or despise with no real in-between. Assuming you’re in the former group or you wouldn’t even stop to read this blurb, Rabbids Crazy Rush is more or less what you’d expect: an endless runner where you help them try to collect enough cans to reach the moon. If ever there were characters who fit into a genre where you’re rushing headlong into danger, these are the ones. Plus there’s a lot of other associated wackiness so you can just check your brain at the door and enjoy.
No one would be mad enough to combine Downwell and Flappy Bird, right? Yes, that’s a rhetorical question or we wouldn’t continue on. The Frosty Pop Corps has combined sweet retro graphics and nonstop action into a strangely adorable package. You also have to love any App Store write-up that promises “controls that work like hand churned butter.” There are also goodies like a Replay Kit to reminisce about the coolest moments and progressive difficulty, something every game should add for the sake of my pride.
- App Store (free)
For giant monsters, cities were made to be destroyed. That’s a problem if it’s your city in the crosshairs. MonstroCity: Rampage! puts you on both sides of that particular equation by giving you a city to build and defend as well as a squad of giant monsters to wreak havoc on other players’ cities. We’ve all done a lot of build and battle by this point, but giant monsters make everything better. Well, except for the 1998 Godzilla movie. Let’s not speak of that again.
From PC to mobile comes Dungeon Rushers, which combines team-based RPG battles with the ability to flip the script and make your own dungeons for players to explore. There’s a simple tile-based system that makes the first part a new challenge every time and the second part not as onerous as it can be in other games with a similar concept. We were hoping that the “Rushers” part meant that Jadaveon Clowney and Whitney Mercilus were somehow involved, but alas.
Wobblers feels like a throwback if there’s such a thing in an industry as young as mobile gaming. There used to be a bunch of titles where the goal was simply to progress as high as you possibly can by jumping, flying or what have you, but they aren’t as common anymore. In any case, Wobblers appears to build on those time-tested concepts and expand upon them with cute, bold graphics and tons of levels.
Rhom Bus? We see what you did there Creatiu Lab. It’s not just a pun either, as the object of this particular game is to help animals get on the bus. Doing so requires you to master its sliding tiles in classic puzzle game style. The cool game mechanic is that you have the option to turn either the tiles or the whole board to help toward your goal. Completing the first seven levels unlocks Infinite Mode, which the devs say is “maybe the best part of the game.” We’ll be the judges of that, but it does look like a good time.
- App Store ($1.99)
Turmoil (iPad Only)
Here’s another PC to mobile title to check out, though Turmoil can properly be described as just dipping its toes into the mobile pool since you can only play it on iPad. In any case, it’s a slightly humorous take on the oil rush of the late 19th century. Build your rigs, plan your network of pipes and strike that sweet black gold. Then figure out how and when to bring it to market to make the most profit. The campaign mode challenges you to do the rags to riches thing, while single game mode offers procedurally generated levels to see how much money you can make in one year. Hint: a lot, once you get the hang of things.
Chief Puzzle Officer
Not sure about you, but I’ve never worked for any company with a Chief Puzzle Officer. It does sound like a cool job title, though, and since we live in an era when a soccer team is hiring a Chief Tattoo Officer, it’s really not as crazy as it sounds. The secret sauce to earning your CPO position is that this is match-3 with co-op multiplayer, which definitely has the potential to shake things up. But, you know, not everyone can be Chief Puzzle Officer. Sorry about that.
Archer Dash 2
More 8-bit graphics, which we’ve seen elsewhere in this week’s dozen. But don’t run away yet, because Archer Dash 2 looks like a pretty sweet blend of style and substance thanks to the details layered on top of its simple one-touch controls. There are five boss fights to master and 15 different archers to unlock, plus the visuals can be changed into any of nine different color palettes, with more supposedly on the way. Plus we’ve all agreed by now that the bow is the coolest weapon in pop culture. Yeah, I think we have.
Let’s end this week’s lucky 12 with an underserved subgenre: the breakfast-focused game. Help swipe the game’s plucky toaster away from danger and help him toast as many pieces of bread as possible because people need to start the day on the right foot. Most important meal of the day and all that. With more than 30 levels, three endless courses, different toaster skins to unlock and a built-in level editor, there’s no stopping the popping. Er, toasting. You know what we meant.