‘Tis the season for playing more mobile games! Let’s face it, as much as we all love the holidays, they usually come with some downtime while hanging with family and friends, and as Comcast has taught us, even Grandma’s house now has wifi.
No one wants to pay full price, though, especially with funds a little tighter around gift-giving time. Perhaps cognizant of that fact, the companies making mobile games of the non-F2P variety have marked a bunch of them down for the holidays. Since the Gamezebo research interns are already on their holiday break (slackers), this isn’t going to be an exhaustive list of what’s on sale, but it should give you plenty of options for something new to buy while the prices are good.
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic – 70% off
There are some Star Wars games that people like because they’re about Star Wars and others they like because they’re just great games. KOTR is both, meaning that it’s not hyperbole to suggest that it’s one of the greatest RPGs ever. Certainly, it’s among the best you can play on mobile, and paying only $3 for it almost feels like stealing.
Reigns – 66% off
Wickedly simple but strangely compelling, Reigns is a card game the likes of which we’ve never seen before. With each decision you make as king, you run the risk of things spiraling completely — buy often hilariously, in a dark humor way — out of control. It was one of the year’s most delightfully pleasant surprises, and you can grab it now for only 99 cents.
Hitman Sniper – 80% off
A very different kind of Hitman title, Square Enix uses this one to put you behind the scope with Agent 47’s finger on the trigger. Some sweet environmental kills make the action fun, and it’s a great example of how game design within certain constraints can be really clever. And 80 percent off its regular price is nothing to sneeze at, which is good since that would give away your position.
Assassin’s Creed Identity – 80% off
We’ll level with you and let you know that this is on sale not because it’s the holiday season, but because the Assassin’s Creed movie is out now. And while the film might not be getting all that much love from critics, you needn’t worry about that here. Just enjoy the fact that you can play a pretty much full-fledged Assassin’s Creed game on your touchscreen device for less than a dollar.
Alto’s Adventure – 75% off
Mobile gamers of all ages have been enthralled by Snowman’s stylish snowboarding game, proof that simplicity can still be the foundation of a wonderful game. Now that winter has arrived in earnest, it’s easy to get in the mood to make some runs, especially for just 99 cents.
Mini Metro – 80% off
I almost repeated what I just said about simplicity for Alto’s Adventure just to see if you were paying attention and/or to make my editor have to deal with angry comments. Anyway, Mini Metro is a mass transit sim but also has appeal to those who just like puzzle games. Its minimalist aesthetic works in a way that might surprise you, and it’s an absolute bargain to download this Game of Year contender for 80 percent off.
NBA 2K 17 – 70% off
The holidays always bring a big sale on some of 2K’s most popular mobile games, and this year is no exception. NBA 2K 17 is an honest to goodness mobile port of the console hoops leader, and while it’s a tad pricey normally, it’s well worth $2.99 during the current sale. Perfect for playing during commercials and halftimes of the NBA’s big Christmas Day quintupleheader. Yes, that’s a thing.
XCOM: Enemy Within – 70% off
We haven’t hit any turn-based strategy on this list so far, so let’s turn to one of the best in class. XCOM made a triumphant return as a franchise a few years ago, and the mobile version was also stellar. Enemy Within is the follow-up. one that expands on its predecessor in just about every way. Hard to top that, but getting it on sale helps.
WWE 2K – 70% off
In the interest in offering something for everyone from the 2K sale, it’s worth mentioning that WWE 2K is also available for just $2.99. Quite possibly the most feature-packed pro wrestling game ever seen on mobile, any fan of sports entertainment will want to consider it over the holidays. Plus there are sales on card packs going on in its card-based companion, WWE SuperCard.
Final Fantasy VII – around 20% off
Square Enix does what it wants when it comes to pricing on the Final Fantasy games, which is my nice way of saying they are expensive. All of them are on sale right now, and while they’re still a bit steep, consider that you’re getting a game many consider among the greatest of all time, playable on the go, for less than $15. That’s not too shabby.
LIMBO – 80% off
Find yourself listening to “Blue Christmas” a lot this season? Then maybe you’ll want to dive into this somber — but awesome — game that won a ton of awards and all kinds of praise when it first came out. Not your usual holiday fare, but one of those games that you really owe it to yourself to check out if you’ve missed it up to now.
Call of Duty: Zombies HD – 60% off
All of the Call of Duty games have had their prices slashed for the season, so I just picked one at random to feature here. Shoot up all the zombies you want for less than $2 and pretend you’re saving Christmas or something.
Transistor – 80% off
Talk softly and carry a big … um, Transistor. This super stylish sci-fi action RPG has tons of admirers for its story, controls and visuals, and it’s usually on the expensive side. But as you probably know from reading this far, it’s much cheaper right now, so there’s no excuse not to give it a go.
The Room Three – 60% off
So you say puzzles are more your thing, eh? No worries, we’ve got you’ve covered there too. Fireproof Games has its deepest and most mysterious entry in The Room series on sale for more than half off, giving you plenty of chances to put your problem-solving skills to the test. Its predecessors are also on sale now if you want to go back further.
Octodad: Dadliest Catch – 80% off
Weird? Yes, no question. But Octodad is also unquestionably awesome, even if you never wondered what it was like to be an octopus pretending to be human. You’ll certainly never look at everyday life quite the same way again after playing this, which you can do right now for less than a buck.
Lara Croft GO – 50% off
The other GO titles are also cheaper right now as part of the larger Square Enix sale, but Lara Croft GO is a personal favorite. It manages the very unique trick of taking an action hero and fitting her seamlessly into a more calculating gameplay genre while retaining a lot of the visual flourishes that you’d identify with the Tomb Raider franchise. It’s cool even for $2, but obviously is even nicer for half that.
Crypt of the NecroDancer – 60% off
Seems only fitting that we finish this list off with one of the more offbeat, hard to categorize games that are on sale now. There aren’t many roguelike rhythm games out there, but Crypt of the NecroDancer is one. Even if the gampplay doesn’t hook you, the music will. You’ll be tired of Christmas carols soon anyway, and no one knows all the word to “Auld Lang Syne.”