Baby, it’s cold outside! And before you say we don’t know each other well enough for me to call you ‘baby,’ let me assure you I’m just repeating a line from the famous song of the same name. And it is winter, after all, and thus the perfect time to stay indoors and play mobile games.
Of course, you may be required to go outside at some point anyway, but the great thing about mobile gamers is that you can take them with you wherever you’re forced to brave the elements against your will. Just watch out for ice and snow.
You don’t have to worry as much about which games to try out, because we’re here to help you. Here are the most promising new additions to app stores this week.
Star Wars: Force Arena
Star Wars: Force Arena isn’t exactly a MOBA. It’s also not quite a card game either. Instead, like Clash Royale, it blends elements of both genres, though leaning a little more toward MOBA in terms of its three-quarters viewpoint and emphasis on action with abilities and units you control. Most of all, it’s a heady blend of characters, vehicles and other instantly recognizable tidbits from throughout Star Wars history, and if you’ve got any love at all for the franchise — and most of us do — you owe it to yourself to at least give it a try. Even losing often is fun. Trust us.
Bubble Witch 3 Saga
King’s ‘Saga’ games keep on keeping on, and this latest Bubble Witch title is no exception. Look for some of the same match-3 elements combined with new power-ups, more precise aim and other goodies. Also, if you wondered where the Bubble Witch has been living all this time, you’ll be happy to know that you get to construct a house for her and earn rewards as you level it up and make it better. Now if we could just convince King to stick the number at the end of these titles, all would be right with the world.
The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth
Sometimes we let you know if a game is not for everyone. The Binding of Isaac: Rebirth is definitely not for everyone. There’s a reason that Apple was rumored to have been shaky on whether it would be allowed on the App Store or not. That said, it’s also an incredible game, packed with action and dark humor, and one many people have been waiting to see on mobile for quite some time. Get yourself a supported controller and be ready to dive into a ton of challenging content.
- App Store ($14.99)
Classic, arcade-style shooters will never die. Or at least we hope they won’t. One of the best places to find them in 2017 is on mobile, and Xenoraid looks like it will fit the bill. The devs at 10tons tout the fact that its procedurally generated levels require no pattern memorization, plus there’s an extra layer of strategy since you can swap between four upgradable ships on the fly. Try it for free and pay one price to unlock the full game if you’re having fun with it.
- App Store (free)
Mysterium: The Board Game
Asmodee Digital does a killer job translating board games to mobile — most recently with Colt Express — so we’ve always got time to see what they’re bringing to touchscreens next. In this case, it’s a ” cooperative deduction game” where you’ve got to get to the bottom of a murder using only visual cues. Think Clue, but with less silly names and more psychics. Also a ghost. Normally, saying that Mysterium is “a faithful adaptation of the original game with gorgeous graphics” would come off as pure marketing speak, but given Asmodee’s track record, it’s likely to be absolutely true.
The only thing that’s worse than waking up in a zombie-filled apocalypse without your memories is doing the same thing and discovering you’re already one of the undead. Will Sonny let that stop him, though? Probably not, since he’s the hero of this turn-based RPG that has finally made its way to mobile. It’s a unique setting that blends horror and sci-fi, plus a true challenge that gets harder as you go, all presented in an eye-catching art style. Hard to say not to that, even if you wouldn’t normally want to play the zombie.
- App Store ($2.99)
Super Hyper Ball 2
Surely, any game that has both ‘super’ and ‘hyper’ in its title doesn’t need much more of a sales pitch, from us or its makers. We’ll give it a go anyway by telling you that this game’s official App Store write-up includes an unforgettable claim that it is “a hyperactive cocktail of Pinball & Breakout.” You had us an hyperactive (also cocktail). With a story mode, an endless mode, a boss mode and more, Super Hyper Ball 2 looks to have plenty of content to keep you engaged, provided the ’80s retro flair and visuals don’t have your eyeballs swimming laps in your head.
- App Store (free)
It’s become a bit of a pastime around the Gamezebo Slack channel to try to find new and different variations on chess whenever they hit mobile. Chezz grabbed our attention by claiming to be the fastest and most frantic way to play the venerable board game. How? Well, by moving all of your pieces at the same time, for starters. Pieces can also change and upgrade, meaning that pawn won’t just be kicked around and waiting to be captured for an entire game. Sounds awesome but also like another game where I’ll be taking plenty of Ls until I figure it out.
This one wins our award for most unique new entry of the week. Or it would if we had such an award to give out, which we do not. Ahem. Anyway, this action title from Sunnyside games sees you using light to illuminate and then exorcise monsters, which will rock if it’s even half as cool as it sounds. Beating all five worlds unlocks “The Path of Madness,” which should make us worry but instead has us excited to find out what it’s all about. Towaga also touts its dynamic soundtrack, so you’ll want to tackle this one with headphone son if you decide to take the plunge.
Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links
There are already a ton of card battling games out for mobile, but somehow Yu-Gi-Oh! had yet to receive an official adaptation of its physical game. Consider that oversight remedied thanks to Duel Links, which arrives on iOS and Android with real time duels against other players, more than 700 Yu-Gi-Oh! cards and the chance to kindle the spirit of Yami Yugi, Seto Kaiba and other familiar characters. Well, familiar to people other than yours truly, since I was never much of a Yu-Gi-Oh! guy. But if you dig this franchise, there’s a good chance you’ve been waiting for this game.