This is it, folks. And by it, I mean the week of the biggest football game around, one so big that we can legally only call it the Big Game for reasons that escape me.
What has that got to do with finding out about the most promising new releases on mobile, you might ask? Admittedly nothing, since none of the games that have caught our eye have anything to do with football.
Yet you may need something new to play on Sunday while waiting for the next batch of commercials or during Lady Gaga’s halftime performance (unless you are a big Gaga fan yourself, in which case you’ll be mesmerized). That’s the kind of service we can provide. Call it curation, or simply a way to write myself out of being caught in a complete non-sequitur during this introduction.
Let’s go deep down the sideline and see what we can find.
Fire Emblem Heroes
You may have heard of this one already. Just a little tactical RPG franchise. And Nintendo’s first hinest to goodness venture into F2P mobile gaming. No big deal, no pressure. Just kidding. Nintendo actually spent quite a bit of time on this particular game during its recent Fire Emblem Direct live stream devoted to the future of the franchise. Heroes is set to feature characters from throughout the numerous previous games doing battle on an 8×6 grid. Terrain and a rock-paper-scissors relationship between classes will both play parts, but the hook for Fire Emblem fanatics is likely just to be collecting as many characters as possible. And there’s nothing wrong with that.
It might sound like something you’d get by mashing up Alto’s Adventure and Pac-Man 256 (hmm …), but Glitchskier is really a sci-fi shoot-em-up that looks like what the people who designed Atari 2600 games would come up with if given today’s technology. Which is to say your ship is just a little triangle. But there’s no denying this game looks cool as hell, albeit like one where I’ll die hundreds of time while playing it. Just in the first day. Ah well.
- App Store ($1.99)
Book of Unwritten Tales 2
The thing about unwritten tales is that there’s no end to them, right? After all, if the stories have yet to be told, there’s no real limit on what’s to come. While you ponder that brain-bender, we can tell you that this point and click adventure game came out on console and PC a few years back, and it’s now made its way to both iOS and Android. With multiple characters and a number of side quests, its the kind of game that can easily eat up a bunch of free time. Or, as mentioned above, distract you from another Patriots championship.
For a different kind of retro from a different era, allow us to present Evil Factory. This top-down action game doubles as a love letter to the 8-bit era of gaming, with a look and sound that will immediately take you back. Unless you’re a younger gamer, in which case it will at least help you make your parents feel old. We haven’t figured out yet if it’s the factory itself that is evil or something that the factory produces that earns it the name, but we look forward to playing this quite a bit and finding out.
Thought we were done going retro? Perish the thought! From the maker of Galcon comes TANKOUT (all caps, because of course), a multiplayer affair that will try to be the sliter.io of the tank world. By that I mean that you are competing against a number of other players, all with their own tanks and funny screen names. What makes this look particularly cool is that there’s a base-building element as well, the better to stop those other tanks from rolling in and blasting you with a cannonball.
If tap to build sounds like your wheelhouse, Charming Keep should fall right into it. The same studio that helped bring Shooty Skies and Disney Crossy Road brings us this tower-building exercise which keeps thing simple but still gives you tons of options to make your keep … well, charming, one would think. Like all idle clickers, things keep happening even when you’re logged out, so you can push on to make the tower of your dreams, provided you’re a fantasy architect or something.
- App Store (free)
Tomb of the Mask
We don’t have all that many rules or guidelines here at Gamezebo, but one of them is that if we loved a game on one mobile platform, there’s a pretty good chance we’ll dig it on the other one. Such is the case with Tomb of the Mask, which we definitely dug when it was iOS only. Now Android gamers will get their own chance to experience its procedurally generated mazes, cool masks (hence the title) with unique powers and everything else. We’d mention the retro graphics too, but we’ve already been doing plenty of that.
- Google Play (free)
Snailboy: Rise of Hermitron
I’m nearly out of words by this point in the list, but I’m going to bear down and finish before rushing off to play more Fire Emblem. As Snailboy, you need to stop the evil hermit crab Hermitron and his sidekick Harold the Barnacle, because no one else can. To do so means mastering a number of moves and special abilities to navigate a gorgeously detailed underwater world. And maybe, just maybe, you’ll be ready for that final showdown with Hermitron when the time comes. Here’s hoping!
- App Store (free)