Ah, the number seven. It’s considered a lucky number by many, it’s the number of days in the week, and it’s relevant for our purposes because it’s the amount of mobile games we’ve picked out as especially promising new releases.
Is it my favorite number? I wouldn’t say that, but it’s perfectly fine. Much better than six.
It’s becoming a running joke in this space that we say, “Hey, you’ve played lots of endless runners, but you’ve never seen an endless [fill in the blank].” So I’d forgive you for some skepticism, but Digby Forever is the coolest looking and perhaps only endless digger I’ve seen recently. Maybe ever. It does give me some Dig Dug flashbacks, if you’ll allow me to date myself a bit, but with a lot more going on and way more colorful visuals. Also I don’t think you use an air pump to overinflate foes, but that always seemed a little strange anyway.
- App Store (free)
This game looked like a winner from the first time it was shown off. Think of a “Where’s Waldo?” book come to life as a mobile game and you’re on the right track. What’s crazy is that the backgrounds are hand-drawn, setting a new high bar for craftsmanship. It also has some humorous touches for extra personality. Not that it probably needs any. The sound design is also said to be excellent, and it’s one price to play for those of you who dislike F2P games.
- App Store ($3.99)
Surely it’s supposed to be Sleepaway Camp, right? Uh, no. Following up on its PC release, Slayaway Camp takes block-style graphics and applies them to one genre (maybe the only one left, to be frank) where they haven’t been seen much to date: horror. It’s a puzzle game that trades on classic horror movie tropes, and one really intriguing aspect to the gameplay is that the victims react to situations around them, changing up the puzzles on the fly. Of course if it’s true to slasher flicks, then the victims probably don’t respond intelligently all the time. Just saying.
- App Store ($2.99)
Gunman Taco Truck
Sometimes you’ve just got to tip your cap to anyone who can come up with an idea that seems bat guano crazy on the surface and yet is a sly reflection of real world events. Gunman Taco Truck is that type of game. Really. With nuclear missiles launched and both people and animals mutating as a result, your character decides to pack the family in the taco truck and head north of the border to Canada. Alas, you’ve got to shoot your way to the North, because it wouldn’t be as much crazy fun if you didn’t. It’s free to download and well worth checking out if you can laugh at the ridiculousness of how this isn’t quite as far away from pure fiction as one might like.
Mildly Interesting RTS
Working in this industry means dealing with a lot of hyperbole. Plenty of games come out with grandiose titles, extraneous exclamation points and the like. There’s something to be said about trying the opposite tactic and going for understatement, though, or possibly even slightly self-deprecating titling. With that in mind, I give you Mildly Interesting RTS, from the makers of A Dark Room. The minimalist aesthetic belies the fact that it actually looks pretty engrossing, and it’s set itself a low bar to clear.
- App Store (free)
In contrast, Evergrow sounds like a lawn care product of some type. I had the Gamezebo research intern check though, and he assures me that it was not developed by Scotts but by Imagility, and it’s not something you sprinkle over your grass but instead a “visually enticing journey of survival and growth” with “fresh physics-based gameplay and fluid multi-touch mechanics.” You help a block grow as it travels through various cosmic environments, hopefully keeping that smile on its face.
- App Store ($2.99)
This also takes me back to an era when I had time to play pen-and-paper role-playing games. I never got into Vampire: The Masquerade, but I certainly had friends who did, and they’ll probably be among the people checking out this dose of “interactive fiction” set in that world and concocted by Zak Sabbath and Sarah Horrocks. It appears you’ll get to experience the very beginnings of life as a vampire and have some heavy decisions to make, all rendered in a very unique and eye-catching art style. Have at it, but uh, stay away from my neck please.