While July was a bit slow on the major mobile release front, August has already more than made up for last month’s lighter load. This week alone has so many great new titles that we couldn’t narrow it to fewer than 15, and even this list left out some easily recommendable downloads. Between fantastic DLC for some of our favorite games, a bunch of retro goodies, a massive cat-filled RPG, and a handful of really interesting puzzlers, we’re swimming in great new games. So let’s not waste another second not playing them.
Hearthstone: Knights of the Frozen Throne
While technically not a “new” mobile game, the latest expansion to Hearthstone adds so much content that it’s absolutely earned a place on this list. Knights of the Frozen Throne introduces the Lich King to Blizzard’s collectible card battler and a slew of undead to do his bidding: 135 cards have been added in this update, including Death Knights, transformative Hero Cards, and the vampiric new keyword, Lifesteal. Tons of new missions and rewards accompany all these goodies along with freebies just for playing, which, c’mon, we were going to do anyway.
Titanfall: Assault is the fast-paced FPS series’ second attempt at moving to mobile, after card game Titanfall: Frontline was cancelled earlier this year. Assault is closer to a Clash Royale-style strategic base defender, with a real time card system allowing you to deploy units as soon as you have enough supply points. Those units are taken straight out of the Titanfall universe, with pilots boosting over buildings and massive Titans raining down to crush unsuspecting grunts, creating a powerful mobile mashup.
Developer The Gentlebros cite Cat Quest’s inspirations as The Legend of Zelda, Final Fantasy, and Skyrim: three series/games that will always perk our ears. The adorable feline hero of Cat Quest sets out on an epic adventure to save his “catnapped sister,” and subsequently finds himself scouring dozens of dungeons, taking on tons of sidequests, and generally exploring and battling across every inch of the gorgeously colorful world. This one is a must-play for fans of RPGs, adventures, cat armor, and lots and lots of cat-related puns.
- App Store ($4.99)
RAYCRISIS is the third installment in Taito’s RAY arcade shooter series from the ’90s, and its release completes the trilogy on mobile. RAYFORCE and RAYSTORM brought their fast-paced vertical air battles to touchscreens smoothly, and RAYCRISIS looks to continue that tradition. However, for players who want a more classic experience, MFi controllers are supported. With multiple ships to control, difficulty modes, and even endings, RAYCRISIS should fill your shmup needs for quite some time.
One genre that’s always high on our mobile wishlist is the monster-collecting/battling RPG. While Pokémon Go scratches part of that itch, we still dream of a full-fledged Pokémon game like those we’ve been playing on Nintendo handhelds since the late ’90s. Nexomon looks like it could be what we’ve been waiting for: this premium monster-catching RPG features 300 Nexomon to collect and train, a huge world to explore, and lovely anime graphics in battles and cut scenes.
- App Store ($3.99)
Another of this week’s blasts from the past, Ristar is the next addition to the SEGA Forever catalogue, which is attempting to slowly revitalize classic SEGA titles by making them downloadable for free on iOS and Android. Unlike many of the previous inclusions, Ristar was not previously available on mobile. This colorful platformer has a Sonic-styled aesthetic but features slightly slower, more exploration-based gameplay that requires using the anthropomorphic star protagonist’s stretchy limbs to punch, swing, and fling himself around the game’s six unique planets within the Valdi System.
While this year has already seen a surge in fantastic first-person shooters on mobile, Combat Squad comes from a veteran team of former Counter-Strike Online developers and looks to feature the level of polish we’d expect from that pedigree. This tactical squad shooter offers 1v1 battles against AI or other players, as well as 5v5 squad skirmishes where you suit up with teammates. The DIVE system lets you swap between squad members and take control of individuals directly for added engagement and precision, while the detailed perks and customization options help ensure your other characters are prepped for battle.
Swim Out is a stunning turn-based puzzler that challenges players to paddle their way across a pool filled with aquatic obstacles ranging from other swimmers to floaties and even kayakers. Everyone in the pool will move after you do, requiring you to plan your next position based on the direction they’re facing and the distance they will travel to avoid direct collisions or becoming trapped between bathers. There’s a lot of careful strategizing involved, but the muted color scheme, soft background music, and untimed turns offer a laid-back aura to this summery challenge.
kubrain is a match-3 puzzler that requires using gravity to transport its colorful cubes from the floor to reach their matches. The 3D block the cubes roll into can be swiped in any direction to change what is the current floor and to drop any cubes from an upper level down onto those below. Cubes will vanish when three of the same color touch, opening up more space for new cubes to be added and rotated around the block. While the idea seems simple at first glance, it requires thinking in multiple dimensions and planning out not only where cubes will appear but also how your manipulations will affect everything already inside the game board.
- App Store ($0.99)
Dice Mage 2
Dice Mage 2 brings back the luck-of-the-roll-based RPG battles of Dice Mage with even more enemies to tackle, equipment to earn, and worlds to explore. Players will take on foes in a dice-based battle system with explosive ivories and devastating spells. Even if you’re on a losing streak, Limit Breaks offer a chance for redemption and the 4,000+ pieces of equipment provide added protection so you can keep on rolling.
- App Store (free)
Silly Walks is an adorable arcade walker whose greatest challenge is the awkward gait of your hero. Players control bizarre anthropomorphic foodstuffs as they waddle across tables, over hot stoves, and past hungry lawn mowers in an attempt to save their fruity friends. Most of the game is a QWOP-ish “one foot in front of the other” challenge, although unique obstacles like unplugging waffle irons or hopping into giant slingshots add a puzzle element to the stages. The endearing googly-eyed graphics of everything makes success extra rewarding and even just hobbling around a sweet treat.
- App Store (free)
The Quest: Celtic Rift
The latest expansion for the updated version of Redshift’s fantastic first-person RPG, The Quest, Celtic Rift brings the first installment of the Celtic trilogy to the enhanced edition. The addition of Celtic Rift to the HD version of The Quest is a good sign that both Celtic Queen and Celtic Doom will also be updated in the near future, but players will have plenty to keep them busy within Rift alone. This expansion sends you to the Islands of Lubdan within the country of Loegria where 70 new quests await.
Cavefall: Endless Adventure
Cavefall: Endless Adventure is an endless vertical faller that requires precision jump timing. Players will control a spelunker as he dives into a treasure-filled cave and quickly vaults between both sides of the narrow corridor to avoid spikes, bats, and even random wall-breaching tentacles. During fast and frantic runs, players can collect power-ups to aid their high score attempts, as well as notes to unlock new levels and the history of the Arctic Expedition.
- App Store (free)
MAZEY is a rotating maze game that challenges players to guide a small blue ball around a set of self-contained corridors and to the exit. Your only controls are tapping left or right to rotate the maze, which will roll the ball along with it, but the movement is so responsive that it feels like you have much more precise control over what’s happening. Your ball will need to collect orange squares to open the exit as well as dodge hazards like spikes lining certain sections of the maze, creating very tight–and rewarding–paths to victory.
- App Store (free)
Nitro Chimp Grand Prix
Nitro Chimp Grand Prix brings the joy of monkey-karting–previously available in Super Nitro Chimp–back to mobile. This 3D racer is a bit like Excitebike meets Mario Kart, with tons of hills and boosts to ramp off of and race-changing items to dish out. Tons of equippable customizations, gameplay modes, and the option of offline play ensure you’ll be able to race the way you want, anytime, anywhere.
- App Store (free)