For many mobile games, soft launch is a vital stage of development. By rolling out their title in a select few territories, studios can iron out any bugs and glitches ahead of the big global release, and deliver a better, more polished end product when that day comes.
Where consumers are concerned, this is a win-win situation, since fans in the testbed regions can get their mitts on these games before anyone else, and the rest of the world can take a vicarious peek at what’s in store. Here are the most anticipated iOS and Android releases currently doing the rounds in soft launch.
15. God Eater: Resonant Ops
Publisher: Bandai Namco
Bandai Namco’s God Eater series has found its way to mobile, but only in the Land of the Rising Sun at the minute. Resonant Ops follows on from the apocalyptic events of God Eater 2: Rage Burst and is built on the same tight RPG mechanics, this time with a free-to-play business model and microtransactions at their core.
14. Kings of Soccer
Publisher: Hugo Games
Multiplayer football at its most accessible has kicked off in Australia, Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands and Portugal with Kings of Soccer. Don’t let the casual gameplay and cartoony visuals fool you. This one is backed by the kind of extensive licensing agreement that allows it to include some of the biggest names in the sport, including Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Mohamed Salah. Back of the net!
13. Idle Park!
Publisher: Gram Games
Available On: iOS (Australia, Canada, Denmark, Netherlands, New Zealand)
Remember Theme Park, the fun PC classic which put you in charge of a virtual fun fare? Well, it now has a spiritual successor of sorts in the form of Idle Park! Here were have a casual, mobile-optimised take on the concept and you can hop aboard for a roller coaster ride now if you happen to be based in Australia, Canada, Denmark, the Netherlands or New Zealand.
Publisher: Scott Rombach
Available On: iOS (Denmark, Philippines, Singapore)
The best mobile puzzlers are usually the simplest ones and Scott Rombach’s iOS offering Griddler is testament to that. This grid-based casual title is all about high scores and accessibility and its randomly-generated levels will keep your digits bust indefinitely.
11. Master of Eternity
Korean Nexon studio is back with another role-playing game tailor-made for touchscreens. Master of Eternity is loaded with Far Eastern promise, boasting sophisticated turn-based combat, pixie-piloted Gundams, unique classes and a gripping storyline.
10. Brawl Stars
Available On: iOS (Canada)
A top-down MOBA game with eSports potential, Brawl Stars groups players into groups of three and pits them against each other in a variety of objective-based contests. Customise your characters, level up along the way and rack up the kind of body count Black Panther’s Killmonger would be proud of.
9. Candy Crush Friends Saga
You can be forgiven for losing track of how many entries there have been in the Candy Crush series, but developer King is dishing out yet another helping for the sweet-toothed among us. So what’s new this time? Well, Friends Saga includes revamped 3D visuals and four new game mode, just for starters.
8. Spellsouls: Duel of Legends
Available On: iOS (Australia, Canada, Croatia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Taiwan)
Part MOBA, part card battler, Spellsounds: Duel of Legends sees players amass all-powerful decks of cards before sending their forces out to battle in three-minute PvP contests. There’s leaderboards to scale and high-end graphics to feast your eyes on.
Skidz is a humble driving game in which you guide your car around a winding track with a series of swipes and taps. It might sound simplistic, but a more accurate way to describe it is insanely challenging and fiendishly compelling.
Fightlings has joined a growing list of games that aims to get players up off the sofa and out into the real world. Thoughtfish’s card battler does this with location-based features, such as collectible soul fragments that can only be obtained by venturing outside. Some only appear in specific locations and others at certain times of the day.
5. Soap Dodgem
Publisher: Zsolt Fabian
Available On: iOS (New Zealand)
Yep, somebody actually made a bathroom-cleaning simulator, but don’t worry, it’s a lot more fun than scrubbing the toilet. There’s little else to it beyond scraping away evil mildew with finger swipes but its 100 levels should keep you busy for a while.
4. Sun City: Green Story
Publisher: Efun Games
Sun City: Green Story is an eco alternative to SimCity, not that the EA series is in any way bad for the environment. To be specific, it tasks players with building an environmentally-friendly metropolis but that isn’t the only string to its bow. Sun City is also a match-three puzzler and the city building ties in directly with this side of the game.
3. World of Evolution
Publisher: Dikobraz Games
Available On: iOS (Australia, Canada, Britain, New Zealand, Philippines )
Now there’s a way you can play God without any of the disasterous consequences the movies have led us to believe that would result in. It’s called World of Evolution and it lets you create everything from mountains to trees and then a civilisation of people to inhabit the world you’ve developed.
2. Word Domination
Publisher: MAG Interactive (Australia, Canada, Sweden, Thailand)
As well as being a delicious play on words, Word Domination lets you have endless fun with them too. Basically, it’s Scrabble reinvented for the tablet and smartphone generation. What more do you want from a word-based game?
1. Winions: Mana Champions
Nexon’s Winions: Mana Champions is another new addition to the increasingly-crowded card battler space, but this one has some cool features, such as base defending elements and novel traps. Oh, and there are dragons too!