This is a rough time of year for people with kids. It’s not officially summer according to the calendar, but it’s definitely summer in their little heads. No thoughts but riding bike, heading to the pool and mobile games.
Wait, what? Well it’s not like they just stop wanting to play on their phones and tablets just because it’s nice outside. Not to mention that you, the parent, might need some downtime after dealing with them more often than during the school year, so you might be looking for something new to play as well.
You’ve come to the right place, since ferreting out what might be worth a look is kind of what we do on a weekly basis. It’s not a week full of huge releases, but there are always potential gems out there. Here’s where to start looking.
Epic Little War Game
Reports of the death of the Little War Game series have been greatly exaggerated. That’s if there even were any such reports, which we cannot confirm. In any case, Epic Little War Game looks like it’s positioned to make us all forget we were ever without its predecessors, what with single-player, head to head and even six-player online skirmishes. A random map generator means every battle can potentially be different, though you can also save and replay on ones you really like. Fire up those tiny factories and armies, there’s strategy afoot.
- App Store ($6.99)
The Frankenstein Wars
If you believe you may have missed out on the chapter on The Frankenstein Wars in your history book growing up, let us assure you that it’s only because your school chose to remove those pages from your texts. Just kidding — as far as you know. This is actually a gamebook from a studio, Cubus Games, that knows that genre very well. That alone should pique your curiosity, but there’s also the fact that the story combines real historical figures like Napoleon with two brothers who know all about Dr. Frankenstein’s technology and want to use it to conquer Europe. Sounds pretty darn cool to us.
Crazy Taxi Gazillionaire
In the pantheon of gaming franchises that even non-gamers like, Crazy Taxi has to be right up there in the top 10. Just trust us on this. Alas, Crazy Taxi Gazillionaire isn’t quite what you might expect from the brand, seeing as its an idle tapper. But then again, people who consider themselves non-gamers also really like idle games in many cases. It could be that this is an under the radar stroke of genius from Sega. At least the visual style looks very much on point.
Described as a “love letter to pyramids,” which is not a phrase you see around the app stores every day, Yankai’s Peak backs it up by making them the featured shape in a puzzle game about “he beauty and joy of being a sentient PYRAMID.” Wait … are there actually sentient pyramids that the developer interviewed for this? We need to get out more, apparently. Buying this game now seems like the move if it’s your jam, because the price is set to go up after the limited time launch deal is over.
- App Store ($1.99)
[Checks to see if EiC is joking about writing this game up, sees that he is not.] Ahem, testing, testing, one, two. We’re back to say that Bouncy Hoops is what you’d get if you crossed Flappy Bird-style one-touch gameplay with the world’s second most popular sport (don’t @ us). The result actually … looks like it could be a lot of fun. It looks like a well-done example of this type of game, to be sure, with plenty of visual goodies to keep you hooked if you enjoy the core concept.
Oh…Sir! The Hollywood Roast
If you didn’t play the previous Oh … Sir! game, you missed out on something pretty unique. The “insult simulator” managed to be both clever and absurd at the same time, a combo we always appreciate. For the sequel, Gambitious Digital Entertainment sets its sights on a fertile ground for insults if there ever was one, Hollywood. The write-up assures us that we can play with ” one of many famous, but for legal purposes, slightly different pop culture icons and verbally spar with other Hollywood elitists using a deep battle system.” Do some verbal sparring solo or challenge friends and family, the choice is yours.
- App Store ($2.99)
SUP Multiplayer Racing
Really feels like this game missed an opportunity by not throwing an apostrophe in front of its first word. ‘SUP Multiplayer Racing sounds like it would be an aggressive challenge to prove your skills. Even without the extra punctuation, this extremely colorful racer features both custom vehicles and tracks, but most importantly, real live multiplayer action. No disrespect to the asynchronous multiplayer racing games of the past, because there have been plenty of good ones, but this is what’s up.
As long as we’re handing out unsolicited title advice, Predynastic Egypt sounds like the elective you take when you need to fill one last credit spring semester of your junior year but everything else you tried to take is already full. We kid because we care, though, and in this case, we’re definitely intrigued by turn-based strategy in a setting you don’t see all that often in video games. Possibly ever, really, at least so specifically ancient Egypt.
Building stuff and blowing up other people’s stuff are core tenets of many different types of mobile games, but rarely do they come together in quite the same blend of order and chaos that Castleparts promises. Build your castle first, placing Tetris-esque walls and defenses the best way you can figure, then as the movie Gladiator said, unleash hell on your opponent. Characters with unique abilities and spells add to the action, and there’s a large world map where your persistent castle resides between raids. Looks and sounds different, and we mean that in a good way.
Last but hopefully not least this week, we give you Maze Bandit, a game that challenges you to be both a builder of mazes and a rescuer of princesses from other people’s mazes. Six kingdoms and more than 90 levels put those latter skills to the test, but the multiplayer aspect of it seems like it could be the proverbial secret sauce that sets this one apart from similar games. Only one way to find out …
- App Store (free)