Pokémon Go has captured our imaginations in a huge way. It’s now not unusual to see hordes of people wandering around with their phones in the air, seeking anything. But this growing obsession is really due to a sense of nostalgia more than anything else. We’re loving the memories of our childhood spent capturing Pokémon on Game Boys, and that’s why we love this new version so much.
But while we can’t stop playing it, we have to admit that it’s not the best game ever created. Actually, mobile games are still getting better and better, and this isn’t the most imaginative option out there. There are plenty of games you should be trying out, so don’t ignore them just because you miss the 90s.
These 15 games will absolutely blow you away with their graphics, the gameplay, and the overall enjoyment factor you will get out of them. They are all relatively new to the mobile sector, and all allow you to play for hours. If you haven’t tried these mobile games yet, you are cheating yourself out of a fantastic experience.
15 The Swords
This game was put together by Lee-Kuo Chen for iOS. The thing you will notice most about it is the artwork, which is beautiful and gives a haunting sense to the game as a whole. Chen was the man behind A Ride Into the Mountains, which was also popular, so expect good things from this one. It’s an abstract fighting game which will have you obsessed for hours, even though there isn’t much content. You have to swipe around to avoid arrows that move towards you in different patterns and at different rates, and it will have your heart beating fast as it speeds up.
Available on both iOS and Android, Butterscotch Shenanigans have created an intriguing game which follows a great plot line. You’ve crashed on an alien planet, but it won’t be all racing heartbeats with this one. Instead, it’s strangely relaxing, with a soundtrack that will soothe you completely. You have to scavenge your way to survival and craft an escape route, and the graphics are top notch in an interface which gives you everything you might need. It’s a witty game full of little quirks that you will love, with a clear end goal to achieve. The smart controls will also give you joy.
Created by RetroFist and available on iOS, FireFu is a pretty cheap download and will provide plenty of entertainment for it. It was actually funded by Channel 4, and though you wouldn’t think it at first glance, it’s extremely addictive. You trace your finger across the screen to set little imps on fire, which sounds basic – but there are a lot of unlocks to gather as well as bosses to fight, and the graphics are fantastic. It’s perfect for the commuters who want to occupy their thumbs without worrying about finding a place to connect to the WiFi (and who have used up their free monthly internet data on Pokémon Go).
12 Peter Panic
Any app created by Adult Swim is sure to spark the interest, and this one is free to download, which makes it almost a no-brainer. If you like retro, look no further than this hilarious game. You play the title character and you are trying to put on a musical… yes, a musical. The best part? It’s all inspired by the Nintendo WarioWare series. This ticks a lot of boxes, and it includes some songs which will absolutely give you life. There are a lot of tasks to complete and all of them must be done fast, so you won’t get bored while playing this one.
This game is all about making you thing. Developed for iOS by Clint Siu, it is beautiful designed but does not offer any word-based hints or storylines for you, focusing simply on the gameplay. 3D objects appear on your screen, with pointers as to where you can touch, tap, slide, and grab the object to try and see what happens. When you get it right, you can pull the shape open and reach a glowing orb which is hidden inside – your treasure reward. It’s a polished game with an absorbing interface, which will have you silently puzzling over ever object and feeling determined to reach the end.
10 Love You To Bits
This is perhaps the most charming game you will find on iOS this year. Developed by Alike Studios, it follows a lovelorn astronaut who is faced with tragedy when an explosion rips through his spaceship and sends his beloved robot out into the galaxy in small pieces. He must seek out each piece on a different planet, completing puzzles along the way to earn his robot back. There isn’t a huge amount of challenge here, but the journey is the point, with a whole lot of charm poured into every interaction and a great set of graphics in a clear interface.
9 Mimpi Dreams
The graphics will get you right away with this one – deceptively simple, they almost compete with Love You To Bits for the charm factor. It was put together on iOS by Silicon Jelly, and takes the platform game to new levels of cuteness with a heaping helping of odd thrown in. The simple and bold artwork used is overlaid with virtual buttons to make controls easy. It’s a madcap caper which has something to surprise you at every turn, and the animations often take an amusing twist. It’s a great slice of fun which will leave you wanting more from the developers.
8 Lost In Harmony
This one wins points for inventiveness alone – you have never played anything quite like this. It’s free to download on Android but you have to pay for iOS, strangely enough, and Digixart Entertainment have combined two popular styles to make something completely different. You play a skateboarder carrying his friend in an auto-runner which also incorporates rhythm-action elements. You have to tap out beats at the same time as dodging hazards, listening to great music and trying your hardest to stay upright. It’s difficult to think of anything which could even be compared to this memorable app in terms of style.
7 Super Tribes
Mobile games have been inundated lately with the 4X genre, often in increasingly less creative ways. The Explore, Expand, Exploit, Exterminate theme is given a new twist from Midjiwan AB in this free iOS game. You follow a turn-based strategy familiar to fans of games like Civilisation, except that you only have 30 turns in which to play as much as you can. When the turns are over you get a score based on your progress, and your only aim is to beat your previous high score. It’s a great fit for mobile and is definitely a consuming time-killer, with none of the annoying elements that other 4X examples suffer from.
6 The Westport Independent
Available on both iOS and Android, this mobile game should be required reading. It allows you to censor a journal as you play, changing the headline stories to either support the government or the rebels who are fighting against it. This is a really eye-opening look at how stories can be changed to support one side or another, and it will make you think a lot more about what you hear in the news. Coffee Stain Studios have come up with something genuinely thought-provoking and absorbing, whilst still offering the right amount of gameplay to make it interesting. It’s worth the price.
5 Who Lurks
This is a game which will chill you to the bone as you attempt to discover the enemy in your midst. If you’re familiar with John Carpenter’s The Thing, then this will be a situation you understand instantly: you are on a spacecraft with your fellow crew members, except one of them is actually a shape-shifting alien which will kill you all if you don’t stop it. You need to figure out who it is before it’s too late. It’s available for free download both on iOS and Android, and was created by Hybrid Humans. You will definitely want to play through more than once.
4 Hatoful Boyfriend
This game has been described as one of the oddest games ever created, and Devolver Digital have finally brought it to mobile. It’s available on iOS and has you romancing pigeons in a post-apocalyptic world, a phrase you probably never expected you would read in your life. The story is compelling in a very odd way, and though it may be a dating sim, it’s one of the silliest examples of the genre you will ever find. It knows how silly it is, and that’s how it works. Come for the ridiculous artwork and premise, stay for the hilarious dialogue.
3 War Tortoise
If you like tower defence games, you will be addicted to this armoured tortoise. You have to defend him from being attacked by rats and beetles, among other things, with upgradeable troops and weapons to stop them in their tracks. When you manage to master the battle process your upgrades will allow everything to happen automatically, but then the difficulty level jumps with the aim of upgrading your tortoise to the next evolution. Once you master that, you’ll end up facing more challenges as you build new units but also handle manual battle tactics. With developer Foursaken at the helm, you know this is one of the best things to hit iOS lately.
2 Crusaders of the Lost Idols
This game has been playable on PC for a while now, but is finally coming to mobile. Your aim is to lead a ragtag bunch of soldiers through level after level of incoming creatures, with great graphics and dry wit in every mission goal. When you complete the first stage, you’re invited to… delete your progress and try again? Yes, this game is all about gathering upgrades for your crusaders and then sending them back out to battle further and faster, and you can also collect new warriors on a regular basis with themed events that reference pop culture in a darkly hilarious way.
1 Goo Saga
If you want beautiful graphics, then TokaLoka have gone out of their way to provide something perfect for you. So much work has clearly gone into this stunning game, a side-scrolling platform which presents a genuine challenge whilst still looking awe-inspiring. It’s available on both Android and iOS, and has the added bonus of a cute storyline: you play a lump of goo (complete with squishy noises) that escapes from the lab and goes in search of its creator. You can pump up and slim down your goo to complete the levels, and upgrade your abilities by collecting crystals so that the difficulty curve remains manageable.