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Mobile Game of the Week: Rumble Hockey

Mobile Game of the Week: Rumble Hockey

At PocketGamer.biz, we happily sit inbetween the world of business and consumer writing.

You can consider it 'biz-sumer' or 'consum-ness', if you like.

What that means in practice is that we write about the business of mobile games from the point of view of passion about mobile games.

We're not dry number crunchers (quite moist, actually).

Neither are we clueless fanboys, who write articles from the seat of the pants, heart on sleeve etc...

Best of both

In our view, the best mobile games require business and pleasure in equal measure, which is why we're starting our Game of the Week feature.

It's where we'll highlight the games we consider the most significant, hopefully in a positive way, but perhaps sometimes in a cautionary way too.

You'll enjoy or learn something from playing these games, maybe both.


Click here to view the list »
  • Rumble Hockey

    Rumble Hockey logo

    The sports genre has proven to be popular on mobile over the years, and this week's Game of the Week will be no exception.

    Rumble Hockey by Frogmind has been an anticipated game, hardly a surprise given how popular Rumble Soccer was. As you would expect, the ice-hockey inspired title takes a lot from the previous entry. However, it has improved upon its aspects as well.

    Leave it on the ice

    Thankfully, the arenas are bigger in Rumble Hockey than those of its predecessor. This means that players have more room to manoeuvre and can plan their attacks accordingly. Naturally, users will have King Goalie, but there are many other Rumblers just waiting to get on the ice.

    There is a whole roster for players to unlock, and each character has its own skills and offerings. All Rumblers have various attributes which are worth looking at when selecting a team, which can be increased through upgrades.

    Rumblers also fall into three categories - Core, Pro and Superstar. These determine just how powerful characters are on the ice, and every team needs its core players as much as the star.

    The controls are simple: you select the team member you wish to sling and point them in that direction, the rumbler will do the rest. Squad members can perform combos to give that extra edge in the match.

    Gloves are off

    Rumble Hockey is free-to-play. However, progress can be spread up through in-game purchases. There are coins and gems available as currency. They can be used for purchasing new characters and upgrades to give an edge on the ice.

    Overall, I enjoyed Rumble Hockey and can see it staying on my phone for some time to come. At least ice hockey on my phone prevents me from getting hit in the face - by a puck at least.


  • Forza Street

    Forza Street logo

    By Ric Cowley

    Forza Street gets off to something of a slow start, which seems kind of like a death sentence for a racing game.

    It's purely intentional, of course. At the very beginning, you're thrown straight into a tutorial for the very basic controls, which would be a difficult thing to do at breakneck pace.

    But when the rest of the game is zippy, cinematic races through dimly-lit streets in the flashiest cars money can buy, it does feel odd to start off on a bit of a weak note.

    Shift up

    Get through those first few turns, and suddenly Forza Street really kicks into gear. You're offered a shiny new car, thrown into a race, and from there the game really starts opening up.

    It's got some nifty little tricks to keep you enticed, too - like being teased with an even shinier new car as long as you sign back in the next day, which will surely bump those D1 retention numbers right up.

    The meta game feels very familiar - you work through a series of events, facing off against racers both real and manufactured, making incremental improvements to your car as you go.

    And as previously mentioned, the racing itself is quite simple. You rev at the starting line, hold down the gas to go forward, and let go at the right time to perfectly brake into a corner before slamming back down to accelerate out of it.

    It's gameplay you've seen before - see CSR and Race Kings for the main influences - but it has a Microsoft sheen to it that makes it that bit more exciting.

    Photo finish

    The camerawork is the main UPS here, with wild, cinematic cuts as you race making every corner feel that bit tighter, every straight feel that bit longer as you time your nitro boosts perfectly to squeak ahead of your opponent.

    And once the very first drab turns of the game are jettisoned from your memory at 180 MPH, the race action really is quite thrilling, and perfectly designed for short bursts of action.

    Can it outpace its more seasoned rivals? Some tweaks to the UI, like making text larger and menu items clearer, would certainly improve the experience. And that FTUE needs some more time in the shop for certain.

    But as the new kid on the block, Forza Street certainly has a lot going for it. The real question is how much gas is actually in the tank.


  • Manor Matters

    Manor Matters logo

    By Kayleigh Partleton

    Ever have those moments where you put an item down and 30 seconds later have no idea where it is?

    Well, I do. It happens to me on near enough a daily basis, which is why it's ironic that for my Game of the Week I have chosen Manor Matters by Playrix. The aim of the game is to find missing items.

    Perhaps my reason for liking the game is that so far I have been quite successful - if only that transferred into real-life...

    I spy

    The mechanics are simple. Each level presents the player with a different scene. At the bottom of the screen will be a checklist of items that can be found within. As you progress, objects can become harder to spot.

    There are ways to aid yourself in hunting down that one item you are bound to miss. Hints are available, and they will show you where one of the missing objects are. However, you can also zoom in on the scene, something you may not have seen before could become apparent at closer inspection.

    Certain actions such as opening the mansion, lighting a fire and other scene progressions can only be performed with stars, which are earned as you explore your surroundings. There is a time limit so don't spend too long staring in one place

    My little eye

    There is a story to follow - the manor in which the game takes the player has just inherited. Not only that, but there are some strange occurrences and a mystery to be solved.

    I must admit, I enjoyed Manor Matters more than I thought I would. It is surprisingly addictive, and easy to lose yourself in the scenes, and half an hour has passed before you know it.

    Not sure how I would feel getting a giant house only to have to clean up a mess and not know where anything is – I struggle in my two-bed thank you very much. Nevermind it being haunted.


  • Gumslinger

    Gumslinger logo

    By Kayleigh Partleton

    Nothing beats a good old fashioned duel; they're incredibly dramatic, and a great way to let off steam.

    That is why for this week's Game of the Week I have chosen physics dueller Gumslinger. It's been so long since I went toe-to-toe with one person in a 'may the best man win' sort of way. Usually, I'm running around a map with a gun shooting as many people as possible.

    It's a nice change of pace to be given a countdown before shooting relentlessly at one foe.

    Shall we duel

    The controls are straightforward. On one side of the screen, you move your finger up and down to aim the gun. On the other end, you tap to shoot. Where you hit – assuming you do – will determine how much damage is caused.

    There are various objects in the arena, some of which are obstacles to shoot through or around to get the victory, which adds some variety. I also need to give a little shout out to the soundtrack; it is like Western meets Alvin and the Chipmunks – oddly addicting and a great fit for the game.

    There are various weapons available – pistols, shotguns, sniper rifles – which can be unlocked with in-game currency - my personal favourite is the Ko-Gun, a comical boxing glove weapon.

    Start your paces

    There are many gummies just waiting to get their chance at redemption - I've even come across the Grim Reaper in gummy form. Granted, he's not overly intimidating as he wobbles about, but shooting him was certainly fun.

    Gumslinger will be on my phone for a while, even if it is just to listen to the soundtrack. However, if there is one thing I wish I could do, it would be to slap the gummy and challenge them – Imay have gotten the idea from Looney Tunes.


  • Gameloft Classics

    Gameloft Classics logo

    Nostalgia is a powerful emotion. Nostalgia for a thing you've never experienced is even more powerful. Maybe that's why I love to play old, weird games that I couldn't get my hands on when I was younger.

    I never played many Java games on older phones, my pre-smartphone days mostly dominated by a version of Tetris I downloaded on WAP while in the queue to register for my courses at university. But all my friends had them well before me, and gosh was I jealous.

    I don't need to be anymore, and neither do you, because Gameloft has compiled 30 of its classic Java games into the Gameloft Classics collection on Android for everyone to play. And what a nostalgia trip it is.

    The wayback machine

    Let's address the elephant in the room: mobile gaming has advanced considerably in the last 20 years. While these titles may have been interesting at the time, playing them now is a mostly frustrating affair. Controls are clunky, graphics are blocky, and none of it feels particularly fun to actually dive into.

    Gangstar 2's driving is so poor it's basically unplayable. Avalanche's moveset is hugely limited. Modern Combat 2's combat is an unsatisfying slog. How did we live like this?

    And yet it's very easy to lose yourself in each of these incredibly dated experiences. Maybe it's a morbid curiosity to see how far you can progress in a collection of games that seem like they really don't want you to play them.

    Rose-tinted glasses

    Or maybe it's because, actually, these games aren't half bad. Dated, clunky, sure. But there's a reason Gameloft has survived for 20 years in mobile gaming, and it wasn't by making bad games that nobody bought.

    The Gameloft Classics collection is a fascinating look back at what came before and a reminder of how far we've come, but it's also a chance to lose yourself in that warm hug of nostalgia, reminding you of simpler times, even if they weren't really that simple. And maybe that's all we need right now.


  • Undersea Solitaire Tripeaks

    Undersea Solitaire Tripeaks logo

    If there's one thing that Gardenscapes proved, it's that throwing a narrative and base-building aspect together with a puzzle game actually makes for a brilliant experience.

    You become invested in more than just beating levels for high scores - you can look across your tiny kingdom and remark at how far you've come, all from your prowess at casual gaming.

    Undersea Solitaire Tripeaks takes the formula and moves it into the world of cards, swapping match-3 for solitaire, and the end result is polished, engaging, and remarkably fun.

    Darlin' it's better

    Undersea Solitaire Tripeaks sees you helping a cute cartoon crab rebuild a small, underwater town by beating solitaire puzzles.

    Each solved puzzle gives you a gem, which lets you build new things or clear some space for the next building, with each advancement in the plot shown through a cute animation of the crab running about, doing its thing.

    So far, so Gardenscapes - and that's not necessarily a bad thing, given how good those games are at keeping players coming back.

    But the meat of the game is those solitaire puzzles, which task you with clearing a board of cards by grabbing cards either one higher or one lower in value than the current card in your hand.

    Down where it's wetter

    Unlike the traditional solo card game, however, you're greeted with a variety of towers to pick and choose from, so you can easily jump around between values and suits as more cards become available.

    What might seem confusing at first quickly becomes second-nature as you rattle through the deck, building up a streak which generates more cards that you can turn to if you end up unable to pick anything from the board.

    It's hard to describe without getting stuck in the weeds, honestly. But actually playing it is a dream - it's smooth, pretty to look at, and you feel like a god when you've smashed a big, tricky board.

    Take it from me

    The only complaint one could have really is the name - Undersea Solitaire Tripeaks may hit a very specific SEO niche, but try saying it out loud five times fast. Or remembering it after you've finished reading this article.

    Still, it's a sure sign that narrative + puzzle game = a pretty good game, and if you pick it up for a quick go, prepare to be hooked for several hours.


  • Game of Thrones Beyond the Wall

    Game of Thrones Beyond the Wall logo

    By Kayleigh Partleton

    One of the most popular genres on mobile is strategy, check the App Store and Google Play; they are full of them.

    Mind you, not all of them are Game of Thrones. Which leads me to my game of the week, the recently released Game of Thrones Beyond the Wall. Who wouldn't want to join Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryan? Who wouldn't want to pick up arms in the Night's Watch?

    Not me - as soon as I heard there was a GoT mobile game on the way I was sold. And as soon as that famous theme tune hit, I was happy and invested.

    Join the Night's Watch

    As with many games in the genre, Beyond the Wall features turn-based combat, with all characters placed on a grid. When in battle, you select your soldier, and the grid squares will turn blue or red to indicate where they can move to and their attack range.

    Fighters with ranged attacks can make an assault from a distance, whereas those with swords must be up close to strike the enemy down. And, of course, no strategy game set in a fantasy world would be complete without abilities.

    Each chapter and battle have win conditions and additional challenges. Through in-game currency, characters and soldiers can be upgraded to be of a more significant threat in combat.

    You know nothing

    As the new Lord Commander of the Night's Watch, not only do you command your men but you can unlock fan-favourite characters to join the fight. No Game of Thrones title would be complete without Jon Snow, Jamie Lannister or Daenerys Targaryan – in this game you get to fight with them all.

    Besides commanding a band of badass characters, there are multiple types of soldiers at your disposal – spearmen, crossbowmen and scoundrels.

    Is this a game I will still be playing in a week? Yes, for the foreseeable future Game of Thrones Beyond the Wall will have a permanent place on my phone. I have longed to be a part of the fantasy world, and I have always related to Tyrion Lannister – I drink, and I know things.


  • Charisma

    Charisma logo

    Visual novels are incredibly hard to innovate. After all, they're already pretty barebones affairs - typically all they involve are static artwork, a lot of dialogue, and choices to affect the path of the story.

    That's oversimplifying things a little bit, of course, but there's nothing you can take away, and very little that can be added.

    But Charisma, the first game from To Play For, has brought to the table something that could shake up visual novels completely - AI.

    Say it again

    Where other visual novels give you a set number of choices to pick from at key junctures, Charisma instead gives you an open text box and the chance to write whatever you feel.

    Naturally there are still only so many choices you can actually make - it would be impossible to build an entire game to account for every whim of its players.

    But the illusion of choice is still pretty remarkable, and being able to make your own personality felt in the game is rather unique.

    You can add a bit of flavour to your responses, turning your "yes" into an "I'd be absolutely delighted!" and still seeing the same narrative path chosen.

    Of course, this system also leaves itself open to be abused, but To Play For has taken into account idiots like game journalists with too much time on their hands as well.

    It can't handle every situation, but when it catches you out, it is rather delightful. And yes, you can even reject the story altogether, which simply ends your game outright.

    Charming

    You don't lose access to the chapter that you're unceremoniously removed from either. Each chapter you buy with the game's hard currency of tokens remains yours forever - though you will have to restart the chapter once you get kicked out.

    Unlike mobile rivals like Episodes, you don't get any free tokens each day to unlock new chapters, which is disappointing from a freeloader perspective, but makes sense for the developers trying to make money.

    But overall, Charisma is an interesting step forward in the world of visual novels, but one that also highlights some of the shortcomings of adding total player freedom to responses - the players themselves.


  • Bullet League

    Bullet League logo

    If there is one genre that is not lacking in games, it is the battle royale.

    The main problem with them is that there is very little to differentiate new games from those that have come before them. However, this week's Mobile Game of the Week has done just that.

    Funday Factory's Bullet League took the battle royale genre and lovingly mixed it with a 2D platformer. This is the BR I never knew I needed.

    Jump on it

    The controls are simple; players get a directional pad to move their characters, a jump button and a directional stick to both aim and shoot at the enemy.

    As it is a 2D platformer, the pressure is on to get moving as soon as the match begins. Various weapons and items can be found on the map – plenty of guns and grenades.

    The matches themselves are quick. If you take too long finding a weapon or stay still, then you are likely to be the first person to bite the dust. To give yourself an edge in combat, be sure to upgrade your weapons.

    Over time, players will unlock a more extensive arsenal as they gain experience and level up. Fortunately, even if there are not many players online, Bullet League features a bot system – want to shoot things when no one else does? Funday Factory has you covered.

    Watch your step

    Besides earning in-game currency through completing matches and challenges, players have the option of using real money to purchase gems.

    Gems can be used to purchase boxes – these include new skins, coins and blueprints for new gear. Furthermore, gems can be converted to coins – the in-game currency.

    There is no doubt that I will continue to play Battle League - it is more convenient than the likes of PUBG Mobile, and shorter matches mean I can find time anywhere to shoot people, my favourite past-time.


  • War Tortoise 2

    War Tortoise 2 logo

    If there is one genre loved by most players, it's the shooter. For some - including myself - it is a great way to blow off some steam and leave your troubles behind you.

    This week's game of the week - War Tortoise 2 - combines two of my favourite things, shooters and tortoises - they are oddly cute, and a great combination.

    The exploration-shooter puts you on top of a heavily armoured giant tortoise. Travel across the world, destroy your enemies and ultimately take their land.

    Incoming

    The controls are simple, use your finger to aim at the enemies on screen - the bullets will shoot automatically once a foe is targeted.

    Each mission involves you going to war, to take the land and claim it for yourself. Upon completion, new areas on the map will be unlocked. You can go anywhere; however, areas with a star are the next mandatory zones.

    All missions - optional or not - grant experience, which allows you and your tortoise army to increase in strength.

    There are multiple soldiers at your disposal - once you have enough funds, you can feel free to add a mouse assault squad, mouse rangers, hamster commandos, war balloon brigade, a sparrow squadron and more.

    Up your arsenal

    No act of war would be complete without a vast array of weaponry - miniguns, flash cannons, plasma rifles and more make the cut here. On top of this,you can improve the efficiency of the tortoise's armour to make it a proper tank.

    To purchase upgrades, weapons and squad members, there is the in-game currency earned through playing the game, which continues to tick up even when inactive. As with any free-to-play title, there are microtransactions available - in this case, war gems. The gems can be used in turn to get further in-game currency for upgrades.

    Would I return to this game? Absolutely. It involves a giant tortoise exterminating bugs with heavy machinery - a great way to spend my time.


  • Knighthood

    Knighthood logo

    Keeping a game in soft launch for over a year starts to raise eyebrows - after 18 months, most onlookers will be wondering why you didn't kill your game much, much earlier.

    But Knighthood has arrived against all odds, following an eye-watering 19 month soft-launch period, and proved that sometimes a longer testing period can actually be better for your game.

    It has slick combat coupled with King's cartoon-y charm, and enough systems in place to keep RPG fans happy without being too overwhelming.

    Arise, ser

    Knighthood lets you create your own character from a handful of options, then sticks a sword in your hand and shows you how to put the point end in a range of angry nasties.

    The look and feel of the whole affair is very "3v3 battler", except that you're pretty much on your lonesome. But developer Midoki has balanced that with some neat changes to the formula.

    For one, you have four moves per turn, and you can use these to chain together basic attacks. Using your standard sword slashes build up the meters of your summons, which burn one of your move slots for a high-powered, single-target attack.

    On top of that, you have a glove which can be used to punching foes in the face, building up a seperate meter that then unleashes a multi-enemy attack from a chosen summon. Fist and sword attacks can also be chained together, so you don't need to sacrifice one for the other.

    Then perish

    You can even switch the focus of your attacks mid-chain, which is particularly useful when you kill an enemy and still have moves left - chains build up a damage multiplier, so it's nice that you don't lose that just because your chosen target has already perished.

    It's a satisfying battle system that allows for a little bit of strategy, but not so much that it becomes overwhelming. And there's also gear to unlock and upgrade, summons to level up, and all that gubbins if you really want to get stuck into the grind.

    And this fine balance between quick play sessions and in-depth mechanics means that I simply can't put it down. I'm playing it as I'm typing, in fact. It's a serious problem.


  • Loud House: Outta Control

    Loud House: Outta Control logo

    One of the most popular mobile game genres that can be found on the App Store and Google Play is strategy. Some players like the challenge, and it suits those that like to plan before jumping into a situation headfirst.

    For this week's game of the week, I chose to try Loud House: Outta Control - a new addition to Apple Arcade.

    Much like the TV show, the game is centred on Lincoln Loud, an 11-year old boy with 10 eccentric sisters - Lori, Leni, Luna, Luan, Lynn, Lucy, Lana, Lola, Lisa and Lily. If there is one thing I am sure anybody with a sibling can relate to, it's a rivalry.

    Don't touch my things

    The gameplay is simple, the siblings all have tasks that they need to complete - such as Lana getting to her mud pies, Lincoln to his comic books, and Lori to her sun lounger.

    The levels take place in different environments from the front yard to various rooms inside the house. You need to get the siblings to their goals while avoiding each other. It is utter chaos - those familiar with the show will recognise the mayhem.

    Should any of the 11 siblings collide, a fight will break out - that brings back memories. To get the characters from A-to-B, you must draw a line, a path for them to follow.

    The goals and challenges will change during different stages; on occasion, all the Loud siblings want the same thing - players need to draw their paths carefully.

    Should the siblings collide, chaos will ensue - for most siblings, it's wedgies and sitting on top of one another. For the Loud siblings, it's lightning bolts and throwing diapers.

    She started it

    After completing each level, you will receive various trophies - these reveal unlockables in the attic. The collectables are recognisable items from the programme.

    Would I come back to this game in a week? Probably not, though it is a more acceptable way of throwing diapers around - not sure I would have gotten away with that one.

    For anybody with Apple Arcade, who happens to be a fan of the show, I would recommend giving it a go. You will feel like a member of the Loud family in no time.


  • Cookies Must Die

    Cookies Must Die logo

    By Kayleigh Partleton

    If there is one genre that can be found all over the App Store and Google Play it's the platformer.

    Simple yet effective in design, platformers allow the players to progress through a level at their own pace to collect in-game items. Usually, you need to wipe out your enemies by any means necessary - guns, knives and even the character's own body.

    This week, I tried out Cookies Must Die - a platform-shooter hybrid. I must admit, I'm no stranger to demolishing cookies, however that's normally because I devour them - not because I shoot or tackle them to the ground.

    Cookie crumbles

    The premise of the game is simple: cookies have overrun the city and it's your job to take them down. Our protagonist is Jack, an agent hell-bent on cookie annihilation, who also possesses various powers thanks to some government experiments, such as the ability to slow down time.

    One of the best things about Cookies Must Die is the controls. Simply swipe on the screen in the direction you wish to send Jack, he will cling to the environment and smash through any cookies that get in his way.

    There are also a variety of weapons at your disposal. Tired of eating cookies the old fashioned way? Then pick up a weapon and start blasting. Several gadgets are available too, such as the Mega Kick and Cold Wave.

    However, the only way to unlock these extras is through earning in-game currency or via microtransactions.

    One tough cookie

    Each chapter has various stages, you defeat the cookies and save humans. However, each chapter will culminate in a boss fight - this is where the big cookies come in to play.

    Speaking as a cookie loving person, this is absolutely a game that I would like to return to. It's simple to use, the story is entertaining and it stars my favourite type of biscuit.


  • Butter Royale

    Butter Royale logo

    By Kayleigh Partleton

    In this day and age, many people that play games seem to enjoy the battle royale genre.

    Experiences such as Fortnite, PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds and Apex Legends have all gained a mass following. However, for upcoming battle royales to be successful, they must have a unique factor that makes it stand out from the crowd.

    Enter Butter Royale, and honestly, it's about time a food fight-based battle royale hit mobile devices. So grab yourself a ketchup gun and get shooting.

    Pass me the butter

    As with all games in the genre, the premise is simple - be the last player standing. As indicated in the title, food is your best friend here.

    The controls are simple yet effective: the analogue stick on the left side of the screen moves your character while the right analogue stick determines what direction you aim your weapon in.

    The gameplay itself is much like every other battle royale, run around an ever decreasing map (this time being slowly engorged in butter) shooting your opponents until you are the last one left. Multiple weapons can be found in the environment and items can also be collected from your fallen enemy.

    To pick items up you must stand in the circle in which they are placed. Once the circle turns green the item is yours.

    There's something on your face

    Getting bored with using the same foods? The more you play the more in-game currency you can earn, which can go towards items such as burgers to chuck at your enemies.

    Furthermore, there are many collectables to obtain. This makes it easy to keep coming back to join in on the mayhem.

    I might not return to this game in a week, however it is a more socially acceptable way of launching food at people. On top of that, it really is a refreshing take on the genre. No machine guns, no jet packs, no building or jumping - just a good old fashion food fight.


  • Retro Bowl

    Retro Bowl logo

    By Ric Cowley

    New Star Games have pedigree in the world of sports games - New Star Soccer is a stone cold legend on mobile, and New Star Manager is one of the rare titles to receive a 10/10 from our sibling site Pocket Gamer.

    But there's only so much one team can do with football (unless it's EA Sports), and now the developer has moved on to a different kind of football - the American kind, to be specific.

    And Retro Bowl, while it may not carry the New Star name, certainly carries the developer's DNA - it's got the look, the deep management, and, most importantly, the short bursts of pure fun.

    Toss the pigskin

    It all boils down to those bite-sized moments of gameplay that make up each match between all the text-based simulation.

    As the quarterback, you can choose to quickly pass the ball to the running back and start charging through the pack, or toss it to a receiver as they run along a pre-determined path.

    Chucking the ball is a bit like Angry Birds - you pull back on the screen, aim where you want the ball to go, and send it flying, hoping that the right man will pick up the ball in time.

    It's a far cry from the usual American football fare, where tapping a button will fling the ball out and it's all down to calculations and a bit of luck.

    Here, when that ball lands in the receiver's hands, it's thanks to your skill. And the feeling you get when it does is pure ecstasy.

    That good ol' hand egg

    There's more to it than that, of course - you need to run with the ball, score field goals, and then there's all the team-building and management that you could easily lose your entire life to if you so desire.

    But that passing play, that tiny little mechanic, is what sets Retro Bowl apart from the majority of sports games on mobile. If you want to see how one tiny thing can make an entire game, this is one you should immediately check out.


  • Mineblast!!

    Mineblast!! logo

    By Ric Cowley

    If you haven't played a Neutronized game before, you're doing yourself a disservice. The Super Cat Tales games are a masterclass in designing platformers for mobile, and still hold up to this day as some of the best on mobile.

    Hell, the first game recently featured in Awesome Games Done Quick 2020, so it's clearly got legs outside of the indie mobile games scene.

    But if you're only looking for new experiences, then you're in luck - the tiny developer has just launched a game in the same universe known as Mineblast!!

    Blowing up right now

    Mineblast!! (and yes, I will be using those exclamation points every time) is, on the face of it, another fairly simple puzzle platformer from a developer which specialises in the genre.

    You have a little character running about in a series of caves, jumping on platforms and trying to find their way to the end of the level.

    Only your way is usually blocked by giant rocks, and the only way through is to blow them to smithereens with TNT that's handily dotted about the world.

    The first few levels are simple enough - just drop some TNT by the rocks, walk away, and wait for the chaos. Rinse and repeat until you win.

    But when you start getting further in, a ridiculous physics engine begins to rear its head, and you learn that Mineblast!! is much more fascinating than it first appears.

    Almost everything has physics applied to it - rocks, enemies, and even the dynamite you're chucking around.

    And with all that in mind, you're invited to cause true chaos, chucking explosives willy-nilly, pushing them around with your own body if you're feeling brave, destroying everything in your path to get at the precious gems which act as collectibles.

    Sticky wicket

    It's superb fun, and rewards smart thinking and clever throwing with new areas and hard-to-reach collectibles in each of its relatively small stages.

    There are some issues - the controls are mostly superb, except when ladders come into play (and they do, a lot), and even though the levels are fairly short, some checkpoints would reduce the pain of dying needlessly from your own stupidity and being sent right back to the start.

    But there's still a lot to love in Mineblast!!, and Neutronized has clearly put a lot of love into this small, ridiculous, explosive game.


  • Johnny Trigger

    Johnny Trigger logo

    The first week back after a holiday period can be a tricky time for games. There's unlikely to be any huge releases because people aren't looking for them, and some games will still be getting traction from before Christmas, making it nigh-on impossible to find actually new games.

    What I'm trying to say is that Johnny Trigger might well not have come out this week, but it's still pretty high in the charts even if it's been around for no more than a month.

    And there's a good reason for that - it's surprisingly fun to play.

    Say again?

    SayGames has a knack for this whole hypercasual thing by now, as proven by its consistent performance in the download charts. And Johnny Trigger is another in a long line of quick, simple, and fun games that deserves its download numbers.

    The titular Jonathan runs automatically, pulls off a stunt when he approaches an enemy, and it's up to you to tap the screen when the aiming line crosses the body of a baddy and end their life with a well-placed bullet.

    It's a relatively slow-paced affair with a focus on precision over bombastic action, but it works well and lets you savour how ridiculous some of the flips and tricks Mr Trigger pulls off.

    The amazing Jonathan

    The levels are no more than 20 seconds long, giving you ample opportunity to feel like a badass before you put it down again and do something else.

    And there's reasons to come back too, with weapons and outfits to collect as you progress, and bosses to fight to really test your skills.

    Will I be playing it in a week's time? Probably not. But as a fun, throwaway bit of casual gaming, Johnny Trigger simply can't be beaten.


  • LEGO Builder's Journey

    LEGO Builder's Journey logo

    By Kayleigh Partleton

    When it comes to mobile games, the puzzle genre is one of the most popular.

    Not only do they give your brain a workout, but they can also be relaxing, especially when the soundtrack is on the more mellow side.

    LEGO Builder's Journey clicks snugly into the much-loved genre, offering the standard form of building that is known in LEGO titles, while allowing players to drift away into peaceful oblivion.

    Build them up

    The premise of Builder's Journey is simple - complete the puzzle and unite the characters. Naturally, this requires you to use LEGO blocks - as if it would be anything else.

    The controls are also pretty straightforward. You simply tap the screen to pick up a brick, and tapping the screen again allows you to turn the items to better fit the puzzle you need to solve. Holding your finger on the screen for a prolonged period of time places the brick in the desired location.

    Gameplay remains interesting due to the change in environments, along with different forms and shapes of LEGO bricks. Items such as sticks also serve as part of the puzzles as the game progresses, offering up new problems to deal with as you go along.

    Knock them down

    As with any title, there are faults. As simple as the controls are, it can be a pain to get the blocks to go where you wish to place them - then again, it could just be my phone playing silly buggers. When playing for prolonged periods, the gameplay can feel repetitive, despite the change in surroundings.

    However, LEGO Builder's Journey is a must-play for anyone with Apple Arcade. Its soothing soundtrack and atmosphere will help to relax any player, offering a small escape from reality into the world of mindless building.


  • Donut County

    Donut County  logo

    By Iain Harris

    After six years, several iterations and one Peter Molyneux-inspired game jam, Donut County has hit app stores across the globe.

    Humorous and light, Ben Esposito’s quirky hole-based adventure provides a welcome distraction over its two-hour run time.

    This story is full of holes

    The tale of Donut County centres on a rowdy racoon called BK, who proves to be more of a villain before his redemption arc is complete.

    Selfish, immature and unaware, the entire town finds itself stuck underground after BK has swallowed them up through an app on his phone that creates holes.

    The reason he is so readily up for throwing his fellow citizens down the hole is that it racks up points for a quadcopter he’s pining after.

    There are plenty parallels and meaning that can be drawn from Donut County and how it reflects the real world, but according to Esposito himself, the story ended up being a reaction to internet culture in 2016 and 2017.

    BK is one of many racoons who have taken over the word but what unites them all is their dudebro-like approach to life and their lack of empathy for others in their personal pursuits.

    As Esposito tells us it’s a reflection of how silly ideologies can spread online when there is no mechanism in place to check them.

    Hole in one

    Gameplay revolves around a hole in the ground. While inspired by a parody account of fable developer Peter Molyneux, the gameplay gets its tempo from Keita Takahashi’s Katamari Damacy.

    As you snap up smaller things like grass and rocks the hole grows in size before it’s capable of swallowing up humans and houses.

    Things swiftly differ after that from Takahashi’s beloved hit, as while Katamari Damacy offers a challenge with a timer mechanic Donut County is more content to be a laid-back bit of fun.

    Levels do throw up some novelty though as mixing items in the hole leads to various effects.

    Swallowing a kiln will set the hole on fire which can send a balloon adrift as you create an updraft beneath it and throwing two rabbits in the hole leads to many more. I’ll let you figure that one out.

    Chill beats and daring feats

    An understated star of the show is the music. Daniel Koestner and Ben Esposito’s soundtrack sets the tone and illuminates the game's funny, upbeat and chilled-out vibes.

    Some novel ideas are fleeting and the games two-hour runtime may not be for everyone. But in a day and age where plenty of titles are measured in quality against their difficulty, Donut County is a charming escape from the humdrum of standard fare.

    Check out Donut County on the App Store.


  • Rowdy Wrestling

    Rowdy Wrestling logo

    By Iain Harris

    Long before battle royales become so synonymous with being dumped on an island and shooting and looting one another, ‘battle royal’ used to refer to a traditional-style of wrestling match.

    Much like Fortnite and PUBG the goal is to be the last one standing, but elimination in wrestling is often signified by getting lobbed over a top rope.

    While battle royal matches still exist today, the 80s and 90s were absolutely packed with them and it's a similar sense of nostalgic silliness that Colin Lane’ and Brad Erkkila's Rowdy Wrestling nails on the head.

    Hit me with your best shot

    The crux of the gameplay lays with punching and drop-kicking foes to a stunned state. Once those stars appear above their head, they’re ripe to be lobbed out the ring.

    To spice things up every now and again a manager who looks like WWF veteran Jimmy Hart will pop up to offer you a weapon.

    While the ragdoll physics lends to the amusement the costumes themselves offer up a similar sense of hilarity with a pinch of nostalgia. Unlockable characters are modelled after old WWF favourites such Doink the Clown, The Undertaker, The Ultimate Warrior and plenty more.

    Slobber knocker

    Rowdy Wrestling isn’t merely content to throw players into a ring and watch them jump about though and offers a variety of modes. Alongside the battle royale mode there is also a career mode that lets you take on wrestlers one-on-one in a gauntlet-style match. A gauntlet royale if you’d like.

    The randomness doesn’t always hit the mark though, fights can be just as unpredictable and can unfold without rhyme or reason.

    Despite it all, though, Rowdy Wrestling is a fun romp that embodies the over-the-top and larger-than-life spirit of 90s wrestling.

    Check out Rowdy Wrestling on the App Store and Google Play.


  • New Star Soccer Manager

    New Star Soccer Manager logo

    By Craig Chapple

    Getting the intricacies of football right on mobile is always a difficult task.

    Console games like FIFA and PES offer fantastic complexity in a relatively simple setup, which is difficult to truly replicate on mobile. Particularly when it comes the fast nature of the beautiful game and stringing together attacking moves.

    Management titles meanwhile have to deal with a small screen and the trappings (for better or worse) of the free-to-play model if they’re going to be successful.

    New Star Soccer has long been a popular game, and now New Star Soccer Manager has arrived on the scene.

    You're in charge

    There’s a lot to get through when you start the game, from how to play matches with your team (and beat relegation), to how to run an entire football club. You're basically taking the board's job, even though you also have to deal with them.

    There are collectible cards, staff to manage, buildings to buy to improve your club and team, sponsorship deals to sign, and lots of small details you might expect from a management sim.

    It’s all a bit overwhelming at first, though the game does its best to deliver lots of information as quick as it can.

    Match day delivers what you’d expect from a sim, from deciding your lineup to setting up formations and tactics. During the game you’re given written commentary of proceedings ala Football Manager.

    Back of the net

    But once there’s a chance to get in on goal or start an attacking move, you’re personally given control over players. And the result, once you get a handle on the controls, is a delightful football game.

    Play stops once a player gets the ball, letting you decide how to proceed. You can simply pass the ball straight to another player, shoot, dribble or set players on runs and to set up a cutting through ball into space behind the defence.

    Successfully combining passes in quick succession, delivering that decisive through ball and smashing the ball in the back of the net is a delight.

    Much like the best football sims, there’s as much drama to be had off the pitch as on it. From keeping the fans onside to dealing with egotistical players and ensuring a happy board, there’s much depth to be found in New Star Soccer Manager.

    What I’ve played so far is just the tip of the iceberg. New Star Soccer Manager feels like it’s carved out its own space from other sims and put together an essential football title in the process.

    Check out New Star Soccer Manager on the App Store.


  • DERE EVIL .EXE

    DERE EVIL .EXE logo

    By Iain Harris 

    One of our favourite trademarks of horror is its tendency to play on what you know.

    Society tells children not to trust strangers and many horror films indulge this wisdom by presenting random figures as malevolent tricksters.

    Not all horror films are scary clowns and abandoned houses though, with some going so far as to subvert expectations by preying on the unknown; be that through suggesting the killer is among us or presenting what you believe to be safe spaces as inherently evil.

    Darius Immanuel Guerrero’s meta pixel horror DERE EVIL .EXE is the latter.

    I see pixelated people

    The opening segment is pleasantly jarring, as horror is flipped to nostalgia and comedy.

    Upon hitting the start button, players are forewarned that all is not as it seems and the game is not for the faint of heart.

    Moments later, you find yourself in the familiar surroundings of 80s and 90s nostalgia. As a silent knight called Knightly, you are here to traverse the pixelated kingdom with an upbeat chiptune to match. The sheer familiarity and genre tropes are then swiftly maligned by a fourth-wall-breaking dev.

    Slowly but surely, however, it all descends into a glitchy nightmare as the once evocative music is swapped up for ominous PSX-era orchestral music.

    Once fun and games, the narration takes on a new meaning when a murdered teen haunting the code of the game suggests she may not be the evil one.

    What’s the meta, man?

    Regarding gameplay, DERE EVIL .EXE doesn’t rest on the narrative to see itself through.

    You’ll need platforming skills and timing to work through the game’s levels, which soon becomes part of the story as the forces at work hack the code.

    Controls are simple and mostly sweet. Left and right directional buttons are situated on the left side of the screen while jump sits on the right. A few moments of stickiness aside where Knightly wouldn’t move, they remain responsive and work just fine.

    File corrupt

    All in all, DERE EVIL .EXE stands out for brilliantly blending pre-noughties nostalgia with meta-horror.

    While the echoes of Super Mario and Mega Man are ever present in games today, they are rarely subverted like this.

    Check out DERE EVIL .EXE on Google Play and the App Store.


  • Pokemon Quest

    Pokemon Quest logo

    By Iain Harris

    Despite spanning many a different genre under one anime sprawled banner, Japanese cartoons are often united in wonderfully depicting a stunning plethora of food.

    When Pokemon made its jump from Game Boy to anime in 1997 it was one of the more notable additions. Upon being bested by the forever youthful Ash, gym leader and rock-type specialist Brock joins the hero's journey and swaps up strategising battles for masterminding fine dining.

    In that sense, it’s oddly true to form that crafting meals brings a nostalgic sense of joy in Pokemon Quest and made up the crux of my enjoyment on Tumblecube Island.

    Gotta catch all ‘em berries

    As a trainer you come to Tumblecube island seeking adventure and eventually spend your time between dolling up your camp and clearing single-floored dungeons with your preferred three Pokemon.

    Traditional Kanto starters Charmander, Bulbasaur and Squirtle are offered up, alongside Pikachu and Eevee, and you garner more by crafting meals in your base.

    There isn’t much going on in terms of story, but the game’s appeal comes in its lightness.

    From the start Pokemon Quest develops a pleasing rhythm as you toss berries into a pot and see what meal comes with it and in-turn what Pokemon are drawn in. Results do vary, a highlight for me was luring in a level 14 Polygon when my humble team was but level nine. Dejection followed when a level two Magikarp came flopping in next.

    Meals take time to cook and time is measured by how many floors you clear, as such going out to explore is a necessary but fulfilling endeavour.

    Beat ‘em all. Up.

    Combat is a departure from the turn-based strategy that many will fondly remember. Instead, your rowdy rabble of Pokemon run amuck smacking up anything with a pulse in real-time. Battle rhythm can be broken up by issuing commands for special attacks, but more variety doesn’t follow.

    You can’t really herd them either and It can get a tad frustrating. Especially when your Charmander has 1HP and is running head-on into a Tentacruel.

    In all Pokemon Quest is a light and breezy adventure that hits a fine stride once it’s simple mechanics come together. It may not prove more than a light distraction while we wait for Pokemon Lets Go and beyond, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

    Check out Pokemon Quest on Google Play and the App Store.


  • Suzy Cube

    Suzy Cube logo

    By Iain Harris

    There are few genres loved more in the games industry than the humble platformer, but it is a passion that seldom translates well to the mobile platform usually due to spotty control schemes.

    NorthernBytes’ Suzy Cube is next up to bat and succeeds not just in the harkening to older platformers but by cracking a steady set of controls in the process.

    BLOCKED UP

    Suzy Cube’s simple premise is standard fare for the genre as thieves have nicked treasure from a castle. At the behest of the King and Queen, titular character and protagonist Suzy steps up to give chase through various platform-filled levels.

    Controls are quite simple but hold up well. The left half of the screen lets you move Suzy as you press down and drag where you want to go while the right side is simply for jumping.

    Gameplay is kept fresh with an array of stylish hats that give you special powers. One grants you an extra life, another lets you double jump and hover while the next lets players smash down onto enemies Mario-style.

    The locale also does its part to keep things fresh but also familiar as you travel through desert and snowy-filled landscapes that’ll no doubt throw up memories of Mario 64. Rest assured they each play their part by throwing up unique challenges, such as puzzles to solve, ice slides to throttle down and drops to nose-dive down.

    A chip of the ol’ block

    The game is certainly not without its faults, camera angles can prove a challenge, and new ground isn’t broken past the games controls scheme.

    Nevertheless, Suzy Cube is by far-and-large among the best platforming experiences on mobile. With a stable set of controls, Suzy Cube is a satisfying romp through 3D platformers past.

    Check out Suzy Cube on Google Play and the App Store.


  • Only When Howling

    Only When Howling logo

    By Iain Harris

    Following Mountain’s light but memorable exploration of love in Florence the question re-emerged of what makes a game.

    Indeed, if games are a form of escapism, that requires a continuous engagement in controls, then interactive stories based on our reality may not fit that bill.

    Kim Savory’s Only When Howling is the latest mobile offering to pose the question, and stands out because of it.

    Screen-turner

    Only When Howling is a short and breezy interactive story that revolves around three characters who adore something society thinks they shouldn’t.

    The first is a bright young girl who is enchanted with her forest laden home. This displeases her parents who think someone with her intelligence should be city-bound for a better life than that on offer.

    Second up is a middle-aged man who finds satisfaction donating time and money to the elderly. He does so at the expense of his own family, much to the ire of his wife.

    Last up is an older woman who is close to completing a writing task that has taken several years. The cost, according to her doctor, may come at her own life as she rejects care by refusing to live with her niece.

    Over the game’s short 30-minute play time you explore artistically rendered visuals that represent their psyche. You do so by swiping from screen to screen then tapping and interacting with objects to move the narrative along.

    The aim of it all is to explore an overarching theme of the cost of committing to something you love.

    Deep thoughts

    With an atmospheric soundtrack to match, Only When Howling manages to be a calming and thought-provoking momentary escape from day-to-day life. The experience is neat and may not hang about for long but is sure to linger after its short run time comes to a close.

    If you fancy something different and don’t mind parting with a few dollars than Only When Howling is waiting on iOS and Android.

    One piece of advice, however, is don’t click off the app like I did. Progress doesn’t save.

    Check out Only When Howling on Google Play and the App Store.


  • Lost Island: Blast Adventure

    Lost Island: Blast Adventure logo

    By Craig Chapple.

    After a small hiatus, Game of the Week is back!

    I’m a huge fan of casual games on mobile - which is lucky for me since we’re living in a new golden age of them.

    I’m a particularly big fan of ‘blast’ games like the titular Toy Blast and Toon Blast from Peak Games.

    So in comes the most unlikeliest of contenders to play with that winning puzzle game formula: Plarium.

    Tackling a new genre

    Best known for its 4X strategy and RPG games like Vikings: War of Clans, Stormfall: Age of War and Throne: Kingdom at War, the studio has now entered the casual space following its $500 million acquisition by Australian casino firm Aristocrat Leisure.

    Blending Toon Blast-like gameplay with Gardenscapes narrative-driven setting and map, plus a few extras, new title Lost Island: Blast Adventure proves to be a winning formula.

    Led by archaeologist Ellie, Lost Island takes you on a journey to uncover the mysteries of the newly acquired island. The story doesn’t get in the way of the puzzles and never outstays its welcome, but rather provides a reason to stay engaged, while offering a nice break between gameplay.

    It’s not completely original, but by blending the best parts of other titles and sprinkling in a few ideas of its own such as a larger game board, it shapes up to be a winning package.

    Taking a step back from the game itself, Lost Island’s launch is significant as it also marks what could be a fresh rush by mobile studios, that may traditionally have tackled other genres, into the casual space.

    Check out Lost Island: Blast Adventure on Google Play and the App Store.


  • Florence

    Florence logo

    Whenever a game like Florence comes around, some wiseguy always decides to say something like "can it really be considered a game?", as though they're the first to think about the definition of games.

    Yes, Florence is a game - a mobile game, specifically, and one what does everything it wants to do through incredibly simple interactions that mean a lot more than they first appear.

    Accompanied by a beautiful, subtle soundtrack and gorgeous hand-drawn graphics, it's a game that's impossible not to love.

    Hold me close

    Florence tells the story of the titular 25-year-old woman and her relationship with a man she meets one day.

    It hits all the key points of the relationship - the first awkward dates, the negotiations around moving in, arguing while buying food and so on.

    But it does it all with incredibly minimal dialogue, instead making your actions part of the story in an incredibly meaningful way.

    Actions with meaning

    The first dates, for instance, feature a speech bubble-shaped jigsaw puzzle, which starts with six pieces but eventually eases up as the relationship progresses and the characters become more comfortable with one another.

    It's stunning through and through, and exactly the kind of thing mobile games, and games in general, needs more of. Yes, it's about 30 minutes long and runs you $3. But it's 30 minutes you're unlike to forget, and will probably never experience anywhere else.

    And yes, it is a game.


  • Dandara

    Dandara logo

    It is a true thing of beauty to load up a game on mobile and within thirty seconds understand everything you need to do and how to do it.

    Dandara, obstensibly an enormous hardcore Metroidvania, somehow manages to do exactly this, with a control scheme built with touchscreens in mind and no fear in leaning hard into its limitations.

    It might be a bit pricey for the traditional mobile audience, but those willing to take the plunge will not be disappointed with their purchase.

    Feeling jumpy

    Dandara has just two inputs - a joystick that you use to point towards a surface and jump to it, and another joystick that aims your gun and fires it.

    You get a helpful arrow telling you where you're going to land when you jump, and the levels are all built to accomdate the fact that you need to fling yourself in a straight line each time - there's no hopping between small gaps adjacent to each other.

    The gun also needs to charge and can't be fired mid-jump, so each movement needs to be carefully considered, else you'll get killed almost instantly.

    It is blissfully simple, and the game bends over backwards to accomodate the controls, swinging the world around as you move and building puzzles around your simple movement to ensure you're kept on your toes.

    We haven't had much time to dig into it, but we'll definitely be returning for more. Just watch out for that price - at $14.99 it's one of the more expensive premium games on mobile, but it's definitely worth a look if you can part with the cash.


  • Hero Hunters

    Hero Hunters logo

    On the surface, Hothead's latest shooter looks a little bland and brown - the kind of military shooter you'd want to steer clear of most of the time.

    Happily, however, it's actually a damn fine shooter with a surprising range of tactics, deeply-integrated RPG elements and simple, responsive controls so that just about anyone can play.

    It's also clearly taken monetisation inspiration from Asia, with an incredibly generous number of drops to get you going, and a tempting VIP bonus for anyone willing to part with real-world cash.

    Annie, get your gun

    Hero Hunters is essentially a gallery shooter with a squad of soldiers, which players can jump between to get different viewpoints of the battleground.

    You sit in one spot and shoot enemies as they run in, but you can also dodge between cover and crouch to avoid damage, and you can always swap to a new character if you're having a rough time elsewhere.

    There's a nice range of heroes available too - if you're a crackshot, pick a sniper, or if you've an itchy trigger finger, you can bust out a machine gun.

    Levels are short and fast-paced, with a huge number of enemies swarming you at any time, but it never feels so chaotic that you lose your way - and it helps that the AI teammates are pretty good too.

    Throw in some early generosity to keep your squad fully-levelled and armed to the teeth, along with a PvP that plays smoothly and similarly quickly, and you've got a very exciting game indeed.


  • Onmyoji

    Onmyoji logo

    Let's be honest, NetEase's Onmyoji is absolutely not a game for everybody, and you'll work that out within 60 seconds of loading it up.

    The onboarding is, frankly, terrible, and when you do finally get into the game itself, it's an incredibly daunting task simply working out what the heck is going on.

    Give it some time, however, and you'll realise why exactly it's been such a hit in Asia, and why NetEase is making so much money off the back of it.

    Tell me a story

    Onmyoji is, on a surface level, a fairly standard team battler - you build up a squad, send them into turn-based battles, level them up, and so on.

    But the level of customisation and stat-boosting is like nothing you've ever seen, which makes it incredibly daunting for newbies and very handy for veterans who want to get their teeth into pages and pages of stats.

    There's also a strange story of demons and evil spirits tying everything together, with full Japanese voice acting to appease any hardcore otaku out there.

    And it has a strange, unique artstyle that, while not technically amazing, still looks gorgeous in its own way.

    It's confusing as hell to begin with, but give Onmyoji ten minutes of your time and it'll all sink into place, and you too will understand why 200 million people have played it before you.


  • Nindash: Skull Valley

    Nindash: Skull Valley logo

    It's been said a thousand times, often by us, but it bears repeating: sometimes, simple really is best.

    Such is the case with the surprisingly excellent Nindash: Skull Valley, from DOFUS developer Ankama, another entry in their hyper-casual series of mobile games that just goes to show it's not a one-trick pony.

    It's simple and elegant in its design, incredibly responsive to your actions, and somehow one of the trickiest puzzlers we've played in a while.

    Move like the wind

    Nindash has a very simple premise - you're a ninja, there's waves of skeleton enemies, it's your job to kill them all before they reach the bottom of the screen.

    Your ninja teleports to wherever you tap on the screen, moving in a straight line and slashing with its sword as it goes, so the trick is to line up enemies and take them all out in one fell swoop.

    You can just rapidly tap on each one, but it just feels so cool to take out ten enemies in one go because you got your angle just right.

    There's other wrinkles thrown in - boss fights, enemies you can't attack, and so on - and the responsive controls mean you can rack up huge chains with the minimum of effort.

    It's brilliant both in its fun factor and its simplicity, and you'd be doing yourself a disservice by ignoring it.


  • Antihero

    Antihero logo

    Digital board games don't usually float our boat here at PocketGamer.biz, but Antihero has bucked that trend.

    Combining a gorgeous aesthetic with impressively deep mechanics, it's a game that anyone looking to develop a board game - digital or not - should be looking at.

    And despite its complexity, it is very encourgaging to new players, holding their hand in the early stages but offering enough leeway to experiment from the very start.

    Skullduggery and stabbery

    Antihero gives you control of Lightfinger, a master thief who has to rob, cheat, and kill to earn enough tokens to win a round and move on to the next board.

    Lightfinger only has a few action points each turn, so you need to recruit new units to assist in your thieving and killing, and upgrade your abilities as you go to make sure you can handle bigger challenges down the line.

    It makes the whole experience incredibly strategic, as you plan a few turns ahead each time, deciding whether to save resources for a big push later on or build up your skills early to try and rush a win.

    The game slowly opens up through the campaign, so you don't get too overwhelmed as you play, and the tutorial has a lot more showing than telling, so you pick up the basics very quickly.

    It's a gorgeous, clever digital board game, and you should absolutely check it out.


  • Gorogoa

    Gorogoa logo

    Annapurna Interactive raised a few eyebrows when it first opened its doors - why would an indie film studio decide to get into the indie games publishing business? And why would it choose to extend into mobile with its releases?

    Whatever its reasons, the publisher has built up an impressive slate of weird and wonderful games, and Gorogoa is no exception.

    It looks like a fairly standard puzzle game in the same vein as Framed, but it very quickly reveals that it's nothing like anything you've played before.

    Goron then

    Developed by one-man band Jason Roberts, Gorogoa plays out across four panels, and has you moving pictures around to progress the worldless story along.

    You're never quite sure what to do, but it's so simple to play that experimentation is both actively encouraged and easy, so you're never stuck for long.

    And it might not make much sense either, but even if you can't follow the narrative, each puzzle you solve makes you feel like the smartest person in the world.

    It's difficult to describe the various ways Gorogoa plays with its own mechanics, and really you should just try it out for yourself. Right now. Go! Go!


  • Game Dev Tycoon

    Game Dev Tycoon logo

    If you ever played Game Dev Tycoon on PC, then you'll already know that it's an incredibly fun, witty, and weirdly tense game.

    If you've never played it and are a mobile die-hard, then rejoice! You can now buy it on iOS, and it's every bit as good as it always was.

    There's a few neat additions to the base game, but it's basically the same core experience perfectly designed for mobile - and yes, it's still a premium game, but we'll let that slide this week.

    Design 'em up

    Game Dev Tycoon, as the name implies, puts you in charge of your own game development studio and tasks you with making yourself rich and famous.

    It's a fairly hands-off approach to development - you choose the topic, genre, platform, and focus of development at different stages - but it still feels like a lot of hard work.

    That's all part of the fun, of course. Every decision can feel life-or-death, and making one duff game can absolutely destroy your company, while one hit can keep you afloat for years.

    It's got a simple core gameplay loop and relatively basic presentation, but it's a true emotional rollercoaster that will soak up hours of your life without you noticing.


  • Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp

    Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp logo

    To be frank, there was no competition this week on Game of the Week. It could only have been Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp.

    Regular readers will note that one of the team at Biz has been waiting for the launch of this game for a very long time, and the especially eagle-eyed will recognise his name on both those articles and this one as the author.

    So with that in mind - why aren't you playing Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp?

    Give me s'mores

    Pocket Camp distills the Animal Crossing core gameplay into a simple, highly-engaging mobile game with plenty to do and an incredibly strong progression system.

    By completing tasks for animals, you can raise your friendship levels, earn new items, earn crafting rewards, and eventually ask them to come visit your own campsite.

    This is fully customisable with the items you create to lure the creatures in, and there's no limits to what you can put in - besides needing to own the items, of course.

    Everything resets once every three hours, and a typical play session can last around 30 minutes, meaning highly-engaged players are going to playing the game for hours each day to maximise their progression and unlock everything.

    Throw in an unobtrusive monetisation system and all the charm of the main series, and you've got a fantastic game both on its own merits and as an entry in the Animal Crossing franchise.


  • Mighty Battles

    Mighty Battles logo

    When you play as many mobile games as we do, you tend to notice a few trends - and in the last year, a lot of these trends have been inspired by Clash Royale.

    The same menu structure, the same crate mechanic, the same cards and levelling up, and sometimes even the same gameplay mechanics.

    And while Hothead's Mighty Battles doesn't stray too far from the tried-and-tested formulas, it brings its own innovations that make it a whole different beast to what we expected.

    Blast off

    There's several key changes gameplay-wise - you take a first-person perspective from a turret and therefore have much more of a role in combat, and energy doesn't recharge throughout the battle.

    Instead, you have to wait until waves of grunts come out, which reward coins when killed that can be spent on units.

    It opens up whole new strategies - do you blow all your coins in one go, or spend some now and save the rest for later? It's a finite resource for a substantial period, making you rethink basically every strategy you may have built up.

    And it's a lot more fun to play too, now that you have control over a whacking great gun and can choose which targets you want to target while the rest of the battle plays out below.

    Monetisation-wise it's nothing new, and the metagame won't be a surprise to anybody, but the core game is so unique and interesting that you can't help but just have one more go.


  • Craft Away!

    Craft Away! logo

    It wasn't long after Futureplay launched its first game, Farm Away!, that we started wondering how else it could implement its "view-to-play" logic in other games.

    Its first response was Build Away!, which was a lot like its predecessor but with extra wrinkles that detracted from the joy and simplicity of the original farming game.

    But in Craft Away!, the developer has found a whole new genre to tackle, and it's even started to move away from its rewarded video ad monetisation focus.

    If you build it...

    Craft Away! avoids building up towns or farms and instead sends you out on an idle adventure, smashing blocks and jelly as you free creatures and earn gold.

    You swipe the blocks to smash them, and once they're all cleared, you move on. Eventually you unlock companions to deal damage for you, though they take a little longer to clear the blocks if you don't help.

    So far, so idle game. What sets it apart is a wealth of upgrades - double damage, extra resources - which can only be accessed if you're willing to watch a short ad.

    Even more interestingly, there's now powerful one-time-use items which can only be restocked if you use gems, the game's premium currency, with no option to watch an ad to earn them.

    It makes the whole experience slightly less casual than previous efforts, and it'll be fascinating to watch how gamers respond. Oh, and it's pretty fun to play too.


  • Sonic Forces: Speed Battle

    Sonic Forces: Speed Battle logo

    Throw away any preconceptions you may have about the Sonic franchise and listen up: Sonic Forces: Speed Battle is a genuinely good game.

    It's a unique twist on the auto-runner genre, with level design evocative of the main Sonic games while still maintaining their own sense of self, and it's a lot of fun to play.

    But on top of that, it takes an established loot box monetisation system and expands on it, making it even fairer and more rewarding than ever before.

    Gotta go first

    Sonic Forces: Speed Battle throws you into four-player online battles, in which you and three others run automatially forward and need to dodge obstacles as you go.

    You'll also need to avoid each other, as there's Mario Kart-style power-ups to pick up which can slow down your opponents or give you a speed bost to get ahead.

    Levels also have multi-tiered designs, rewarding what little exploration is available to you in an auto-runner with speed boosts and coins to help you get ahead, and bringing classic Sonic design to a modern mobile game.

    But it's the loot boxes that make it particularly interesting. You'll get a reward even if you lose, with better rewards unlocked the higher you place, and a Victory Crate if you win (along with a seperate crate for placing 1st).

    It works like Clash Royale with higher-level crates taking longer to open, but with a fantastic twist in that the lowest-level crates can be opened instantly if you watch a video ad.

    Sonic Forces: Speed Battle needs to be on your phone or tablet. Go get it.


  • Paddington Run

    Paddington Run logo

    We don't usually throw in our support for movie tie-ins, but there's something about Gameloft's Paddington Run that's so endearing that we couldn't not love it.

    Perhaps it's the simple gameplay, which provides plenty of opportunity for both casual and hardcore players to make strong progress and prove their skill at the same time.

    Or maybe it's the way it varies its gameplay every thirty seconds, giving you new challenges and experiences in what is ostensibly a basic auto-runner.

    Oh fiddlesticks

    Whatever it is, Paddington Run is most definitely a casual game. Paddington runs forward, and you swipe, jump, and slide around in three different lanes to avoid obstacles and pick up marmalade.

    There's a healthy dose of metagame on top of that, with unlockable and upgradeable clothes, toys, and other items to help you out as you go.

    But what you're really here for is the bright visual style, responsive controls, and satisfying gameplay that rewards tricky moves while still allowing more casual players the ability to move on by playing it safe.

    Throw in bizarre changes of pace like skateboard scenes and clinging on to a rocket midway through a regular stage, and you've got a marvelous, unique, and very fun game that anyone can enjoy.


  • Darts of Fury

    Darts of Fury logo

    We've said it before and we'll no doubt say it again: sometimes, the simplest idea is the best when it comes to a mobile game.

    Look just two entries back and you'll find Football Strike, a game that features precisely two mechanics, and had us enraptured for weeks.

    And this week, Darts of Fury has managed to capture that same spirit using the ancient and noble sport of darts - and a healthy amount of explosions and fireworks.

    One hundred and eighty!

    Darts of Fury is, essentially, a very simple darts game. You get three darts, you throw them at a darts board, your opponent takes their turn, first to a certain score wins.

    What makes this version so enjoyable is the way it eases you into the world of darts - you start off needing to score just 101, and you don't need to score a double or triple to check out.

    You're thrown into real-time multiplayer games with impressive speed, and developer Yakuto has managed to turn darts into an impressive, sci-fi inspired piece of entertainment with robot arms and shining lights to keep your eyes entertained.

    It's not perfect - a lot of the menu UI is heavily confusing, which is a shame given the simplicity of the rest of the game - but it's easily the most fun we've had this week.


  • Homescapes

    Homescapes logo

    Gardenscapes may have slipped by most of us here at PocketGamer.biz, but now that there's no doubt in our minds that Playrix is doing a roaring trade on the quiet, we've been keeping a close eye on the developer.

    So with the launch of Homescapes, it was finally time for us to dig in and find out if the mash-up of match-3 and town-builder and see what all the fuss is about.

    And we can comfortably say now: we get it. It's a genuinely pleasant title, well-presented and fun to play, and has just enough of a difficulty curve to make you want to come back and best it.

    The butler did it

    The story of Homescapes sees Gardenscapes hero Austin return to his family home to find it in disrepair, and decide that he's going to fix it up with the omnipresent player.

    To do so, you need to play through a series of match-3 puzzles, then use stars earned in play to complete tasks around the house, which in turn allow you to customise various bits of furniture.

    It's a charming way to keep the player driving forward beyond the compulsion to complete levels, or beat their friends, as would be the case in similar titles.

    And it keeps monetisation light, allowing you to focus on enjoying the game at your own pace, and only shelling out if you run out of lives.

    It's a charming game that handles smoothly and takes on board all the modern match-3 designs that make the genre so enjoyable, and it's definitely worth checking out - this could be another sleeper hit for Playrix.


  • Football Strike

    Football Strike logo

    The onboarding process in a mobile game is one of the most important parts of the entire experience, and nothing exemplifies that better than Football Strike.

    Miniclip's arcade football game drops you straight into the action - it tells you to swipe to kick a ball, you kick that ball, and then you're off into a full match against another player.

    And from there it's nigh-on impossible to stop playing. It's so simple to jump back into, play for a few short sessions, and feel rewarded whether you actually win or not.

    Back of the net

    There's two main game modes to play - Shooting Race, in which two players fire balls at targets in a goal, and Free Kicks, where two players take turns attacking and defending from a free kick formation.

    Rounds last no more than a couple of minutes, so you can easily pick it up for a quick couple of matches, and the controls are so simple that anyone can play it.

    Monetisation-wise, it takes a few cues from Clash Royale - there's loot bags, levelling up equipment, and other stats that can be boosted.

    But really, you can ignore all this and just hammer balls into the back of a net, which is one of the purest forms of entertainment that has found its way to mobile this year. No exaggeration.


  • The Guides Axiom

    The Guides Axiom logo

    You may notice a certain pattern in our Game of the Week - we like simple titles, often idle games, and usually something that's fairly gentle and easygoing.

    So the fact that we're impressed with hardcore puzzle game The Guides Axiom should give you some indication of how highly we rate it.

    It's teeth-gnashingly tough, minimally-presented, and a superb use of a mobile device to create a truly inventive collection of puzzles to work through.

    Guide me

    There's not much explanation as to what's really going on in The Guides Axiom - you're just thrown in at the deep end and expected to start solving puzzles.

    These take numerous different forms, often with no suggestion of where to start. You poke and prod at various elements on the screen, bring up tools to crack what might be codes, and generally just try and figure out where the heck you're supposed to start.

    But with enough prodding, and a healthy dose of lateral thinking, the answer will come to you, even if it means jumping back a few levels to uncover a clue you missed the first time.

    It's a free game, but the two-man team behind it have thrown in a mix of IAPs - mostly hint packs and future expansions, though you can simply donate some cash if you're feeling generous.

    But even if you don't cough up any money and stick to your wits, it's guaranteed to frustrate and delight in equal measure.


  • Merge Town!

    Merge Town! logo

    Gram Games is known for its ridiculously addictive casual games, but Merge Town! might just take the cake.

    It's a fairly simple concept - all you need to do is merge buildings together to make better buildings, like 2048 with more control.

    But the constant loop of rewards and growth in the game just keeps you coming back for more, and more, and more, until you completely lose yourself to it.

    Come together

    Merge Town! asks you to tap a box at the bottom of the screen enough times for another box, containing a home which is placed on your town grid.

    Get two homes of the same kind and they can be merged into one, bigger house. Get two of those and you can merge them, and so on, and so on.

    These homes generate coins every second, allowing you to buy better houses and save you the trouble of having to tap that pesky box, which in turn lets you level up existing homes faster.

    You also level up as you play, which unlocks additional levels to start over again, and once you get to this point you're already hooked and there's no escape.

    The ads can occasionally be intrusive, but they're predictable enough that you can prepare yourself for them. And by the time you're sitting through multiple ads a playthrough, it doesn't even matter. It has its hold on you. There is no escape.


  • Battlejack

    Battlejack logo

    We've played a lot of games - it's part of the job, after all - so when we see something that actually strikes us as genuinely original, it's going to excite us.

    And Grand Cru's second game, Battlejack, is very exciting indeed, and nothing like anything we've played before.

    It takes a lot of its cues from established games in terms of its monetisation and metagame, but it's the unique and interesting Blackjack-inspired core gameplay that sets it apart from the competition.

    Deal me in

    Battlejack is essentially an RPG - you have a party of characters, each with their own element, and you need to level them up and create the perfect team to defeat enemies and monsters.

    Only instead of attacking directly, you play Blackjack. You need to draw cards from a deck, making sure not to go over 21, which will activate your heroes and allow them to attack the foes ahead.

    It's been done before with match-3 titles, but this feels entirely different. You need to weigh up your options with every attack - do you have enough power now to win, or could you keep drawing cards to ensure victory?

    And the card game element makes every battle super fast and easy to get through, so you'll never find yourself grinding away in battle, and you'll have a side dose of fun as you go.

    It makes you wonder why no one came up with it sooner, but Grand Cru has now cornered the RPG blackjack market, and you should definitely check out what the developer is doing with it.


  • Toon Blast

    Toon Blast logo

    Say what you will about its cutesy graphics and simple gameplay, Peak Games' Toy Blast is a mighty fine game.

    And now the latest edition of the Blast series, Toon Blast, has arrived, and wouldn't you know it, it's also a very fun experience that just about anyone could enjoy.

    Not only is it full of bright colours and a generally relaxed attitude, it also provides some of the hardest puzzles you'll find this year.

    Tap this

    Toon Blast is basically the same set-up as Toy Blast - a large number of colourful blocks fill the screen, and you need to tap on a group of two or more blocks to burst them.

    There's plenty of different objectives on offer to make sure you're being pushed to your block-exploding limit, including breaking boxes, bursting balloons, and making carrots pop out of hats.

    It's all fairly easy-going, until you hit a tricky puzzle and have to plan about five moves in advance to make sure you'll actually complete your objective before you hit your move limit.

    But all in all, it's light, breezy fun for a few minutes than can quickly become an hour, and it's a great distraction from the stresses of modern life.


  • Titanfall: Assault

    Titanfall: Assault logo

    Particle City may have got off to a false start with Titanfall: Frontline, but its come back fighting with its CCG/MOBA Titanfall: Assault.

    It could quite easily have just been yet another Clash Royale knock-off, but instead it takes the basic genre formula and twists it into something much more interesting.

    And most of all, it manages to capture the spirit of the main Titanfall series without attempting to just make a straight port of a game that never would've worked on mobile.

    Take flight

    As is the case in all hybrid CCG/MOBA games, you're given a deck of cards to deploy on in-game lanes, with the objective to either capture and hold points on the map or destroy the enemy base.

    Only this time they're in the Titanfall universe, so you'll have nimble Pilots that can hop over terrain and take routes outside of the main path, and enormous Titans that drop out of the sky, dealing damage as they before duking it out in the field.

    Progression has been revamped too, with experience points tied to how well you do in battle rather than how much you level up your cards, meaning you can keep pushing on and moving up the ranks even when you're low on cash.

    Everything else is pretty standard fare, just done to the highest quality - and frankly, if designers don't take notes on how this game deviates from the norm, it'll be a real shame.


  • Miracle Merchant

    Miracle Merchant logo

    Yes, we really are featuring two premium games in a row on our typically free-to-play focused website. Make of that what you will.

    The fact of the matter is, however, that Miracle Merchant is a genuinely lovely game that challenges your problem-solving and timing abilities in a unique solitaire-esque card game.

    It also features some of the nicest hand-drawn art ever to grace mobile screens, and a incredibly gentle and forgiving nature that makes it remarkably easy to forget how long you've been playing for.

    Make mine a double

    The aim of Miracle Merchant is to combine four cards from four decks of different colours to form a specific potion type for customers in a store.

    It's a little tricky to explain, but in practice it's more about getting high scores, the right mixture of cards, and clever placement of the cards on the table.

    You'd expect this to be met with some kind of hard time limit, but there's none to be found - you can just take your time, consider your options, and make sure you do your best each time.

    It's wonderfully freeing to be able to sit back and weigh up your decisions in a puzzle game, and it gives you ample opportunity to soak in the gorgeous artwork which feels like it's straight out of Adventure Time.

    Miracle Merchant only takes up a few minutes of your time each game, and we would highly recommend freeing up some of your time to check it out.


  • Galaxy of Pen & Paper

    Galaxy of Pen & Paper logo

    It's rare that we talk about premium games on PocketGamer.biz, so when we do write about them, you should probably sit up and take notice.

    That's particularly the case with Galaxy of Pen & Paper, a new entry in the Knights of Pen & Paper series which takes the action to outer space.

    But while it rips the setting out and throws it lightyears away, it retains all the depth, intrigue, and fantastic writing of the series for a truly great game.

    Beam me up, Spotty

    If you didn't already know, Galaxy of Pen & Paper is about three nerd friends playing a tabletop RPG together, through the power of the Internet.

    You can customise your party and your GM before you get started, and then they whisk you away on a silly adventure around the cosmos while your players quip and moan their way through battles.

    The fights themselves are fairly straightfoward in execution, but to truly master the game you need to dig into all the menus and stats thrown at you and consider things like enemy order, backlines, and so on.

    It's all backed up by some wonderful writing, which is never cynical or self-deprecating, and instead uses its world and characters to create fun moments and raise smiles.

    Even if you're into into your RPGs, Galaxy of Pen & Paper is definitely worth checking out. If you don't mind the premium price point, of course.


  • WWE Tap Mania

    WWE Tap Mania logo

    Wrestling is not for everyone. Idle games are not for everyone. Really, when you think about it, a combination of the two seems destined to fail.

    Yet there's something about WWE Tap Mania that makes it enjoyable regardless of how you feel about either pasttime.

    Even if you couldn't give two hoots about Roman Reigns or whoever else is currently big, it's simple and fast-paced clicker action that you can quite easily sink a couple of hours into in one go quite by accident.

    The Big Show

    Gameplay-wise, WWE Tap Mania feels quite close to Seriously's Best Fiends Forever - you have a small team of wrestlers working their way through a series of stages, beating up everyone in your path and levelling up to deal more damage and unlock new skills.

    New fighters can be earned by opening card packs or by defeating them in combat, and you can add permanent stat increases to them through prestige points you earn from starting over.

    There's a surprising amount of depth and customisation overall, such as being given complete control over your own fighter's name and some of their physical attributes, and you can earn new outfits and accessories to throw on them.

    And, thankfully, its in-game economy isn't as completely insane as Sega's last idle game Crazy Taxi Gazillionaire, so you'll actually feel like you're getting something out of your investment into your wrestlers.


  • Snoopy Pop

    Snoopy Pop logo

    Sometimes it's the simpler things in life that bring the greatest amount of joy - its certainly the case of this week's Game of the Week.

    While there's a handful of other big name games out there, all filled with menus or impressive graphics or large-scale battles, Snoopy Pop's clean interface and simple gameplay is the title that has kept us most interested.

    It doesn't bring much new to the genre, but to be honest, it doesn't really need to - it knows what it is, and focuses on doing that to the absolute best of its ability.

    Kick the football, Charlie Brown

    Snoopy Pop uses the Snoopy license primarily for its aesthetic and characters, using bright and colourful colours with hand-drawn art to capture the feel of the world of Snoopy.

    In terms of gameplay, it's fairly straightforward stuff - shoot matching bubbles at the bubbles above to create huge chains and clear the screen, earning points as you go.

    There's some special moves to deploy and helpful boosters you can use on particuarly tricky levels, but for the most part it's just a test of your own trick-shot wizardry.

    And hey, it's nice gentle fun to pass the time with. It plays perfectly, it looks nice, and after a busy week, sometimes that's all you really need from a mobile game.


  • Siege: Titan Wars

    Siege: Titan Wars logo

    At this point in time, if you haven't played Clash Royale or a game which has been rather heavily inspired by it, you've probably not been playing mobile games at all.

    While Supercell's original title is still the cream of the crop, there are plenty of interesting (and sometimes even quite good) games which take the formula and do something a bit different with it.

    Such is the case with Siege: Titan Wars, a game which wears its influences proudly on its sleeve but twists the formula into even grander battles with a dark fantasy theme.

    Kill 'em all

    The main difference here is that units and spells are placed in different decks - there's no need to burn cards in your deck to get your actual army on the battleground.

    And you can summon hundreds of units at once, spamming the arena with low-cost units to create a seemingly unstoppable force of swords and bows.

    It's an impressive sight to behold, and while its core gameplay is still the same as Clash Royale and others, the sheer number of units onscreen somehow makes the experience that bit more exciting.

    It doesn't really do much else different - monetisation is the same, it's PvP only, there's clans - but the sheer scale of it is so mind-blowing that it's almost like playing a whole new game


Comments

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Takeme Fromhere developer part time at kativiti.com
im proud to know the author and i must say hes a brilliant platformed.
i was happy when he help me in my game.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.kativiti.fugitivodasenzala
Jesse Conlon Gamer at Berryio
Such a great game! I love the plot and its character, will definitely play this later after playing blog.secretslots.com. Can't wait!
Teut Weidemann
I lolled: "Battlejack, is very exciting indeed, and nothing like anything we've played before."
Yes, it is a polished experience but everything in this game, nearly everything is copy/paste from other games. Well done indeed, but maybe the staff of Pocketgamer didn't play Puzzle&Dragons, Best Fiends, Summoners War, Clash Royale?
Gaming Unicorn Marketing Director
It's a polished game, and it has a nice core loop, but for fans of the series, Intelligent Systems has done the equivalent of turning chess into checkers. There is no perma-death. If you fail a stage, you can pay to continue - making the product pay-to-win. The small map and limited number of characters you can control in battle make the experience more about the stats of your cards than your strategic skills. Gacha is less consumer friendly and far lower value than the novel solution 3DS provided for Fire Emblem Fates: buying an Amiibo of a legendary character (like Marth), which you can scan in, battle, and add to your team. FE Heroes also requires an internet connection, which makes it vulnerable to sunsetting. It's a real Fire Emblem game, but it's also a series low point - the "Superman IV" or "Phantom Menace" of the series.
Rejane Balisi
This game is really cool , i love the characters.Never before i play mobile game again then i discover this WWE Champions and Arcadia Phantasm https://t.co/ObjJQmkjj9 .

Mathieu Castelli C4M Productions
I find the squad controls clumsy.
I also find the battle end zoom on 'vibrating' troops around the giant not on par with the production value, strange to zoom on a defect probably due to pathfinding/positioning.
Mathieu Castelli C4M Productions
This comment was for Dawn of Titans.
This thread is attached to changing games which is a bit weird...
Greg Quinn CEO/Lead Developer at Meltdown Interactive Media
Yeah, it is a bit weird.
Gaming Unicorn Marketing Director
When CSR2 hit the market, it looked like Natural Motion might become part of a new wave of developers embracing transparency in pricing. The game's base currencies were not offset from real dollar value: 300 gold coins cost $3.00, 500 gold coins cost $5.00, and gacha could be skipped entirely in favor of directly purchasing cars. Better still, currency pack prices did not exceed $9.99. This was an evolutionary step forward, which left me excited to see how they managed pricing on their next game, Dawn of Titans. Well, it's out, and it's a massive step backwards. Offset currency is all they offer, and that indefensible $99.99 IAP bundle has reared its ugly head, too. It's sad, because I know this one has been in development for a long time... but the monetization model leaves me unwilling to even give it a download.
TitanBrawl
Thank you all for your comments!
Here's the team behing Titan Brawl:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LiPBArp1Aa8
Jak Marshall Games Analyst
This game is gorgeous to play, no doubt about that.

Being able to play this game and maintain a sense of progression from session to session as you complete the checkpoints is somewhat tempting. I'll be keen to see quite how many casual consumers agree with that notion. We're in uncertain territory. I've never seen a game charge the player to have a save file!
Min Zhang
This game has really high production values.
The gameplay is a pretty innovative take on card battling.
The energy and monetization has some weird asian influenced stuff going on though. It will be interesting to see if the game can be successful long term.
Jennifer Bradshaw Data Analyst at DHXMedia
Thank you VERY much for having the option to toggle a one-page view instead of a slideshow! Those annoy me to no end.