Home   >   Features

New release roundup: Our weekly pick of the best new mobile games from pixel pandas to Roman adventures

We highlight five new games that have broken cover and are all set to do big business
New release roundup: Our weekly pick of the best new mobile games from pixel pandas to Roman adventures
  • Breakthrough new games that set the pace and show what's possible on mobile
  • We highlight the developers and publishers behind them, and why, exactly, these great new games have made the cut.

In the .biz realm, we often find ourselves wrapped up in the investments, deals and stats of the gaming world (and rightly so), but it’s also important to highlight the games themselves - the fruits of the labour that can only appear after years of research, funding and, of course, development.

Here are the most exciting mobile games of this past week, the developers and publishers behind them, and why, exactly, they've made the cut.

Tyrant's Blessing

The perils of Tyberia have finally come to iOS seven months after Nintendo Switch, and while the wait may have been longer, the price of entry into this pixelart world is significantly cheaper on mobile for the same tactical RPG experience.

In Tyrant’s Blessings, decisions matter. Players must make crucial choices and strategise effectively, using their resources in the best way possible to survive against the Undying hordes. Do you take risks for rewards - or hide in the bushes for your own safety? The 20 playable heroes each have unique skills giving them advantages and disadvantages depending on the situation, meaning they may not all make it to the end…

Tyrant’s Blessing is the debut title from London-based developer Mercury Games Studio, which had the unique idea of combining heroes, dragons and pixel pandas all into one game. Publisher Freedom Games, meanwhile, has been building up a catalogue of iOS exclusives on mobile, Mars Base and Funtasia among them.

The Wreck

French developer The Pixel Hunt is no stranger to narrative-driven games, with hits like Bury Me, My Love, The Kingdom of Istyald, and Inua, a Story in Ice and Time already under its belt. The latest is point-and-click adventure The Wreck, a 3D visual novel already receiving critical acclaim.

Via its time travel twist, players can experience the past, present and future in The Wreck, with said temporal travel made available by unlocking key dialogue options. There are a total of 10 memories to explore with room to change the past for a better future. There’s even an English dub for those who don’t speak French. (Merci!)

As is the case with many indie games today, The Wreck is available cross-platform on iOS, Android and Nintendo Switch. Unlike the Switch, this game is free to play on mobile, instead monetised through in-app purchases.

Heroes vs. Evil: Gacha Defense

Entertainment company of Baby Shark Run Away fame Macovill has launched its latest game - a merge of auto battler and tower defence genres titled Heroes vs. Evil: Gacha Defense. Also resembling an idle game, Heroes vs. Evil is quite the oddity, with characters to level and equip in traditional RPG fashion who go on to fight by themselves. The game shares a resemblance with auto chess in this way.

And while gacha is in this game’s very name, it’s far from its primary genre. Currently, the only gacha-esque element is in the randomised nature of who will be summoned to fight on each map; one of three characters will show up when enough in-game currency is collected, forcing players to adapt depending on who appears.

So, Heroes vs. Evil: Gacha Defense is a sort-of gacha game, but many other genres too. It’s free-to-play with in-app purchases, marks Macovill’s fourth mobile game, and continues the company’s mixed media strategy to bring animation, games, comics and character IPs under one roof.

Underground Blossom

With puzzle games proving an ever popular genre, it comes as little surprise that this week’s list comes with another entry. Rusty Lake’s Underground Blossom changes things up though, combining puzzle gameplay with a point-and-click adventure.

A free demo launched back in the summer, but now the full game has released as a roughly two-hour experience. Similar to The Wreck, players can explore the memories of Underground Blossom’s protagonist to piece together her past, with different timelines to unlock across seven metro stations.

When it comes to point-and-click games, few are more experienced than Rusty Lake. Underground Blossom marks the dev’s 17th, taking pointers (and clickers?) from previous mobile releases Cube Escape, Rusty Lake Paradise and many others. Upfront download fees seem to be making a comeback this year with this game being another one, but it is a full experience beyond that barrier and priced the same as Rusty Lake’s acclaimed multiplat title The Past Within.

Romans: Age of Caesar

The final entry in this week’s phalanx of phone games is Romans: Age of Caesar from FireFly Studios. An MMORTS game, Age of Caeser is in essence a co-op city builder, with 16 players sharing an isometric city where they must forge alliances, defend against invaders and rebuild Rome. Sharing one city with other players is this game’s real standout niche, but there’s also politics to play, with gamers aiming to become Caeser themselves while supporting - or betraying - their allies.

FireFly Studios launched an alpha of Age of Caeser early this year and the game has been out on PC for a while, but now the game has finally come to Apple’s App Store and the Google Play Store.

The strategy category is currently among the top five when it comes to genres generating the most mobile revenue, generally reliant on a small playerbase that’s more than willing to spend. Proclaimed spiritual successor to the beloved Stronghold series - also developed by FireFly - Age of Caeser is bound to bring out such an audience in legions.

If five games aren't quite enough to sate your mobile appetite, be sure to check out last week's list too...