Mobile games don't have a great reputation, but if you know where to look you can find some real gems. Here are 5 titles that are worth checking out.
5 Mobile Games That Are Actually Worth Playing
There are a lot of games on the mobile market and most of them, to be blunt, aren’t very good. With so many games on offer, there must be at least a few gems, but who has the time to sift through hundreds of Flappy Bird clones to find them? If only there was a convenient way to find which mobile games were worth your time. Some kind of list, perhaps, containing five games that any gamer could enjoy. Well take heart, traveler, because I’ve done the hard work and searching for you. Without further ado, here are five mobile games that are actually worth playing.
1: Tank Riders
Everyone likes tanks, and everyone likes twin-stick shooters, so put the two together and you’re sure to be in for a good time. Tank Riders is a pretty straightforward game, tasking you with the classic video game objective of shooting your way through a bunch of enemies to reach the end of the level. You’ll need to dodge quickly and shoot accurately if you want to make your way to the end of the campaign, but the game generously gives you the choice of several different control schemes to do it with. There’s the traditional virtual joystick arrangement seen in many mobile games, but if you find it awkward to aim that way, you can also simply tap a target to fire at it. The truly hardcore, meanwhile, can plug in a controller and play Tank Riders just as they would its console equivalents.
Tank Riders only flaw is its simplicity. There are a few different mission types, a couple of weapon upgrades, and only a handful of enemy types, so if you aren’t totally on board with the concept of driving a tank and dodging other tanks, it might get old fast. It’s also fairly easy, though careless players will definitely take a few knocks on the later levels. Still the bright, colourful graphics and laid back soundtrack make this a surprisingly relaxing game, and a great way to cool down after an intense session of Call of Duty.
2: Great Little War Game
Gamers with fond memories of Advance Wars will probably enjoy Great Little War Game, a whimsical turn based strategy game clearly inspired by the classic series. GLWG puts you in command of an army of infantry, tanks, ships, and planes, and sends you out to face drastically superior enemy forces with nothing but your wits to save you. As in most video games, war looks an awful lot like a huge game of rock-paper-scissors, with each unit being strong against certain enemies and weak against others. The sniper, for example, can mow down infantry with ease but is almost useless against vehicles, while the tank is a good choice against other vehicles but takes a long, long time to kill even the weakest infantry. Some units, such as the grenadier, are generalists, but these are too expensive to build in large numbers. Analyzing the enemy army and planning ahead are vital.
There are a few different mission types on offer in GLWG, but the most common is a straightforward battle to capture the enemy’s HQ. You’ll need to rely on unarmed engineer units to seize buildings and resources along the way, and keeping these guys alive can be tough. Fortunately, the enemy AI isn’t very bright, though it does compensate for it’s lack of tactical acumen with overwhelming numbers, so don’t expect a cakewalk. You’ll need to put in some real thought to beat the later campaign missions, and when your done with the campaign you can challenge your friends to local multiplayer battles to really test your skills. Between the campaign, the multiplayer, and the free-play skirmish mode, there’s a lot of content on offer, and gamers on the hunt for a simple but challenging strategy game should find plenty to occupy their time in Great Little War Game.
3: Symphony of the Origin
Kemco have carved a unique niche for themselves in the mobile market as producers of old-school JRPGs. Really any one of their games could have been used in this list, but Symphony of the Origin is as good an example as any. It plays almost exactly like an early Final Fantasy game, with the brave heroes and vicious monsters lining up on opposite sides of the screen to take turns smacking each other until one side falls to 0 HP. There are a few twists on the standard formula, most notably the lack of magic points (powerful attacks and magic spells instead cause your next turn to be delayed) but anyone who has played an RPG before should feel at home here.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a JRPG without an overwrought anime story-line, and Symphony doesn’t disappoint. An army of Demonic creatures known as the Evils of the Earth-Depths are invading the land of Granzalk. All hope seems lost until a young soldier named Ryle stumbles upon a powerful Golem capable of defeating the Evils. Together, Ryle and the Golem must travel the land, gathering allies and uncovering the enemies true goals, while encountering the standard array of plot twists, dungeons, anime cliches, and everything else you would expect. It’s genuinely impressive how much Symphony manages to cram into it’s relatively short length: there are tons of characters, a whole world to explore, enough shocking revelations and betrayals for a Metal Gear Solid game, and even an airship to ride. It all adds up to a nostalgically enjoyable game, so if you’re convinced that video games peaked with Final Fantasy VI, Symphony of the Origin might be the game for you.
4: Implosion: Never Lose Hope
The dream of a full scale AAA game experience on mobile may never quite materialise, but Implosion: Never Lose Hope is probably the closest we’ve come yet. A beat-em-up action game in the style of Devil May Cry or Bayonetta, Implosion takes you on a trip to the far future, when the Earth has been overrun by hideous mutant zombies known as XADA. Fortunately you have just the thing to take care of the zombie hordes: an advanced mech suit known as the Avalon, equipped with a sword, several guns, and the all-important dodge roll. Impressive as your arsenal is though, wildly hacking and blasting away at everything you see won’t get you very far. Implosion is all about timing: strike with the sword, and you’ll have a brief window of opportunity to deliver another strike with even more power. Repeat the process a few times and you’ll wipe out the enemy with a devastating combo attack. Dodging also requires precision, as the dodge roll can only be used a few times before needing to recharge. Misjudge the situation, and you might just end up surrounded by zombies, unable to dodge, and in a world of hurt.
While the XADA beat you to a pulp, you might take a moment to appreciate their varied, if not particularly creative, designs. Zombie robots, zombie gorillas, zombie dinosaur things, and of course giant zombie bosses all stand between you and completion of the campaign. Your own robot is no slouch in the looks department either, with lots of futuristic paneling and glowing bits. Sadly, the limitations of the hardware prevent the game’s graphics from rising much above “particularly good looking PS2 game”, but this is still a great choice for anyone looking for a console-style experience on mobile.
5: Terra Battle
This is a strange one. Developed by Mistwalker, Terra Battle is a mix between a strategy RPG and a puzzle game. Battles take place on a grid, on which your characters and the enemy team are represented by tiles. The aim of the game is to surround the enemy tiles with your own, thus allowing your characters to attack. From this simple premise, a surprisingly deep game emerges. You’ll have to manage combo-attacks, special abilities, equipment, power-ups, and more to survive battles that quickly become extremely challenging. Characters have different stats and abilities, as well as advantages and disadvantages against different types of enemies, so there’s an endless array of different ways to set up your party. You’ll have plenty of time to explore it all too, as the game has a lengthy campaign.
Terra Battle is also one of the best looking games you’ll find on mobile, despite being composed entirely of static images. Each character has a full body anime-style character portrait, and they all look detailed, creative, and visually striking. The visuals are complimented by some great music, with a mix of intense battle music and more relaxed menu and map themes. Like the art, this has a distinct Final Fantasy feel, which should be no surprise given that much of it was composed by Final Fantasy veteran Nobuo Uematsu. The combination of great aesthetics with deep but accessible game-play makes Terra Battle worth a look for almost anyone, whether they just want something to play on the bus or are looking for a game they can really sink some time into.
So there you have it, 5 games that are worth checking out on your mobile devices. It’s not a definitive list, as everyone has their favourite genres and titles, so what mobile games are your perfect time killers? Are there any you would add to our list? Let us know by leaving a comment below!