Though claims that mobile games would irreparably erode away the traditional games market were perhaps premature, there’s no doubt that many people are playing games on their mobile devices. With devices like Sony’s Xperia Z3, you could even be playing your PlayStation 4 games remotely – but sometimes when that’s not feasible, you’ll want to play games made for your phone. Here are five of my current favourites.
I’ve recently moved over from Apple to the Android side of the fence – but I find I’ve been playing the exact same games. Gone are the days, it seems, where Android’s fragmentation meant games took forever to be ported. Here’re the game’s I’ve been playing – and just about everyone one of them is on iOS too.
Yes, I’m still playing Asher Vollmer and the rest of Sirvo’s excellent number matching, sliding tile puzzle game. There’s something mesmerising, addictive and delightfully charming about Threes! that clones and other similar games like 2048 just haven’t managed to capture. It’s minimalist, accessible, and required genuine genius to develop because of that. There are certainly worse ways to spend 20 Rand.
XCOM: Enemy Within
Sometimes though, you want a fully-fledged gaming experience, which is especially handy for those times where you’re sitting away from home for extended periods and don’t have a dedicated games system lying about. I’ve recently taken to playing XCOM: Enemy Within on my phone. The Standalone expansion to Firaxis’ incredible XCOM: Enemy Unknown works surprisingly well on on a little screen, bringing the new weapons, enemies and soldier abilities to your pocket. For less than R150 on The Google Play Store, it’s worth every cent.
Monument Valley is a work of art. With intricate and delightfully delicately crafted levels that take MC Escher’s impossible architecture and add an extra dimension. Reminiscent of Echochrome, it’s a strange world where everything can be turned around and inside out. That archway? Actually stairs, those inaccessible paths? Stepping stones once you’ve turned them around. Though its puzzles aren’t too challenging, and it’s far too short, Monument Valley is beautiful. It’s R44 on the Play Store.
One of the seemingly few kickstarters that’s born fruit, Harebrained Schemes’ Shadowrun Returns is now on Android, and it’s fantastic. It’s a cyberpunk fantasy future RPG, filled with cyborg elves, trolls, orks and dwarves, where magic and high fantasy meet technology. You’ll play this hours-long, turn-based RPG as Shadowrunner: highly-skilled freelance operatives who specialize in black ops for the world’s many governments. Stupidly cheap, it’s just 32 bucks.
Game Dev Story
One of my very first smartphone mobile game addictions, Kairosoft’s Game Dev Story is a simplistic little simulation strategy, giving you a (very simplistic ) view of what it might be like to be a great big game developer and publisher. Hire staff! Release your game! Watch as nobody gives a damn! Milk your franchises for all they’re worth as public sentiment turns against you! Addiction can be yours for just R25.
Those are the games I’ve been playing on my mobile when Eskom decides we’re not worthy of power, or when I’m out shoe shopping with the wife – and they’re the games you could be playing if you’re the winner of the Xperia Z3 and PlayStation 4 we’re giving away to one lucky winner tomorrow.
Last Updated: December 9, 2014