Once in a blue moon we need to take a break from AAA games with epic stories and graphics and play a little something more humble. Or maybe we don’t have enough time to boot up our consoles or whip out our gaming PC. Maybe we’re waiting on a bus to come by, or someone to meet us for lunch. We need a little something to keep ourselves occupied or just kill a bit of time. That’s where mobile games have flourished within the past few years.
I know that mobile games come in all shapes and sizes for both Android and iOS, but I’m going to take a moment to appreciate the iPhone games I’m playing right now. Keep in mind, this isn’t a Fanatical Five with the best iPhone games of all time, these are the top five keeping me busy at the moment. So without further ado, lets get this list started.
And for all you readers in a rush, or if you’re itching to get back to your mobile game, skip down to the bottom and watch Lance break the list down in a Fanatical Five video.
5. Dead Trigger
Dead Trigger is a really good looking FPS on mobile. I’ve played it on both Android and iOS and it’s still one of my favorite shooters on mobile. I’ve already mentioned the graphics, but Dead Trigger is also free. Although free also means in game transactions, you don’t need them to actually buy anything to advance. The UI is also really easy to read and use, especially for an FPS on mobile.
I don’t know how MadFinger did it, but the FPS controls feel pretty good on a touch screen, and they also keep the screen clutter free. That must have been a great challenge, but they pulled it off. The levels get a bit repetitive with the same handful of tasks from one environment to the other, like picking up supplies, defending entry points, and traveling from one safe zone to the other, but shooting hordes of zombies is still pretty satisfying regardless of where it is. One of the major downsides to this game is that unlocking guns is ridiculously hard, and once I unlocked one or two i didn’t even really feel a sense of satisfaction. It was more of like a frustrated, “I should have been able to unlock that gun WEEKS ago,” feeling.The only thing keeping this game from being truly awesome is the lack of Co-Op which is sort of a staple in zombie games. I’m hoping that Co-Op is something that is addressed with the release of Dead Trigger 2.
4. Sonic Dash
Sonic Dash is an endless runner akin to Temple Run or One Epic Knight. It has an assortment of power ups and it’s really fast paced, as any Sonic game should be. Unlockables and upgrades are challenging to unlock, but aren’t near impossible to unlock and upgrade like most other free-to-play games are. Sonic Dash has some in game purchases, but most are easily attainable with a bit of time and some good runs. There are a few cosmetic unlocks like Knuckles, Tails, and Amy that are the harder things to get, but they don’t bring any new moves or powers to the table. The ability to keep your high score going with a revive is a very welcome addition, but also gets costly really quickly. Its supposed to be a quick in quick out sort of game, but I find myself playing it in binges of 15 or 20 minutes sometimes and I pull it up on my iPhone every single day.
3. Cut the Rope
Cut the Rope starts off with a very simple to grasp puzzle mechanic, but gets very diverse and difficult from box to box. Boxes are different themed sets of levels that introduce a new mechanic that completely changes the game.
The different boxes introduce magic hats, steam, bees, and even gravity at some point (Like the screenshot pictured on the left).
The level design and puzzle mechanics are done really well and somehow manage to stay fresh from box to box while keeping familiar obstacles that need to be overcome with the new puzzle mechanics. The variety in game mechanics kept me coming back for more when I initially bought the game, and the innovative controls still keep me coming back to this day in an effort to beat my own high scores.
The sounds and animations are fun to look at and listen to as well, and it’s still satisfying to see Om Nom chomping away at a candy you just fed him every single time.
2. Real Racing 3
Real Racing 3 is one of the best looking games on iOS I have ever seen. Not only that, but the controls are great, and the game has an array of different control types to choose from. For those not used to racing games on mobile, there are some handicaps that’ll help them like steering and brake assist.
Real Racing 3 features something that I have always wanted and felt is a must for any racing title, the need to keep your car tuned up and fixed. At the end of every race a screen will pop up showing any damage your car sustained as well what the engine and oil conditions are among other things. If you want to keep your car at top speed, you’re going to have to fix ‘er up and keep your cars in top condition. Real Racing 3 also has time shifted multiplayer allowing players to race against their friends even when they’re not playing at the same time. It’s basically like racing against a ghost in Mario Kart, but against real people, and more than one if you have multiple friends playing Real Racing 3. Beating friends in a drag race or an endurance run is super satisfying, especially since you know they’re going to get a notification when you demolish their race time if they have notifications on, and the bonus score also helps. If you’re curious about Real Racing 3, pick it up for your phone or tablet, it’s free after all.
1. Kingdom Rush
Simply put, Kingdom Rush is one of my favorite iOS games ever. The amount of upgrading is ridiculous from one tower type to the next, especially for a mobile game. Kingdom Rush is a very easy to learn RTS game, but even though its an easy game to pick up, (even for people who aren’t used to RTS games) it is difficult to master, especially towards the last half of the game.
The levels get ridiculously hard and as one might imagine, a lot of strategy has to go into placement of militia, archers, artillery, and mages. Not only that, but like in any good RTS game, players have to decide what to upgrade, when to upgrade, and if towers need to be sold. Once upgraded to the third tier, every tower has the option to split in between one final upgrade or another. For example, once the mage tower reaches the last two upgrading options, players have the option to upgrade mages to armor weakening abilities that are a bit faster, or a mage with slower but stronger attacks. On top of that, every final level has abilities that can be unlocked like instantly killing or teleporting enemies, or turning them into sheep. Bottom line, Kingdom Rush has a good balance between complexity and skill, and is easy to pick up, but still difficult enough that there’s a great challenge from level to level.
It just so happens that all of the games listed above are also available for Android, so go on ahead and download them regardless of what platform you’re on.
Do you have any titles that you’re playing on mobile right now that you feel we should know about? Go on and let us know what they are and maybe they’ll be featured in an Oh Snap! or another Fanatical Five in the future.