Last month I did a concise roundup of ten mobile games from January 2016 and this month I have done the same with ten games from this month. Below are links to each of the games on the iTunes App Store along with a brief description, and a single recommended game at the very bottom.
Note: Most of the games below are free to play, which means it’s easy to try them out. If you find one you like, it’s worth paying $0.99 to turn off ads, because they can often become very distracting.
If you’re looking for more recommendations, check out my roundup of 80+ mobile games for the year of 2015.
- Infinite Skater: A “psychedelic adventure of spiritual awakening and magical skateboarding”. Essentially a beautiful derivative of the infinite runner genre popularized by Temple Run and later Subway Surfers.
- Ultimate Briefcase: Doomsday machines are bombing cities and you protect yourself by dodging them, holding the “Ultimate Briefcase” above your head. The contents of the briefcase and identity of the machines are revealed only after surviving the onslaught. The art and gameplay style feel very SNES era Mario-like to me.
- Splash Cars: A top-down 3D driving game where you avoid obstacles and splash color across colorless road scenes like streets and parking lots. Similar to Does Not Commute but not as compelling, despite the splash mechanic being novel.
- Tomb of the Mask: Retro arcade game which takes place in a procedurally generated vertical tomb. Swipe to travel around obstacles to avoid being crushed by the incoming mysterious force. Collect masks to earn different abilities. Similar to Downwell (one of my favorite games from 2015) but the free to play model introduces some undesirable elements here which were not present in Downwell.
- Faily Brakes: “While driving down a mountain, car enthusiast Phil Faily suddenly experiences a complete brake failure”. Navigate the car around trees and other obstacles to escape death. The car with faily breaks is a convertible and when striking a tree, Phil’s body flies out like a rag doll and rolls down the hill to hilarious effect.
- Fly O’Clock: An action game where you, a fly, are perched atop a large clock face. You jump over the minute and hour hands which sweep across the clock face, getting faster and faster. Simple gameplay mechanic and good presentation but gets difficult quickly, in a similar vein as Flappy Bird.
- HoPiKo: A speed-running platformer game where you free retro game consoles like the NES from a virus outbreak called Nanobyte. Swipe to travel between platforms and avoid obstacles. Intense chip tune soundtrack.
- Epic Flail: “Once every year the best flail fighters from around the globe gather on Mr Tans secluded tropical island. They will do battle until one true flail master is victorious.” Brilliant title, catchy premise, and good execution. This game is a lot of fun. Offers 2-player mode which can be played on a single device.
- Futurama: Game of Drones: Match-4 puzzle game created around the Futurama television show. Charmingly well-written but held back by the unimaginative gameplay which draws heavily from popular match-3 games like Candy Crush.
- The Mesh: A beautiful numbers game revolving around minimal 3D models of animals and hexagonal patterns. Heavily featured by Apple for good reason. Not a new game in February 2016, but one that is new to me as it was recently on offer for free on the App Store.
HoPiKo is my favorite new game I played this month which is, as of the date this was published, still the free app of the week on the App Store. The trend that I notice is that for-pay games tend to be the ones that I stick with for a long time because they tend to the upsell initiative and just focus on stellar gameplay.
HoPiKo is difficult but is well-polished. The gameplay is fresh and satisfying and charmingly references retro games not only in its presentation but in its narrative. This type of gaming have a narrative at all is conventional but it manages to pull it off.