Last month I did a massive round-up of 80+ mobile games that I test over the course of the year in 2015. For the entirety of the year, I had all of those (plus many more) on my iPhone at the same time. Instead, I will post those which I’m checking out every month here, and only keep the best one or two.

Nom Cat on iPhoneNote: all of the links below are to iOS apps the iTunes App Store

  1. Lifeline: Communicate with a stranded astronaut in space through text messages. One of the most talked-about games on the Apple Watch. Innovative narrative style.
  2. Pocket Mortys: A new spin on the Pokemon-collection formula innovated by Nintendo in the 1990’s on Gameboy. Set in the Rick & Morty animated television series world. Very funny but includes maybe one week of content, at most, for now.
  3. Blocky Football: An endless arcade runner set on a football field, just in time for the Super Bowl, which is in one week. Fun for a few minutes, worth paying $1 to remove ads if you’ll be playing longer than that.
  4. Surfingers: Raise and lower the water level to keep your surfer afloat. I lost interest quickly.
  5. Virtual Beggar: Tap on the the screen to make pedestrians on a busy street leave change for you. Change accumulates behind your virtual beggar into a cartoonishly-large pile of coins which you use to rent office space, hire people, and become a more wealthy and successful beggar. A funny adaption of the current trend of adding metagame to the “click as fast as you can” casual mobile game formula which has become common.
  6. Dice Mage: a retro pixel art rogue RPG where combat interactions are resolved through dice rolls, similar to Risk. Features perma-death (no game saves) which is the right choice for this format. Fun for 5-10 minute sessions.
  7. Nom Cat: Two cats appear on the screen, tap on each one as fish fly through the air to catch to catch them in your mouth. Don’t eat the bombs that are thrown your way. Charming presentation and cats.
  8. Baum: an atmospheric plant-growing game where you guide a droplet of water past obstacles to a flower in a variety of stages. Costs a few dollars but I did not stick with it for more than a few minutes.
  9. Path of War: Recapture Washington D.C. from renegades and rebuild the new America in this strategy game of territorial control. Bears a strong resemblance to Invasion: Modern Empire. A complex, hardcore mobile strategy game which demands significant investment in time.
  10. Clash Royale: Collect, arrange and use cards to overwhelm your opponent in a real-time casual strategy game. This is the latest Supercell game, and a hybrid of three of the most popular games right now: Hearthstone, League of Legends, and Clash of Clans. Only available in select countries for now (create an iTunes account in Canada to download this game). A fun game which will likely have a huge impact on the mobile gaming industry in 2016. For casual players it is worth waiting until the game sees a global launch and is available in your region.

Recommended: Lifeline

LifelineLifeline is the app to check out this month. It was free on the App Store when I downloaded it a few weeks ago, but it is worth buying for a few dollars. There are several more recent iterations but I have been playing the original, and it is old school, innovative and refreshing at the same time. I do not want to spoil it by saying too much more, but it is like a 21st century interpretation of the Choose Your Own Adventure book series of the 1980’s.