It’s that time again. By “that,” we mean a list of new mobile games, and by “time,” obviously Thursday when the full scope of what’s upon us for a new week is apparent.
While there’s always new stuff on the app stores on a regular basis, which is one of the awesome parts of this industry, some weeks look better than others on paper, and this is one of them. Side note: will future generations even understand the phrase “on paper” and what it means? We submit that they might not.
Anyway, enough babbling. Let’s get right to the (hopefully) good stuff, beginning with a game we never, ever expected would actually be a thing.
Pokemon: Magikarp Jump
There are a lot of Pokemon out there at this point, and Magikarp is among the last ones you’d ever expect to be the star of its own video game. But that’s kind of what makes Magikarp Jump so ridiculously ingenious. By all accounts, this game leans into the fact that the floppy fish is pretty worthless, which is really the only logical choice to make. And no worries, other Pokemon do show up as well, even if only to help train Magikarp to be the best he can be at what he does. Which is jump. That’s it.
There are few things we like more than mobile versions of acclaimed PC titles, and this is one of those. Prison Architect challenges you to become very good at something you never thought you’d determine, which is your skill at running a prison. Go for profit or societal benefit, show compassion for the prisoners or view it as strictly business. It’s a top notch sim, and the interface for mobile is excellent. Note that it’s only free to get a taste of the story mode and free-building mode and you have to pay to unlock everything, but it’s fairly inexpensive to do so compared to its computer counterpart.
Or maybe it’s unexpected delights that we really like more than anything ’round these parts. Space Ape is known for its build and battle proficiency, but Fastlane is something completely different: a 21st century Spy Hunter you can play with just one finger. Tons of cool upgrades and the ability to listen to Apple Music while you play are intriguing features, and the developers figured out a way to work in a bunch of YouTube personalities without making them feel gratuitous. Not the game we expected but the game we deserve, or something like that.
It’s hard to find room in our hearts for any more match-3 games, so maybe through our stomachs is the way to go. Cookie Jam was actually a good representative of its genre, so we’ve got time for this follow-up, which promises new game modes, hundreds of new puzzles and a host of social features. Also there’s an airship, possibly piloted by desserts, and there’s nothing to dislike about that sentence.
Everyone needs a good action RPG in their lives at all times. Pretty sure that’s like a rule or something. Is Iron Blade a good one? It certainly looks like it might be, with Gameloft giving it some very impressive visuals and a setting that looks like a mash-up of actual medieval history and fantasy. Use magical powers and good old, reliable steel to defeat what’s certain to be hordes of enemies while also enjoying some PvP resource-raiding goodness as well.
No, you’re not imagining things. This really is that Burger Time from the Cretaceous Period of video game history, but done up all nice and pretty-like for today’s mobile devices. Help Peter Pepper build frighteningly large burgers that could crush people to death (and actually do crush his enemies) while evading the likes of Mr. Hot Dog, Mr. Egg and Mr. Pickle. Do you think Mr. Hot Dog was just jealous that there was never a game called Hot Dog Time? That’s got to be on the table, right?
Huge cluster of townhouses or massive space shooter? You decide. Another game that grabbed us just based on its graphics alone, Subdivision Infinity promises more than 40 missions, numerous side quests and more. It’s got MFi and Apple TV support if you’d rather do your sci-fi gaming with a controller in hand too. Android owners, you’ll get to play this one eventually too, just not quite yet.
Oh wow, this week is just turning into a Julie Andrews-esque list of our favorite things, so a mobile version of a popular physical game needs to be on it as well. Jaipur raises its hand and says, “That’s me, thanks very much.” As a trader in the titular city, your job is to convince the Maharajah that you’re better at turning a profit than the opposition. Doing so means mastering a card game with a bunch of different elements, yet one that moves quickly. The mobile version features solo play with three difficulty settings, local pass and play, cross-platform online matches and perhaps most importantly, an extensive tutorial if you’re new to the game.
Honest to goodness mobile versions of console sports games are few and far between these days, as most developers seem content to figure out a way to bring sports to phones and tablets in scaled down form. Not Konami, who went all-in with PES 2017. Is it exactly the same game you’ve played on your PS4 or Xbox One? No. but it’s enough of it to be impressed. And just in time too, since PES 2018 was recently announced for consoles. Soccer never sleeps, apparently.
Usually, when people slap “Live” in a title, it refers to something you knew was live anyway. Not so with Family Feud Live, because the classic game show is/was recorded ahead of time, and previous games making use of the name didn’t let you go heads up with other players in real time. This one does, complete with chat so you can razz your opponent for giving answer you knew darn well wasn’t going to get the job done. And really, isn’t that what Family Feud is all about, that feeling of smug superiority to a fellow human being? No? Okay, maybe that’s just us.
Sequels to games we already enjoyed are also among our favorite things, so let’s end this week with one of those. If you’re one of the people who got the most pleasure in GTA games by getting five stars worth of law enforcement attention on you and then seeing how long you could evade pursuit, this should be right up your alley. Escape the law in any number of vehicles and enjoy what the developers call “pretty awesome graphics and physics.” Who are we to argue with something like that?