Harry Potter: Puzzles & Spells, Faily Brakes 2, Gun Rounds, and more
Welcome to the roundup of the new Android games that went live in the Play Store or were spotted by us in the previous week or so. Today I have a new match-3 game from Zynga that sports the Harry Potter license, the sequel to the popular endless runner Faily Brakes, and a stylistic turn-based shooter that offers an endearing monochromatic theme. So without further ado, here are the new and notable Android games released during the week of July 27th, 2020.
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Looking for the previous roundup editions? Find them here.
Lazy cash-grabs are Zynga's bread and butter, and so the studio has secured the rights to the Harry Potter license to reskin one of its many match-3 titles. The result is precisely what you would expect, an unbalanced and mindless casual game that gates progression behind scarce powerups. On top of this, the game is only in early access, so it's also buggy. But don't you worry, the title's monetization is up and running despite the unpolished state of its gameplay, which shows everyone exactly where Zynga's priorities lay.
Faily Brakes 2 is a simple endless runner, so it will be your job to avoid obstacles in order to see how far down the road you can drive. This release serves as a sequel to the first Faily Brakes, which has amassed 10-million installs over the last four years. Sadly, today's follow-up is buggy and lacks content, such as a working monetization system. So while now is the best time to jump in if you'd like to avoid the eventual addition of in-app purchases, progression is going to be difficult without them, which shows the game is balanced towards pushing people to spend money despite the fact there is no way to currently spend your cash. The amount of advertisements in the title is also pretty irritating.
Gun Rounds is a stylistic turn-based shooter, and since it offers roguelite elements, you're going to be repeating the same content repeatedly to slowly work through the game's grind. So while it's hard to ignore how cool this game looks, especially in action, the repetitive content can grow old. Luckily, if you choose to play in short bursts, the game's repetitive play isn't as much of an issue.
I'm not British, so I don't know a thing about the game of Snooker, though I do know it looks a lot like pool, but clearly, the rules are different. Ideally, WST Snooker offers a realistic take on the sport, and you can choose to play offline or online, which means you can go it alone or take on people from around the world. Luckily, if you're unfamiliar with Snooker, like me, then you can jump into the title's practice mode to get a feel for the gameplay before you jump into an online match.
If you couldn't tell by the name, Gloom: Digital Edition is a digital adaptation of a physical card game, and you can rest assured that the Android version of this digital edition plays just as great as the physical product. Thankfully, unlike the PC version, the controls have been reworked for mobile play. So if you're looking for a new card game to play through that's already stood the test of time as a physical product, Gloom: Digital Edition is a fantastic choice this week.
The Everlasting Regret blurs the line between game and app, so it's more an "experience" than a mechanically deep game. The title was adapted from the Song of Everlasting Regret, a historic Chinese poem, and it will be your job to solve puzzles by altering paintings, which is how you'll progress through the poem. Of course, what's really odd about this release is that it comes from Tencent and is completely free to play, making for a worthy title to play through, which is quite the change for the studio.
Yu-Gi-Oh! Neuron isn't actually a game, but a tie-in app for the physical card game. You can use this release to scan your physical cards with your device's camera, to then list out your decks digitally. Oh, and if you're into dueling, then you can take this app with you since it's allowed to be used at official Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG tournaments.
Red Stone Plateau is a chess-inspired puzzle game, and it's level-based, so you'll work your way through 50 of these puzzles to complete the title. What's nice is that this is a free release, and while there are advertisements in the mix, they don't get in the way too much. So if you're a fan of casual puzzlers or simply enjoy games built around chess mechanics, then Red Stone Plateau is worth a look.
Not only is Sauna Like It's 1979 a fantastic name for a game, but the game itself is also pretty unique. You see, the entire point behind this release is to sauna in a traditional Finnish way. Seeing that I'm not Finnish, this is all new to me, but really the game boils down to balance. You have a few options at your disposal, such as Sauna, Cabin, Pier, and Fire Pit. Selecting any of these will affect your Sisu-meter, which means you have to pick carefully, less you pass out. Of course, this setup may not sound all that interesting, but really this is a game that's all about atmosphere, and so this is where the title truly shines.
Retro Road: Neon Beats is a stylish endless runner that exudes a clear synthwave theme. As you would expect from such a release, the game's music is fitting to its graphics, and thankfully the racing looks great in action. Coincidentally, as you race, you'll collect music notes, which can then be used to unlock new songs and vehicle skins.
BasketBros.io is just that, an io game themed around basketball. Unlike most io games, you'll play against your opponents one on one, to then work your way up the ranks to eventually exist as the last man standing. It's a simple setup, and it surely can be fun to push and punch your opponents while trying to make your goals. After all, this is an outlandish release, so expect to brawl while you ball.
Zombie Defense 2 is an early access release, and it's also an offline tower defense game. So not only can you play with ease while on your commute, the game's 45 missions should ideally keep RTS fans busy for a good while. Just keep in mind that this is a beta launch, so bugs may pop up as you play.
MazM: Pechka is the third release in the MazM series of games, and much like the previous offerings, you'll take a trip through history in what is ultimately a point and click adventure game. This time around, you'll get to join the Russian resistance fighting for independence during the early 20th century. This means the game offers a dark and gritty theme as you learn about the historical events that led to the Russian Far East's descent into lawlessness.
It has been a while since SEGA gave up on its Forever program, and so we haven't seen a new title from the company in ages. Sadly SEGA NET MAHJONG MJ isn't quite the game I would expect from the company. It would seem the game's description is at odds with the actual release since Sega went out of its way to say you can play without spending money on IAPs. Lo and behold, the game contains IAPs that range up to $69.99, so puts Sega's lies to rest quickly. At the very least, you can play against friends and family online, so you can ignore the game's many IAPs if you choose to play this way.
Monetization: free / no ads / IAPs from $0.99 - $69.99
Typically I don't cover match-3 games because they're a dime a dozen, and frankly, it's lazy game design. So while Aggretsuko : the short timer strikes back is indeed a match-3 title, the Aggretsuko property guarantees the game will get some attention, and since so many people will be interested in this game, I figured why not point out its release. As you would expect, the gameplay is pretty shallow, and so you'll eventually reach puzzles that gate progression behind IAPs unless you get really lucky.
Guardian Tales exhibits many of the mechanics and graphics that old-school gamers love about action RPGs, but this game still boils down to its gacha system, and it's not that generous. Rare items are difficult to obtain, though this is more of an issue in the game's PvP mode than the single player-content. Now, as far as the single-player experience goes, this is a solid Zelda clone that contains witty humor, though the game's gacha system is still going to be a sticking point when it comes to progression, it's simply tolerable when playing through the story mode.
Monetization: free / no ads / IAPs from $0.99 - $99.99
Merge Dungeon combines the fun of an RPG with the mechanics of games like Threes and 2048. As you delve the depths of the game's dungeons, you'll earn gear, and this gear can be combined, which ups your power and skills. Basically, you'll have to grind your way to success by combining as much gear as possible, though it's hard to shake the feeling that this setup plays similar to an idle game, with the added step of dragging and dropping items continually. It also doesn't help that the game is monetized aggressively, which is why the gameplay is so grindy.
Ugh, what can I say about Narcos: Idle Cartel? Let's see. It's clearly a cash grab that offers shallow idle-based gameplay, while simultaneously serving as an advertisement for the Netflix show. That's right, mobile gaming has morphed into a platform where you pay to play advertisements that offer nothing more than a child's flash game, and the developers of this cynical garbage can't even be bothered to optimize performance. So if you'd like to play the latest idle game with a famous skin slapped on top that lags constantly, Tilting Point has your back with the release of Narcos: Idle Cartel.
CrossFire: Warzone is described as a strategy war game, which means it's a Clash of Clans clone, a mobile genre that has been copied to death yet still sees new releases every single day. Sure, the game looks nice, and so it offers excellent graphics, but beyond that, this is the same game we've all played before, it's merely toting a new skin, and a generic one at that. Oh, and if there's any question of the intentions behind this release, check out those IAPs.
Monetization: free / no ads / IAPs from $0.99 - $384.99