Unfortunately, producing things has a cost. Especially when those things are high quality pieces of software. The freemium model has been praised to the skies by the mobile industry, since it apparently brings users excellent games for free. That is, provided they resort to advertising and in-app purchases as the best way to monetize their products.
Still, ads can be annoying, and paying to unlock items or levels might be even worse. Since everything can’t simply be excellent and totally free, we have to make decisions. Here’s a compilation of outstanding and original games for less than $1.
A few cents for hours of fun? Deal!
Real Boxing has to be first in this list, not just because its price has recently cut down from $4 to a measly $0.99, but also because is an excellent game by Vivid Games, a top developer in both Android and iOS.
Real Boxing is one of those games able to make you forget that you’re playing on a mobile device and not in a PC or a console. It includes many elements traditionally omitted from mobile gaming, such as introductory cutscenes and additional minigames and goals. It also features motion captured animations, which is a relief in an era when everything seems doomed to be indie, retro, or retro-indie.
Customize your rough and rude boxer, go training, play mini games to improve your stats, and build a successful career in the ring. Its different game modes, astounding 3D graphics, and realistic physics guarantee an excellent gaming experience for just a few dimes.
If you feel like more using your brains instead of your fists, stop scrolling down. Bricks lays out simple yet addictive gameplay that’s a revision of the puzzle genre. The bouncing logic may be reminiscent of classic Arkanoid gameplay. However, there’s a lot that’s totally new here: the circular design, the bricks’ color code, the power-ups, and the fact that you can control it by rotating your device (via accelerometer).
For less than a buck, you get lots of levels, challenging gameplay with increasing difficulty, realistic physics, and online leaderboards to show off your personal records. That sounds like a bargain!
After round after round of physical and mental stress, it’s time to sit back, relax, and enjoy the sights. Buddy & Me is an adorable, relaxing, dreamy endless runner that will drive you through beautiful hand-drawn oneiric environments.
Storyline: a young boy sleeps peacefully in his bed. The world opens to him as he begins to dream, always returning to the same lush treetop world where his flying floppy-eared friend Buddy awaits him for adventure.
Run, jump, and glide through the platforms, and never fear – when a gap’s too wide to cross, Buddy will zip ahead to help you out. Coast through the skies collecting stars and crooning angel bunnies, or just swing from his bushy tail like a tire swing. Your real opponent here is the clock. Snag time upgrades whenever possible to keep the dream going on and on.
Get a hit of real freewill with Scribblenauts Remix, an extremely original sandbox game. If you aren’t familiar with the genre, you’ll soon discover that it’s a sort of magic game where you can invoke absolutely anything that pops into your mind. However, you don’t have any control about how these invoked characters or items may interact with each other. For example, you can play God and create a sea-horse, but you’ll never know how it will respond to a jellyfish approach.
Discovery is entirely up to you. That’s the point of the game. Create, and watch what happens.
Sound boring? Oh man, you gotta believe me. This could be one of the most shocking games you’ve ever played on your mobile device.
Originality you said? This is as good as it gets. In Bamba, you control a unicycle to prove you are the master of balance. Tricky platforms will challenge your equilibrium. You best get the hang of it ASAP, because the game gets complicated fast. Dare to try? You definitely should.
Tap the screen to change the direction at the exact right moment it’s required. If you blink, you’ll miss it.
Excellent 3D artwork, responsive controls and original gameplay. Totally worth a mere greenback.