The absence of limitations is the enemy of creativity.
The unique time and space restraints of mobile have given rise to an incredible array of clever little games that make the most of minimal UI for maximum UX. Said another way, simple, beautiful, and elegant minimalism wins the day with mobile gaming.
Here’s a selection of eight of Appszoom‘s favorite minimalist games for Android. Some are relaxing and zen-like, others are the embodiment of frenetic – but all are sharp as a digital tack.
Blek is as elegant as its name is goofy. The physics mechanic that breathes life into the lines you draw feels wholly unique, like no other challenge I’ve encountered on mobile before. It’s the simplest interaction possible - just cross through the colored circles to solve the level. The range and complexity of puzzles to solve, however, is constantly innovative.
JoyJoy is swarms galore, frenetic shooting and gliding to avoid wave after wave of abstract baddies. Oh, sure, you can level up your weapons, target the formations with different plans of attack. But mostly, you’ll just be fleeing to the tune of relentlessly poppy electronic beats.
Everyone dreams of flying; Soar makes it happen. Glide as a phoenix over infinite badlands below, snagging wayward flames to heat up your wings as you float. Controls couldn’t be simpler, and the whole experience is just as zen as can be.
The Line is a game of precision. A gracious acrobat avatar propels into the sky higher each jump. Trace the figure that appears quickly and accurately to progress to the next. As the acrobat reaches the outer layers of the atmosphere, the figures grow ever more complex, requiring lighting-fast, hairpin reflexes. There’s enough waiting time in the falls between each leap, though, that playing feels more about exploring the skies than a stressful challenge.
Eliss Infinity is absolutely as nutso as it looks from the GIF. Your goal is to manipulate the circular elements such that the right color and size gets situated in each corresponding portal. It feels a bit like playing God to a freshly created, highly explosive universe. Very difficult with a killer soundtrack.
Auralux has been one of my favorites for a long time now. It’s warfare boiled down to its bare essentials. Command your dots with a swipe, cancelling out the enemy dots and capturing their planets. Your whole playing field pulses with dot creation plus synchronized beats egging you on.
Mosaic is like 21st century Reversi meets quilting. Tapping a square reverses the condition of all adjacent squares. Your goal is to turn them all over to colorful, of course – or, play the zen mode to endlessly flip, flip, flip.
15 Coins: because clones are Evil and Wrong. All you have to do is collect 15 coins, but pesky black clones that show up tracing your previous path make it darn near impossible. Freeze ‘em Pac-man style with the helpful square, but watch yourself – they activate again half a second later, possibly bringing you to meet your pixelated doom.