It’s April, the month that starts off with forced tomfoolery and ill-advised April Fool’s gags from tech companies who should know better.
But it also means spring is in full flow, so like the bunnies popping out of the ground along with the daisies and other assorted flowers, there’s a bunch of new mobile games for you to enjoy.
Here are our faves to look out for.
The game that needs no introduction (nor capitalization in its title, given its seismic popularity), PLAYERUNKNOWN’S BATTLEGROUNDS has now launched on mobile. The good news is that, unlike many mobile versions of popular shooters, it’s actually great!
By yourself or with some buddies, you’re thrown down on an island and need to gather weapons and hunt down 99 other players in a bid to be the last person (or team) standing. It plays great on mobile, is completely free, and miraculously contains the entirety of the original game’s first map.
Platforms: iOS, Android (coming soon)
No sooner did PUBG land, than fellow Battle Royale phenomenon Fortnite quickly followed. Epic’s take on the last-man-standing genre is rather different though, with bold cartoon graphics and a building system that lets you construct buildings and forts on its bright and flumpy maps.
Like its arch-rival, Fortnite carries over much of the console/PC game successfully, and its cheery graphics actually seem to work better on mobile than PUBG’s.
The iOS version is already available from Epic’s website, and Android players should be getting it soon.
The Room: Old Sins
Platforms: iOS, Android (coming soon)
The stalwart mobile puzzler returns. It’s more atmospheric and darker this time round but with the same intense puzzle-solving that will have you hunching over your smartphone like a monk lost in prayer.
It’s a game of close inspection, with hidden levers and puzzles that interconnect in unexpected and ingenious ways. If you’re a fan of PC classic Myst, or are just generally looking for a puzzle game oozing in atmosphere like no other, then check into Old Sins’ creepy old manor.
We don’t get associated mobile games with long development cycles, but with digi-card game Armello originally being announced as an iPad game back in 2011, this could technically count as one of the longer-pending mobile titles.
But it’s here now, and it was worth the wait. Armello is a card-based fantasy adventure that offers numerous heroes and tactical approaches, taking place in a turn-based sandbox world that generates randomly each time you play.
King of quirky games, DevolverDigital, can do little wrong in our eyes, and Umiro delivers another gem to our palm-sized screens. It’s a tale of two teenagers who find themselves in a world devoid of color and must solve puzzles to bring it back to its former joy.
It’s not a long game, but in that time you’ll have explored plenty of evocative environs and evaded scores of obstacles rangin from devious traps to dastardly blobby things. It’s a game of rigorous pre-planning, as you trace a path for your heroes before hitting the “Play” button to watch them act it out while you gnaw anxiously at your fingernails.
The Sims Mobile
The mobile versions of The Sims have always been watered down affairs, and you’re destined for disappointment if you expect the full-on construction/life management experience of the PC version here.
However, The Sims Mobile is fun unto itself, focusing more on leading your created character from unemployed mope in a shabby apartment to urban high-flyer (or just seeing how long you can keep them living on the breadline). The Sims now actually speak English as well, though I, for one, always enjoyed their strange dialect of yore.
Evoland was always an intriguing concept, taking you on an adventure that evolves visually as well as mechanically as you progress from rudimentary 8-bit pixels to fully-fledged 3D graphics.
The sequel is along the same lines, though of course with a new adventure this time: creatures to fight and mini-games to play. Anyone who’s played games for a couple of decades will appreciate its wealth of homages.
Siege of Dragonspear
Speaking of people who’ve played games for decades, Siege of Dragonspear is an expansion for Baldur’s Gate, which came out nearly 20 years after the original and is a must for fans of the classic cRPG series.
It’s much the same format as the original games, as you create a hero, band with others, and head off on an adventure across the Sword Coast. It’s pretty hardcore stuff and can get fiddly on a small screen, but tablet-owning RPG fans owe it to themselves to give it a try.
Turn-based puzzle games are one of the best fits for mobile devices, as you don’t need to worry about sweaty fingers sliding off the keys at inopportune moments. Infinite West is a western-themed puzzler that combines the tactical nuance of chess with the gunslinging pizazz of six-shooters.
There’s a huge variety of enemies, requiring you to adapt your approach: do you go out all guns blazing, hunker down behind a desert rock, or aim for the explosive barrel next to your target? All key questions in this bespoke mobile tactics-fest.
Part Time UFO
If the cutesy style of Part Time UFO gives you deja vu, that might be because the developer, HAL Laboratory, is behind such classics as Kirby’s Dream Land and the Smash Bros. series.
This mobile adventure casts you as a UFO which takes on whimsical tasks for anyone from farmers to kitchen chefs, grabbing things with your claw to shift cargo, throwing dogs around, stacking Tetris blocks, and other strange tomfoolery. It’s wonderfully weird, clever, and devoid of in-app purchases.
This selection should get you off to a perfect start to 2018. Have you been playing any other new games that we should know about? Do share!