It’s an odd time to be alive right now. As many of us sit locked down in our homes, we can at least catch up on playing the latest iOS and Android games. Even as the world stands still, it’s comforting to know that great new mobile games continue to be released.
This month has seen the arrival of two hugely popular IPs on mobile platforms, as well as some all-new surprises, so scroll down and enjoy!
1. Dead by Daylight Mobile
Dead by Daylight is an asymmetrical 4-v-1 multiplayer horror game where four poorly-equipped teenagers try to escape from a vicious killer controlled by another player. Now it’s come to mobile in a condensed but very accomplished form.
The more you play, the more choice of perks and skills you have for your characters, while the killer characters are inspired by all manner of fairytales and movies. There are killer clowns, twitching nurse-ghouls, and licensed killers like Freddy Krueger, Michael Myers and the Demogorgon from Stranger Things.
2. Crash Bandicoot Mobile
In their own way, the original Crash Bandicoot games were endless runners, putting you in a narrow corridor where the only way to run was forward through the vibrant obstacle-filled levels.
You see where we’re going with this. Crash Bandicoot Mobile is an infinity runner in the style of Temple Run and, well, Crash Bandicoot. You can’t stop running, but you can jump and spin your way through enemies and past Nitro crates, eating up those nommy apples on the way.
It’s all the simplicity and addictiveness of a classic mobile game in the beloved Crash art style.
3. Bleak Sword
And now for something a little less mainstream. Bleak Sword, published by the edgy indie house Devolver, is a tough monochromatic action game set in a stark Dark Souls-style land.
Expect formidable bosses, grim gauntlets, and forlorn backdrops as you battle through demons and monsters out to rip you apart. Soul players will ease their way into the parry-dodge, in-and-out attacking gameplay, but this isn’t an easy ride for anyone.
4. Sociable Soccer
It’s been around for a while now in Early Access, but it’s only recently that Sociable Soccer, designed by Sensible Soccer developer Jon Hare, has started making some serious improvements.
Inspired by Sensible Soccer, of course, Sociable Soccer offers a quick, simple football formula focused around online play, leagues and snappy matches. It’s remarkably accessible and feels better-suited to the mobile format than the somewhat clunky offerings of EA Sports and FIFA.
5. Rebel Cops
From the developers of the compelling cop sim This is the Police, Rebel Cops zooms in on a plucky squad of ragtag rozzas who set out to rid the city of crime.
More like an XCOM game than its predecessor, this is a turn-based tactics game set over a number of stages in a crime-ridden city. Duck behind cover, flank your enemies, and stock your squad up with equipment to keep them alive.
Just one well-aimed bullet can make all the difference either for you or the enemy, making this a suspenseful and gritty romp.
6. Castlevania: Symphony of the Night
One of the most seminal games ever made (especially in light of the Metroidvania renaissance of the last decade), Symphony of the Night is an opulent, campy romp through Dracula’s castle. As the vampiric hero Alucard, you explore the sprawling structure in a non-linear fashion, seeking out items and abilities that eventually unlock its deeper recesses and secrets.
This is the Castlevania game from which “Metroidvania” got half its name, and to this day it remains a masterpiece of presentation, level design and satisfying progression. It’s best played with a controller, as the touch-screen controls can be a bit fiddly for the old-school precision required here.
7. Pascal’s Wager
Platforms: iOS, Android (Date TBD)
The much-anticipated action-RPG that can best be described as “Dark Souls Mobile” finally came out in early 2020. The long development cycle was worth it, however, as it manages to squeeze the punishing, timing-and-stamina-based combat of its inspiration down to a small screen.
The game looks absolutely beautiful, throwing you into a moribund fantasy world filled with fallen warriors, broken cities, and environments where it looks like even the skies are rotting. Be warned that this is a very hard game – as intended – and is very much aimed at players looking for a high-challenge, high-rewards experience rather than something more swipey and casual.
8. Harvest Moon: Mad Dash
Without Harvest Moon, there would almost certainly have been no Stardew Valley. The cutesy farming game where you raise your crops and livestock, build a home, and even get married, has a long legacy dating back to the 90s, and this mobile spinoff condenses the typically slow-paced game into a speedier format.
It’s actually a very different game than the mainline series, taking place across myriad stages where you go through the planting and rearing in hyperspeed, complete with a time limit. It throws the farming sim into a puzzle format and works rather well. Just be careful not to let your veggies grow too large, lest you destroy the lot and fail the level!
9. Stellaris: Galaxy Command
Platforms: iOS (Date TBC), Android
This one originally came out last year, but after a series of technical issues, it got taken off digital storefronts for a re-do. Now that it’s been re-released (in early access), Stellaris: Galaxy Command is starting to show glimmers of promise, worthy of its grand-strategy origins.
Various elements and depth that make the original Stellaris a meaty slog of a game have been trimmed down, but that grand-strategy spacefaring spirit is still here as you build a space station, form intergalactic alliances for resources and war, and seek to become a big player in the politics of the cosmos.
The game still has a few light years to go before its fully fleshed out, but the potential is already visible.
10. Company of Heroes
They don’t make them like they used to, and they certainly don’t make them like the excellent Company of Heroes – the vintage squad-based strategy game set in the chaos of World War II. That’s probably why this iPad port of the game is instantly one of the best RTS games ever released for mobile platforms: demanding, smart, tactical thinking and an iron will to power through some of the backs-to-the-wall scenarios it plunges you into.
The touch controls work brilliantly, offering a couple of control options including a designed-for-touchscreen command wheel or the original command panel. It works with an Apple Pencil, too, offering that extra bit of precision as you seek to guide your soldiers through various missions around war-torn Europe.
Want to play all these mobile games on a PC (well, the ones you can’t already play on a PC anyway)? Here are some of the best Android emulators for you to do just that. Or if the above games aren’t quite your speed, see the best offline shooting games for Android you can get in 2020.