There’s such a glut of new and wonderful games pouring onto the Play Store and App Store each month that it can be hard to keep up, but it’s our job to at least give it a go. To help us (and you), we’ll be sifting through the game-piles each month and picking out the new ones that you should definitely add to your wishlist. You won’t find any throwaway clicker games of Flappy Bird rip-offs here (unless there’s an official sequel), just the finest mobile game offerings worthy of your device.
The Talos Principle
Availability: iOS ($4.99)
Philosophical games that make you contemplate existence and the nature of humanity don’t sound like a natural fit for the small screen, but if you want a bit more intellectual and logical stimulation from your mobile gaming, then you need to play The Talos Principle. Originally made for PC, the game casts you as a robot wandering around beautiful, dreamlike environments, solving all manner of brain-bending puzzles that pull you deeper and deeper into a poignant, thought-provoking narrative. It’s one of the prettiest mobile games available, too.
Into the Dead 2
As mindless zombie-apocalypse shooters go, Into the Dead was one of the best, and the sequel builds on it in all the right areas. It looks wonderful, all while letting you mow tens of on-screen zombies at once. There is, would you believe it, a story here, too (something about a guy trying to rescue his wife and child), so there’s a justification to the carnage … assuming you need justification to shoot zombies. The arsenal is great, the in-app purchases aren’t too exploitative, and ammo is often at a premium, meaning you often have to run rather than gun.
With Halloween approaching, why not give your card games a creepy, eldritch edge? Underhand is a self-styled “Cultist Card Game” where you play the role of a cult leader recruiting members, managing resources and dealing with events that come with the territory of dabbling with the occult. It’s wonderfully presented, with a stylish card art style replete with Lovecraftian creatures, eye symbols, and other oddities. Somehow, all this is free as well, which is a rarity.
Middle-Earth: Shadow of War
On home consoles, Shadow of War is courting both praise and controversy for its mechanics and loot boxes respectively. But guess what? Smartphone games are the very source of loot boxes, so they’re more than welcome here! All jokes aside, Shadow of War on mobile is a different beast to home consoles, toning down on the combat and graphics (obviously) in favor of a hero-based game where you control familiar faces from the Middle-Earth and Lord of the Rings games, taking over Mordor through combat and, of course, dominating Orcs. The Nemesis system where Orcs remember your past encounters is simplified here, but it’s still satisfying.
Kingdom Rush is a classic of mobile gaming canon, and the developers of the tower defence game have returned with something a little bit different in Iron Marines. This time they’re treating us to a real-time strategy game, set across space stations and alien planets, presenting the large-scale cosmic warfare in a lovely vibrant art style. Throwing a bit of tower defence into the mix, too, Iron Marines is the perfect mashup of mobile strategy games done good.
This selection of games should see you through this most autumnal of months. Have you spotted any off-the-radar gems that we’ve missed, or are you deeply offended that we skipped your favorite mobile game this month? Send us a comment and let us know!