Here are four mobile games that need to make it to your 2020 list. Chill, kill time and have fun doing it with new titles from Leaf Mobile inc and other under the radar developers.
Covid-19 has everyone looking for new mobile game apps. But finding decent ones beyond the high-priced, big-name titles is practically a game in its own right. Unfortunately, it’s not a very fun one. However, the titles we have picked out for you are fun, and the indie stories behind them worth attention. Are you a grower? A fighter or puzzler? You’ll find something stimulating, addicting, or entrancing for you.
There are hundreds of mobile games out there worth your time, and thousands more that aren’t. We’ve picked out a few that might not have the advantage of a big buzz or huge budgets, but that captured our attention or captivated our minds. From counter-cultural games where you farm your way to freedom to 2D golf that will mesmerize you for hours, there are a lot of hidden gems out there, which will you try? Our picks also span a full range of innovative designers, from freshly public companies like Leaf Mobile Inc (TSX.V: LEAF) to dedicated individuals developing in their spare time.
- 0.1 Farming with a twist and a tale: Cheech and Chong Bud Farm
- 0.2 Adorable robot strategy warfare: Warbits
- 0.3 Grueling RPG adventure into and out of darkness: Vampire’s Fall Origin
- 0.4 Golf as you have never seen it before: Grow in the Hole.
- 1 Conclusion – Don’t be afraid to look outside the box when confined in one
Farming with a twist and a tale: Cheech and Chong Bud Farm
iOS or Android – Free – with ads or in-app purchases
Farming games have been a staple of entertainment ever since FarmVille took the industry by storm. Finding one that feels fresh and entertaining is not as common, unfortunately, but Leaf mobile inc has delivered just that. With classic characters, chortle-out-loud humor, and addicting gameplay, this bud farm is ready to bloom.
Unlike many other farming games that try to get you to compete against other players to siphon off your cash, Cheech and Chond have you trying to stay one step ahead of the game itself. Using the story to encourage play and growth, with the police a few slap-stick steps behind. While a cannabis game might be a bit of a niche when it comes to farming, we enjoyed the novelty and humor, true to their eponymous comedian’s talents.
The company behind this little gem is Leaf Mobile Inc (TSX.V: LEAF), a Canadian developer who has teamed up with LDRLY studios (specialists in counter-cultural games) to bring us this title and others like it. While this one was our favorite for its humor and story (and let’s face it, the classic references), we also advise keeping an eye out for whatever they might be working on next!
Adorable robot strategy warfare: Warbits
iOS only – Upfront Cost of 4.99
Strategy games are some of the most daunting but engaging mobile games available. Warbits takes this to a whole new level with a humorous setting, endearing robots, and killer tactical thinking. Seriously, you will want your thinking cap on for this one, and maybe a helmet!
The game falls somewhere between a tactical puzzler (especially in the campaign or challenge modes) and an adorable chess version. You will struggle to capture or destroy your opponent’s HQ with an army of robots, each of which has its own specialized strengths and weaknesses. Reminiscent of the old Nintendo Advance Wars, it captured both our nostalgia and our imaginations, while forcing us to do some serious thinking. Lock-in and load up on this cute and clever title.
The story behind it is just as endearing and captivating as the game. A two-person team of part-time developers managed to pull this game together over four years. An incredible feat for a duo with no mobile gaming experience, it shows remarkable polish and won an editor’s choice award from the iOS, so you don’t need to take our word for it, this game is worth playing. We hope the aptly named Risky Lab will keep them coming!
Grueling RPG adventure into and out of darkness: Vampire’s Fall Origin
iOS or Android – Free – Ads or in-app purchases available
RPGs are a genre one might think particularly ill-suited to a mobile game: they require open worlds, high volumes of simultaneous content, and extended character progression. Yet there are a few titles that pull off the right balance, and this is one of them! This game is highly reminiscent of the acclaimed earlier Diablo titles (even down to some of the fonts) and successfully combines the gameplay and flavor of a dark RPG.
It brands itself as ‘Old-School’ gameplay experience with modern tech, which summarizes the atmosphere and gameplay well. Bringing an open-world with character customization and development to the mobile screen is no small achievement, and is accentuated by harsh and unforgiving gameplay with a decent storyline. It is also a new game released last year, which means while there might be a few hiccups, we can expect new content and continued attention from the developers.
The indie studio behind this title is Early Morning studios, spearheaded by a trio of self-described ‘old school gamers’. They have managed to put together a remarkably complete product across not just two platforms, but have also released it on steam, proving that the product does deliver what gamers want but on mobile. We are excited to follow their success and see how they choose to expand it moving forward.
Golf as you have never seen it before: Grow in the Hole.
iOS or Android (or Microsoft) Free to play without ads
Sports games, especially Golf games, are a dime a dozen and often suffer from the same flaws: over realistic graphics that slow everything down, competitive gameplay that pushes you to pay, or dreadful tedium. Luckily, this petite player is no putter. It features innovative mechanics (the ball grows as you make or miss shots) and the levels are colorful mayhem with jaunty music that makes you want to play just one more Hole. Oh, and did we mention it has no ads or purchases?
The game has simple controls and graphics, but complicated tactical play almost makes it more of a puzzler than a sports game. Perhaps why our team picked it above other sports games which tend to be overplayed or overpay (or knock offs) of branded games. This one brings a fresh slice of creativity to the genre while keeping us entertained. It is also simple and straightforward enough to be given to a child to pass the time on while providing complexity required to keep an adult entertained for hours.
The developer is an independent enthusiast who uses unity to code fun and funky little games. Their specialty seems to be combining amazing ideas, like their 2D shooter, which is somehow also a word-writing game. In a genre defined by copy and paste content, this kind of novel perspective is refreshing and welcome. We hope to see more ideas from the clever Ellis Spice.
Conclusion – Don’t be afraid to look outside the box when confined in one
Mobile games are, in many ways, the perfect solution to confinement blues: they provide social connections and activities across any distance; entertainment without having to leave the house; and can be picked to suit our current mood or energy level. So if you want to challenge your mind to puzzling battles, or sink a few hours into a relaxing aesthetic game, there is something out there for you.
Finding that something is quite a task, though, especially with a lot of high budget content filling up the app stores. Instead, we have done the work of sifting through new releases or old classics to pick out four with interesting profiles from up and coming developers who deserve more attention and support (or investment). Regardless of what you are looking for in a game, you’ll find something on this list for you. What are you waiting for? Start downloading!