Octopath Traveler: Champions of the Continent – a good game but it’s not the best of the month (Picture: Square Enix)
August has proven to be the best month for smartphone games in a long time, with not a single dud and a rare 10/10 score.
Despite the drought of traditional summer sports, this month has seen a bizarre and completely unexpected tidal wave on mobile. From the ecstasy of finally being able to play Into the Breach on an iPad, or Papers, please on a phone, this month also marks the arrival of the fabulous Daisy Dungeons and a console-perfect port of a unique flavor of mountain biking mayhem. ,
Kingdom Rush Vengeance TD+
iOS via Apple Arcade (Ironhide)
Originally released as a free-to-play game in 2018, it is a re-balanced microtransaction-free version of Legend of Kingdom Rush: Vengeance for Apple Arcade.
As always, it’s an action-packed tower defense game in which you build and upgrade turrets while guiding a hero and army reinforcements where they need them on the map. Although some of its tower types never manage to feel necessary, that doesn’t spoil the fun.
Heroes are unlocked as you progress, not that you have to pay for them, but other than that it’s the same game, and remains as polished and addictive as the other entries in the Kingdom Rush series.
iOS and Android, £4.49 (Lucas Pope)
Originally released for iPad in 2017 Peppers, Please brought its unusual brand of high-speed border guarding bureaucracy to a tablet, but this month for the first time you’ll be able to play it on a phone.
With a lightly redesigned interface to make it playable on even smaller screens, its content or timing is not compromised, between doing its job and what’s ethically correct. Has maintained its impeccable justice dance, as it did in 2013. Arrive on PC.
Why the phone port took so long is a mystery, but this version is as good as it has always been.
before your eyes
iOS and Android (Goodbye Games) via Netflix
Your spirit is being judged, leaving you to scroll back your entire life in search of greatness that could qualify you for a spot in the game’s version of the Good Place. And for all this, your only conversation is to look around and blink.
As you experience scenes starting with childhood, a metronome appears at the bottom of the screen and if you blink, you move forward in time, sometimes a minute or two, sometimes— Sometimes for many years. So you can catch the view you’re enjoying, but not for long. Whether you like it or not, eventually there is a blink of an eye, and that moment is lost forever.
It is a fascinating meditation on the impermanence of the most joyous periods in our lives, making you part of its flow, often involuntarily, taking you away from childhood and through adulthood without the blink of an eye.
For any parent who’s watched a child grow up, it’s a haunting process that won’t leave many dry eyes by the conclusion of its sub-two-hour playtime, even if the ending itself descends into Schmaltz.
iOS and Android, £4.49 (Terry Cavanagh)
You’re a daring warrior attempting to outdo Lady Luck and the game accurately describes her as a ‘brutal craze’, engaging in a series of pesky tactical card battles.
Dice rolls are important, but only because they boost your available special moves, which differ from turning into a bear (who has stronger attacks but not so hot in trading with traders) into opponents’ dice. Making fire, making them usable only at the cost of health.
With its witty sense of humour, the number of possible effects, some of which you associate with finalizing each roll, makes for a strategically interesting game that offsets its random elements with a number of abilities that You can deploy to reduce unlucky rolls.
iOS, included with a Netflix subscription (Netflix)
The enthusiasm is visible. From the developer of legendary FTL, one of the best strategy games ever made comes to the iPad and, like FTL, it feels like the definitive version of the game.
As usual you will defend Earth from invaders using a team of three battle mechs. Both friendly and enemy units have simple but strict rules for how they move and attack. Like in chess, the interaction of those moves creates a staggering level of tactical complexity.
It’s a roguelike, though completing each of its island-based levels reveals the ability to start on that island in the future, and this iteration of the game comes with tons of new content, including new pilots, mech teams, weapons, and enemies. Comes. It’s the best version of Into the Breach and a great gift for Netflix subscribers that came with surprisingly little fanfare.
card crawl adventure
iOS and Android, Free (Arnold Rauers)
From the developer of the amazing Card Thief and Maze Machine, comes a new layered, tactical card game for one.
Like their previous releases, you need to piece the cards together on a 3×3 grid. Every card you tap uses power, and when you run out of that card, the cards deplete health. Run out of it and it’s game over.
Its roguelike structure and the interplay of the effects of its various cards is a strong and thought provoking long-term challenge.
Octopath Traveler: Champions of the Continent
iOS and Android, Free (Square Enix)
Octopath Traveler’s 16-bit-style Japanese role-playing game has been reminiscent of nostalgia for years, but so far the mobile version has only been available in Japan.
Its voice acting is still in Japanese but is now subtitled, and while Champions of the Continent has the same gacha leanings that many have learned to despise, it’s far from the exploitative mess some respected franchises make the hop on mobile. Huh.
Graphically, and in terms of its combat, it remains remarkably loyal to its big brother and while there are obviously ridiculous amounts of cash to be spent on, it’s perfectly viable to play for free.
iOS and Android, £8.99 (Noodlecake)
The Scion, the mountain biking roguelike, has been revamped for mobile and comes complete in every way. As in the console you’ll discover its open world through a series of hub points.
Apart from each one you’ll find procedurally generated courses that are incredibly diverse, so you’re never quite sure what kind of challenge you’re going to face in your quest to earn a reputation that’s good for your rider. Also unlocks new kit. ,
Touchscreen controls just about work but adds a controller and it’s the full console experience on a smaller screen.
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