The App Store is bursting at the seams with all kinds of apps and games of varying quality, but one of the most consistent issues with it is discoverability. Despite having what seems like unlimited money and a full App Store editorial team, Apple is astonishingly bad at celebrating games that aren’t already hugely successful.
To be fair, Apple doesn’t have much reason to do this. It takes more work, and it’s far easier to sell people on games with name recognition and/or a mass market appeal than it is to actually explore a huge backcatalog and dig up some hidden gems.
Don’t fret though, that’s where we come in! See below for some amazing App Store finds that you probably haven’t gotten around to yet, though you probably should:
"Dog Sled Saga is a really solid management game that will charm you if you have any affinity for dogs. The races might feel like they get a little too easy once you figure them out, but the loop of continuously upgrading stays satisfying throughout."
AFK Arena may be a less intense form of a gacha game, but that doesn’t mean it’s totally straightforward. As with other games in this genre, there’s a bevy of systems, modes, currencies, etc. that you’ll want to be familiar with as soon as you start playing, regardless of whether you’ll be engaging with them immediately or not. This is especially true if you don’t plan on spending any money on it.
To help you hit the ground running in AFK Arena, check out these handy tips. All of them are sure to help you get a head start on understanding this fascinating gacha/idle hybrid.
Spellsword Cards: Demontide is a wonderful little single-player card game, but it can also be quite unforgiving. Parts of it definitely look and feel like Hearthstone, but you can’t just play this game like its your favorite collectible card game (CCG) and expect to do well.
Specifically, Demontide’s Campaign Mode will punish you heartily unless you learn a few key lessons that the game unfortunately doesn’t do a great job of teaching you. Luckily, I’ve put in many hours into the game as of this writing and can step in to help any card battler that’s been banging their head against Demontide’s tough Campaign with some tips. See below:
With the recent release of Rush Rally 3, it's easy to be excited about mobile driving games. Figuring out what games in this genre are worth picking up, on the other hand, is a whole other story.
Forget things like the Asphalt series, CSR Racing 2, or Need for Speed No Limits. Those games all may promise fast and fun cars, but they are all compromised experiences at best, not to mention the fact that they're all free-to-play. Check out these picks for the best premium driving experiences available on the App Store.
“Absolute Drift feels positively incredible when you finally learn to coast around a corner in a perfect arc, but doing this takes quite a bit of practice and feels nigh impossible without a controller. If you happen to have an MFi controller handy and a bit of patience though, it can be a really rewarding experience that feels completely unlike any other driving game on the App Store.”
German publisher astragon Entertainment and developer weltenbauer. SE have just released the third installment of Construction Simulator. Unlike Construction Simulator 2, which was set in the U.S., Construction Simulator 3 returns to its roots in Europe. This time, you'll be building your construction empire in an idyllic Alpine region surrounded by pine woodland, rugged mountains and colourful townhouses.
There are 70 missions available, challenging you to construct everything from bridges to tower blocks. Fans of building sims are sure to love the eclectic range of vehicles at hand, from rotating tower cranes to compact excavators, all accurately reconstructed with licensing from the world’s biggest brands like MAN, Caterpillar, Liebherr, Bobcat, BOMAG and more. There are over 50 vehicles at your fingertips, with missions giving you the flexibility to use multiple options in your fleet.
I don't know if you know this, but superheroes are Kind of A Big Deal. Every other week it feels like a new Marvel movie is coming out and the hype train for each release is undeniable. Just look at how the upcoming Avengers: Endgame broke sales records and sales sites at the same time within hours of tickets going on sale earlier this week.
I’m not here to talk movies though. That’s not what this site is about. Alongside releases in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (or MCU, if you're so inclined) are a plethora of the media tie-ins, not the least of which are mobile games, and I’m writing this to tell you that yes, indeed, there’s a fantastic superhero game that trumps all others, and you should all be playing it if you want your superhero fix. The only thing is, it's probably not a game you'd suspect.
There may be some decent Marvel mobile games out there. Heck, some might even be considered “good.” That said, the absolute best superhero game on iOS actually has no affiliation with Marvel, DC, or any other actual comic book publisher. Do you know where I'm going with this?
Long before Minecraft came along to take the crown of 'most played' game, there was another goliath PC game with 'Mine' in its title which held that distinction - Minesweeper.
Those with long memories of dial-up broadband and insanely heavy cathode-ray monitors will no doubt fondly remember the popular puzzle game, and will be pleased to hear that its just been revamped with the launch of Globesweeper.
Globesweeper is an entirely three dimensional take on the original game, applying Minesweeper's grid-based format to an array of spheres and cubes which you can click, rotate, and solve in space. It also adds two extra grid modes (hexagonal and triangle) to accompany the original square style. Other than that Globesweeper pretty much stays true to Minesweeper's puzzle formula - having you uncover squares to reveal numbers and (hopefully) avoid mines.
Grand Mountain Adventure, a finalist at the Big Indie Awards 2018, has finally raced its way onto Android. The hugely impressive open-world skiing title hails from Swedish developer Toppluva, a studio made up of 3 snowboarding brothers.
New players will find themselves at the bottom of the imposing Hirschalm ski resort. This introductory area is where you’ll learn the essentials and begin collecting ski passes, an important item that allows you to advance further up each of the game’s 5 mountains.
NetEase has a deep well to dip into when it comes to sourcing new content for Onmyoji. The game is set during Japan’s Heian period, when elaborate folk tales of spirits – or shikigami – were fire-side favourites. In the world of Onmyoji, though, these stories are real. With this anniversary update, the JRPG welcomes new shikigami to its universe, as well as new chapters to complete.
The first new shikigami is Jinmenju. This powerful tree spirit has a grudge against humanity, and the vivid red flowers which bloom on his bark spell nothing but bad news for his enemies (or good news for the onmyoji who commands him).
Were you disappointed by The Elder Scrolls: Blades? You're not alone. It's a bad game that gives off one of the worst first impressions I've ever seen.
If Blades was your first foray into mobile games in a while though, I feel for you. Why? Because Blades is a poor representation of what mobile gaming can be. It plays into the platforms worst tendencies, but there are lots of mobile games out there that don't do this and are better for it.
In fact, there are quite a few games available right now on the App Store that can give you exactly what you might have wanted from Blades but didn't get. Don't believe me? I made a whole list to prove it. See below:
Imagine this: You’re Bethesda Game Studios, one of the biggest names in video games today. You’re renowned for bringing whole worlds to life through entries in the Fallout and Elder Scrolls series, two of the most popular and beloved franchises ever made. Your track record is far from perfect, but that’s mostly because your output is known for being richly detailed and highly complex. People applaud even when you stumble, because the ambition of your projects is so staggering that no one else even dares imitate you.
Then, you decide you want to make a mobile game. What kind of game would it be? Given your huge audience, what statement would you want to make about the possibilities of gaming on the go, knowing that a ton of non-mobile-game-playing eyes will be watching your every move with rapt attention? Certainly not this, right?
Apple made a lot of waves from its special event this week. The announcement of Apple Arcade in particular, a subscription service that will deliver access to over 100 premium games starting this fall, sounds like a potential new step forward for gaming on mobile.
As great as this might sound though, there are lots of things Apple didn’t talk about as it relates to this new service. A lot of what Apple said yesterday may sound exciting, but I have my doubts about the service given what wasn’t covered in their presentation. There’s just too many unknowns, and—given Apple’s track record on games—I’m not sure Apple Arcade will seem all that great when we get the answers.
See below for some of the biggest mysteries looming over the announcement and my thoughts on why their absence has me worried about this service.
Monsters with Attitude has the feeling of a non-serious party game, but it actually has quite a bit of depth to it. So, while the moment-to-moment action might feel like frantic nonsense, it is possible to reliably out-smash your opponents.
If you're looking to dive into this free-to-play cross between Katamari Damacy and kaiju, check out some of the following tips to help you be a force to be reckoned with.
Start in the weeds
This week Activision has revealed that Call of Duty Mobile is real, it's coming soon, and it looks pretty awesome. We got all of that from a trailer, but it also got us thinking about what other Activision games we'd like to see coming to mobile. Because that's the sort of thing we think about here at 148Apps towers.
We've not included any Blizzard games in the list, since we had a bit of a deep dive into how they might work for mobile when the big B revealed it was looking to bring all of its franchises to mobile. Instead we've focused on Activision published titles - specifically ones with plenty of action, since everyone loves action and explosions.
Got your own suggestions as to which Activision games you'd like to see coming to mobile? Then do let us know in the comments section at the bottom of the article. It's a huge company with a massive back catalogue, and we'd love to hear your ideas about how it could bring some of those games to mobile.
In case you missed it yesterday, Tencent and Activision announced they are putting out a new Call of Duty game for mobile. While details are pretty scant, they did put out a trailer (see above) and have a page where you can pre-register for the game, which might give you in-game rewards when the game actually launches.
Based on what's shown in the trailer, it looks to be a no-nonsense attempt to shoehorn every facet of mainline CoD games into a mobile package, which could be good. Though personally, I have my doubts. There are already precious few first-person shooters on mobile that are any good at all. Many of the best ones, like Call of Duty: Strike Force, have disappeared off the App Store completely. Meanwhile, things like Modern Combat 5 persist, which is a prime example of how to faithfully recreate the feeling of a big budget shooter on mobile while also leaning heavily into every worst tendency of free-to-play mobile design.
In light of all this news and speculation, I decided to dig back into our archives here and pull up a list of the best shooters on mobile. Many of these are not first-person shooters, mind you (as most of the good ones of those are gone), but they can still scratch your shooter fix while we all wait and see if Call of Duty Mobile is any good or not.