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Distract Yourself With These Great Mobile Games on Sale Right Now

Posted by Campbell Bird on July 6th, 2020

There’s a lot going on right now, and I don’t really feel like trying to write some kind of pithy intro for it. All I’ll say is lots of people have been coming together and helping each other in small ways, and I’m choosing to focus on that as I try to stay safe myself.

One of the ways folks are trying to help are by making their games more affordable, or even free, during this time. Check out my top picks below of some great mobile titles that have gone on sale recently:

Games marked with an asterisk(*) denote that the entire developer/publisher’s catalog is discounted, despite the fact that all of their games may not be listed here.

Apple Arcade: Ranked - Top 25 [Updated 6.29]

Posted by Campbell Bird on June 29th, 2020

In case you missed it, I am on a quest to rank every Apple Arcade game there is.

Patch Notes:

Patch notes have been removed and have been replaced with (NEW) designation for the games most recently added or updated on this list.

*UPDATE:* As the pace of Apple Arcade has slowed, old games will also be re-evaluated based on reader feedback and content updates. Recently re-evaluated titles will be designated with (UPDATE) next to the title name.

Game ranking updates for 6/17:

  • Grindstone (#27)
  • Assemble with Care (#55)
  • Crossy Road Castle (#62)
  • Kings of the Castle (#75)
  • Beyond a Steel Sky (NEW)* (#82)

Games marked with an asterisk(*) are games that suffer in rank due to technical problems.

All current rankings are listed below. More titles will be added frequently until the list is complete.

Apple Arcade: Ranked - 26-50 [Updated 6.29]

Posted by Campbell Bird on June 29th, 2020

This is part 2 of our Apple Arcade rankings. Quick navigation to other parts:

1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75 | 76-100 | 101+


26. Bleak Sword

Description:

Bleak Sword challenges you with combat encounters that are encased in little monochromatic diorama scenes. There’s a story here, but the main focus is: Enter arena, kill enemies, get loot, level up, and repeat.

Rank Explanation:

It’s really hard to get action-based combat right on touchscreens, but Bleak Sword kind of nails it (and in portrait mode no less!). The controls are simple and responsive without feeling limiting. If you want micro doses of really stylish-yet-minimal action combat, this is the way to go.

Bleak Sword limits its appeal by being so reaction-based, not to mention super hard. Dying also comes with some hefty penalties that might make you want to put it down rather than digging in and mastering it.

Update: I’m a little bummed to have discovered that Bleak Sword apparently doesn’t keep a local save file. It’s always accessing iCloud, meaning you can’t continue your progress in the game unless you’re connected to data.

Apple Arcade: Ranked - 51-75 [Updated 6.29]

Posted by Campbell Bird on June 29th, 2020

This is part 3 of our Apple Arcade rankings. Quick navigation to other parts:

1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75 | 76-100 | 101+


51. Agent Intercept

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Description:

Agent Intercept is a cross between a racing game and a puzzle game. You play as a secret agent who is chasing all sorts of villains all over the world. In your chase, you need to drive fast, but you also get points for drifting, hitting jumps, and taking down henchmen. The ultimate goal of any level is to get the best score on the leaderboards, which change out every day when a new level becomes available.

Rank Explanation:

This game gets a lot of bonus points just based on its style alone. The super spy theming of Agent Intercept is so spot on and makes playing it feel really cool. Its “one challenge per day” structure also feels like a perfect dose for this kind of game. I just wish the driving felt a little better. The controls just give you a slider to move your vehicle from left to right, which doesn’t always feel the most responsive.

Apple Arcade: Ranked - 76-100 [Updated 6.29]

Posted by Campbell Bird on June 29th, 2020

This is part 4 of our Apple Arcade rankings. Quick navigation to other parts:

1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75 | 76-100 | 101+


76. Skate City

Description:

Skate your way through three different cities, whether just to find perfect lines or complete specific challenges. Skate City is kind of a 2D take on the Skate series, where you aren’t doing crazy trick combos or finding collectibles. Instead, the focus is on performing specific tricks and riding smoothly.

Rank Explanation:

Overall I’m not super impressed with Skate City. The controls are not as intuitive as they look. It’s visuals also look kind of clunky. This, plus the fact that Skate City has very little personality to speak of, makes it feel pretty forgettable.

Apple Arcade: Ranked - 101+ [Updated 6.29]

Posted by Campbell Bird on June 29th, 2020

This is part 2 of our Apple Arcade rankings. Quick navigation to other parts:

1-25 | 26-50 | 51-75 | 76-100 | 101+


101. Scrappers

[img id="104356" alt=""]

Description:
In the far-flung future, the Earth is only inhabited by two things: robots and trash. This is the setup for Scrappers, a side-scrolling beat ‘em up where you play as a robotic sanitation worker who needs to fight their way through junkyards while depositing trash into your truck to earn money. You can also do all of this with up to three other people in the game’s co-op mode.

Rank Explanation:
Scrappers is a mound of poor decisions that got bundled up into a colorful package. Beat ‘em ups are rarely ever good; co-op focused games with no matchmaking make for a boring time; and making “picking up trash” your differentiating mechanic is not exactly my idea of fun. Even if you happen to like beat ‘em ups, Scrappers is a tough sell because of how easy it is to exploit the game’s combat system and suck all of the challenge out of it.

The 5 Best Mobile Games Like The Last of Us Part II

Posted by Campbell Bird on June 18th, 2020

The Last of Us Part II is set to come out this week, but review scores have already been rolling in to pump up excitement for the latest entry in Naughty Dog’s expensive-looking apocalyptic survival horror series. Generally speaking, the game has already received near universal praise for its technical prowess, it’s a little less clear whether its story and tone will be as successful.

Some of this is due to the review embargo Naughty Dog has put in place around The Last of Us Part II, which has restricted critics from writing about the game in its entirety. Outside of that, there has been also heavy discussion among writers about how the game’s tone feels overly brutal and needlessly bleak, particularly since these aspects are seemingly being used in order to raise the same tired questions about player agency and violence that have been explored repeatedly in over a decade’s worth of “prestige” games.

The 5 Best Mobile Card-Based Roguelites

Posted by Campbell Bird on June 16th, 2020

Slay the Spire finally hit the App Store, and—as great as it is—the mobile version leaves quite a bit to be desired. This prompted us here to look back at all mobile games that have come out of the explosion of card-based roguelites that have been releasing in recent years and pick the top five games in that particular niche.

If you want to hold off on buying Slay the Spire for your phone (which we suggest you do), check out these other great titles that can deliver a similar experience. If you’re looking for some other great mobile games to play, click here to check out all the other top lists we’ve been making lately.

The 5 Best Mobile Real Time Strategy Games

Posted by Campbell Bird on June 3rd, 2020

Real-time strategy games feel like they’d be a perfect fit for mobile, but they’re trickier to pull off that you might think. The traditional mold of base-building and micro management can work on touch screens, but needs to be carefully honed so that it doesn’t end up too overwhelming.

Few titles on the App Store get this right, but the games below are all nail it in their own, unique ways. Check them out. Oh, and click here to check out all the other great lists we’ve been making lately.

The 5 Best Mobile Racing Games

Posted by Campbell Bird on May 19th, 2020

With KartRider Rush+ making a splash this past week, we figured it was high time we updated our list of the best mobile racing games out there. From realistic racing sims to futuristic arcade racers (and even racing management games!), check out our top picks for the absolute best games for those with a need for speed.

If you’re more interested in games where driving is the key focus, check out our list of top driving games here. For all of our most up-to-date top lists, click here.

The 5 Best Mobile Games Like Final Fantasy VII Remake (Updated 4.22)

Posted by Campbell Bird on April 22nd, 2020

Final Fantasy VII is probably the most revered JRPG of all time, and its long-awaited remake has tons of folks anxiously awaiting the chance to see the reimagining of a classic. I’m sure its release will be met with equal parts fanfare and outrage, as is usually the case when a high-profile work is revisited.

If you don’t want to have to sift through all of the hot takes around the game to decide whether it’s worth playing, it might be better to just try and find an alternative for now. Check out our top picks for the best mobile games that can deliver an experience close to what Final Fantasy VII Remake promises. Oh, and while you’re at it, click here to check out all the great lists we’ve been putting together recently.

The 5 Best Mobile Multiplayer Shooters

Posted by Campbell Bird on April 13th, 2020

I spent part of my weekend playing Valorant, the new multiplayer shooter from Riot Games. While I was waiting to get into the beta, though, I was trying to see if I could find anything else like it, particularly on mobile. Perhaps this is unsurprising to say, but: This was hard to do.

For those not familiar, Valorant is a 5v5 multiplayer shooter that’s more-or-less Counter-Strike with hero characters. It’s pretty fun, but requires a lot of focus and teamwork. Few mobile games really fall into this camp, so I decided instead to go for just good multiplayer shooters in general.

For the purposes of this list, “good” generally means the following: 1) No unbalanced free-to-play mechanics (i.e. fusing guns or characters to increase their stats), and 2) people are still playing them. Check out the picks below. Oh, and click here to check out all the great lists we’ve been making lately.

Fun (and Free) Things To Do With Friends While in Quarantine

Posted by Campbell Bird on April 9th, 2020

If you’re anything like me, you’ve been cooped up in your house for weeks and the novelty of making video calls is starting to wear off. You need something else to do with your friends and loved ones, but it needs to be something everyone can do together and with minimal setup and no cost.

Forget trying to get everyone on board with Call of Duty Warzone or anything else so intense. Try these fun, free, and easy activities that just about anyone can pick up and enjoy.


Make Your Own Adventure with AI Dungeon

AI Dungeon is a game where you collaboratively create a story with the help of an AI chatbot. Of course, this is something you could do completely on your own, but wouldn’t it be more fun to see what kinds of absurd (or maybe even impressive) adventures you could go on with friends?

The 5 Best Mobile Games Like Dark Souls

Posted by 148Apps Staff on April 3rd, 2020

There's no escaping the fact that everyone loves Dark Souls. If you've not heard of it, it's a super tough action RPG that punished your every mistake with swift retribution. It's the sort of game where you die a lot, and it can be pretty intimidating trying to get on board with the systems it throws at you.

But you can't play it on your iPhone. Well, there's Slashy Souls, but to be honest the less said about that the better. If you're looking to get some Souls-style action on the go though, there are plenty of options waiting for you on the App Store.

Rather than leaving you to find all of them for yourself though, we thought we'd do a list and round-up what we think are the five best games like Dark Souls for iOS. If you think we're wrong, or you've got your own suggestions to chuck into the mix, let us know in the comments at the bottom of the article.

And while we're at it, why not click here and check out all the other awesome lists we've created for your viewing pleasure. Right then, on with the games.

The 5 Best Mobile Games Like Grindstone

Posted by Campbell Bird on March 31st, 2020
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Apple Arcade made a splash when it first launched, granting access to over 50 games as soon as it became available. Of those titles, the one that seemed to grab most people’s attention was Grindstone, a matching puzzle game from Capy Games.

In order to enjoy Grindstone though, you have to activate an Apple Arcade subscription, which—even now—doesn’t quite feel like a quality value proposition for most people. Luckily, there are some great games on the regular old App Store that share some DNA with Grindstone. I’d even go so far as to say over half the games on this list are better than Grindstone, though I know that’s probably not a statement most folks will agree with.

In any case, check out the picks below. Oh, and click here to check out all the other great lists we’ve been making recently.