I’ve had a smartphone for about 4 1/2 years now, and the ability to play mobile games just as long, if not longer really. However, it’s just something I’ve never done as I’ve always preferred to play games on a console such as the PlayStation 3, Xbox360 or whatever. Since I got my iPhone 6 about 1 1/2 months ago, I’ve really been playing and checking out a lot more mobile games. Today, I’m going to bring you my Top five, Most Played Games, which is probably just the first of many of this kind of post that will come in the future.
First up on the list is a game that I couldn’t wait to get my iPhone 6 so that I could play and that’s the endless runner, or shall I say endless skier, called Alto’s Adventure. The reason I was so anxious to play it was because the graphics reminded me of Monument Valley, which I had played on my Android device some time last year. That game was really good and I was hoping the same with Alto’s Adventure. And for only $2.99 in the Apple Store(No Android version yet, sorry), I didn’t think I could really go wrong.
Players control the game by tapping the screen to jump over hazards, or to grab some air so they can pull off tricks by holding down on the screen or grinding wires strung between poles. A few power-ups are dotted throughout the landscape, along with coins that can unlock permanent gameplay boosts. One of the game’s top strengths is that it doesn’t go out of its way to throw in extra features and mechanics to wrap your head around, which helps contribute to its zen-inducing effect.
When you combine the visuals with an awesome mellow soundtrack, Alto’s Adventure creates a soothing comprehensive experience that feels like more than simply a game. I found myself becoming immersed in the setting, which is a feeling frequently sought but rarely experienced in similar games. Alto’s Adventure also does a good job of creating a sense of being within a larger world, mostly due to the large setting that you snowboard through that create a sense of scale with your small snowboarding avatar. It’s obvious that the developers focused exclusively in using its art direction and soundtrack to create an experience that’s bigger than the game play that surrounds it. It’s a tough act to accomplish, but I think Alto’s Adventure does a good job creating that premium experience.
I’m currently working on level 32 of Alto’s Adventure which allows me to choose from 4 different characters that I can ski with, each of which has certain things they are better at such as flips, speeds and other stuff. I’m curious, what level are you on currently?[app 950812012]
The next game on my list was a game that I just happened to stumble upon while perusing the Apple App Store, looking at various stuff shortly after receiving my iPhone. It’s a game called Mr. Jump, and I’ve always had a thing for games with the word “jump” in them, going back to the good ole days of Jumpman, Jumpman Jr. and others along the way.
The difficulty level is ludicrous when it comes to Mr. Jump. iOS has seen its fair share of super hard games, usually of the “endless platformer” variety; think Flappy Bird and Robot Unicorn Attack. But what separates Mr. Jump from the pack is that it’s not an endless platformer—victory is possible, just very unlikely. Each of the twelve levels (don’t worry, more levels are on their way) features pits, pixel-wide platforms to land on, and other obstacles, and each level introduces a new game mechanic or obstacle to watch out for, too.
When you die, it just tells you your progress and asks if you want to go again. There’s no story, and the in-game ads only appear on the game-over screen: Essentially, the developers have made the conscious decision to make the player’s singular focus to be on the jumping mechanic. Time your jumps and negotiate Mr. Jump’s world—that’s all there is to it. The controls, thankfully, have been very responsive in my experience. And because of the “percentage complete” displayed every time you die, you have an incentive to complete the level. The game is almost daring you: “I’m so simple, how hard can I be to beat?” The answer: Very hard.
If you can’t pass a certain level, or even if you just want to skip to the next level, you can pay 99 cents and do so. And if you’re like me, you’re probably going to want to put a few dollars away for this very reason because I’ve used it twice, to get past level 2 and level 3. Unfortunately for you Android folks, this game is only available for iOS, however, the developer states that it’s coming for Android some time soon.[app 955157084]
Again, I discovered the next game, Boom Dots, just by browsing the App Store and looking for something of interest. I saw it advertised as a top game or something, and after seeing a couple screenshots I decided to check it out and see what it was really all about.
Boom Dots is a surprisingly satisfying one-tap dot destroyer. You control a dot and tap to send it shooting upwards into another dot, blowing it to smithereens. If you miss, it’s your dot that will be in bits after smashing into the spikes at the top of the screen. There are missions that mean you’ve always got something to aim for. These range from blowing up a number of dots, completing missions, or getting a few perfect hits in a row.
There are other themes to be unlocked, including a retro gaming one. You can obtain these by completing missions, such as “play 12 seconds in one game” and “get 2 perfect hits in 1 game,” with 200 missions in total to complete. It’s a nice blend between fast-reaction game play and a little bit of a progression system to give you something to do without being overbearing.
Getting a perfect hit is an incredibly satisfying experience; as is playing Boom Dots. It’s actually available for both iOS and Android, but I’m currently only playing it on iOS. Also of note is that my high score is currently 94. What is your high score at the moment?[app 975047985]
Here’s a game that will get you going right from the start as it’s all about speed and action. The Zig Zag Boom app has been created for your iPhone or even your Android device and requires players to follow a path without hitting the wall. The problem is the path is anything but straight. The direction of the path will change suddenly and it’s up to players to react quickly and make it as far as possible in this game. It’s the simplicity of the challenge that makes this one so addictive.
The Zig Zag Boom app will certainly keep players on their toes thanks to the non-stop action. From the moment you launch the app the action hits you need to be ready. This one is perfect as a casual game or for longer periods of time and the kids can play it just as easily as the adults. The graphics are bright and inviting and it’s very easy to see where it is you need to be going. When you do really well you can always share your high score and if you need to pause during the game, this is also possible.
I haven’t really been playing this game as much as I need to, probably because it’s so fast paced and I get a bit frustrated and decide to go play one of the games above to settle myself down a bit. Currently my high score is a low, low 48, which to me isn’t very good. I’m certainly curious what your high score is if you’re playing Zig Zag Boom.[app 955170175]
Thematically, Dark Echo has much in common with the Papa Sangre games – you’re dumped in inky blackness and must find your way to an exit without getting horribly killed. The game’s atmosphere is similarly palpable, full of echoing footsteps and distant; frequently ominous; sounds. But whereas Papa Sangre was all about the audio, Dark Echo is decidedly more visual in nature.
As you stomp around, ‘sound waves’ emanate from your feet, bouncing about as zig-zags of bright white that briefly illuminate your surroundings. These visual echoes are used to figure out where you can head. The problem with your echoes is they alert things lurking in the gloom. These are represented by a deep red colour and the sound of someone seemingly gargling glass, and they home in on you with an eerie level of accuracy.
As the game progresses, further ways of hindering your progress arrive, such as locked doors that require yellow areas to be discovered and trodden on, and water, whose splashy, noisy nature is a particularly fantastic means of attracting nearby death-dealing monsters.
The sheer tension that results from having your senses bound so strictly is astounding. Dark Echo is careful about layering on complexity slowly as you work your way through its 80 stages, at first letting you ramble about making noise with no consequences before introducing the deadly creatures that will chase you down. Once they make the scene, the level layouts still allow you to simply outrun them, clambering about hallways that are well-lit by your stomping steps. Then it teaches you to step silently, and from then on, it’s the way you’ll typically travel. The enemies won’t hear you if you take these soft steps, and sometimes you can even shake a pursuing enemy by quietly stepping off to the side and not moving for a short while.
In Dark Echo I’m currently on level 43 and stuck and can’t seem to get past it. But like with others I’ve been stuck on, I just keep trying and trying until I figure it out. If you’re playing, what level are you on? And the good thing about this game is that it’s available on both iOS and Android.[app 951177560]
For now, those are my top 5 games that I’m playing around with on my iOS device. I’m not an every day gamer by no means, so I’m sure if others of you are playing these games I mentioned above, you’re probably kicking my butt score or level wise. But hey, I’m trying and I’m having fun.
If you have a game or two you’d like to see on this list, let me know as I’ll check it out, play it for a bit and then write about it. I’m definitely interested in what everyone else is playing on their mobile devices.