Salutations mobile mavens! While it’s true that sometimes it’s enlightening and edifying to just sit and be, communing with your inner soul like a Zen monk, when you get bored of that we have a couple of suggestions for solid gaming fun only an arm’s length away!
The shamelessly gluttonous yet adorable feline has been the star of his own web series for years, but only now has he ventured into the gaming world with this colourful and engaging match-three effort. Correctly string together coloured treats to fill the bowls of Simon’s Cat and his fuzzy acquaintances to make your way up the garden towards victory. Adversaries include a meddlesome burrowing mole, a nut-chucking squirrel, and the well-meaning but dumb as a rock bulldog Sir Royston. An enjoyable puzzler slightly marred by an occasionally unfair difficulty curve designed to edge you towards those pesky optional microtransactions.
The lineage of this sci-fi title can be clearly traced - ASI is essentially a re-skin of Reigns, the curiously engaging decision ‘em up where you attempt to guide a succession of kings through the trials and tribulations of leadership while keeping the elements of your kingdom in balance. The song remains the same here, but the setting is somewhat different; as CEO of a forward-thinking computing start-up, the goal is to successfully develop the world’s first sentient AI without suffering any of the numerous pitfalls that could divert your path, like having your research banned by the government, or accidentally becoming so famous you don’t get any work done. Even though the gameplay remains essentially unchanged, the mechanic remains a compelling one and you might find yourself having just one more go to see what amusing event sidelines you next.
The indie scene is an endless wave of invention and reinvention, and often the old and new gracefully collide to produce something remarkable. This week: what if Missile Command was a card game? For young scamps who missed out on the glory days of the arcade, Missile Command was a stone-cold classic from Atari where you protected a small base from annihilation by lasering the bombardment to neon oblivion. Here in this turn-based re-imagining, the spot-on 8-bit aesthetic is preserved but the frenetic action cools into cerebral, tactical decision. The deck, containing both the comets themselves and your laser and rocket based defenses, is dealt one card at a time along a conveyor. Weapons can be picked up and placed in one of four available slots to charge, while comets begin their fiery descent from the top of the screen. Balance must be maintained; explode your arsenal too soon, and you might not have anything in reserve for later. With upgrades available for your base and special cards that can be unlocked, Missile Cards should have your guidance systems set to ‘purchase’.
Action games on mobile have to be just the right side of simple in order to work; too much complexity for your thumbs to dance over does not make for an entertaining experience. In this, Data Wing succeeds admirably; a Thrust-inspired racer where your titular triangle is a little program of sorts carrying data around the neon interior of a computer system, boosting off track edges and contending with changes in gravity. A bevy of levels, woozy vapourwave-style synth on the soundtrack and an amusing story involving battling AIs push this one beyond the average.