Mobile Games in 2020

Ah, I should reinstall that one! It fell off my rotation, but it’s damn solid.

I can’t seem to treat phone games as anything but stuff I fire up to kill time. Munchkin Match and Bejeweled Stars scratch that particular itch. Tried other stuff, but they were too clunky, slow-paced, or obvious about their money grubbing (talking about you Angry Birds Match).

I also use them to kill time, usually on journeys or when I need a quick break.

I’ve been playing:

  • The Quarry
  • Mamono Sweeper
  • Through the Ages
  • Hungry Cat Picross
  • Ticket to Ride (the AI is poor, but hey it was free in a bundle)
  • Euclidea
  • Motorsport Manager Mobile 2
  • Rebel Inc

It does feel like mobile games – for me at least – have to have an unusual combination of “can put down at a moment’s notice” but still enough depth that it’s not just Candy Crush.

I tend to play a lot on my phone while the girlfriend is watching one of her many crappy reality shows.

I played a lot of Star Traders: Frontiers and Stardew Valley. Now looking for something else to play.

I guess there are other games I could mention that I still play a fair amount. The Kingdom Rush games are tower defense classics, in my opinion. There are a bunch of good board game conversions like Ticket to Ride and Tokaido. And then there are games that I can play on a tablet but not a phone, like FTL and Alien: Blackout (technically you can play Alien: Blackout on a phone but it’s so tiny I don’t bother).

Easily where I spend most of my time, too. But yeah, I’m looking for something…I dunno, different.

I kinda want a good Guild-style strat/sim game, but alas I’ve not had much luck. Shop Heroes isn’t terrible, but not really want I want, either.

FTL might be the best argument I’ve seen yet for an iPad. Might have to break out my daughter’s, I don’t think she ever uses it anymore…

I heard good things about Gems of War, but I’m usually more than a bit wary of freemium games…

Mount it on the wall in the bathroom, there’s nothing better than pooping with a 10" screen!

Edit: Well, pooping with an 11" screen. But I reserve the newest iPad for couch usage.

I’ve recently downloaded Legion War after seeing it listed in from DasTactics’s Top games of 2019 and…it’s actually pretty good! Scratches the Advance Wars itch pretty well.

I’ve been hooked on Konami’s picross game, Pixel Puzzle Collection, lately.

I’ve gotten to the point where I don’t even install a game if the store page shows any sort of currency IAP.

BTW, if you like puzzle games, Simon Tatham’s Puzzles is an absolutely must-have. Free and no ads, too.

That’s the best Picross mobile game available, in my opinion. I beat all the puzzles and now I am sad.

Let’s see, what games do I have on my phone right now?

  • Cytus II - favorite mobile game of all time; it’s a touch rhythm game will all original music
  • Pocket City
  • Pocket Build
  • Project Highrise
  • Cultist Simulator - really the text is too small for my phone
  • Evolution - best mobile board game IMO
  • 80 Days
  • Exploding Kittens
  • Onirim
  • Plague Inc
  • Really Bad Chess - i.e. really good chess
  • Sentinels of the Multiverse
  • The Eighth Continent
  • Tokaido
  • Underhand - this unique card-based pseudo-Reigns-like is really cool
  • Tiny Room Stories - nice point-and-click puzzler
  • Where Shadows Slumber - a kind of Monument Valley-like featuring shadow puzzles
  • Despotism 3k - management game with a cool Skynet vs. humans theme
  • Dissembler
  • Night of the Full Moon - a narrative card-driven game with cool art
  • Grand Mountain - my favorite dexterity game
  • A Planet of Mine
  • Game Dev Tycoon
  • Airport PRG
  • Detention
  • This War of Mine
  • XSection - awesome 3D geometry puzzle game
  • Euclidea - awesome geometry puzzle game
  • Pythogorea - awesome trigonometry puzzle game
  • Burger Shop 2
  • The Quarry - the best mobile Factorio-like
  • Antimatter Dimensions
  • Kittens Game
  • Sword and Glory
  • Heads Up! - best party game ever; we pull this out everywhere; hilarious and super fun
  • Vodobanka - haven’t tried this yet, but a tactical game from the makers of Antiyoy
  • Spaceplan

I’m not entirely opposed to IAPs depending on the game. But if a game has ads I can’t pay to remove, I delete it pretty quickly.

I’m the opposite, I generally will take a game with ads if it means I don’t have to pay for it. I don’t mind ads; I just use the time to look around at the scenery, or contemplate the universe and my place in it, then it’s back to my game.

This list is fantastic, and has enough overlap with games I’ve played that I’ll definitely be looking a lot of these up.

I just discovered Evolution is out for Android since posting this thread, and I see several here have mentioned it, so that’s one I’ll spend some time with in the upcoming week.

For me it depends on the type of ad – frequency, intrusiveness, etc – but if it’s a game I enjoy, I don’t mind throwing a few bucks at the publisher. Especially since I earn $5-10/month on average in Google Rewards money.