Looking for a slightly different city builder to play on your phone? The Final Earth 2 is just that. A game developed by one person (Florian van Strien), The Final Earth 2 lets you build a cubical vertical city on series of small floating platforms. The game revolves around various building types and resource management – ensure you’ve got a steady supply of wood, stone and food, adequate housing and keep adding to your never ending tower blocks.
The game starts you off with some simple scenarios which introduce you to the various types of building and resource. There’s a constant loop of creating housing, ensuring there’s enough work and providing happiness boosts to your population. This makes for some pretty addictive gameplay in which you’re constantly adding and expanding your city. The various buildings synergise with each other, have a variety of upgrades and some can even be customised aesthetically. The building synergies will challenge you to think about your layout and you may find yourself going back to redesign and rethink certain areas.
A simple but effective game. A very clever concept with huge potential for additions and growth. There are loads of new buildings to unlock as you build up your city and various upgrades and improvements to purchase. The game is quite light on ads – there’s a boost option (for watching an ad) that will temporarily increase your production. There are also some ads in between scenarios, but other that no annoying constant ads or gatchas. There’s an ad-free version for £2.69 or a premium edition for £4.49 which ads some new buildings, creative mode and removes all ads – this is definitely a great deal and is an awesome way to support the developer. The game is better suited for longer play sessions when you’ve got time to kill, because trust me you will find yourself glued to it. The game only plays in landscape mode – it would be interesting to see if it could also work in portrait (resources on top, controls on the bottom).
Overall a very satisfying game to play for medium to long play sessions, lots of buildings, upgrades and new things to discover. I would definitely recommend giving it a go if you like city builders.
When setting a job priority – if you want everyone focused on that job up the value to “Max” – that will ensure all these jobs are always filled first
Build lots of stone mines and rock teleporters
Focus on establishing your basic resources before adding new ones – you need a sold supply of stone and wood before starting to thing about machine parts and refined metals
Don’t worry about happiness too much at the start of a city, but don’t completely forget about it either
Surround labs with 4 farms or tree plantations to get the most out of them
The Living Research Center allows you to upgrade all generic houses to a specific type of house
Grim Quest – Old School RPG by Goran K is a game that’s popped up as recommended several times in my app store and I decided to give it a go – I just wish I’d done so sooner. As the game’s name suggests it’s an “old-school” RPG game that focuses on exploring dungeons, turn based combat and purchasing/upgrading spells, skills and equipment. The game also features has crafting as a method of creating powerful buffs and potions. You can also accept and complete bounties for XP and gold.
Each dungeon is essentially a square grid – these vary in size. Each turn you can choose one of the adjacent squares to move into it – at that stage you can either encounter enemies, a random event or the exit to the dungeon. You are discouraged from walking back over already revealed tiles as there’s a good chance you will get ambushed. While navigating the dungeons you need to keep an eye on your health, sanity and supplies. I quite like that there’s no mana to maintain, spells are just based on a number of charges that resets before each battle. If you’re low on sanity your fears will start manifesting themselves into monsters that attack you; run out of health and you’ll be kicked out of the dungeon. You will also find various items that buff you for that specific dungeon run. There are a decent variety of dungeons, monsters and a great selection of skills and spells to learn and combo.
One thing that needs to be mentioned is that this game was made by one person, which instantly propels it to a whole new level of excellence. Simple/minimalist graphics combined with classic mechanics and a great amount of depth make for a pretty amazing mobile gaming experience. You can pick this game up for a casual dungeon crawl or run after run attempting to beat a dungeon boss. There’s an ad-free version for £5.49, but it must be said the ads are essentially non-existent – apart from a bottom banner and the option to watch ads for cash every time you return to town (you don’t have to do this if you’d like an extra challenge). Personally I do feel that that price is a little steep – if it was 15-25% cheaper, I feel I’d be a bit more inclined to purchase it. There are some quality of life improvements that could be made like an option to sort your stash or being able to see the spell description at the Alter of Oblivion.
Overall it’s a brilliant game with familiar classic mechanics, simple but effective aesthetics, customisation options and a huge amount of spells, skills, crafting and enemies to take on. It’s also quite a challenge, especially early game until you’ve got some upgrades and good spells. The game will keep you thinking – just one more dungeon, one more level. It’s great for both short and longer sessions of play. A must see for any RPG/Turn-based aficionados out there.
AOE spells and attacks are very helpful
Hold on to ingredients that can be used in the cauldron
Make sure you always have as many bounties as possible on at a time
If you have an item already in your possession/stash you can complete item bounties
Items can be used to buff yourself on a particular dungeon run (very useful for boss levels)
Always check the vendor for steel ingots or other upgrade materials
You can reset/forget spells and skills at the Alter of Oblivion (Level 1 spells cost 0 to forget, but higher level ones will cost more)
Do you have that feeling that all mobile strategy games are just annoying gatcha games with loads of microtransactions to help you speed things up? Me too, but this one is something different. Abstrrkt Explorers (or just Explorers) by Abstrrkt is a free, turn based strategy game for android. The game is reminiscent of some familiar classics (live Civ 6) with its hex grid setup and conquest mechanics. The game is pretty much a fully fledged 4X game which lets you build, explore, develop and fight for control over the world. It has a campaign mode, single player and even a local multiplayer option.
The campaign serves as a tutorial and introduction to the game. It gives you series of increasingly challenging and complex scenarios. Things start out simple with a small settlement and 4 initial types of resource wood, stone, food and population. You need to build up your economy through farms, lumberjacks and fishermen or hunters, later on gold is also added. You can then expand your empire through barracks which you can later upgrade. This is where the combat element of the game is introduced.
The combat is a bit of a different take and is based around the influence zones of your barracks and taking barracks from your enemies using your units from your own adjacent barracks. The game adds a bunch of other buildings as you progress, including catapults, harbours and ships. All this and more is delivered in a nice pastel low poly style with simple and intuitive controls.
A beautiful game with a lot of depth. The various game modes will give you plenty to mess around with, the campaign has a lot of gameplay for you to get stuck into (6 missions total). There are 3 types of game you can run in single player (Fixed, Domination, Survival) and a bunch of other settings you can configure. There are some ads, mainly in between campaign missions or when you start a game, overall they aren’t that intrusive but if you’d like to help the developer out you can buy an ad free option for £3.09. The game has a lot to offer, but there are some drawbacks, personally I think the combat can get to a point where you are just trading buildings with the AI without making much progress and that can be a bit frustrating. It feels like maybe another dimension can be added apart from the catapults and you can only ever build one new soldier per turn per barrack. The research tree has a good amount to uncover and keep you busy and it could easily be expanded with new buildings or upgrades.
Overall a great game for short to medium length sessions, although the game definitely has that “one more turn” element that can keep you locked in for ages. The simple style and low poly aesthetics make for a very beautiful and chill experience. There’s a bit more to be desired in terms of the combat, but other than that it’s quite a solid game with various gameplay modes and even a local multiplayer option.
Focus on food the most (especially early game)
Try and place as many buildings as you can each turn
Reinforce your barracks with units – ideally build a unit every turn
If you set a barrack to receive units it will pull in units from all barracks which have the “deploy” option on
The Gauntlet by Cutlass is a minimalist turn based RPG. A simple, retro feel and a great time waster. The game is focused on combat over 100s of floors of monsters. You can also permanently upgrade your heroes or purchase new ones with your
You can pick what difficulty gauntlet you’d like to start, after which you select your fighters – initially there are 4 classes available and more can be unlocked through cash or in-game currency. The 4 base classes are Warrior, Thief, Mage and the Knight – each offering different stats and its own skill tree. Once you’ve selected your 3 fighters you are plunged into the gauntlet and you’ll start fighting waves of enemies. The game will cycle through your characters allowing to choose your moves – attack, defend, use items or cast spells. Beat all the floors and you’ll have mastered that gauntlet.
Overall it’s a brilliantly nice and simple game with a unique art style and solid gameplay. There is potential to expand on the game by having equipment for the different classes, more achievements, challenges or perhaps even some different game modes. Each new class costs $1.99 or 50 000 souls, which are fairly easy to collect from a few successful runs. This means there’s no pressure to actually purchase classes, but buying them is a great way to support the developers. There are also no ads, which is awesome. When you need to do something else you can just exit or pause the game and it will save your progress, convenient for when you’re out and about and just need something to do for 5-10 minutes. The game is worth a download, just don’t get too distracted because you will keep thinking “just one more floor” and we all know how that goes.
Use items to restore health/mana, also items are per character rather than a shared pool of items
Clear smaller easier units before focusing on the boss
Mage is useful against phantom characters, who don’t take damage from physical attacks (they do take damage from various spells though)
Knight has a “Provoke” (Taunt) ability that will make enemies more likely to target it
Evil Hunter Tycoon by Super Planet is a mobile game based around managing a city and its heroes in a typical fantasy RPG world. The concept can be a bit confusing at first, but once you get your head around it you will be hooked. Essentially you will invest in buildings and create weapons, armour and various services for your heroes. The heroes generally do their own thing and will grind monsters and collect loot and gold. As the shop owner you can then buy loot from the heroes, it can then be used to produce items and services to sell back to the heroes at extortionate rates.
There are 3 main areas in which your heroes can grind, they can also complete bounties that you set them for XP and gold. There are various tiers of hero as well, so you will want to try and collect the best of them (Legendary). There’s a good variety of alternative tasks such as dungeons and boss fights. Heroes will level up from slaying monsters and completing quests, getting them up to level 100 will also allow them to reincarnate – this is the game’s “prestige” element. The reincarnated heroes will start from level 1 as a much enhanced version of their former selves. Reincarnate enough heroes and you can increase the “difficulty” of the world, this will “prestige” the world by enhancing enemies, their loot and your heroes.
Evil Hunter Tycoon approaches the idle and tycoon genres (especially with regards to mobile) in a very interesting manor. There are also some great RPG elements sprinkled in there. The game doesn’t actually progress or do much when you don’t have it open. At first I wasn’t sure how I felt about this, but this actually makes it that much more addictive. Sure, you can probably leave your phone running with the game to grind up some cash, but progress won’t be as good as it would from active play. As you progress you’ll kit out your heroes with better armour and equipment, you’ll level up your various buildings and improve your little town.
The concept of buying resources and materials from your heroes as opposed to farming them yourself is a nice twist and while it can sometimes be a bit of a challenge to get an exact idea of what you’ve got and what you’ve ordered, overall it works quite nicely. Overall it’s a very addictive game, great for active play sessions. There’s no offline idle progression, but that helps make the game more compelling than most typical mobile idle gatcha games. There are a few “watch ad” or gatcha elements, but they are not at all intrusive or needed. There are various methods of acquiring new heroes, but again no need to spend real money. There is a VIP subscription service, which we’re used which offers various bonuses, cool down reduction and (perhaps most useful) is an automatic dungeon runner. Personally it’s a bit on the pricey side and I’m not very keen on these subscription based models for mobile games. The game screen can be a bit intimidating at first as it’s a lot of text and various options all around, but with some time (and by minimising the chat window) you can get a better overview of things. It would be nice to be able to sort or group heroes in some sort of way. The difficulty/prestige system ensures you will keep playing for a long time as there are a total of 8 tiers, each with an improvement in your heroes outfits, a “new” or upgraded set of enemies and more weapons and armour.
Overall I’d recommend giving it a go, it’s a good game for medium to long active play sessions. There’s no offline progress and you probably won’t miss it that much as there’s so many other things going on. The simple pixel art style is very aesthetically pleasing, it’s a nice twist on the typical mobile idle game and will keep you coming back (there are events and login rewards).
Hero hierachy/tiers go Normal, Rare, Superior, Heroic, Legendary – when banishing your heroes keep that in mind
You can upgrade weapons or armour from a previous tier
Make sure you’ve always got a bounty running
Make sure the Inn, Restaurant, Tavern and Infirmary are always stocked up
You can place an order for infinite items, meaning that any time a hero has that item they will sell it – for some things like linen or fruit this can be very useful, but be weary as it will eat into your finances
Don’t bother summoning Normal heroes unless you’re really struggling, always try and get Superior or better
Do dungeons regularly (they also drop hats for your heroes)
Don’t forget to learn skills and traits (whenever you reincarnate)
Leave your phone charging and running (with stocked up services) in order to grind some easy cash and loot
“Normal” dungeons start after the 25th floor
If you minimise the dungeon, don’t forget to collect the chest and dismiss your heroes, otherwise they’ll be stuck there
Magic Survival by LEME is a simple but addictive mobile survival bullet-hell(ish) game available for Android. The game concept is based and you (a magic being of sorts) surviving and ever increasing onslaught of evil squiggles. There’s only one control and that’s moving, everything else is automatic. As you navigate the world there are MP orbs to collect, these will help you level up. At each level you get to choose a skill (or to enhance and existing one). There are also chests with equipment dotted around the world. In a nutshell that’s the game and the core gameplay loop – survive as long as you can, while upgrading and evading the enemies.
There are also points that you accumulate after each attempt. These “experiment points” will help you unlock new classes of magical beings – witches, druids, shamans, you name it, they’ve got it. The difference between classes being that they start out with different abilities (the ones you get from levelling up). There are currently 24 classes to unlock. Whenever you pass a certain threshold on a map you will also unlock a new map with a different modifier or challenge. There are also different models you can pick from for your character, these will cost you points which can also be spent on permanent research skills.
Magic Survival is a very addictive game, perfect for killing time as most times you’ll survive around 10-20 minutes. There are some skippable ads (after an attempt) and you can revive for watching an ad. Other than that they aren’t very intrusive, I barely noticed them. There are a few purchase options – a 2x all rewards for $2.49 or an add free version for $3.99, both of which are nice ways to support the developers but not really required. It’s apparent the game has been translated and some of the abilities aren’t always 100% clear, but you can figure most of it out through play.
Overall I’d recommend giving it a go – as it can be played with 1 hand, it’s the ideal casual game. The simple scribble graphics make for a quite pleasing aesthetic. There’s also a good amount of unlocks, upgrades and things to try and collect/achieve. There isn’t much compelling you to return to it every day, but the game is there for whenever you need to kill 10-15 minutes.
After investing 2 points into an ability the next time it’s offered to you it will have a special upgrade option where you can “Manifest a talent” giving it a major upgrade
Ability Fusion makes things very interesting – this is a perk/ability that will rarely be offered to you upon upgrading, it allows fusion between two of your existing abilities
Getting at least 1 point in many abilities will ensure that you’re always using something and not a sitting duck
Purchase permanent upgrades/research between games
Minimal Dungeon RPG by CapPlay, is just what the title says – a minimalist dungeon crawler with RPG elements for mobile. The game will present you with various blocks that you must tap in order to overcome the obstacle they represent. Sometimes they will be enemies, other times they will be some sort of resource. There are also blocks with padlocks on them, these are unlocked using either silver or gold keys, often these will have better loot than the standard blocks. There are also blocks which will offer you keys, loot or skill points in exchange for cash. Each dungeon level will have a series of rooms that you will need to navigate before reaching the final boss for that level. Beat the boss and you’ll progress.
Your character has 5 types of skill points, but you can only invest in 3 – HP, ATK or DEF – all of which fairly self explanatory. You will also be able to equip loot that you find, be it a weapon, chest piece, helmet or shoes. Equipment uses established RPG colour and naming hierarchy (Common, Rare, Epic, Legendary). There are also set bonuses for some legendary equipment that will give you extra bonuses. The game has a main story mode and every 5 stages you will reach some sort of base, where you can go on an adventure (independent of the story, for grinding), grow seeds (you can spend fruits on stats upgrades), replay old levels or buy items. You can also go on a one off adventure, which is essentially a single floor of a dungeon and you don’t regenerate health over time, sometimes these can end a lot quicker than expected.
Overall a brilliantly simple and fun game. The core game play loop focuses around tapping and exploring the dungeons, but the variety in layouts and available tiles, as well as loot, all keep you coming back for more. There are points where the story will become challenging and you need to break away to grind up a bit. The game is very non-intrusive when it comes to gatchas and videos, although could potentially benefit from a daily login type reward (currently checking on your seeds is your main motivation to check back regularly). Occasionally there are parts of the dungeon that may be locked off by a video, I’d say it’s really down to you on whether you feel like watching it at that stage, but if you don’t you aren’t really missing out on all that much. There are some premium currency options, but these are generally unnecessary. The game looks, sounds and plays great and is perfect for anything from quick time-killing session to an extended dungeon crawling marathon, as it has that “just one more room” appeal.
Don’t buy equipment from the random vendors unless you really need it
Always pay for extra skill points in dungeons
Explore the full dungeon before proceeding
Fish in multiple spots at once, while the animation plays out
You can leave a story mode dungeon and go back to the base without losing progress
If you are stuck you can grind levels and equipment in adventure mode
In adventure mode your health doesn’t restore, use springs and herbs to maintain your health points
The Burnable Garbage Day by GameOn Co. Ltd is a casual mobile game with a powerful message and some really amazing graphics. The game is set in the distant future where you are a cleaning robot who has discovered that Earth has been covered in garbage, humanity has disappeared and nature is struggling. You quickly discover that some humans have been frozen away in settlements and you can help them rebuild society.
The core gameplay loop focuses around you tapping away the rubbish and completing quests for the various settlements you discover tucked away under all the garbage. Each city you unlock will come with a set of quests and its unique set of items that it produces. You are limited in the number of clicks you can do by your battery, which recharges over time, when you level up, clear an area or by using a battery pack. As you unlock more settlements you will have access to more items, which will in turn allow you to complete more quests. Completing quests will give you xp and level up the settlements. While it is a very simple and repetitive gameplay, it can be quite addictive as you unlock further regions, new settlements and upgrade yourself.
The game does have a bit of a gatcha side to it with the battery aspect, but you can find a lot of spare batteries during your adventures (or from quests), there are also some short ads whenever you level up (after level 10), but overall nothing too intrusive. There isn’t much to the game, but it’s nice and relaxing and something you can come back to for a few minutes every few hours. Town’s take around 5 minutes to reset their quests, once you unlock a few regions you can bounce between towns to get quite a longer session in. The story and the message of the game are quite relevant to the challenges we face as a species. The robot (you) is quite endearing and some of the dialogue with its voice assistant (Biri) can be quite amusing. It could be nice to have some sort of daily login reward or achievements. There are some minor text and translation errors, but they don’t detract from the overall experience.
Overall I’d definitely recommend it as a casual time-waster game, the ads are not intrusive, you can buy an ad-free version for £2.99, which is a great way to help out the developers. There are plenty of regions to unlock, each with its own set of challenges, resources and towns. It’s an aesthetically pleasing game with a great message, endearing and funny dialogue and story line, perfect for a quick session that will keep you coming back regularly.
Try and get the gold chests in each area as soon as you enter it
Once you encounter the vending machine it’s worth visiting it every time it appears to get more batteries
Many of the settlement upgrade quests are fairly easy to guess, if in doubt read the item descriptions – they are usually quite close to what the quest giver is asking for
The Dolphin in the tropic area needs Stone Axe to make him feel cool
The Octopus in the volcano area needs Honey Flavouring to help him calm down from his nightmares
The Wanderer is a mobile game made by Jamie Parish, an indie developer. The game draws inspiration from other post-apocalyptic titles (a few nods to Fallout), you will be challenged to survive and wander around the irradiated plains of what used to be a civilised world. At the beginning you are given a base camp where you can manage and store your resources, upgrade certain devices that will aid your survival and generally rest and reset between exploration missions. The core gameplay loop consists of you venturing out from your camp to various points on the map where you hope to find resources. Each hour of movement will cost you water and food, which you must replenish with the resources that you find. You will also have to maintain your health, illness and radiation levels as various foods or events can have an impact on those.
The game gives you some neat customisation options when starting out as well as a list of options that can make your playthrough even more challenging (should you choose to enable them). You will also have skill points to spend and you’ll earn more each time you level up. On your adventures you will often encounter random events where you will have a choice between several interactions – sometimes you may run into someone who requires some items, other times you may get attacked by irradiated monsters or bandits. When you arrive at points of interest you will be able to collect resources, these will reset each time you return to your home base. While there isn’t much to the core loop it can be quite addictive as you try to collect the resources you need to upgrade your tools and the ultimate goal is to repair the old van, which will massively aid you on your journeys.
The game has come a long way from its humble beginnings and there is really very little to fault on it. It’s great as both a casual game or something you spend hours on, trying to gather the right resources. There are some very minor gatcha elements like a log in reward, reward chests and you can watch videos to help boost XP or buy premium currency (which allows you to fast travel or respec), but for the most part these are completely unneeded and not intrusive at all.
Overall it’s a great little game and has all the key elements to keep you engaged for longer periods of time – things to build and upgrade, plenty to explore, some tricky resource management at times, quests, achievements, levels and even things like daily login rewards. It can be great for either a short play where you just go and explore a few locations or for extended sessions where venture much further from your home base or work towards building that van and upgrading your camp as much as possible. Definitely worth checking out as it is still being updated and actively improved,
If you are over exposed to radiation you will mutate – this will prevent you from getting radiation or illness from eating bad food, but you will lose health every hour. This can be easier to manage than constantly buying radiation masks
Revisit places near to your base – these reset every time you go back to your home base.
Focus on upgrading your backpack and base storage Recruiting the dog companion can be very useful as it can do really good damage at a higher level, however you will need to give it food and water
Don’t bother healing the dog as it will restore health provided it’s got food and water
Invest some points in Agility and Strength in order to increase the size of the hitbox in combat, as sometimes combat is pretty unavoidable
Ammo sells for quite a few caps
Karma will affect the sort of things that you find when scavenging – better karma, better loot
Heroism by MINMAXIA is an Early Access game available on Android. It’s a brilliantly deep roguelike(ish) action RPG game with some idle game elements (although it’s not really an idle game). The game has a cool retro pixel style, multiple classes to choose from when creating your hero including some more unusual choices like the Chicken King (and his army of chickens). If you’ve played games like Pokémon Mystery Dungeon you may notice some familiar elements. The game has a lot of classis RPG elements like attributes, active or passive skills, companions, randomised tiered weapons and armours. It’s got it all. There’s also an impressive variety of points you can gain in order to invest into upgrading yourself, your companions and your rewards. This is where the idle elements come in as you can just keep upgrading and upgrading so that when you’re exploring a dungeon you make more and more – you guessed it to spend on more upgrades.
The core game play loop is focused around you exploring dungeons in order to complete various quests a la collect an item, rescue someone or clear all monsters. You can use on screen controls or tap to go to a location – you will encounter mobs and loot on your way through the dungeons. If you play with some of the settings (there’s a lot of settings options) – you can extend the range of your auto attacks so that you path towards any enemy within that range. This allows you to play the game sitting back while your character does the hard work of chasing down mobs, however this may not be the fastest way to navigate the dungeon. As you explore the dungeon each grid space has a “Heroism” orb on it. Personally it took me some time to grasp how all of these various points (there’s also experience, kill streak, progress points, death points) are accumulated and I think I was a bit confused by the similar shape of the Heroism and Experience Orb. However once you do get the hang of it collecting them and investing them strategically is highly rewarding. Even death gives you points to invest in death driven events.
Heroism is a brilliantly simple and charming game that’s definitely worth a play. It’s good as both an active game or more of a sit back and enjoy the ride type of game (almost like an idle) as you watch your hero destroy enemies and explore dungeons. It would be great to see how much more can be done with the game – things like making the story missions a bit more special, almost like adding cutscenes or special events to them to make them feel a bit different. It would also be great to see some new types of missions added or even other towns with NPCs as more of the map is discovered.
Overall, it’s definitely worth checking out – it can be quite addictive as you keep thinking – just one more dungeon. There’s so many different types of points to upgrade and invest in, some really interesting settings and options too. It would be great to see even more done with the game as after a while the core gameplay loop does get a bit repetitive, but the increasing difficulty after each main story mission and the various types of dungeon will keep you on it for a while. There’s virtually no gatcha elements, you can watch ads if you like, but they are very non-intrusive, you can purchase an ad-free version for £3.79 as a great means to support the developer.
Extend the range of your auto-attack in order to go directly to any enemies within the dungeon
If enemies are very easy, you may want to increase the minimum enemy level
Invest in the range of your auto collects
Necromancer and Chicken King are great for passive play as their minions will do a lot of the dirty work
Progress the main story quest whenever you can
Get a companion as they’ll help collecting loot and clearing the dungeons faster
If you do a rescue mission you can then go into another dungeon and the person you rescued will help you out