Magic Survival

The Game

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.

Worth it?

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.

Tips

  • 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

Useful Links

The Burnable Garbage Day

The Game

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.

Worth it?

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.

Tips

  • 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

Useful Links

Heroism

The Game

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.

Worth it?

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.

Tips

  • 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

Useful Links

NEO:BALL

The Game

NEO:BALL by Fil Games Ltd is a fun and fast paced online PvP game. NEO:BALL is currently only available on Android, but will give you a bit of a Rocket League vibe – it’s quite something. The game is simple – use your “car” to hit the puck into your opponent’s goal. There are various arena’s which represent different game modes – first to a certain score, time based and arena shape being the key differences between the various ones.

There are also tournaments and daily missions. Each match is different based on the arena being played in and players can customise their cars, their attributes and their selection of buffs and debuffs – which can all be earned from card packs.

The gatcha element is opening the above-mentioned card packs that you win from your games – each rarity level card pack will take a variable amount of time to unlock and you can only ever hold 4 – personally I found this a bit annoying as when you play a game and win a rare or special pack, if you have no space for it you will essentially lose that pack. You also can’t delete a pack so you may be stuck waiting for a while for rare pack to open – sometime forcing you into using your gems (premium currency).

Worth it?

The game is free to play and it’s quite an interesting idea. The PvP works well, but can be seriously infuriating (in a good way) when you are so close to winning or you accidentally turn and smack the puck into your own goal. Honestly I am not sure if I am not that good at the game or if it’s just not as easy as it looks but scoring an goal does happen more often than you think and it can actually be quite a challenge to pull off a good shout, especially taking the puck’s curl into account.

The gatcha element is a bit of an issue in that you can’t hold more than 4 card packs or delete ones you don’t want to open. Other than that there’s “login every day” type rewards and certain rewards for watching ads. The ads are very non-intrusive overall and are only really required if you’d like an extra bit of cash or to allow you tournament entry.

Tips

  • You can only ever hold 4 card packs – try to open common ones first as they’re faster to open
  • Different skins and different trails give different stats – see which work best for you
  • Go through the goal to come out on the other side of the map (your own goal)
  • You can choose which buffs/debuffs you’ll have access to in the customisation menu

Useful Links

Top 5+ PC Games You Can Play on Your Phone

With second lockdowns already happening and more on the horizon we’re going to need some pretty solid games to get through this. Not all of us have the convenience of a gaming PC at home or even a console – sometimes we just have to settle for our trusty smartphones. But don’t think that just because you’ve got a smartphone you can’t get a proper gaming experience as you would on a console or even PC.

This is a list of 5 games (with some honourable mentions) that have a PC or console counterpart and that will keep you playing for hours. Some are paid, some are free, some have free modes.

RollerCoaster Tycoon

RollerCoaster Tycoon is an all time classic PC game and while the original is over 20 years old, the gameplay and graphics are truly timeless. This mobile port combines the best of RCT1 and 2 into tens of scenarios that will keep you playing for hours. It will set you back £5.99, but it’s definitely worth it.

Check out my full review:

Stardew Valley

Stardew Valley is an incredible RPG and life/farm simulator game that will give you many many hours of entertainment. Again this is a paid title, but for £7.99 it’s absolutely worth it and will provide you with countless hours of gameplay. The game is also often on sale so definitely worth the purchase if you see it reduced.

Check out my full review:

Genshin Impact

Genshin Impact is a recent free to play open-world RPG game available on various platforms and even includes PC/mobile cross-saving. The game is quickly becoming a new household name in the world of gaming as it offers an immense and beautiful open world – for free. New content is constantly being added to it and there are big plans for it in the future.

Check out my full review:

Mini Metro

A minimalist game for the more casual player – mini metro will challenge you to create the most efficient metro system in cities across the globe (perfect for a time when we can’t travel). The game is available for £0.99 for Android and a touch more for iOS, but definitely worth a play as it has regular daily challenges and the occasional new map released.

Check out my full review:

Exiled Kingdoms

This RPG will keep you playing for hours on end. There is a free but limited version that will still offer you about 30hours of gameplay, but I recommend upgrading to the full version for only £3.99 as it will give you a lot of convenient bonuses, new classes and even more game play.

Check out my full review:

Honourable Mentions:

These are some well known games that are worth checking out, again a mix of free, freemium and paid:

  • Game Dev Tycoon – a paid tycoon game, all about running your own game dev studio. Check out my review: https://random-games.com/2020/07/18/game-dev-tycoon/
  • Mindustry – a free sandbox, factory-like tower defense game: https://mindustrygame.github.io/
  • Auto Chess – while I would regard Auto Chess as more of a genre than a specific game this is a good choice for those who enjoy PvP and some strategy – there’s Dota Underlords, Auto Chess or Teamfight Tactics. All options are free to play. Game length can sometimes take a while and being an online PvP game you can’t really pause.
  • Don’t Starve: Pocket Edition – one of the most challenging and relentless survival games is available on mobile for £3.99, however there’s some criticism in terms of bugs and game controls. It’s available for both iOS and Android.
  • Hearthstone – not sure if this one needs any introduction, Blizzard’s iconic card game. A freemium game which sadly over the years has become a bit of a pay to win and is difficult to get back into after a break.
  • Gwent – If you’ve played Witcher you will know all about Gwent – a bit of a half-way house between Hearthstone and Magic the Gathering. Available on Android/iOS: https://www.playgwent.com/en/play-mobile

Gumslinger

The Game

Gumslinger by Itatake is a mobile physics based action game about a good ol’ fashioned Western shootout. The game has simple controls – swipe to draw your gun and tap to fire. Aim for your opponent’s weak spots and you’ll win the dual, get hit and you’ll go all wibbly wobbly, because yes – you are made of gum.

The game is has you collecting various Gumslinger characters, unlocking new guns and completing challenges. You progress the most by duelling other player’s characters in tournaments, it’s not actual PvP – although that would be a nice addition to the game. The tournaments take place in 5 stages, you have a chance to heal between rounds provided you have a medkit – you can usually buy one for 100 coins (you can watch adds for coins), or you may unlock them through progress. Winning the tournament gets you a hefty amount of coins (150) and doubles it if you’ve completed it with a new character. This is the core gameplay loop and for what it’s worth it’s quite addictive. Super simple concept that works, but be warned you may end up throwing your phone at the wall in frustration at some points when you think you’ve won the round, just to get sniped at the last second.

Worth it?

The game is free to play, but also offers a £4.99 Pro version – which gives you more rewards, no ads (unless you want extra coins), the ability to customise your gumslinger’s colours and a skin pack for guns. The game’s ads are generally non-intrusive and allow for a good amount of uninterrupted play. If you’re someone who likes customising their characters then it may be worth getting the Pro version, but other than that it’s a bit on the expensive side for what it offers. At least it’s a one off and will help support the developers, who are constantly bringing our new characters.

Overall it’s a great time-waster – perfect for a quick 5 minute session while you are waiting for something or trying to kill time. It can be extremely rage inducing and a live PvP mode could add to it quite a lot.

Tips

  • Check the strengths and weaknesses of various characters – but generally aim for the head
  • Try and win tournaments with a new character every time to maximise your winnings

Useful Links

ISLANDERS

The Game

ISLANDERS by GrizzlyGames is a beautiful city builder for PC. It’s minimalist in its approach to the whole city building genre but the options and combinations will challenge you to think about layout and efficiency.

The game starts you off on an empty island and begins by giving you a choice of 2 building types. The one you choose will give you a collection of buildings, in the late game collections include some of your previous choices. You’re then tasked with laying those buildings out in a way to accumulate points based on their position in the world and their surroundings – some buildings boost each other while others can incur a penalty from being near others. Collect enough points and you level up and be given another choice if two building types. As you progress you’ll get new building types, eventually you’ll run our of space and you can pack it all up and move on to a new island to start all over.

The game is done in a beautiful low poly style and along with the chilled out music it’s a perfect relaxing experience. The game is easy to play and sucks you in as you keep plopping down buildings and before you know it you’ve spent a few hours creating the perfect island settlements and hopping from island to island.

Worth it?

The game is available on Steam for £4.79 and it’s even on sale occasionally. The game is worth it. While it’s not necessarily something you’ll be racking up hundreds of hours on it still offers and amazing escape for a few hours as you’re engulfed into creating the perfect island society. It would be amazing to see this game on mobile and with the fairly simple gameplay it feels like it would work amazingly (provided the game doesn’t get bogged down with gatchas, rather just a free and an add free paid version).

Overall it’s a very relaxing and aesthetically pleasing experience. Trying out different building options and combinations gives the game a decent amount of replay value especially as you get to the late game buildings – you keep wanting to have designed your island a bit better so you can now accommodate all these buildings – nothing to do but start over if that’s the case. It makes for great casual or even medium length play and is a must for any city builder fans.

Tips

  • You don’t need to use all your buildings before getting new ones and vice versa – you can use all your buildings before getting new ones
  • Some buildings benefit from houses, others from mansions, some from both – plan your city and neighbourhood layout accordingly.
  • Sometimes the order in which you place things will allow you to maximise points gained – for example if you place a lumberjack who gains from surrounding trees first, then build something that replaces the trees.

Useful Links

Micro RPG

The Game

Micro RPG is an early access game by Dominic Hamelin-Blais with a unique and simple mechanic. The game is focused around fighting off hoards of monsters with your selection of weapons – short, mid and long range. The actual combat mechanic itself is based on a circle, which you are at the centre of, your weapons will have specific hit patters and you need to tap at the right time to execute the move and slay the incoming enemies. Each hit adds to your combo – constantly increasing the damage with each subsequent hit. This make is really fun hitting a huge amount of enemies and in general is what gives this game its uniqueness.

Each battle has a main and side quests, these give you points towards unlocking chests, which is where you get new cards for your weapons and characters from – this is quite a standard card collection type of mechanic where multiple duplicates will allow you to upgrade weapons and characters. There’s a lot of potential for expansion here with new characters with unique traits, more special and rare weapons – hopefully we see more added as the game moves out of early access.

Each world will challenge you to complete it without healing (or you can pay to heal). Each world ends with a boss fight that can be particularly challenging as each boss has unique powers and can deal some serious damage.

Worth it?

The game is free to play and a very fun casual game. It can get a bit repetitive after a while and the limited amount of weapons means that once you unlock most there’s not that much more to play for other than upgrading your existing weapons. Each world has unique enemies and you can go for quite a while before you hit your first wall.

Premium currency is available to unlock chests with more cards, you can also watch ads for chests. The premium aspect isn’t intrusive at all, which is nice, but overall I would say the game gets a bit monotonous after while, up until then though it’s a great casual game to kill 5-10 mins on.

Tips

  • Make sure your weapons are effective against your enemies
  • The sword is very useful as it pushes close enemies a step back – preventing them from hitting you
  • You can heal for cash between fights

Useful Links

#DRIVE

The Game

Looking for a relaxing drive and a great collection of cars? #DRIVE by Pixel Perfect Dude is a beautiful arcade driving game. Dodge through oncoming traffic, collect bottle caps, buy and upgrade new vehicles and unlock new regions to drive through.

The game has simple controls and even has 3 different control configurations if you’re not happy with them. The controls allow you to steer, break and drift around corners although you’ll find this isn’t needed in most of the early maps. The game gives you challenges to complete and rewards toy with new vehicles, of course you can also buy them yourself and the collection is definitely worth noting. Choose from various wacky vehicles, vans and cars. You can also upgrade them, recolour then and even apply a “coolness” mod, just because you can.

#DRIVE also features a zen mode in which you don’t have to worry about refueling and repairing your vehicle. There’s also less traffic and you can really enjoy the scenery and that scenery is worth mentioning – the game features 6 magnificent and unique locations that you can unlock with postcards that you collect for every town you visit.

Worth it?

The game is free to play and has an add free version for £3.49. Overall the ads aren’t very intrusive, you’ll get the occasional one after a drive but you can usually skip them. You can also watch an ad to double your caps collected, I tend to only use that after a very good run.

A great game for a quick session, but be careful because you may find yourself playing for ages trying to collect caps for new vehicles and upgrades. Awesome for any arcade fans. The game is also regularly updated with new cars and improvements.

Tips

  • Play in zen mode when you need to cover distance
  • You can break before you pass the police to avoid a chase
  • Hold off buying cars as you will have quests for specific ones, you’re better off upgrading what you have

Useful Links

Tap Craft: Mine Survival Sim

The Game

A simple but effective idle clicker game by Iron Horse Games. In this beautiful clicker game your objective is to collect resources and claim all the surrounding islands. You can mine and harvest various resources and once you start automating this process you can create more complex supply chains – for example harvesting wheat to make beer to sell at the tavern for serious profit. The game has 3 different biomes – snow, grass and sand with unique resources available in each. The game has quests and objectives for you to meet from building certain things to delivering resources.

An ok amount of stuff to build and resources to acquire.

Worth it?

One thing is immediately apparent when you start playing the game – the potential of it is great. It is just a clicker game, but well paced in the beginning to keep you quite active after which you will start to rely on longer idle times and 2x videos.

Overall I felt it was a bit short – within 3 days I had built everything and had more resources than I knew what to do with. I definitely think the game can be taken further and expanded on massively. I would recommend it as a great time killer, but not much replay value after acquiring most buildings.

Tips

  • Focus on grass farms early on, so you can get shovels.
  • Shovels are useful to unlock extra islands and extra people through digging up treasures.
  • Completing quests can also give you extra people.
  • Getting multiple workers in a mine (or any work place) will increase the output to equal the number of workers.

Useful Links

Sadly not much there in terms of a wiki and guides, but also not much to explain about the game either. Nothing a quick google can’t answer.