VampireSurvivors developed by Poncle is a roguelike bullet hell survival type game for mobile, PC and Xbox. Similarly to a lot of the other such games you try and survive against endless waves of enemies (well around 30 minutes of them) and you collect and upgrade various weapons and equipment as you do so. Get a specific weapon and it’s corresponding piece of equipment and you can upgrade the weapon to an ultimate version. There are 5 main levels and as many bonus/challenge ones. As you play the game you can find and rescue other survivors which become characters you can play with. Each character starts out with a specific weapon but will be able to acquire other weapons as they level up.
In each level you can collect gold coins, these will let you get upgrades that apply to all levels and characters. As you work your way through the achievements list more and more of the game will be unlocked. You will find new characters, new weapons with new ultimate versions, new levels and challenges.
A simple but effective survival bullet-hell game with some really fun and well hidden surprises. There is also a good deal of humour in the naming of weapons and items (like the Candelabrador candelabra). The game is free on mobile and also ad-free (unless you want an additional life when you die). On PC it will set you back around £3.99 and there some DLC which will give you access to new levels and characters.
The collection of characters and the methods by which you unlock them are quite addictive and make you want to try each and every one of them out. The sheer amount of items there are to unlock – from game modes to weapons and additional features give the game a great amount of replay value. Each level usually lasts around 30 mins, which is a touch on the long side and sometimes the game might not save your progress if you close the app if you’ve had to do something else. However, the game works perfectly in offline and also in portrait, making it perfect for time killing. Overall if you’re a fan of bullet-hell survival games then this is a great one to add to your collection.
Learn the weapon evolutions and collect items/weapons accordingly.
Destroy torches and braziers for food and coins.
Upgrade your permanent upgrades using coins.
Some levels will have items on the floor, use these to get your ultimate weapon upgrades right.
Find the Milky Way Map in order to unlock the pause menu map which will show you the locations of items in the level.
In order to get to the coffin in Gallo Tower, look out for a glowing mirror on the left side of the level (around the area where the arrow points you to) that will get you through to a small room where the coffin is.
Life in Adventure is a text based D&D RPG fantasy game by StudioWheel available for mobile. The game uses familiar D&D mechanics and delivers an experience with a surprising amount of depth and good storytelling. You start out with a randomised character (in the free version) as a person who is tired of their boring day to day life and set on becoming a famous adventurer. You progress through random encounters, each with a detailed description and a variety of options – some encounters spanning several pages or even in several non consecutive parts.
Each encounter will test your skills (through dice rolls and RNG) and you may come out victorious and stronger or you may lose health and sanity. Lose all your health or sanity and the adventure is over. You will also gain EXP and find better loot and equipment as you adventure through the world. Survive for long enough and you will become a renowned adventurer and essentially win the game. There are 4 types of starting equipment – Fighter, Ranger, Wizard and Warlock, but you can build your character however you see fit depending on your stats. Character stats are standard D&D ones such a strength, dexterity, intellect, charisma, constitution and wisdom.
The game can be played completely for free, but there is also an Adventurer’s Guild premium option which will set you back £3.99, the main advantages of this option are the ability to customise your new adventurers, a free dice reroll and the ability to speed up or skip fights. A lot of these perks can also be purchased using in game premium currency (gems). The game is quite generous with giving out gems which you can also spend on new encounters, background stories and storylines and traits. The premium option isn’t needed, however it’s a nice way to support the developers and also helps speed up the gameplay. Overall I’d recommend it for any D&D or text based fans out there looking for that nostalgia factor, the game plays in portrait mode making it ideal for mobile.
For detailed in-game tips and info check out the comprehensive guide linked below.
Avoid battles (especially early game) – trying options that will get you out of combat and events can still give you EXP.
Items like Rope, Lantern, Pickaxe and similar are very useful – hold onto them as you may need them in your adventure.
If you are Very Superior to an enemy or better you can skip the dice roll to get a 10 and avoid a critical fail or rolling less than 10.
Isle of Arrows developed by Gridpop is a card based tower defence game made by a single developer. The game presents a fairly simple concept of randomised cards that allow you to place new paths or towers onto your island (also randomised each game) and defend against the incoming waves of enemies. There are 5 different classes that can be played, each with different abilities or lack thereof. Aesthetically it’s a pleasing simple low poly and pastel colour palette.
Between each wave you are presented with a new free card to place and can purchase more additional cards for an extra 2 gold. Some cards will have water tiles attached which require some forethought and strategy when being placed as removing them isn’t always easy. There are also random events and relics that can help or hinder you as you progress through the game. As you build up your reserve of cash, every 10 gold, you will earn an extra 1 gold per wave (ie if you have 10 gold, you will get +2 each wave, if you have 30+ gold you will get +4 each wave). There are 3 main game modes to play: Campaign which features 4 main areas, Gauntlet which presents increasing difficulty and challenges and a daily defence challenge.
Isle of Arrows is both an an aesthetically pleasing and beautifully simple game with a good amount of depth and some potential for further development and features. The PC version will set you back around £10, whereas the mobile version is around £5. The game has a few core levels and the gauntlet and daily challenge give some additional gameplay options after you’ve completed those – it would be nice to see even more cards and areas added in the future. Some more customisable game modes would also be interesting, for example custom card/event/relic selection or increased random event frequency. There is a slight issue when trying place paths that may end in a solid block (or blowing them up with bombs).
Overall the game is nicely balanced, providing a good challenge while also remaining fun and interesting. There’s a good deal of gameplay to get stuck into, the game can be played offline and in portrait – making it a perfect mobile game and definitely worth
Try not too spend too much money until you reach around 30 gold, then you can spend each turn provided you don’t dip under 30 gold, so you can ensure you’re getting +4 gold per turn.
Think about where you’re placing towers and paths and how they’ll be affected in by future cards.
When you get a 2nd or 3rd spawn point added, you can get away for 1-2 waves before you need to add more towers or paths to them – just ensure you don’t overinvest in them, but also be weary of leaving them unprotected – in an ideal scenario you want them to come close to your existing towers and paths.
Try and place traps on corners where they can hit at least 2 paths, likewise try and maximise the number of paths that each tower hits.
High ground can be very useful with most towers to increase their hit areas.
Not all cards are worth placing – gardens or cards with water tiles can make the late game quite difficult if you don’t have enough bombs to remove them.
Marvel have joined the world of online multiplayer card games with their entry – Marvel Snap, published by Nuverse. The game is card collection and battling game which lets you collect all your favourite Marvel superheroes and villains and put your skills to the test against other players. The actual battles are quite simple and most importantly for a mobile game – quick to play. Each game has 3 locations at which players put their cards. All 3 locations start out hidden with one revealing each of the first 3 turns. Each location will be randomised and have some sort of modifier that can apply to specific cards, the entire location or even the entire game. Players need to try and win 2 out of 3 locations to win the game where each card’s power contributes to the player’s score at a specific location.
The stakes are then raised even more with the snap mechanic – this allows players to up the amount of rank points they get from each game or to force their opponent to retreat early. Winning a normal game would grant 2 points towards the next rank, if one player has snapped that doubles to 4, if both players have snapped it goes all the way up to 8. The game features daily missions that are drip fed every few hours, all sorts of card variants and the ability to upgrade the appearance of your cards. Upgrading cards is also the way players can progress their collection level allowing them to unlock new and powerful cards.
The game concept and mechanics are brilliantly simple yet effective. The duration of the game is probably it’s strongest point – 6 turns (around 3 minutes) present an excellent challenge and even though you sometimes feel like you could do with a turn or two more, pulling off the perfect combo in 6 turns is highly satisfying. The game is extremely fast paced and can turn in an instant. The Snap mechanic also adds an element of player tactics and mind games. There are a few areas where some improvement could be made like access to stats, new mission frequency, perhaps a 30/30 weekly missions target, ability to add and battle friends or view and compare collections. There is also potential for some more weird and wacky weekly game modes with crazy combos – similar to the tavern brawls in Hearthstone.
Overall it’s a great addition to mobile card games and is a truly mobile game in terms of game length – giving it an edge against competition like Hearthstone, Legends of Runeterra or Gwent. While there’s no explicit pay to win, paying for Season/Battle Pass can help speed up progress towards upgrading and unlocking new cards, although at £8.99 it is fairly difficult to justify. The visual upgrading of cards is a nice reward for using them more frequently and the rainbow variants ensures there’s always something to be upgrading and grinding for. The game’s high production value and addictive gameplay make it ideal for both long grinds or quick time-killing sessions.
Try not to fill a location too early in the game, especially if you have no way of buffing those cards
You should be able to create an early Ongoing deck quite quickly to get you through the early ranks
Only spend credits on upgrading your cards (getting them through the shop is more expensive)
Spend your gold on credits
The higher tier the card upgrade the more it will cost and the more points it will give you
Theme decks around key mechanics and 1-2 really good synergies, and a couple smaller ones
You can sometimes snap on the last turn if you’ve already ended your turn but the opponent hasn’t – particularly useful if you have forgotten to snap
You can copy and paste deck codes to share with friends (share button in deck creation)
Play with different decks, experiment – don’t feel precious about ranks (unless someone has snapped)
The higher your collection level the rarer the cards you will get – Collection Level 486+ is where the Series Five/Ultra Rare cards are found
Once you have fully upgraded a card you can infinity split it for a new variant (aka a foil) you can keep splitting your new variants for even rarer foils – check out the guide linked below for more information.
Survivor.io is a game by Habby in which you survive and onslaught of enemies while upgrading your weapons and equipment. Similar to most other survival roguelike bullet-hell type games you kill enemies, collect XP and pick from 3 possible weapons or equipment. You can only carry 6 weapons and 6 pieces of equipment so choose wisely, especially when it comes to the equipment because nearly every weapon is paired with a piece of equipment allowing that weapon to be evolved when it’s reached it’s maximum upgrade level. Evolved weapons are extremely powerful and very useful for beating levels.
The game progresses through levels – each lasting from 6 to 15 minutes of progressively harder enemies and bosses. There are also additional challenge modes that will make past levels even harder and push you to the limit. These will give you evolution points which allow you to unlock some really useful upgrades. As you progress in the game your character will also level up and allow you to upgrade their stats with cash. The gatcha element also comes in with your characters equipment – you open loot boxes and merge duplicates as you try to improve the quality of your equipment from common to legendary. There are unique seasonal and daily challenges and over 50 chapters to the game with more being added.
Overall the game is really addictive at the start with lots to try and quick progress. As you progress through the levels you will also gain access the new weapons giving the game even more variety. The concept is something we’ve seen done plenty of times and Survivor.io does it quite well – limiting the time for levels and regular bosses. The game also throws some challenge levels your way which are a great way to unlock additional abilities and also push yourself a little harder. The game has a variety of elements to keep you logging in regularly – coins, daily challenges, login bonuses etc, although after the initial 7 day bonuses there is a bit less there to keep you coming back. Premium currency gems are fairly easy to gain from achievements and daily tasks which is a nice touch, meaning you don’t need to spend real money. The merging mechanic on gear only really starts to pay dividends after you’ve opened quite a few crates (definitely a worthy investment).
The game is good for slightly longer play sessions with most successful runs lasting 8 to 15 minutes, but the game does do a good job of recovering previous play data should you need to cut your session short. Overall it’s a fun game and quite addictive with a lot of levels to unpack and skills to upgrade, it has a nice difficulty scale. Ultimately it does get a bit repetitive after some time, but will definitely keep you hooked for some considerable time.
Consider what items you will need in order to evolve your weapons
The guardian/force barrier is extremely useful early game against enemies with lower health
Some weapons share an evolution item, this can allow you to carry extra items that don’t evolve anything
Avoid and kite large groups of enemies
Look out for bombs and magnets from crates
Spend gems on S grade supplies, gems are quite easy to earn through regular play
The fully upgraded drill is very good for hard bosses as it will target them non stop
You can grind 8min levels for gold as they complete faster and you get good gold from bosses
Equip Master is an early access android game by JYSGames that simply let’s you manage and utilise vast quantities of equipment in idle combat. The premise of the game is to acquire gear through various gatcha means and by completing levels where you fight mobs. As you gather more equipment you can merge it into more and more powerful versions. There are 5 keys stats that the equipment affects – health, defence, ATK damage, fire and ice damage. There are also various resistances, lifesteal, crit chances and speed that can also be affected by your equipment. Some items will also have special abilities that allow you to summon minions or poison an enemy, for example. As you progress you unlock more ways to spend your time in the game like PvP and more ways to collect new equipment. Combat itself happens fully automatically and usually just consists of random weapons and spells being used on enemies. Some items will have special abilities which can make these fights even more chaotic sometimes.
Overall the game isn’t too dissimilar to other mobile gatcha games with various merge type mechanic, however there is something oddly addictive about having incredibly powerful armour (even if it means you’ve essentially equipped 4 sets of boots and 3 chest pieces). There is some sort of storyline that doesn’t really matter as it’s in the levels where you truly get to test out your equipment. Each area you fight in will have various special areas to complete that will add to your idle production capabilities. Some levels will have powerful bosses at the end (some boss descriptions/tips could be more useful). It would be nice to see the game get a bit more visual polish – for example different skins/looks for enemies. There are moments when you do just need to wait a bit to get the exp to level up and beat a level, which prevents you from power-levelling through the game and rather coming back every so often. Grinding resources which let you upgrade your equipment is very slow and the yields from the idle methods can be quite low, even when upgraded. There are plenty of ways to earn gems (premium currency) in game which is always a nice touch as it means you don’t have actually spend crazy amounts of money to properly enjoy the game. If you’re looking for an idle game that will keep you coming back for 5-10minute sessions every few hours then this should scratch that itch.
If you get close to beating an enemy or boss it’s always worth retrying a couple times as the RNG may be on your side the next time
Prioritise spending your diamonds on unlocking more bag space
When merging items try and merge into the highest level item as upgrading items can get very expensive
Upgrade the Equipt Collected quality and Flea Market “Gold Mine” (most likely should just be “Quantity”) and Quality in order to get higher quality equipment for merging
Use your free gatcha pass (or watch the video) on statues once you’ve unlocked them as waiting for the free one can take a while
With the recent release of Slime Rancher 2, I went back to the original to see where it all began and what all the hype was about. As the name suggest Slime Rancher (developed by Monomi Park) is a game that revolves around farming and exploiting adorable (but sometimes dangerous) slimes. You explore the open world vacuuming up unsuspecting and rare slimes after which you bring them back to your ranch where they are stored in corrals and fed various foods in order to obtain their most valuable resource – plorts. Each different kind of slime will drop its own kind of plorts, different plorts sell for different prices and those will fluctuate depending on how many you’ve sold recently and the in-game economy.
If a slime eats another slime’s plorts you will get a so called Largo slime – an extra large hybrid slime of the two types (producing 2 types of plorts) these larger slimes are harder to handle as they can’t be sucked up as you can only move one at a time. The danger with these slimes is that if they eat a third type of plort they can become tar slimes – a destructive and dangerous slime that can quickly decimate your ranch and other slimes. As you progress in the open world you will also find Gordos – special extra large slimes that need to be force-fed in order to unlock portals and keys to new areas of the map. New and sometimes dangerous slimes are discovered as you progress as well – some explosive, others radioactive.
Generally speaking the game will set you back around £10 to £15, although with Slime Rancher 2 being released recently I would expect this to drop soon (the game is available for free as part of the PS Plus Extra tier too). Overall the game takes around 14 hours to complete depending on what you focus on, if you’re not out there overfeeding gordos and unlocking new areas it will take you a lot longer (but then again there’s so much to do on the ranch that I don’t blame you). The game is very good at keeping you busy constantly – the “one more day” moment is definitely there and can easily absorb you for extended periods of time. The game concept is simple but very effective and there are plenty of things to unlock and do – from timed challenges to crafting and research. The open world presents a bit of a traversal challenge and sometimes can feel as if you’re trying to break it with some of the areas you can jetpack to, the ability to unlock portals and quicker routes is also helpful as navigating the fairly big open world can get a bit tedious, especially if you have to go anywhere near water with an inventory full of goodies as falling in water will cause them to all be lost.
The game is a fun and generally relaxing experience, exploring and discovering new areas can seem scary but is also actually quite chill as even the more dangerous slimes can be vacced up quite easily or you can always run from them. Even if the farming element gets a bit repetitive, the open world and lore take you on quite the adventure. If you’re after a chill farming type game with some really cute slimes then it’s definitely worth checking out.
Unlock the jetpack early
Feed a slime its favourite food for a double plort yield
Feed a gordo its favourite food and you only have to feed it half the amount of food
Tars spread faster at night
Complete daily quests for cash and special rewards
Get the water tank upgrade early and always keep it full – water instantly kills tar slimes
Phosphorous slimes only appear at night and will die if exposed to sunlight
Farming largos allows you to get 2 types of plort from one corral
Store and sell plorts when their price is high (when you sell a large amount the price will then drop for some considerable time)
Get a farm going early on
Getting high walls or a net on your corral can help prevent slimes from escaping (they will try to escape if there’s food nearby)
Do not give a largo a third type of plort or it will become a tar
You can unlock new areas to expand in by unlocking the overgrowth or the grotto (you can take care of phosphorus slimes in there without a solar shield
Completing quests for other ranchers on their ranch can eventually unlock even more area to expand to and other special prizes
Melvor Idle developed by Games by Malcs and published by Jagex brands itself as a Runescape inspired idle game. The premise of the game is quite simple – a huge variety of interconnected skills that you can level up in various ways. The list of skills includes things like woodcutting, mining, smithing and farming with even more being available in the premium version. You can grind these while you afk or idle, as each skill level increases you can unlock more aspects of it. All the various skills are interconnected – the items you get from one may be used on another skill, which then in turn will impact or allow you to do something in yet another. From crafting items to fishing there are plenty of ways to make money in the game.
The premium version will unlock quite a few additional skills that will allow you to develop even further, explore new areas in combat as a Slayer. It adds some pretty interesting elements like summoning which can give you the ability to enhance the yields from other skills each time you complete them. The combat also has a surprising amount of depth with a variety of enemies and areas to fight in, dungeons to take on and even Slayer quests that challenge you to take on specific enemies.
The full version of the game will set you back around £8.99 but for that you do get quite a good amount of new skills to level up. Getting the premium version early in the game pays off as a lot of that early loot can be used to level up a lot of the other abilities. While it does feel like it is a bit on the expensive side it does provide quite a lot of additional gameplay so it can be somewhat justified. 15-20% cheaper would make it an obvious choice.
Overall the game is highly addictive, the sheer amount of skills to level up and the way they are all interconnected make for a really good idle experience. The combat also adds another layer to the game, especially for more active play. The game is well thought out, simple and really delivers in terms of depth. As far as idle games go, this one is definitely worth checking out and will keep you coming back for ages.
Sometimes you need to scroll down once you’ve selected an option to see more details
Mining is a good skill to focus on initially as it links to smithing, which is a great way to make money, armour and other useful items
Coal is really important in a lot of smithing recipes
You can get coal from firemaking or mining
You can get seeds for farming from woodcutting (via bird’s nests) or from fighting farmers in the farmlands
Check what upgrades you can use your bars (or other items) for before selling them off
Don’t bother with armour upgrading until you’re at least with Mithril armour or higher level
You can view your pets and their bonuses from the completion tab
If you need to improve your block/attack rating for new gear you can just grind an easy mob for an extended period of time
Try and get the Amulet of Looting as early as possible from the Spider Forest dungeon
The Sea of Death is an adventure puzzle game developed by HoitStudio. The game has a nice pixel graphic aesthetic and features a large variety of puzzles as you embark on a rather mysterious journey in which you attempt to figure out what exactly is going on in this world. You start the game out on a ship during a storm, but after a rather mysterious turn of events you wake up in a strange and dark world and begin trying to piece things together and to find your way out of there. The slightly dystopian world seems to focus on doing various menial jobs and talking to some rather strange people.
The core gameplay loop gets you completing various tasks for people in order to progress “up” in this unfamiliar place. You take on various jobs which involve solving puzzles, collecting items and talking to strangers. The puzzles are all quite different and unique (the game has over 50 different ones) – some of them will really challenge you. As the story develops you begin to learn more about this world and how it works, its social class system and hierarchy.
Overall the aesthetics of the game are quite appealing and it does a very good job of creating a dark and sombre atmosphere. The puzzles the game offers are quite unique and there is a good variety of them to keep you busy for a while. The dialogue is ok, can be improved in certain areas grammatically, but the story does really make you wonder what is going on and figuring out how you ended up where you did.
The full game will set you back around £3.99, which isn’t too bad given that it will give you unlimited actions to continue your adventure. Prior to that the only way to get more than your initial 500 actions is by watching videos (each one gets you 100 actions). For those of you who enjoy a good puzzle mystery game then this one is worth checking out. The game works for both shorter stints where you just do an odd quest, but is much more suited to a mid to long term session as it allows you to engross yourself much more in the story.
Pay attention to what people say or their roles – these will give you hints when someone else mentions them
Use and pen and paper – as some of the tests get more complex or involve you keeping track of numbers or even doing some calculations
Tap on the text get the entire dialogue to print out
Dunidle or as it’s listed in the Play store Dunidle: 2D AFK Idle RPG Quest is a game by ARMII Games. The game is a pixel graphics dungeon game in which you send a team of adventurers on a run of a dungeon to see how many floors they can make it up before they die. Then you just sit back and watch them die over and over again (or make their way up the floors, only to be crushed by a boss or mob on the next floor). After a short tutorial you are left to figure things out on your own as you can begin upgrading your heroes, their abilities and stats, various global upgrades such as gold generators, speeding up the gameplay and acquiring new equipment.
Initially it appears as quite a simple and shallow game, however as you complete the first 100 floors and defeat the boss at the end you are introduced to Legendary Artifacts that drop from bosses and to the “next universe” (or prestige) mechanic in which you can restart by resetting some of your upgrades. The game also features Hell Rifts which server as a type of premium dungeon in which you need to defeat 50 floors for some pretty premium prizes including Legendary Runes and some really special weapons. After you defeat your first 100th floor boss and start taking on Hell Rifts is where the game really begins – grinding for better weapons, upgrading them through shards, selecting specific runes to apply to those weapons. The game even features purchasable skins for your adventurers, which you can even get from the daily rewards.
Overall Dunidle comes across as a very unassuming game, but it’s one of those that just keeps on giving the more you play it. It keeps you coming back regularly and challenging you to push further and further and unlock more and more. The game looks amazing and has a great deal of variety in terms of equipment, types of adventurer, enemies and bosses.
There are few issues with the game that would make it a true masterclass. Things like knowing how many levels are gained each run (like the cash). Some usability issues like showing the inventory, while with the equipment shop or an easy way to transition between the two and some of the colour coding of gear. My only other suggestion would be introducing some sort of player activated spells or some way to speed the game up as a way to break up just the gameplay and make it a little less passive and a bit more active of a game.
The game is good for medium play sessions and once you get “the fastest man alive” upgrade you can do a lot more in an even shorter time. It keeps you coming regularly back to collect gold from your factory and XP from your meditation. There is a way to earn premium currency through playing as well (even though it is the most expensive upgrade). There are also a few packages, one of which will remove ads for you (for £4.99), but it must be said that overall the ads aren’t very intrusive – which makes for a very enjoyable experience and uninterrupted gameplay. After a few universe progressions and bosses it does begin to get a bit repetitive, but will definitely have you hooked for a while.
Prioritise the gold factory
Once you’ve maxed out gold factory and meditation purchase all heroes so that you can grind XP on all of them (not necessarily needed if you don’t want all, but they are worth trying)
Ensure you have the Universe gift upgrade before proceeding to the next universe
Purple (permanent) upgrades in the Party Upgrades menu are permanent even when you go to the next universe
Warp and fastest man alive make the gameplay a lot faster and will allow you to get through dungeons at breakneck speeds
Necromancers are very good for clearing levels quick as they deal damage to all enemies
The Reaper can keep one of your adventurers alive for a limited time after they have died
After you have beaten the first boss get the ability to auto-restart and grind the boss level
Focus on the transmuting bonus Legendary Artifact as soon as you get it as it will get you more from your souls
Weapons can be upgraded with rune sockets (runes drop from hell rifts) – however this will cost you gems and is likely the best use for gems
After you progress to 2nd universe you can start doing Hell Rifts – keys for these can be bought with gems or can be earned by watching videos, you will likely be able to do Hell Rift 2 after the first boss – they will give you Legendary Runes and legendary gear