TAP! DIG! MY MUSEUM!

The Game

Tap! Dig! My Museum! by Oridio Inc is a simple but addictive game in which you dig up and collect dinosaur skeletons. Manage your museum by putting anything you find on display. The game has a very simple core gameplay loop in which you excavate bones on a hexagonal grid. Your pickaxe starts out fairly weak and you only have a limited number of taps to uncover all bones on the level. Once you start making money you will be able to upgrade your digging abilities. Upgrades are limited at first, but y There are also some premium boost items that can be used to help both in your excavations and in the museum, a little bit more on those later.

The are three tiers of dinos to excavate, various species and types ranging form marine life to therapods or pterosauria. You will gradually turn your dusty old museum into the most dino-packed building imaginable. Upgrade rooms, shuffle exhibits around, change the lighting and much more. The game offers a decent range of customisation for the rooms and you can group or theme your rooms as you please.

Worth it?

Overall this is a very addictive game, the completionist in me just wants to keep digging for more and more dinos. The game can be a bit repetetive, but that’s to be expected given the simplicity. When running low on cash or digs you may resort to video watching, and that can become quite a big part of the early game. I’m not against video watching as a whole, but the occasional free power up or an ad free version would be nice options. A few less videos to watch or a ad-free version could help.

I also feel this is a bit of a missed opportunity on an educational front, even just some bullet points with facts in the dinosaur book in-game. Overall though I would say a very fun, addictive and quite rewarding game – digging those massive dinosaurs out bone by bone and piecing them together really keeps you coming back.

Tips

  • Upgrade your digging ability as much as possible at first
  • Sell old exhibits or redo them when you can clear the level quite easily
  • For the secret fossils you can keep digging or reset as specific dinosaur until you collect all secret fossils from the specific location – check the wiki for more details on that.

Useful Links

Wiki: https://tap-dig-my-museum-wiki.fandom.com/wiki/Tap!_Dig!_My_Museum!_Wiki

Apple Store: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/tap-dig-my-museum/id1460645640

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=jp.oridio.museum&hl=en_GB

Game Dev Tycoon

The Game

Game Dev Tycoon was released in 2012 by Greenheart games and was an instant hit amongst Tycoon-game players. The game lets you create and manage your very own Game Dev Studio (the clue is in the title). You start out as most start-ups in a dingy garage, coding away on your own, smashing out new titles every few months. You will be able to choose your platform and game genre and theme. Then you will need to manage your time spent on the various elements of the game – get all of these combinations and balances right and you might just land yourself a smash-hit success that gets 10s across the board. However, if you get something like the theme and genre combination wrong, you could be facing a serious loss that may even put you out of business.

The game allows you to research better game engines, features and themes. You will eventually be able to make AAA games, have a maturity rating and release on multiple platforms simultaneously. You will also grow your office and recruit new members of staff to help you build better games (and to keep you from overworking yourself – don’t forget that occasional holiday). In the late game you will be able to fund an R&D lab and give them special projects, as well as your very own Hardware lab, which will allow you to make and sell your very own console (and of course put games onto it).

Worth it?

The game costs £4.99 for iOS or Android and it is available for £6.99 on Steam (with the added benefit of mod support). Is it worth it? Absolutely. The game offers a good deal of replay value, especially as your first few companies may tank – all part of business, as long as you learn from your mistakes.

Having a PC experience on mobile for a 5er is money well spent, my only criticism would be that once you do get to the end-game and you’ve got your own hardware, there really isn’t that much more to do – you can train your staff and do all the research, but at this stage the game cycle is already a bit repetitive. However I would say there’s a good few days, possibly even weeks of play before getting to that point. Not only that but if you have the PC version you will be able to mod it to your hearts content.

Overall a great tycoon and management sim, reinvigorating the genre and a great PC-like experience available on your phone, should you opt for that version.

Tips

  • Don’t rush into upgrading your offices or hiring new staff – the bills can add up very quick and sink you before you know it
  • Train your employees – late game you will want specialists for each of the major game components, also don’t forget to send them away when they are overworked
  • Know what makes good game/genre combinations – use a bit of common sense and real life experience here
  • You can turn tips on/off for second playthroughs – can be very useful in knowing what’s needed to deliver a hit game as often as possible, it is based on your previous attempts and the analysis of what has worked and what not

Useful Links

Wiki: https://gamedevtycoon.fandom.com/wiki/Main_Page

Developer’s Site: https://www.greenheartgames.com/app/game-dev-tycoon/

Steam: https://store.steampowered.com/app/239820/Game_Dev_Tycoon/

Google Play Store: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.greenheartgames.gdt&hl=en_GB

App Store: https://apps.apple.com/us/app/game-dev-tycoon/id1162580001

Infinitinode 2

The Game

Infinitinode 2 by Prineside takes tower defence games to a whole new level. The game is a follow up on the quite successful Infinitinode, taking a lot of what made that game great and improving on it. Amongst some of its most notable features are the mind-boggling research tree, the custom map creator and editor, regular updates, daily quests and seasonal leader-boards.

In total the game has 15 unique towers, each with it’s own set of in-game upgrades which allow you to specialise that specific instance of the tower. From Tesla coils to flamethrowers, cannons to lasers – this game has them all. The game also features 9 regular enemies and several bosses – each enemy has specific tower’s it’s weak against, so it’s up to you to place the right towers in the right places.

If all the defending wasn’t enough the game also has mineable resources on each map. You can build special excavation units on these positions in order to harvest said resources. You will need these to upgrade your towers.

The game offers a series of pre-made maps as a campaign – especially challenging towards the end. If you complete the campaign you will unlock endless mode, which serves as the “endgame” – offering better prizes, infinite waves, harder enemies and even more research.

Worth it?

The game has an option to watch videos to increase a level’s winnings by 25%, it also has a chest decryption element that will give you prizes over time, once your chest has been decrypted. Other than these two “gatcha” elements, the game does a very good job of keeping you in without bombarding you with ads or crappy micro transactions. It offers you daily missions with rewards, I even missed a day and it saved my progress allowing me to resume from the last day I completed. There are some purchase options around double gains, personally I haven’t purchased any of these but if you’d like to support the developer this is probably a good way to do so (and reduce your grind time).

Overall this is an amazing tower defence game with excellent RPG elements – the skill/research tree is a really addictive element, wanting to constantly upgrade and improve your towers, buying global perks or improving your resource mining capabilities. The custom map editor, daily challenges and endless mode give the game insane replay value and will keep you coming back for more and more. I highly recommend this to anyone who loves a good tower defence game.

Tips

  • Set up a custom farming map on which you can grind papers and resources
  • Make sure you progress the story branch of the research tree in order to unlock levels
  • Get the BOUNTY modifier tile as soon as you can, this will help you massively when grinding coins in game
  • Use the wiki and reddit for more advanced tips

Useful Links

Pocket City

The Game

Ever wanted to play a city builder on the go? But you can’t deal with all the gatchas and pay to wins? Pocket City by Codebrew Games is exactly that. Its aesthetically pleasing isometric cartoon art style and the smooth delivery of classic city building mechanics make this a great choice for anyone looking to build some amazing cityscapes.

The game relies on familiar city building requirements such as zoning for residential/commercial/industrial, as well as maintaining services and resources for your citizens. Keep your city pretty with parks and various types of special buildings, make use of the sky rail, bus or airport to transport people around your city. The game does a nice job of providing a wide variety of specialist buildings from animal pastures to banks and some neat landmarks as well. You can also invest in various policies that will make your life easier. But watch out for the disasters (which you can inflict on yourself if you are so inclined).

The game also has an awesome quest system with objectives you can work towards. And once you have built up your amazing city you can start a new one in the same region and gain income from your neighbouring cities.

Worth it?

There are both a free and a paid version available, it’s £2.99 for the full version and it’s absolutely worth it giving you full access to all buildings and sandbox mode. There are no transactions in the game, no wait times, no BS.

The game plays great in both portrait and landscape, has a huge variety of buildings, models, events and quests. Grow multiple cities within the region. Overall it’s a solid city builder with nice graphics and good controls. The game has a lot to offer and for that price it’s a no-brainer.

Useful Links

  • Use events to gain decent chunks of XP.
  • Monitor your income and expenses through the stats tab – make sure you’re making more than you’re spending.
  • Keep an eye on your goods tab, because if certain goods can’t be sourced locally they will be imported, which can get quite expensive.
  • Having excess goods is a good thing as you will export any extra and help boost your income.
  • Complete quests for good chunks of XP or cash, some involve finding things on the map – so zoom in and look around, you’ll be amazed at the details.

Tips

Wiki: https://pocketcity.fandom.com/wiki/PocketCity_Wiki

Pocket City Free Google Play:
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.codebrewgames.pocketcity&hl=en_GB

Pocket City Full Version Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.codebrewgames.pocketcitygame&hl=en_GB

Pocket City Full Version Apple Store:
https://apps.apple.com/gb/app/pocket-city/id1330451888

Developer Site: https://pocketcitygame.com/

Mini Metro

The Game

Mini Metro by Dinosaur Polo Club released in 2014 was an instant classic. With its clean minimalist design and simple gameplay it’s a great game for either a casual 5 minutes to kill or a longer more in depth session.

The game is a Metro (or Subway) system simulation game. The aim of the game is to set up and maintain your public transport network in the most efficient and effective way. You control the Metro lines and can manage the amount of trains and carriages each of them carries. The game features 4 modes: Normal, Extreme, Endless and Creative and also features a Daily challenge on a random map in a random mode.

The game is easy to pick up, but hard to master. Your network will quickly grow from 3-4 stops to a sprawling metropolis. Normal and Extreme mode will both end when you overcrowd any one of your stations. The difference being that in Extreme you can’t move tracks or trains. Endless allows you to tinker and aim for the most efficient set up possible, while Creative just lets you do whatever you want.

Huge selection of levels, game modes and a daily challenge.

Worth it?

Put simply – absolutely. However it’s worth noting the price differences between platforms – the cheapest you can get it is on Android, currently that will set you back around £1, whereas iOS is charging £3.99 and on Steam you are looking at £6.99. However, the game is frequently on sale as well so that’s probably your best bet.

For that price on Android/Mobile the game is absolutely worth it – a great time killer, works offline too – perfect for a flight. It can be played in short sessions or you can keep tinkering on your endless map to get it to the optimal efficiency, up to you.

Tips

  • Don’t have too many of the same type of station in a consecutive order
  • Try to vary the types of station present on a single line as much as possible
  • Try to keep lines short or doing very specific routes that cover a good variety of stops
  • Using circular lines can be very helpful in certain situations, but in those cases it’s probably good to have 2 trains running in opposite directions

Useful Links

Steam: https://store.steampowered.com/app/287980/Mini_Metro/

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=nz.co.codepoint.minimetro&hl=en_GB

Apple Store: https://apps.apple.com/gb/app/mini-metro/id837860959

Developer Website: https://dinopoloclub.com/careers/

RollerCoaster Tycoon® Classic (Mobile)

The Game

An all time Atari Classic is now available on your phone! One of the first games I ever played and absolutely favourite of mine the RollerCoaster Tycoon series has had it’s ups and downs over the years, but this version takes you back to the golden age.

The game offers 95 classic scenarios to play through from RollerCoaster Tycoon 1 and 2. Fully functioning custom rider builder, hundreds of ride designs, shops, stalls and of course most importantly Roller coasters.

For those new or who have somehow managed to miss RCT this is THE theme park simulation game. You manage your finances, your visitors demands and the maintenance of your park. Some scenarios are time constrained, others pose different challenges. Flex your design skills, make your parks look pretty an master the running of a successful theme park.

95 scenarios from the RCT 1 and 2, and additional DLC maps as well.

Worth it?

The amount of levels you get are 100% worth the money. At £5.99 it is a deal you cannot pass up, it’s cheaper than it is on Steam. The one tiny downside is there is no sandbox mode, however there are several maps that could function as such once the objectives have been met.

The expansion packs offer 14 and 17 new scenarios respectively. These scenarios are on massive maps, some of which heavily themed already – if you are still itching for a few extra scenarios they are worth checking out, although it would be nice to get something a little extra with the purchase.

Overall, this is a great mobile version of a classic and absolutely worth buying.

Tips

  • Pause the game to understand what’s required to win the scenario
  • Focus on small reliable rides before moving on to building roller-coasters – you want to ensure you’ve got a good cash flow and money in the bank
  • For attendance objectives make sure you are using advertising campaigns
  • Map out routes for your handymen in order to maintain a clean park, although also worth having 1-2 free roaming to pick up any missed areas

Useful Links

Wiki/Walkthroughs/Guides: https://rct.fandom.com/wiki/RollerCoaster_Tycoon_Classic

Google Play Store:
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.atari.mobile.rctclassic&hl=en_GB

App Store:
https://apps.apple.com/gb/app/rollercoaster-tycoon-classic/id1113736426

Tiny Space Program

The Game

Tiny Space Simulator by Cinnabar Games is an interesting and quite aesthetically pleasing space simulation game. The game is free to play with regular updates coming out (although last update was April, so may be affected by lockdown). It’s a nice take on the genre, not focusing so much on the launching and flying, but rather on colonising, tourism, research and resource management.

You start on earth and your first tasks is to set up base on the moon. Building things takes real time and jobs can be rushed for premium currency or video watching. Honestly I haven’t really felt a need to rush or boost anything in this way and in that sense the gatcha element isn’t very intrusive. However maybe the game could have made use of some sort of login reward system to at least keep you coming back.

As you research new ship parts and upgrade what you have you will be able to venture out further in space, build more and make more money.

3….2….1…. Lift off!

Worth it?

Since it’s a free to play it’s definitely worth a play. I think the game still has room to grow quite a bit and some of the “coming soon” features do sound quite good.

Personally some of the waiting times are a bit tedious and keep me from playing the game for longer stints at a time. It would also be nice to be able to be able to set workers to do tasks automatically once completed.

Overall a fun game, good take on resource management and simulation. Mostly a casual game to be played in short bursts. It will be interesting to see how the game develops from here on out.

Tips

  • There is a series of tips and tricks in game to help get you started
  • Completing the basic missions when you first land on a planet/moon can be a great source of cash
  • Tourism can be a good source of income, but requires a 500 coin upgrade to start
  • Research better ships for more carrying/crew capacity

Useful Links

Wiki: https://tiny-space-program.fandom.com/wiki/Tiny_Space_Program_Wiki

Trello: https://trello.com/b/KVZlAV0r/tiny-space-program-idea-list

Random Dice: PvP Defence

The Game

Imagine Hearthstone meets a tower defense game completely reliant on RNG. Random Dice: PvP Defence by 111% is exactly that. The objective of the game is spawn, merge and upgrade dice in order to defend against waves of enemy dice. It features two primary modes – PvP and Co-Op and is based around collecting new dice with different power ups. There are various types and tiers of dice all with unique abilities.

As it’s a mobile game there is obviously the gatcha element, but very subtle it’s not very intrusive. Playing co-op mode allows you to collect cards to open chests which will give you new cards. The game also features an arena mode in which you have a random deck and 3 lives to go as far as you can. There is also a 1 game version of the arena that allows you to risk your gems for more.

Worth it?

Definitely a great time killer, although sometimes Co-Op games can go on for a while (I’ve had 25min games), but PvP is usually around 3-5 mins. The collection element is good and kept me coming back a lot, wanting to grind quests and co-op to get more dice.

They are still updating the game regularly with new dice and Crews are being added as well now. It’s a simple but effective game and can get pretty mental. There are some occasional minor performance issues, but nothing game breaking.

Overall would recommend as a casual mobile game.

There’s a huge collection of unique dice, with new ones being added regularly.

Tips

  • There are daily quests you can complete to collect gold and gems (the premium currency).
  • Once you complete a quest you can reset it (you can do this once).
  • Try and fill the whole board with dice before merging them.
  • Save up 40k gold because the shop occasionally has Legendary dice, you can also reset the shop more often by watching videos.
  • Spend gems on arena – the win potential if you go beyond 7 is maddive.

Useful Links

Wiki: https://random-dice.fandom.com/wiki/Random_Dice_Wiki

Discord: https://discord.com/invite/zQj6tCM

Reddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/randomdice/