News

Best new mobile games on iOS and Android – February 2022 round-up

GameCentral’s monthly look at the biggest new mobile games includes the touchscreen version of Chocobo GP and the latest from Netflix.

Although it’s still managed to deliver another mass of new levels for Zookeeper World, it’s a quite month for Apple Arcade, so it’s been up to Netflix and its gradually emerging games service to fill the gap with a free-to-subscribers version of Arcanium: Rise Of Akhan. Also out this month is the weird Clash Of Clans meets shopping centre mash-up, CapRoyal, but star of the show is undoubtedly Please, Touch The Artwork and its unique, engrossing brand of art-inspired puzzling.

Chocobo GP

iOS & Andorra, Free (Square Enix)

Based on Final Fantasy’s yellow, ostrich-like chocobos, the upcoming console version of Chocobo GP is shaping up to be something like Mario Kart meets battle royale. Its mobile-based cousin is less ambitious.

In it you navigate side-scrolling tracks by tapping buttons on the right and left of the screen to accelerate and brake, as well as to balance your kart in the air so that it lands on all four wheels, giving you a small boost.

There are multiple routes through each level, many of which have secret areas and bonuses you can find either with enhanced engine power or by deliberately slowing down at strategic points. You need to upgrade to stay competitive but skill is required, making this a gently compelling if relatively simplistic package.

Score: 6/10

Arcanium: Rise Of Akhan

iOS & Android, Free via Netflix (Netflix)

As more and more of the world runs on a subscription model, from Microsoft Office to Ring doorbells, it feels good when an existing service you use offers extra benefits without milking you for more cash.

And so it is with Netflix’s tentative venture into gaming. Their latest release is Arcanium, a roguelite deck builder with a hint of Slay The Spire and Hearthstone, although like other Netflix games it’s free to play with no microtransactions.

Offering surprisingly engaging tactical battles, that are leant added complexity by the three lanes in which they take place, it does have some bugs to be worked out, but is otherwise a promising addition to Neflix’s mobile gaming line-up.

Score: 7/10

CapRoyale

iOS, & Android Free (Boa Ventures)

In a surreal turn of events, CapRoyale is essentially Clash Of Clans, but in a retail setting. Rather than a village you have a strip mall, archer towers become security cabins, and instead of a town hall there’s a shiny HQ.

Build and upgrade shops, stock shelves, and advertise to bring in customers to buy your competitively priced products and services. You also need to sabotage rival mall owners, whist defending against their incursions.

It’s an interesting idea, let down by a charmless art style and gameplay that lacks the fine balance of Supercell’s main breadwinner, making it easy to run out of money and hit a dead end when you’re still learning how to play.

Score: 3/10

Blast Waves

iOS, & Android £3.49 (Foolish Mortal Studios)

Like Superhot, Blast Waves’ brand of semi real-time tactics has enemies moving only when you do, in its top-down tactical battles. Drag a line from your soldier to plot his movement, then tap in the direction of enemies to shoot.

You start off controlling a single trooper. Survive five battles (which very, very few will) and you can clone them for use in the far tougher command mode, where you’re in charge of a squad of five of your finest clones.

Gradually unlock and research new weapons and armour to support your increasingly testing forays, in a game that takes some getting used to, but rewards dedication with challenging and complex stop motion battles.

Score: 8/10

The Office: Somehow We Manage

iOS & Android, Free (Eastside Games)

Based on the US version of the hit TV series, The Office is an idle tapper set in the amusingly dingy Scranton outpost of paper manufacturer, Dunder Mifflin.

Divided into episodes based on the plot of the first season, your tapping and currency collecting are accompanied by neat cartoon renderings of the cast. Stanley’s deadpan, Jim pranks Dwight, and Michael drops malapropisms and hates Toby from HR. Its still cartoon cut scenes even come complete with furtive glances to camera.

It’s nostalgic fun to start with, but you quickly reach a stage where currencies pile up so slowly that you either have to spend actual money or leave it alone for half-days at a time. Despite its high production values, there’s just too little to do.

Score: 4/10

Milo And The Magpies

iOS, £1.79 (Second Maze Studios)

Milo’s a cat who needs to find his way home after being attacked by evil magpies. To help, you solve a set of mellow point ‘n’ click puzzles to open a route for him to sneak across neighbours’ back gardens and return to his house.

Each garden is its own discrete puzzle, that takes tapping and experimentation to pick apart, clearing the way for your feline hero to make his way across the next hedge.

Lovely hand drawn artwork and a piano soundtrack complement its mediative pace.

Score: 7/10

Please, Touch the Artwork

iOS, £4.49 (Meynen Studio)

Set in an art gallery and accompanied by mellow freeform jazz that echoes your moves, it’s your job to recreate a series of Mondrian-style paintings in as few moves as possible. Initially that’s by tapping to add splashes of primary colour to adjacent rectangles, but it soon diversifies into more cerebral tests of your spatial awareness.

Sets of puzzles are interspersed with moments where you get to understand a little more about Mondrian and his approach, bringing you closer to an artist who is familiar to most, but whose deeper complexities make his work all the more fascinating.

The thick black lines and primary colours look great on a mobile or iPad, and the thoughtful speed of interaction is perfect for touchscreen, in a game clearly designed by an artist. As it quite legitimately claims in its introduction, it ‘challenges without frustration or shame’.

Score: 8/10

Technopoly – Industrial Empire

iOS & Android, Free (Robert Grzybek)

Tantalisingly billed as an idle tycoon mixed with a real-time strategy game, Technopoly’s reality is in fact mostly the former, but it still manages to offer a twist on the genre.

Based on a pixel art archipelago, you start by building wind farms to generate electricity and schools to enable scientific research. Soon enough you’re setting up water towers, solar cells, farms, and innumerable levels of upgrades to improve the efficiency of your expanding infrastructure.

As is traditional in incremental games you scale up resources to access increasingly effective means of generating cash, electricity, food, and more, but you’ll also soon realise it’s not quite as complex as its presentation would have you believe.

Score: 6/10

By Nick Gillett

Email [email protected], leave a comment below, and follow us on Twitter

Source: Read Full Article