Wow. Is the premium game back, or what?

This is the month of deep (and pricy) games. We've got dungeon crawlers and roguelikes and real-time strategy games. All wrestling for your wallet.

And don't worry if stats and turn-orders bring you out in a rash, we've also got some more lighthearted fluff to keep you busy. Time-wastey casual stuff to wile away the hours.

Let's hope this month is a little easier on our bank statements.

Desktop Dungeons
By QCF Design - buy on iPad
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Desktop Dungeons wants you to get the full roguelike experience during a coffee break. And it does this with tiny levels and streamlined play, but no less complexity to its systems.

And if you think that sounds a little throwaway, fear not. Each successful mission is one tiny step on your wider quest to build a massive kingdom. Which, in turn, unlocks more roguelike missions and upgrades.

A most vicious cycle.

Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions
By Activision - buy on iPhone and iPad
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The term 'console quality graphics' often doesn't count for much on mobile, but it earns its place here. Psychedelic twin-stick shooter Geometry Wars 3 looks just like its PS4 equivalent.

And plays like it too, with almost all the same content and touchscreen controls that stand up to this game's fast, frantic, unpredictable pace. Available at a fraction of the cost, this one's a no-brainer.

Skiing Yeti Mountain
By Featherweight Games - buy on iPhone and iPad
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This skiing game might be silly, but it has nailed that feeling of carving through snow, and arcing between slalom posts. The physics just feel perfect, which makes it endlessly satisfying (and slightly addictive) to play.

Across it's ridiculously large number of stages, you'll stumble upon interesting characters and an intriguing story. Which is just another thing to keep you playing level after level after level.

Fearless Fantasy
By tinyBuild - buy on iPhone and iPad
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Despite the name, Fearless Fantasy is an RPG that takes its cues from games like Paper Mario, rather than Final Fantasy and it's many, many sequels.

So expect QTE-based battling that's more about your dexterity than your smarts.

Also, don't expect to traipse around big overworlds or delve into indecipherable lore. What you should expect is a weird, hyperactive, mechanical monster of a game.

Legend of Grimrock
By Almost Human - buy on iPad
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Grimrock is old school. We're talking first-person dungeon crawling. We're talking about some Elder Scrolls one business. We're talking punishing, slightly obtuse, pretty unforgiving gameplay.

So, not for everyone then. But if you dig this sort of game - the way it builds tension from its simple mechanics - you'll love Grimrock. And it works wonderfully on iPad.

Sproggiwood
By Freehold Games - buy on iPhone and iPad
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Sproggiwood is a lot like Desktop Dungeons up there. Traditional roguelike gameplay, fast-paced battling, and a weird town-building meta game.

Go for Sproggi if you want more cute and cuddly characters, slightly more approachable gameplay, and an interesting story inspired by Finnish mythology.

You don't get a lot of Finnish mythology in games, do you?

Cooped Up
By Nitrome - download on iPhone and iPad
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Another compulsive time-sink from Nitrome. Here, we're using elasticated wires to ping a pudgy chick up the screen, while munching on grubs and avoiding odd, naked bird-beasts.

The game's effortless to play, and moves to a nice, frenzied rhythm as those demon birds force you to keep jumping as soon as you touch down on a wire.

If you don't have a penny to spend this month, get this.

Sword Of Xolan
By Alper Sarikaya - buy on iPhone and iPad
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If you know anything about your fearless editor, it's that I dig pixel art graphics. And, hoo boy, Xolan's got some pretty pixels. Look at those chunky squares. Beautiful.

Not just a pretty face, though, this one. It's a bold and punchy side-scrolling slash 'em up that rivals Ravenous Games's output and just feels fun to play thanks to some thoughtfully-considered touchscreen controls.

Knights of Pen & Paper 2
By Paradox Interactive - buy on iPhone and iPad
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It's a game that's a sequel to a game that was a game inside a game. We're through the looking glass, people.

So, once again we're playing a tabletop RPG in a basement - but also playing a fantasy adventure with beasties and wizards and spells. It's all pretty funny, as the developer pokes fun at the genre while also clearly being infatuated by it.

It might be a tad grindy, and those in-app purchases are worrisome, but still a grand game with heart and wit.

Spacecom
By 11 bit studios - buy on iPhone and iPad
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Spacecom hides a lot of depth, in a game about triangles shooting triangles. Beneath that simple aesthetic is a feisty little real-time strategy game with resource management and combat.

Things get especially interesting when you hop online, and fight huge intergalactic battles with a gaggle of Spacecom commanders. There, the tactical gameplay is given a real chance to pop.


Previously...

April 2015 March 2015 February 2015 April 2015 - March 2015 - February 2015