As regular readers will be aware, I'm a massive fan of roguelite games. Dead Cells nails the persistence and difficulty of the genre, but also sprinkles in metroidvania elements and a combat system which feels like a fighting game.
Dead Cells, for me, is about fluid gameplay. There's a zen-like state which can be reached in rhythm games or in fighting games where you start reading information before it's relevant and reacting to it with perfect timing. Dead Cells perfectly imitates this by having - almost over-animated - enemies who each have tells before their next move. If you combine this with the massive variation of weapons and mutations, it really feels more like a dance than a combat-driving platformer.
There's a few modern convieniences added to the iOS port, for a start the controls are defaulted to a 'Floating Pad' option which allows you to customise on the fly. There's also an option for swiping to dodge, which feels quite natural considering the pace of the game. Most notably however there's an auto-hit mode - I have mixed opinions on this however it's a really interesting idea and definitely changes the pacing of combat.
Dead Cells is available now on the AppStore.
We've had our fair share of Chess games recently. Auto-Chess has been doing the rounds, Chessplode launched late last month, and now Knight Quest is here.
Knight Quest is a strategy game about taking chess-knight moves (two in one direction, then one sideways) to climb the screen to the finish line. As you move other pieces move downward toward you. You can capture rival pieces for bonus points and move to grab keys (for locked chests) or coins, and just generally be a tricky-so-and-so. Difficulty comes in the density and variety of enemies - originally just pawns, but rapidly joined by other pieces.
It's got an endless mode as well as daily missions. The endless mode is quite enjoyable as it targets you to wipe out certain amounts of units rather than simply focusing on distance traversed.
Knight Quest is available now on the AppStore and PlayStore.
Path of Giants
Path of Giants is a beautiful 3D platformer which has you use three explorers to explore and navigate your way through the ruins which litter a frozen mountain. There's your standard sliding puzzles and swapping tile games, but it's the amazing setting and artwork which really delivers.
Mobile games, much like with books, have the added bonus of having the screen directly in our hands - so both our visual and physical focus is on the same point. This is why the carefully centered levels in games like Path of Giants and Monument Valley stick with us for so long once we put the handset down.
Path of Giants is available now on the AppStore and PlayStore.
It's finally here. We've been talking about DeNA's Pokémon Masters for quite some time now, and it's finally time to actually sit down and check it out.
For those unfamiliar with Pokémon Masters, it takes the normal Pokémon format and changes it into a team-based RPG. Players build their team out of three trainers (themselves included) each having a partner Pokémon. You then use your team of six (as the trainers can use items, give buffs and nerfs and use special powers) to fight against other trailers around the island setting - with the simple goal of becoming the very best that no one ever was.
Pokémon Masters is available now on the AppStore and PlayStore.
Okay, so, this is a bit cheeky as Rush Wars isn't really out, but is available if you have the right means. We'll give you those means, if you like.
Rush Wars is the next game from Supercell. It's a strategy title which takes a lot of the stronger features from their existing titles. There's definitely a big feeling of Clash Royale in its character types and costs, however unlike CR you can only take a certain amount of units with you when you deploy, and you have to decide on this assortment before you even get to preview the rival mine.
There's a lot of clever strategic tips and tricks to use, especially because all of the other 'mines' and bases are designed by other players who come from different stages of the game. Earlier players do not understand that flying units come into the game later and so pile all of their units up. Similarly, walls can be destroyed by players creating new routes - and explosive barrels (which litter the bases by default) can completely undo defences.
Supercell are known for cancelling games which don't quite meet their expectations, but Rush Wars already feels refined and enjoyable. We'll have to see how it goes.
Rush Wars is available now (with some mild jiggery-pokery) on the AppStore and PlayStore.