GAMES OF THE WEEK - The 5 best new mobile games for iOS and Android - May 21st
It's that time again! Time for another entry into our long-running GAMES OF THE WEEK series.
If you're looking for the best 5 games which have hit the iPhone, iPad or Android stores this week then you've landed yourself at the exact right place at just the right time. Lucky, lucky you.
With this article, we skirt around the droves of subscription services (Apple Arcade, Google Play Pass, GameClub, Hatch, and all of their friends) which have launched onto mobile platforms over the years. We also don't factor in things like Steam Link or Google Stadia which allow streaming to handheld devices - and would open up this list to almost every game under the sun.
What that means is that our list is a finely curated list of brilliant, fresh titles which you can download and play without subscribing to, or installing, any third-party initiative. Of course, there are some great games on those services, but, let's focus on the stuff that you can grab right now.
This week we've got dungeon-crawling, city-building and leap-frog platforming, all that and much more.
Remember, if you're looking to check through some of our previous selections then you can always do that at our Games of The Week Hub, it's a great way to find games to fill out that empty storage space on your phone. Or, if you like your news in bitesize chunks, delivered straight to your palm then maybe follow us on our Twitter.
Anyway, without any further delay, click on the big, blue button below to find out more about our top five of the games which released on mobile over the last week.
Astalo is a little, swiping delight. It was the aesthetic that first drew us in; I'm a big fan of things which take place on cutaway landmasses or dioramas, and the slightly-light feeling character art really adds to the feeling of scale that it gives. Phew. What kept us playing, though, was the fast skirmishes and the clever use of slow-down in order to keep us teetering on losing control in each fight.
Of course, it might not be for everybody. There are certainly more than a few people out there who are sick of the swipe input style of combat - those people miss out on great games like Oddman, Astalo and Witcheye. That's a shame as they're all fantastic modern platformers which use the control in a smart, tactile way.
Astalo is free to play on the App Store and Google Play
O$P$ (Owe Money Pay Money)
Owe Money Pay Money is, apparently, a follow up to a game which released ten years back on PC - how time flies. As it turns out Big Chief, the protagonist of Owe Money Pay Money, also flies, although more in a frog-bounding kind of way than the traditional method.
It has quite a simple control method, you just drag back and release. The developers cite that it's inspired by the Angry Bird series, however, that does somewhat cheapen the mechanic, which - as Owe Money Page Money is a platformer - feels closer to the exceptional Gunpoint than it does a physics puzzle game.
Owe Money Pay Money is available for free on the App Store and Google Play.
Set in the 90s, If Found... is a visual novel which follows the story of a young woman named Kasio. Everything might sound pretty mundane, but the story starts with the world ending after she attempts to destroy her diary, and as such her memories.
It's been described as a compelling story which retells a life through pieced together memories, from break-ins and awkward crushes to a focus on the planet Jupiter.
If Found... is available now for Google Play and the App Store, it's a bargain at $4.99.
We adored Rumble Stars Soccer when it released: Combining a mana system with a Subbuteo (whoops, showed my age) style sports experience was absolute genius, so much so that we often found ourselves still playing it while we had run out of slots to park extra unlock chests. Rumble Hockey follows a very similar formula - thankfully. As a matter of fact, they are referring to the two games as siblings.
There are a couple of other changes too, naturally, it all takes place on ice and King Goalie will move around differently - the arenas are also slightly larger, which is to make play more dynamic.
Rumble Hockey is available for free on Google Play and the App Store.
High Rise (2020)
High Rise has become a fast favourite for me, finally giving me a reason to remove a couple of dusty old puzzle games and slot it into their place. It's a stylish match-3 puzzler all about merging blocks to create a stacking city, although there's a couple of extra mechanics at play as you play.
For a start, blocks merge in order of age if there's no clearer resolution, meaning that you can clean an entire row if you're smart enough, secondly, some of the blocks which are dropped in have different colours stacked on them, and finally, it's in full 3D, which you can rotate into a top-down view in case you don't' have adequate visibility.
High Rise is great, and it's free to play over on Google Play and the App Store.