The world is coming into bloom as we enter spring, and with it the season of hope brings with it some bloomin’ brilliant iOS and Android games for you to sink your time into.
This month we have a few indie classics making their way to smartphone screen from PC, and one of the most legendary RPG series of all time making its way over to iOS and Android.
Here are the best new games you should be playing in April 2019.
One of the slickest, fastest-flowing indie games to have graced the PC in the last several years swings its way onto iOS. Which is apt, because this game is all about outrunning your opponents by sprinting, jumping, power-ups, and a swinging grappling rope that is a fine stand-in for Spiderman’s web rope.
It doesn’t control quite as fluidly as its PC counterpart yet, but these niggles can be ironed out. The pace and vivid style of Speedrunners, and the fact that it supports online PVP, make it a perfect fit for mobile.
Rush Rally 3
One of the most beloved mobile racing games returns in style. With blistering 60fps performance running some of the best graphics on mobile, Rush Rally 3 is a great way to enjoy the dirt and the drifts of its titular motorsport.
There are dozens of stages, an in-depth career mode, and an impressive physics engine that captures every bump and dent your car takes. Online leaderboards and head-to-head races make it great for competing against your friends, too.
Finally, there’s something to be said for a game that asks for a price upfront and doesn’t mess around with in-app purchases.
The popular PC card game, which puts you in charge of a Lovecraftian-style cult, is a comfortable fit for playing in the palm of your hand. It’s a compelling Victorian adventure presented through cards, as your character attempts to juggle the occult with their own sanity.
Go down rabbit holes of side-quests and wonderful writing as you try to survive and thrive in this weird world of cosmic horror. The card combinations are almost endless, making each permadeath playthrough a new and spooky journey.
The Elder Scrolls: Blades
Bethesda’s seminal RPG saga makes its mobile debut. That doesn’t quite mean you’ll get to gallivant around an open world picking flowers and cracking mudcrab shells, but Blades is still a novel handheld twist with gorgeous graphics and the twinkling atmosphere we associate with the series.
Blades is a mostly linear hack-and-slash dungeon crawler, letting you level your character in myriad directions and equip them with ever-improving weapons and armor.
The moment-to-moment gameplay feels great, and its town-rebuilding system is satisfying, but be warned that there are some nasty paywalls that tend to sneak up on you.
Platforms: iOS, Android (soon)
“You Must Build A Boat” was one of the best frantic-tapper games ever released on mobile platforms. But with Photographs, developer EightyEight Games is going for something a little more poignant.
This story-led puzzle game has a lovely visual style and soundtrack, depicting five stories that chart the highs and lows of a lovable rural family.
Despite its endearing aesthetic as you take photos and solve a wide variety of puzzles, it’s a tough old game. And despite that, it manages to tug at the heartstrings with some elegant storytelling.
Survival games have been big business for a long time, and China is a country that knows all about big business. LifeAfter was one of the top mobile MMOs in China last year, and now it’s come to iOS and Android here in the west.
LifeAfter is a classic setup of zombies and survivors in a ruined rural world, with various factions facing off against each other while you try to build a homestead for you and your party, hunt for food, and generally scavenge to survive. There are deep levelling and crafting systems, and the graphics look fantastic for a mobile game.
Naturally, other players will be wandering this broken world, too, and you’ll need to judge whether to team up with people or fight against them.
80s neon stylings and synthy music are all the rage right now, and Immortal Rogue taps into that while delivering a great-looking and super-playable roguelike experience. To accommodate the twitchy action and precision, there’s a swipe-based attack system that works like an absolute treat.
The gist of it is that you’re a vampire who needs to kill and feed to survive, and the game actually unfurls depending on what kind of creatures you choose to slay; the world and enemies change, making each new run a novel, unpredictable treat.
With their permadeath and snappy pacing, roguelikes are a great natural fit for mobile, but Immortal Rogue really gets the balance right.
Skylanders: Ring of Heroes
Skylanders is the kind of franchise that you’ve probably heard of, and you either couldn’t care one iota about its vibrant world of cartoony figures and turn-based combat, or you’re completely invested in it. Whatever your stance, these are high-quality RPGs that deserve your attention.
This free-to-play mobile outing is another likely hit for the Skylanders team. You build your Skylander team to take on the forces of Kaos, in a high-viz fantasy world mixing magic with technology.
Despite being turn-based, it’s nice and pacey like you’d want a mobile game to be, with a lengthy campaign, plenty of challenges, and an in-app purchase system that isn’t too intrusive.
Say what you will about Flappy Bird, but there’s definitely something compelling about the simplicity of tapping anywhere on the screen to gain momentum for your avatar and that being the only control you need to think about in the game.
That’s the basic idea of Boost Buddies, but on top of that it’s a much deeper and more rewarding experience. You tap to move vertically, rather than horizontally, as you seek to get the crowns and keys at the top of the screen, while a gauntlet of spikes, circular saws and deadly blocks gets in your way.
There’s a wonderful rhythm to the game, the difficulty ratchets up nicely, and there are plenty of unlockables, making for a well-rounded (and free) package.
The Escapists 2
Platforms: iOS, Android
Ever since Prison Break (or Shawshank Redemption, for older readers), there’s been an allure to plotting the perfect escape from incarceration. The Escapists 2 builds on the good points of its hit predecessor to offer a deceptively deep realization of that fantasy.
It can be a little daunting at first, as you’re chucked into one of a number of prisons with no guidance on how exactly you’re supposed to get out. There are strict prison schedules to stick to, and you need to work within and around these to make the contacts and get the equipment to plot your escape.
It’s very sandboxy, so how you go about this is up to you: will you sneak out during a riot, dig a tunnel through to the waste pipes, or any of a number of other methods. It’s your call!
The Escapists 2 is already out on Android and should be on iOS very soon.