As we creep into the final furlong of summer, it’s time to turn your eyes away from the cooling sun’s glare and down towards your iOS and Android devices. Some great new games have come out this month – from revived roguelikes and strategy games, to the latest outing for the Pokemon series.
Here are the best iOS and Android games for you to play in September 2019.
Raiders of the North Sea
Turn-based tabletop games tend to make for great mobile games on account of their gentle pacing and ability to be played with other people asynchronously (or via pass-and-play).
So Raiders of the North Sea is among the best of a very good bunch. Build up a viking fleet, manage your crew and village, and set sail to loot and plunder for your tribe. It’s challenging, strategic, and wonderfully designed, which is to say it’s very faithful to its tabletop source material.
Rogue Legacy: Wanderer Edition
One of the pioneering indie games of the roguelike revolution on PC, Rogue Legacy finally makes its way to the palms of our hands.
The oddball permadeath platformer sees you control a succession of related knights. Each time you die, you take control of the next knight in the same bloodline, selecting traits and defects that make every playthrough a new challenge. It’s a tough old game, but the solid mechanics and unique hook make it compelling to hit your head against over and over again.
Rogue Legacy is an indie classic, and its mobile debut even builds on the original, with bespoke mobile controls, new areas to explore and new bosses to fight.
For those who don’t already know, Tropico is a beloved city-builder series in which you attempt to lead an authoritarian island paradise to prosperity. It has a whimsical character and Hispanic-style theme, as you – “El Presidente” – manage everything from city planning to press freedoms (or lack thereof).
The mobile version of Tropico is based on Tropico 3, which is the version most faithful to the original game (if not as pretty as Tropico 4 through 6). Even so, the port is great, and it’s already one of the best strategy games you’ll find on mobile.
The closest thing to a full-featured Pokemon game on mobile, Pokemon Masters is a beautifully-presented, if still somewhat light, interpretation on the franchise.
You take on legendary Pokemon trainers from across the series, level up your Pokemon, and do a fair bit of grinding to ‘Be the Very Best.’ Each battle consists of three Pokemon, and there’s a decent little story to progress through, too.
Once you reach a certain point in the story, you can even play through the main story alongside a friend, unlocking special ‘group moves’ if you attack quickly enough.
Platforms: iOS, Android (later date)
2017’s high-intensity roguelike combat platformer comes to mobile devices. Given the high stakes and difficulty of the game on PC, some questioned whether it’d be at all viable to play on mobile, but once again our phones have outdone themselves.
Dead Cells plays brilliantly on iOS. There are a couple of control modes, including an optional mobile mode that automatically attacks when you’re near enemies. It’s a great call, making this stylish, brutally tough game still feel fair rather than fiddly on the small screen.
Colin Lane games have regularly featured in our lists of the best Android and iOS games. The maker of simple-yet-compelling tappers like Wrassling and Dunkers knows how to squeeze a whole lot of fun into a very simple premise. In Knight Brawl, you simply jump and attack while your enemies return the favour.
It’s chaotic but more than just a button-masher, as well-timed and placed strikes are more likely to topple your enemies. Few games scream “MULTIPLAYER CARNAGE” as much as this, so we’re hoping for a multiplayer mode down the line. Even as it is, though, Knight Brawl is wholesome barbaric fun.
Dr. Mario World
One of the original Match-3 puzzlers makes its debut on mobile, casting you as Dr. Mario as he fires pills to dispose of pesky colour-coded viruses. Rather than being based around time limits, you have a limited number of capsules with which to get rid of the viruses, so – like the good doctor you are – you need to be methodical in how you fire them.
There’s plenty of visual variety with over 100 levels, and like Nintendo’s other mobile efforts, this one is free to play, so expect some in-app purchases. You can also play online with friends, either helping them out by sending them boosts or taking them on in battles.
Super Soccer Champs 2019
The long-running mobile football franchise comes back season after season, making small but well-advised changes that keep it near the top of the table. Super Soccer Champs (SSC) looks more like Sensible Soccer than FIFA for inspiration, which for the most part makes it feel much better on a touchscreen.
There are no fancy tricks or skills here, just high manual control that teaches you to be selective in your passing and shooting. The AI has received some much-needed improvements, and this latest version includes online play, too.
The legendary MOBA IP makes its debut on Android, but it comes with a twist. This isn’t a MOBA but rather a turn-based tactics game in which you pick a crew of heroes and pit them in a series of battles against AI and other players.
You upgrade your heroes, form alliances to maximise bonuses for your units, and build up an army that suits your playstyle. It’s deceptively complex and easy to get lost in all the combinations of attributes and numbers. But power on, and you’ll be rewarded with a deep and brilliant game that will test your tactical mettle.
Harry Potter: Wizards Unite
Any game from the makers of the phenomenon Pokemon Go is bound to get noticed, particularly if it’s set in the Harry Potter universe.
Wizards Unite may have launched with its fair share of problems, such as lacking clarity on how to cast spells in the right way. The principle, though – searching for magical artifacts in an augmented-reality world that gets you to walk around in the great outdoors – remains addictive and a perfect fit for summer.
You roam the world, collecting Foundables and Confoundables as well as other objects around the world. There’s a skill tree to upgrade, teaching you better spells that you can use to take on the monsters that you encounter. It still needs polishing, but there’s a great foundation here for another AR sensation from Niantic.