One Friday a colleague complained to me saying there are "no good games on Android" and while I can't deny it isn't easy to find good games, especially being an avid gamer who loves role-playing and strategy games and doesn't enjoy most casual games, saying there are "no good games" is still a stretch.
The question came at the end of a Friday and to ensure he gets a good number of games for the weekend I sent him a list including some of my personal favorites. After receiving the list he told me I should put it online for others. Normally I wouldn't do so but I decided if I keep posting new lists every now and then it should be OK. So let it be the first of many.
I love strategy games and for a long time I have wished for Civilization, Heroes of Might & Magic and the Settlers to come to Android.
While the Settlers is still not here in a good form, I've got two thirds of my wish granted.
For those who are not familiar with Civilization: It is a game where you play as a leader of a country and advance through time until you reach to victory (or defeat). Victory conditions include cultural, conquest, science and diplomacy which allows for a varied way to play the game.
For those who are familiar with Civilization, I feel the Android "Revolution" version is very much true to the original when compared to Civilization V, although somewhat simplified to fit the touch screen but overly simplified and is still a great game.
Heroes of Might & Magic was a game I grew up with and I was very excited to see the HD remake for mobile. Although it is Heroes III and not V or VI, which in my opinion would fit great for mobile devices, it is delightful to see Heroes III on the platform.
Heroes is a game where you lead a faction, controlling its heroes which lead an army into battle and manage your cities to improve their defenses, production and unit training.
Combat is tactical and turn-based on a hexagonal grid which allows many different play styles and results for the same battle. For me taking initiative and positions of units into account to minimize losses is a lot of fun.
There are also plenty of factions and races to play including Humans, Elves, Dark Elves, Undead, Wizards, Demons...
XCOM is yet another one of my favorite tactical games. It follows a similar combat gameplay as Heroes except you are more limited in troops per battle and don't have the hero's magical abilities to help.
It is played in a semi-modern settings where UFOs are real and been invading the Earth having shown hostile attentions. You command a special unit in charge on discovering the enemy, their plan and keeping people safe.
Gameplay includes tactical combat, story and base management where you build facilities, train troops and manage research to improve your squads.
I'm a huge fan role-playing games and am always looking for good RPGs for mobile so if you are aware of any, let me know! Here are some I like.
A mix of pick your own adventure game and an RPG adventure game. Tales of Illyria puts you in the shoes of Lord Elric, framed for treason and on the run with assassin's on your back you ally with Lord Benton, true king of Tortha.
The game takes you from town to town meeting interesting people and giving you choice between helping random strangers or becoming a rogue. The combat is turn based and encourages settings roles for party member to perform better as a group. The game also provides interesting mechanics that make you be mindful of your choices: feast upon the meat of a dead animal you discovered or drink off the river's water and you might be infected with disease.
The game is really fun and full with content including random encounters which make it more interesting, but suffers a bit from long travel time, carry weight management and hitting the "Retry Combat" button when the dice and RNG are against you.
Initially I thought of putting it in strategy but ended placing it in RPG. The Banner Saga resembles Heroes of Might & Magic quite a bit but adds a very unique and interesting story with more dialogues, choices and likable characters.
The Banner Saga is set in a viking-themed world where the sun had suddenly stopped moving and an enemy clan called the Skaflings is just about to attack the city. Gameplay-wise the game plays a lot like Heroes at least when it comes to combat, but it also has many RPG elements including a rich dialogue, leveling up your heroes and items.
Wayward Souls and Mage Gauntlet are a great hack & slash adventure games with very polished gameplay and controls for mobile.
They are both from the same company and play very similarly with Mage Gauntlet having a bit more of a linear story while Wayward Souls taking place inside of a procedurally generated dungeon.
You take control of a hero in a fantasy settings, fighting monsters and exploring areas to achieve your goal. Combat is fun and somewhat like Zelda except with added special abilities and spells you can commonly use.
Oh speaking of Zelda, there are also countless references in the game, from cutting down the grass and some of the achievements.
Not sure if an RPG, Action or Strategy game, Hoplite is an extremely fun turn-based tactical game.
You head down a dungeon searching for the Golden Fleece. The dungeons are procedurally generated with every level increasing the number of enemies and their abilities, making every choice you make count. In addition to the added difficulty you also gain new abilities as you go down the dungeon and reach check points which can either heal you or improve your character.
Played somewhat like a complicated one-piece chess game when you only have one powerful piece, I cannot recommend Hoplite enough.
Here I've put some of my favorite heavily based story games. I have limited to two which I have enjoyed the most as my list been getting long.
A fantastic choice adventure game set in a fantasy world presented by beautiful art, Sorcery takes you on an adventure to find legendary Crown of Kings.
You move your character on the map, which gives it a nice board game feeling, with every choice giving opportunity for a new encounter and interesting dialogues.
The dialogues and combat mechanics are so well made for a choose your own adventure game with the dialogue feeling like paper scrolls making it as you make your choices and making fantastic use of the touch screen. The combat is somewhat tactical where you choose between attacking or blocking and how much power you'd like to commit to an attack with the higher attacker dealing the damage. The only hint you are given is a narrative of your own character and the enemy, detailing how they move and what they tell you, out of which you may deduce how far will their attack go.
An adventure in outer space, you are an astronaut waking up from cryonics in unknown space. You need to survive by going from planet to planet and refueling on oxygen for breathing, hydrogen for power the ship and other minerals for repairing and building upgrades.
The game is procedurally generated and has good replay value. There are many ways for the adventure to go by and a variety of alien species to meet and handful ships to encounter and change your own ship with.
Personally I am not a huge fan of puzzle games but I found some really good ones even I enjoyed.
Monument Valley is beautiful. That's just one part of it, the game is quite simple and has you navigate through 3d environments from a top view perspective, having to navigate your character to the end through manipulating the machinery around you and changing the landscape.
The game implements cleverly designed puzzles, yet not very difficult and is backed with beautiful artwork.
Filled with mystery and intriguing machinery, the game has makes perfect use of the touch screen in having you tinker about and move things around to solve a mystery.
It all starts when a fellow researcher sends you a note saying you must come to his study at once to prevent a great peril.
The Room and The Room two are both beautiful and immersive with great visuals and sounds.
MOBA on Android touch devices? I wasn't sure until I tried! As a big League of Legends fangirl I love MOBA games and also played DoTA 2 and Heroes of the Storm on PC.
I was somewhat surprised to find the genre on mobile.
The Witcher puts characters from its previous Role-Playing Games into the Battle Arena and have them fight for victory in a game which is very tactical, fast paced and full with action.
Combat and control over the characters works very well with click-to-move and ability icons which then put you into a smart casting mode showing the range and direction of the attack as you move your finger across the screen in a way that is very familiar to PC MOBA players.
As expected of Projekt Red the graphics are high end and showcases iconic characters from the Witcher's Lore including the main protagonist Geralt.