It’s no secret that online multiplayer games have long ruled over the Google Play Store. Games like Clash of Clans and Mobile Strike are extremely, immensely popular—not to mention massively financially successful. One of this year’s biggest launches in mobile gaming for example, Fire Emblem Heroes, has a huge online component attached to the game and requires your phone to be online while you play, and similar titles like Final Fantasy Brave Exvius are quite similar in their online duel strategies. Even single-player games like Super Mario Run sometimes require you to be online just to ensure you haven’t pirated the game. And while these persistent online requirements are typically acceptable, sometimes you don’t want an online experience—you want a game that can be played while fully, completely offline. Whether you’re in the backseat for a long car ride, travelling on a plane lacking WiFi, or simply tired of running up your mobile data cap, there are times where the only games available to play are games with fully offline modes.
Well, you’re in luck. We’ve rounded up some of the best experiences in mobile gaming on Android, focusing entirely on games playable in single-player, fully offline mode. There are just random pickings from the Play Store either; each game has been tested to guarantee a positive experience both in terms of graphics and gameplay. So next time you find yourself flying coach from New York to Los Angeles, don’t let yourself get sucked into a terrible in-flight movie. Pull out your phone and let the hours melt by with one of our picks of the best offline games you can find on Android today.
Devolver Digital's award-winning Reigns is difficult to explain, but once you figure out the main draw of the game, it's a great offline time-waster. You start the game as a king, a ruler of a kingdom where you have to make decisions for the good of the people and for your own rule. If any of the four metrics used to keep track of your own kingship fall to zero—faith, well-being, defense, and finances—you'll be booted from your position as king by poisoning, beheading, banishment, or any other number of terrible outcomes. To control your country, you'll be presented with cards that give you a choice, in a similar fashion to the swiping mechanism we've seen in Tinder. You swipe left or right on the incoming cards to make your decisions, typically either answering with a yes or no answer with occasionally more complex choices appearing within the game. The key to Reigns: when you die, a new king takes over, and you begin playing as the new ruler.
The game has a dry sense of humor—the deaths, especially, can be pretty funny—and the gameplay itself is far deeper than it might seem initially. Your actions, every swipe you make, have consequences in the kingdom, and the health of your rule is represented by four diagrams at the top of the screen. Each decision represents a year in-game, and you want to make sure that you're doing everything you can to make your reign last until your natural death. Ensuring that every category is as high as can be is the key to winning, but it isn't quite so simple. Raising one factor in your kingdom almost always lowers another—growing your army, for example, will undoubtedly spend some of your savings, and trying to pinch pennies can cause your kingdom to be invaded or the people to starve. If any of these factors hits zero, it's your head—sometimes literally. Thankfully, the game allows you to check what attributes each action will affect by slowly sliding the card to either direction.
Luckily, it's just a fictional monarchy, so there's no need to worry about your actual head being on the chopping block. Because of the sliding mechanic, the controls feel simple and intuitive—it just feels like making decisions and selecting yes or no. It's a truly interesting game, and we haven't seen anything else like it on the Play Store. If you're tired of endless runners or console ports, you might want to look into Reigns. At $2.99 with no ads or in-app purchases, it's a great price for a fantastic offline game.
And good news! If you already beat the first Reigns game from Devolver Digital, you can pick up the brand new Reigns: Her Majesty, a brand new follow-up to the original Reigns in which you fulfill the role of queen in a kingdom undergoing a brand new renaissance era. With you as the head of state, you must guide your country through strife and danger to success, making the correct political decisions while simultaneously managing personal relationships and suitors. Reigns: Her Majesty is available for the same $2.99 asking price on Google Play, and if you've already played the hell out of the original, there's no reason not to pick this one up.
Unlike most of the other games on this list, we're willing to bet you haven't heard of Solitairica. It's one of our newest games to be featured here, and since we posted about the game back in April, it's finally reached over 50,000 downloads on the Play Store. Solitairica is a completely new twist on the card game genre that Hearthstone currently holds power over, and while we don't foresee Solitatica overtaking the mass popularity of Blizzard's online trading card game anytime soon, there's enough going on here that Solitairica is more than worth the download to check the game out for yourself.
Solitairica combines elements from both solitaire and turn-based RPGs to make something completely new. Instead of using the gameplay we've seen previously in Windows 95 versions of the solo card game, Solitairica takes the basic functions of that game and uses them to create an entirely new form of gameplay. In Solitairica, you battle enemies one at a time, taking them on in one-sided card duels. Your goal is simple: eliminate all the cards on the field, similar to the original task in Solitaire. To do this, you begin by using the face-up card in your deck as a starting point. For instance, let's say you've been dealt a 6 as your starting card. The available cards in front of you consist of a Queen, a Jack, a 4, a 7, and a 2. Tapping the 7 pulls the card into your hand, eliminating it from the field, and reveals a 6 where the 7 previously sat. You can tap that 6, too—unlike in traditional solitaire, you can go up or down in numbers here and there's no red or black suits to match.
Once you've hit a dead-end, with no cards to draw from on the field, you can flip a card over from your deck to try again at eliminating additional cards. At the same time, your enemy can also draw an effect card, causing turmoil or some kind of negative attack to hit the field—after all, this is a duel. The attack might damage your hit-points, or add additional cards to the table. Anything it can do to keep you from winning, the enemy cards will attempt to try. Fortunately, you aren't completely unarmed. When you gather cards from the table, you also fuel your abilities, which allow you to add additional defense, attack and eliminate cards on the table, add hit-points back to your health, and even see what card you're going to get next. These abilities get even more complicated as you progress and level through the game, and each duel gets more and more challenging as you progress towards the final boss.
Solitairica is one of our favorite mobile games of 2017 so far. The complex card game mechanics are perfect for wasting time in the back of a car or on a plane, and the thrill in seeing your opponents eliminated as you progress through the game is excellent. The card designs look clean and lovely, and as a free download, there's no reason not to grab the app. Definitely check this one out.
Alto's Adventure is a variation on the endless runner genre where you play as a snowboarding llama herder named Alto. Alto's on a quest to gather his llamas from running amok—and at the same time, to shred some serious snow. First things first, this game is absolutely gorgeous, with an incredible art style that borders on Material design in appearance. The music consists of smooth, relaxing piano and strings, with the whole package coming together to set a lovely atmosphere. The controls are incredibly simple here: press on the screen to make Alto jump, hold down on the screen to keep him rotating and performing tricks in the air. Tricks make Alto move faster, allowing him to crash through barriers like rocks you might miss while sledding through the countryside.
It's not a perfect game. The presentation is flawless, but it's missing a certain complexity that makes players want to return to the game. Alto's Adventure uses the same profession system as every other endless runner before it: a level system designated by completing "challenges" like travelling a certain distance or collecting a specific number of dramas. In this sense, it's the visuals that set it apart from games like Jetpack Joyride or Temple Run, not the gameplay itself. Still, the game is an excellent time killer, and with a sequel coming out later this summer, we're excited to see where the series goes from here. Alto's Adventure is free on Android with ads—and it's absolutely worth picking up.
To some, Bouncy Hoops may seem like an odd addition. Despite being released just this past June, Bouncy Hoops takes its controls and inspiration straight from Flappy Bird, the hottest game of 2014 and a complete afterthought in current mobile games. Still, Bouncy Hoops manages to make the game feel fresh again, just by tweaking the goal of Flappy Bird from a strange mobile platformer into something more closely resembling what we've seen in other mobile basketball games. You tap on your device's screen to bounce the ball, just as you would inside of the original Flappy Bird game, but instead of dodging platforms and keeping your player token inside of a specific area, you're trying to score on two opposing basketball nets back and forth.
The game starts easy enough, but with the timer quickly limiting how often you have to get the ball inside the basket, it becomes a hectic race to get your score as high as possible. The best way to raise your score is to use tricks, including clean shots, high shots, buzzer beaters, and off the backboard to increase your multiplier. As you perform tricks, each trick will raise your multiplier, maxing out at 5x, allowing you to raise your score so long as you keep shooting trick shots. When you finally do lose your streak, your multiplier drops back to one and you have to start your streak over. The game is free with ads, and we found the in-app purchases to be a bit too expensive for our tastes, but it's absolutely worth checking out if you're interested in a new Flappy Bird-like competitive platformer.
Card Thief, like Solitairica , is a card-based role playing game, the sequel to fan-favorite Card Crawl, and of our favorite games on Android from 2017. While Card Crawl focused on dungeon crawling, quickly defeating your enemies and powering up your abilities and weapons, Card Thief focuses its attention on stealth-based gameplay, a new entry for card-based video games. You have a stealth rating in the upper-left hand corner of your player card, acting similar to a health rating in games like Solitairica or Card Crawl. The goal of the game is simple: clear the entire deck of cards, eliminating unknowing enemies, disabling torches, gathering gold and other treasures, all without getting caught. Once the deck's been cleared, the exit will appear, and you can make your way out with your bounty.
The game is far more complex than it lets on at first glance. Every move takes place on a grid-based system, where you move your thief character card around the guards and light sources on the board. The goal is to clear the cards as quickly and efficiently as possible, using a combination of luck, skill, and ability cards kept in your deck at the bottom part of your screen. The challenge comes from the enemy guards, who notice you moving, extinguishing torches, and will move in a direction that they heard your movement coming from. We found the game to be incredibly rewarding, though it is a bit difficult to learn at first glance. If you're at all interested in stealth games—or card games, for that matter— you should absolutely check this one out.
Downwell is a shmup-platformer where the goal isn't to jump, but to fall with style, grace, and machine-gun shoes. In this delightfully-retro 8-bit game, your goal is to make your way down the well you've fallen into, shooting and avoiding enemies and collecting loot and gems along the way. Downwell is one of those games that casual and hardcore gamers alike can find joy in: the simple controls and fast-paced gameplay give casual players a reason to come back, but the difficulty and insanity of the game will keep most gamers satisfied for hours on end.
And make no mistake, this game is difficult. You'll need to have lightning quick reflexes, or learn to adapt quickly, because you're falling down that well fast and enemies will not stop coming. A robust upgrade system between levels and tons of secrets and hidden rooms will keep you playing for hours. Despite a general dislike for virtual D-pads, we found the game's controls to function well, a testament to Devolver Digital's own developer skills. Downwell costs $2.99 in the Play Store, without ads or in-app purchases, and is absolutely worth the cost of a small coffee from your local cafe. It's an incredible twitch shooter, and anyone looking for something with a bit more complexity than another endless runner will really love this game.
Duet is a hugely popular game on Android, closing in on 50 million downloads on the Play Store since its launch several years ago, and it's easy to see why. Everything from the presentation, the art design, the music, and the gameplay make this an excellent addition to your offline arsenal. The graphics are simple and beautiful, with the paint splatters when the dots crash specifically standing out as an excellent design choice. The music is lovely, but manages to produce the exact opposite reaction of Alto's Adventure. Instead of offering a beautiful skyline accompanied by soft piano music, Duet is a cold, harsh reality, with deep techno and electronic beats guiding you through a maze of fast-moving, rotating lines of destruction.
All of this makes for an experience that essentially represents the videogame equivalent of chugging an energy drink: it makes you jittery and a bit stir-crazy. This game oozes personality, but the gameplay was compelling to. Levels are presented in short, easy-to-accomplish goals, but with enough challenge that by the time level three rolls around, you'll be dying a lot before you move onto the next level. There are a couple flaws in Duet, however. First, ad breaks are way too long and happen way too often. Every few levels, the game will ask you to upgrade to the paid version of Duet, and if you refuse, a fifteen-to-thirty second, unskippable ad will begin to play. It takes the player completely out of that caffeine-like rush, eliminating the focus you feel while playing. We don't encourage the overuse of ads, but if you enjoy playing the game, we'd say it's worth ponying up the few dollars you'll need to buy the premium edition.
Unlike most of the games on this list, Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions, is a full-price $11.99 console port on Google Play. While this may sound well out of your budget, you absolutely get what you pay for with FFT. This is a classic SRPG from Square, and it's worth every penny if you've never played the game before. For those unfamiliar with this spin-off of the classic Final Fantasy series, FF Tactics is a tactical role-playing game similar to Nintendo's Fire Emblem series, first released to the United states in 1998 on the original PlayStation. Though sales were initially small, it was eventually remade into Final Fantasy Tactics: War of the Lions for the PSP, recreated in widescreen mode and featuring a new translation with improved dialogue. The game has become a cult-classic both in Japan and the United States, praised for its tactical gameplay and the dark and creative storytelling. Among many fans of the RPG series, it's now considered one of the best entries in the Final Fantasy lineup. Famously, Darius Kazemi, game designer at Bocoup, once told Kotaku, "Saying Final Fantasy Tactics is your favorite Final Fantasy game is like saying [West Wing president] Jed Bartlet is your favorite U.S. president. It is at once obviously correct, and obviously cheating."
So how well does FF Tactics play on touchscreen devices? Surprisingly well, it turns out. It's not the game with the best controls on this list, but overall, the game feels pretty good. You tap on the 3D-based grid system to control your party, rotating the map using arrows along the side of your display and swiping premade gestures to select options throughout the menu. It's a pretty slick system, a good compromise between traditional video game menus and tapping on virtual D-pads. The gameplay holds up as well. If you're a fan of the SRPG genre and haven't checked out Final Fantasy Tactics, you're doing yourself a disservice. Square's efforts here are a cult classic for a reason. The story's still as satisfying as ever, and despite their age, the cutscenes looked studding on our test devices. $12 is a bit expensive for a mobile game, but remember this is a full-fledged console Final Fantasy game, and one of the best at that. If you're more of a traditional RPG fan, check out Final Fantasy VI, also available for purchase. You won't be disappointed.
Part puzzle game, part board game, and part RPG, Hitman GO is unlike everything else on Android in a major way. A totally new Hitman game designed from the ground up, GO represented an entire new strategy for Square Enix's mobile games when it launched a few years ago, and while plenty of other GO titles have been launched since, including Lara Croft GO and Deus Ex GO, none of them have quite hit the highs of what we've seen from the first Hitman title. The art style is what catches the eye first—these games look like real-world board games, complete with small figurines and set pieces around the board.
Each level represents a new puzzle, with you working to move the Agent 47 piece around the board, taking out your opponents without getting caught by bystanders or anyone else nearby on the board. The game uses a simple swipe mechanic as you make your way around the board killing enemies by bumping into them. You can use rifles, hiding places, and secret passageways in the level to get around easier, hiding from your prey before finish the job. All things considered for a Hitman game, GO is surprisingly non-violent, without any sort of animated blood and only rated 10+ on the Play Store for Suggestive Themes and Fantasy Violence. The models are excellent, and the game is perfect for the sort of offline play that makes up so many road trips or plane rides. Definitely check this one out if you're a puzzle board game fan, or missing out on some classic Hitman gameplay. The game typically costs $4.99, but is routinely on sale for just $.99.
At this rate, no one is going to be surprised by Minecraft. You know what it is, we know what it is. Basically everyone and their mother knows what Minecraft is. The game is a bonafide phenomenon around the world, and has been for well over half a decade now. Minecraft's continued success is owed to plenty of factors: positive word of mouth, a buzzing online community, popular Let's Players streaming the game online for entertainment, and of course, the presence of Minecraft on nearly every game console or mobile device on the market today.
Just because Minecraft is an established property doesn't mean you shouldn't play Minecraft: Pocket Edition. The portable version of the game has seen consistent updates from Mojang and Microsoft, bringing the Pocket Edition closer than ever to the desktop and console versions of the game. Recent updates have added The End, finally bringing one of the most commonly-requested areas to the mobile game. And although this article is focused on offline games on Android, we shouldn't discount the ability to work in tandem with the Windows 10 counterpart for online play. Overall, Minecraft: Pocket Edition is just Minecraft on your smartphone or tablet, available for only a $6.99 upfront fee. Whether you like or dislike Minecraft is probably established already, but if you're a fan, there's no reason not to pick this up on your device of choice. The novelty of exploring a large, randomly-generated world that can fit in your pocket is enough of a reason to do so today.
Continuing a trend of absolutely beautiful games being put on display here, Monument Valley is a stunning puzzle game that depends on you, the player, being able to guide a princess through a world full of difficulties, trials, and tribulations. From castles and countrysides to dreamscapes and surreal environments, Monument Valley is jam-packed with interesting environments and puzzles, and the game feels largely similar to something like FEZ, where you traverse through environmental puzzles around a 2.5D world. Much of the game draws its appeal from the sights and sounds—we can't overplay how truly beautiful this game is, with incredible graphics and design and a painting-like world in every stage. In many ways, the puzzles are simply excuses to explore the world.
There is a bit of a story here, though it's mostly told through unspoken cues spread throughout the world. This isn't the type of story that's being told through dialogue or cutscenes. It's hidden away, ready for those who want to see what's happening inside the world of Monument Valley. The game isn't super long, with most playthroughs clocking in at about an hour to an hour and a half, but that doesn't mean Monument Valley isn't a must-play. Rather, it means you should absolutely grab this one and play it as soon as you can. At $3.99, it is a bit steep for the limited gameplay time, but we still loved the game anyway. A sequel, Monument Valley 2, was released over this past summer, and recently came to Android for the same price of $3.99. If you already played the first Monument Valley and you're hungry for more from this team of designers, you'll want to check out the sequel, previously featured on a round-up of the best apps of the month. It's one of our favorite games of 2017.
Fans of Nintendo and Game Freak's Pokemon series were ecstatic last year when Pokemon Go launched to much fanfare and to a huge community of users, but for those looking for traditional Pokemon gameplay, the game was a letdown to say the least. Despite Nintendo's ongoing push into smartphone games, Pokemon seems to be doing its own thing, with Pokemon Duel and Magikarp Jump coming in as fun spin-off games but not much else. Unfortunately, anyone looking for classic Pokemon gameplay is going to have to look elsewhere, and luckily, Adult Swim has what you need—featuring characters and settings from popular adult cartoon Rick and Morty.
Pocket Mortys is a free ad and in-app purchase-supported game set within the universe of Rick and Morty. You play as Rick, the titular drunken-Doc-Brown-esque main character of the show, as you and Morty enter the multiverse. To no one's surprise, Rick begins collecting other universes' Mortys with his Mortypad, a Pokedex-like contraption, and using them to battle with a game system that is almost an exact take on what we've seen from Pokemon. Overall, the whole thing is pretty silly. But the writing matches the tone of the show, and the game uses a simplified version of Pokemon's type-system by literally identifying Mortys as rock, paper, or scissors-type. It's not the deepest gameplay you'll find on this list, but if you're a fan of the show, it should keep you occupied until season three returns this summer.
Punch Quest combines a bunch of fan-favorite genres with—you guessed it—an endless runner-styled video game. Rogue-like elements? You'll find them here, with each retry leading to new enemies, new bosses, and new map layouts. Arcade-style fun? That's here too, from it's pixel-stylized art to its combo-based point system. The game almost forces you to remember the good ol' days of challenging your friends to Street Fighter championships. Brawler elements? Oh yeah. Punch Quest's main objective is—awesomely—to punch everything. Skeletons. Bats. Cyclops. Cyborg-robot-cyclops. Dinosaur eggs. This game is ridiculous in every element, and it is so, so very cool.
One of the greatest elements of Punch Quest is its simplified control system. Tap on the right-side of your screen to perform a dash punch (which destroys many any enemies in one hit), and tap on the left-side of your screen to perform an uppercut (which also adds a platforming element to your brawling—you will have to jump over gaps as you run along destroying everything in your path). In boss-battles especially, you'll have to perform both actions at the right time, while also blocking enemy attacks but pressing on both the left and right buttons. The game's controls feel tight and intuitive: easy to learn, but challenging to master. Down the road, you get loadouts and unlockable abilities to make taking down powerful enemies easier than simply punching. The game eases new players in, but there's enough depth and challenge to keep hardcore gamers and inexperienced players alike coming back.
Really Bad Chess is, in one app, the complete package. It's a tutorial for traditional chess, the worst chess game you've ever played, and the chess app you didn't know you wanted. The game is a simple idea—so simple, in fact, it's incredible Really Bad Chess represents the first time the idea was created as a mobile game. Here's the gist of the app: instead of featuring a traditional game of chess, Really Bad Chess rearranges and scrambles the board, giving you an entirely new set of pieces each time. In the first game, you might have three pawns, five queens, and a single bishop. Meanwhile, the next game might have seven pawns, two queens, and four rooks. You never know what's going to happen in Really Bad Chess—your only constant is the singular king, with the goal of RBC still to be capture your opponent's king through checkmate.
The pieces received at the beginning aren't entirely random; they're based on your past experience playing the game. The better you do, the worst your pieces will get over time, making the game infinitely more challenging and eventually causing you to either get better at the basic strategy of chess to overcome the restrictions placed on you by the game, or fail and lose your winning streak. Though the subtitle, "a definitely balanced chess game," is certainly tongue in cheek, the game works as well as it does because of its imbalance, not in spite of it. You or your opponent will always have an upper-edge, encouraging the player to learn advanced chess strategies to complete the necessary plays to win. Your first couple games of Really Bad Chess might seem incredibly easy, but it's a trap—albeit one encouraging you to keep playing the game to get better. The free version of Really Bad Chess allows you to play against an AI in ranked or daily challenges, while an in-app purchase of $2.99 unlocks versus mode for co-op with another person and removes ads.
Ultraflow 2 is the sequel to Ultraflow, the hit minimalist puzzle game from a few years ago. Much like the first title in the series, your goal is simple: get your puck to the target within a certain designated number of bounces. If you've played the original, you'll pretty much know what you're getting into with Ultraflow 2. The puzzles are really clever, and the game is designed so that you're gently eased into the difficulty curve, so it never feels like it's getting too difficult. The controls, too, feel phenomenal. You're just pushing your puck in the proper direction and hoping that you've done it correctly. Our favorite aspect of the controls is actually how you start the game over: two simple taps on the screen will reset the level, meaning you never have to pause the game, and you can do it at any time.
If you're not one for puzzle games for fear of being , there's nothing to worry about here either. The game will occasionally serve you hints if you failed a level too many times, meaning almost any player can feel clever and progress while playing the game. And unlike a game similar to Angry Birds, you feel a ton more control over your actions in pushing the puck. It never feels out of control or unpredictable. The game's been out since last year, but if you beat all 180 free levels, there's good news: in February, developer Ultrateam removed the in-app purchase to unlock the additional 180 levels. So whether you're a new or returning player to this one, you'll find plenty to do here.
We get it. Everyone and their mother has played Solitaire sometime in their life, either with real physical cards or, more likely, while wasting the day away at work on a classic Windows 95 computer. Solitaire is perfect as a mobile game for wasting away some time with while you're on the go, whether it's to work or to a friend's house on a Saturday night. The game is perfectly designed for smartphones, with most games only taking up ten minutes or less of your time, and the card interface able to be perfectly transitioned to a mobile platform like Android. Unfortunately, most Solitaire ports on both iOS and Android are filled with advertisements, often loading an ad every single time you refresh the game. Not so with Solitaire: Decked Out, a completely ad-free port of Solitaire that manages to make what doesn't work on most other ports of the classic single-player card game and completely make it work.
With a cartoonish style and cute sound effects, Decked Out puts every other Solitaire port on Android to shame, with the only non-free aspect of the app being some of the skins and card packs for the entire game. Plenty of these card decks can be unlocked by playing the game repeatedly, and considering the entire game is free outside of these entirely cosmetic packages that go towards supporting the development team, it really makes it feel light years above some of the other games on this list like Injustice 2. If you're a fan of Solitaire, don't sleep on this one—it's the perfect offline app to keep you busy no matter where you are.
Color Switch has a specific kind of addictive quality we very rarely see outside of a few notable titles. The moment you begin playing this, you'll likely think of a game like Super Hexagon, where you controlled a small triangle trying to navigate through a fast-moving series of hexagons closing in on you, or perhaps you're more familiar with Flappy Bird, a game where tapping and the timing of obstacles became a must-play style of platformer. In Color Switch, you take control of a small colored ball that aligns with one of four predetermined colors. Once you tap on the screen, you must tap repeatedly to raise the ball, stopping only to have the ball fall or to make it retain a relatively-stable position on the screen. In your way of ascending up the display, you'll find rotating circles, triangles, lines, and other objects made up of different colors, only one of which matches the color of your ball. Using exact timing, you must manage to move the ball up the display to make its way through colors matching the ball's own, as touching a non-matching color will cause your ball to explode—and your game to end.
It might sound simple, but the game is deceptively difficult. Hitting a high score on the game will fill you with an immense feeling of pride and success, but dying due to a cheap shot or a barely-missed entrance will cause you to hit play all over again. For extra fun, find some friends to compete with in real life next to each other. When one of you finally beats the high score of the other, you'll be able to feel a sense of pride and accomplishment like no other. Color Switch is basically designed to take up the mantle from the abandoned Flappy Bird and its clones, and it does a fantastic job. Definitely grab this one for your offline collection.
Telltale is nothing if not an established game developer on PC and consoles, originally known for developing Sam and Max Save the World in 2006 and its assorted sequels, before achieving worldwide success with The Walking Dead in 2011. Since then, the developer has published numerous comic-style episodic games for various recurring series, covering everything from Game of Thrones to Borderlands and even Minecraft with its Story Mode adaptation. As with any series, some of these entries are stronger than others, with Tales from the Borderlands often considered one of the best games from the company ever released, and Minecraft: Story Mode largely considered to be skippable by anyone who isn't already a fan of Minecraft. With Batman: The Telltale Series, Telltale takes on one of their biggest games yet, working through the Batman mythos in an all-new tale ported to Android.
In The Telltale Series, you pick up the mantle of the Caped Crusader, faced with an all new dilemma: his deceased father's legacy has come into question, and as Bruce Wayne prepares to face the growing accusations surrounding his family line and possible collusion with the Falcone crime organization that Batman himself has battled in modern times. Meanwhile, with the Penguin having returned to Gotham and the Children of Arkham gang growing larger by the day, Batman faces his biggest villain in Lady Arkham, a mysterious figure whose identity remains unknown to Bruce. What makes Batman: The Telltale Series work so well, outside of its twisty, unexpected story, is how it truly puts you into the shoes of the World's Greatest Detective. Instead of fist-fighting enemies, you'll solve puzzles, look for clues, and generally perform the tasks of Batman in his everyday life as you make your way through this touch-friendly point-and-click adventure. If you already finished Batman: The Telltale Series, you'll want to check out the sequel season, Batman: The Enemy Within.
Directly inspired by Spelunky, classic SNES RPG Secret of Mana, and the developer's own game Mage Gauntlet, Wayward Souls is a hack-and-slash top-down action-adventure game that tasks you with making your way through a randomly-generated dungeon that forces you to tap quickly, dodge, and use special attacks that activate your battle system, with both offensive and defense blocks. At $6.99, the game's pretty expensive compared to the rest of this list, but you get a lot for the price. This game is near-endlessly playable, with the same roguelike battle and level systems we've seen placed in games like The Binding of Isaac and the aforementioned Spelunky.
In the game, you play one of six heroes, each with different abilities, powers, and controls, allowing you to change up the gameplay on a whim. As you battle through the arena, using the left side of the screen to move with an invisible joystick and the right side of the screen to unleash powerful attacks. Three of the characters are locked at the start of the game, though without a single ad or in-app purchase, the characters are instead unlocked through the actual gameplay. There are 13 full area types, including areas that have scaled difficulty settings that allow you to face more and more difficult challenges as you make your way through the game. With so much content, constant updates adding new settings, game modes, and more, plus additional features coming soon in the form up controller updates and boss health bars, this is a must-have game as we head into 2018.
While not the newest game in the long-running turn-based tactical game, XCOM: Enemy Within is the reworked expansion to 2012's XCOM: Enemy Unknown, a reboot of the popular tactical series and a great addition to your gaming library, especially on mobile. For those unfamiliar with the series, XCOM takes place in a world where aliens have invaded Earth, and as the commander of XCOM, or Extraterrestrial Combat Unit, you must begin leading your organization against the global hostile invasion, despite being far worse off in terms of technology and weaponry than your opponents. As you battle your way through each level, you'll have to make dangerous calls to fight against enemies far more powerful than you.
For those unfamiliar with the gameplay of the XCOM series, it's another take on the popular tactical genre, somewhat similar to games like Final Fantasy: The War of the Lions, but with a focus on team-based composition and using percentages to assume whether or not your soldiers will hit a specific target. Like many of the games from this genre, XCOM: Enemy Within features permadeath, meaning your characters will stay dead when murdered in the game, possibly causing you to reload from an older save if you want to save every individual hero on your team. The game also manages to work well on your phone, with a friendly touch interface that has your finger used like a mouse cursor on a PC. Enemy Within, as the expansion to Enemy Unknown, takes the original base game and adds all new features, abilities, weapons, and more to create the ultimate XCOM experience on your mobile phone or tablet, and considering you can take this PC and console game anywhere you go for just short of $10, it's a great addition to your collection.