Best New Mobile Games on iOS and Android – November 2021 Review

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Pikmin Bloom – will he be more successful than Harry Potter? (photo: Niantic)

GameCentral reviews the best smartphone games of the month, including Lego battles and a heart-wrenching WWII thriller.

Now that the sun is officially hidden for the year and we are plunged into darkness before 4:30 p.m. each afternoon, it is once again time to seek solace in mobile games. This month’s trawl includes the excellent Tap Knight incremental game, the gorgeous Svoboda 1945: Liberation, and Pikmin Bloom – who would still love you to ride despite the growing gloom.

Landscaper

iOS and Android, £ 4.49 (Raw Fury)

Tap a corner of the sea and a small island appears, throwing tiny stones that splash the surrounding water. Press again and you’ve built a single storey cottage, start over and it’s a townhouse.

By selecting colors for a specter on the side of the screen, you begin to build a village of pretty, multi-colored houses connected by neat little stretches of road. Streets, towers, winding crescents, garden squares and housing of all shapes and sizes, all just by tapping where you want to build.

While not demanding and not a game in the conventional sense, the high production values, tactility, and level of detail make Townscraper a pleasure to interact with those who want to take a break from all that touchscreen shake.

Rating: 8/10

Pikmin Bloom

iOS & Android, free (Niantic)

Since the runaway success of Pokémon Go, developer Niantic has been trying to scavenge lightning in a bottle. His last attempt, Harry Potter: Wizards Unite is set to close in January, leaving Pikmin Bloom as his new hope for the future.

While this showcases Nintendo’s lovely tiny plant creatures, it’s not a real-time strategy game, but more of a feature-packed kind of pedometer. Take a walk and your footsteps encourage the pikmin to germinate and grow, while letting them search for fruits that you distill into nectar to evolve your little expanding army.

It’s slightly whimsical and considerably less mechanically complex than Pokémon Go or Wizards Unite and while it does offer an incentive to get out and get some fresh air, it’s almost more of a pedometer than a game, and is almost useless on a Tablet.

Rating: 6/10

Tap Knight

iOS and Android, 89p (pixel balloon)

While Tap Knight undoubtedly has a lot of idle game components, including gaining experience while closing the app, its gameplay requires a bit more attention than most idle tappers.

Pick a quest, each of which has increasing difficulty, then set how often monsters spawn and watch your knight hack them. You need to keep an eye on its health bar, however – if it gets overwhelmed by enemies, you lose all the gold you gathered on that outing.

Naturally, the rewards increase with difficulty, and you can also optionally “reset” your character in exchange for large starting bonuses. If you’re a fan of incremental games, this one is well balanced with a strong sense of risk versus reward.

Rating: 8/10

Rubicon: a conspiracy of silence

iOS and Android, £ 3.49 (Labelle Games)

You are Paula Cole, a stressed-out food scientist for a global food company, returning from vacation to find that there have been fun cases in your absence, with a corporate blind eye turned to overwhelming scientific evidence.

By using the company’s Slack-style communication tool to interview colleagues, view data files, and ask corporate AI research questions, your job is to speak out against emerging wrongdoing.

It’s a good idea, as are his contemporary setting and social commentary, but he’s disappointed with a lack of polite and questionable English translation that robs his conversations of tone and realism.

Rating: 5/10

Lego Star Wars Battles

iOS, Apple Arcade (TT Games)

In everything but the name, Lego Star Wars Battles is Clash Royale with a better sense of humor and no monetization. In each PvP match, you’ll drop units across the play area using an energy bar that gradually recharges, then watch them move away to fight at their own pace.

At all times, you’ll be nurturing two decks – a dark side, a light side – collecting and upgrading cards in each, and you’ll often be able to spot the Clash Royale equivalent of each unit. Y-wings and TIE bombers are the fireball spell; AT-AT and the Clone Tank are the giant, and the herd of porgs and battle droids are spear goblins, though there are some original maps as well.

It may lack the subtlety and finesse of its inspiration, but it looks fantastic, plays a reasonably balanced game, and certainly has the ability to fine-tune more as it settles down. .

Rating: 7/10

Svoboda 1945: Liberation

iOS, £ 5.99 (Charles Games)

You are sent to the village of Svoboda to determine whether his old school should be listed or demolished by a local businessman wishing to expand his business. During your investigations, you also learn about its history, before, during and after the Second World War.

Documented with a mix of archival photographs, filmed interviews with actors, and hand-drawn illustrations, you interview locals, browse through ancient documents and if you want to dig deeper, read purely optional encyclopedia entries that flesh out the context of these events.

While its characters are fictional, the atrocities they portray are not, and in addition to unraveling a mystery at the heart of your mission, you’ll also uncover things about WWII that aren’t on the agenda of the World War II. most schools. Fascinating, disturbing and beautifully produced.

Rating: 9/10

Brake away

iOS and Android, free (Coderact)

Rather than being a racing game, Brake Away is more of a crash-free game. Its cars roll around its tracks in a loop, and your job is to push and hold them to apply the brakes to avoid collisions.

This simple setup is complicated by the fact that cars don’t always take turns, sometimes choosing to drive directly past them, which keeps you on your toes, and you will also regularly find yourself having a split second to choose which one. of the two potentially colliding cars, you will slow down.

It’s extremely satisfying when you get it right, with a series of good decisions leading to a long but increasingly precarious survival. Unfortunately, its slow drip rewards mean it takes too long to unlock new cars and especially tracks, making it a long, drawn-out job even if the gameplay itself remains compelling.

Rating: 6/10

Fine stripe

iOS, £ 1.79 (Thomas Brush)

Pinstripe is a scary platform puzzle game in which you play as a priest whose young girl is kidnapped during the introductory level.

Its captor is the sinister Mr. Pinstripe, who turns out not to be the only disturbing character you’ll meet along the way, though much of the cast has a slightly comedic side to it as well.

Brought to life by high-quality voice acting that adds to its eerie atmosphere, there is decent, puzzling 2D exploration on the way to its final showdown, in what is clearly a labor of love.

Rating: 7/10

By Nick Gillett

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