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

Moncage – one of the best mobile games of the year (Photo: Optillusion Games)

The latest set of mobile reviews for 2021 includes the excellent Moncage, a new Galaga title and a really good Apple Watch game.

With 2021 finally dying and Christmas just around the corner, it’s time to take stock of this month’s touchscreen extravagances, which range from Un: safe’s Apple Watch-based antics to the beauty and strangeness of Moncage, and the inventiveness of the melancholy silhouette platform game In My Shadow.


iOS and Android, £ 3.49 (XD network)

The whole of Moncage takes place on the five visible sides of a cube, which you rotate to view in 3D dioramas perfectly made visible through each of its planes. Tap to zoom in or out, your goal being to find elements of different faces lined up, in the style of the 2017 classic, Gorogoa.

Moncage enjoys playing with scale, perspective, and the interactions between background and foreground objects, the precise angle of the cube allowing you to line up seemingly disparate props from different sides. It is a slow, meticulous and extremely satisfying process.

It can also be a bit too obscure at times for its own good, too, a feature toned down by a series of increasingly directional cues, culminating in a short video that just tells you what to do. It’s a useful way to sidestep the frustration and ensure that as many players as possible can progress through its sweet, mysterious puzzles and reach its emotionally poignant conclusion.

Rating: 9/10

The ramp

iOS and Android, free (crescent moon games)

Precisely presented as a minimalist skateboarding game, The Ramp asks you to touch and release the screen as your skater goes through different sections of a halfpipe. When they fly away, you swipe to perform tricks or hit the grind button.

It plays out like a rhythmic action game, and although it is tricky at first, once you get a handle on its timing, it is in itself rewarding to pull off sequences of turns as you come out either side of the ramp.

His problem is that without any goals or scores, he quickly starts to feel informed. £ 2.49 to add three new cards to her free one is a reasonable offer, but she suffers from a lack of metagame and a sense of progression.

Rating: 6/10

Company Of Heroes: Tales Of Valor

iOS and Android, £ 3.49 (Feral Interactive)

Originally released in 2009, the Tales Of Valor DLC adds nine missions and a handful of new vehicles to the hallmark of Company Of Heroes’ WWII real-time strategy.

Like the main game and Opposing Fronts, its first downloadable add-on, it lets you capture buildings and strategic resources to guide your little soldiers and their mechanized support to victory.

While equally well produced and featuring the same cinematic storytelling, it does provide a relatively modest slice of additional content.

Rating: 7/10

Galaga Wars

iOS, Apple Arcade (Namco Bandai)

Not a direct sequel, more one “inspired by,” Galaga Wars uses familiar constellations of Galaxians and the same steering and one-finger fire mechanism as the Sky Force series.

While it’s pretty tough, this is another Apple Arcade game that has more than a whiff of free-to-play about it, including timed loot crates, multiple currencies, power- Short term ups and continuous payouts.

The problem is, you start every round at level one or use incredibly hard earned and rare resources to progress to subsequent levels. Without the ability to pay for these, progress is frustratingly slow, leaving you grinding the same levels to the point of nausea.

Rating: 5/10

Cafe Inc 2

iOS, £ 1.79 (secondary labs)

In this caffeine tycoon game, you try to build a mighty coffee empire from scratch. Start by renting premises, hiring a manager and staff, then researching and pricing your hot and cold drinks that you need to grow your business while putting your competition out of business.

With no sound effects and with music that only works on certain screens of its interface, it certainly feels uncluttered. Its isometric cities might look cute, but it’s about managing the numbers.

If you revel in the balance sheets and the subtle interplay of predominantly digital factors in the pursuit of victory, it will leave you to your heart’s content. For players more avid for action, this may sound a bit too much like real work.

Rating: 7/10

Infinity shot

iOS and Android, free (NFLY Studio)

Vertical scrolling shooters may have largely disappeared from consoles, PCs, and arcades, but it’s a thriving genre on mobile, with the majority of its larger versions being downloadable for free.

As per expectation, Infinite Shooting is free and lets you swipe one finger across the screen to escape the hell of incoming bullets, while tapping with a second finger to trigger your slow reload special weapon.

You’re forced to watch a post-level ad, and possibly watch a second one to multiply your meager payouts, but the action is too low to warrant a massive time investment, especially when Phoenix 2 and Sky Force: Reloaded are also on the roll. available free of charge.

Rating: 3/10

In my shadow

iOS, £ 4.49 (Alcon Interactive)

Telling the story of a woman who nostalgically remembers her childhood dog, the action of In My Shadow is kind of platform hopping, with the twist being that everything takes place in silhouette.

In each of its levels, you must collect page-like memories while crossing deadly peaks to see your dog. To get there, you need to step back into a 3D view to move the objects in the foreground so that their shadows meet so you can make your way through.

Spinning blades, moving spikes, shadows you can only jump on once, and a litany of other mechanics soon complicate your journey on this intelligent, pleasantly grueling and shamelessly heartbreaking adventure.

Rating: 8/10

Un: safe – Crack the Safe

Apple Watch, £ 1.79 (Emin Grbo)

Un: safe uses Apple Watch’s haptic feedback to turn you into a safe cracker. Slowly rotate the digital crown until you feel a change in its haptic click, then carefully press the release button. If you’re right, you unlock a ring from the lock. Otherwise, you lose one of the three lives.

Once all three are gone, head back to level one to try again. There are 50 increasingly precarious vaults to be completed, but based on the evidence from our races, you are very unlikely to see many of them unless you have an extremely quiet place to practice. .

With a simple interface and no scoring mechanism other than the number of safes you can open during a session, it’s a good way to waste five minutes in a queue and a great use of the l ‘Apple Watch.

Rating: 7/10

By Nick Gillett

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