Castlevania: Grimoire Of Souls and Zookeeper World are the biggest new releases on mobile this month, but which one is worth the download?
This month in mobile gaming sees a major update for Dead Cells, which gets the Fatal Falls free DLC and allows mobile gamers to customize their races; Mini Motorways Adds New Zealand City of Wellington, Home of Game Developer Dinosaur Polo Club; and Monument Valley 2 wins a forestry chapter in support of Playing For The Planet Green Game Jam. If, however, you’re in the mood for a whole new game, read on …
Kitty Q – A Quantum Adventure
iOS and Android, free (Philipp Stollenmayer)
The result of a collaboration between the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research and legendary mobile game designer Philipp Stollenmayer, Kitty Q uses Schrödinger’s classic cat thought experiment to create a child-friendly introduction to the quantum physics, an area that even adult scientists can struggle with.
Solve puzzles and collect props for a cat that’s both dead and alive, and unlock simple explanations of complex numbers, Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle, cold fleas, and the mind-boggling, counter-intuitive world of quantum mechanics.
It is brilliant work that has certainly broadened our meager understanding of the next adventure in the physical sciences.
Beatstar – Touch your music
iOS and Android, free (Space Ape)
Touchscreens are really good for rhythmic action games, a genre that in no way requires a physical controller to function properly. In Space Ape’s new rhythmic action game, you’ll use both thumbs to tap the tiles as they slide across the screen in three columns.
Start by selecting your gender and the decade you were born, and your music selections are geared slightly towards your demographics – although we have to admit we still haven’t heard of all of the song selections.
It has a polished interface and a well-rated difficulty level that increases with each track but suffers from its self-service status. Victory rewards you with a Loot Crate that will soon take several hours or real money to unlock, meaning you can only actually play it a few times per day. A frustrating flaw for an elegantly designed game.
Outing – The Curse of Ophir
iOS and Android, £ 4.99 (USM)
Famous author Tory Harlane has gone missing, last seen at the Ophir Hotel in the Witchita Mountains, where you head towards his disappearance and reports of unexplained phenomena.
What follows is the classic point ‘n’ click adventure meets the escape room, with discovered items added to your inventory so you can zoom, rotate, and examine them, before you go. use them to solve the sometimes rather obscure puzzles of the game.
Although his interactions are relatively straightforward, you are on your own, his advice never equating to complete solutions. With neat graphics and doubled storytelling, it’s a mobile-sized little mystery.
iOS and Android, free (parallel space)
Having a full-fledged PvP space combat simulation in your pocket is an enticing prospect. So it’s unfortunate that Battleship Apollo is so wrong in its attempt to deliver this.
The gameplay involves depositing fighters, bombers, and tactical support ships on a hexagonal grid, tapping into a slowly refilling energy pool in a way that will be instantly familiar to Clash Royale players. Once on the map, units go about their business on their own, attacking enemies and, if possible, heading towards your opponent’s flagship.
The stakes are high, but the most annoying is the matchmaking, which regularly pits you against commanders several levels above you, against whom you don’t stand a chance. Parallel Space’s previous game, Hades’ Star remains a better and more balanced experience.
Castlevania: Grimoire of Souls
iOS, Apple Arcade (Konami)
Coming in the same month as the excellent Castlevania Advance Collection presents Castlevania: Grimoire of Souls, a rather different kind of whip adventure.
Maintaining the side-scrolling 2D design, attacks are partially automated by default, an oversimplification that extends to all aspects of the game. You will no longer unlock previously inaccessible areas using new skills, making this generic slash less easy and more discouraging.
Factor in the cut scenes that are long, frequent, and catastrophically boring, as well as the tedious level-ups and weapon unlocks that have obviously been taken out of its original design as a free-to-play game, and you’ve got a title that is well worth avoiding.
iOS and Android, free (David Kirchner)
Amusingly titled and far from being a tube train driving simulator, Severe Delays is much closer to a London Underground themed driving game.
With each level, your train automatically speeds up, letting you turn left and right, unlike real tube conductors. Avoid oncoming trains while collecting coins and Clam Cards – their version of the London Oyster Card, whose motto is’ The world is yours! “
Although it’s been out for a while, it just received a major update from Night Tube and is still simple and fun, completely free, with no microtransactions.
World of zookeepers
iOS, Apple Arcade (Kiteretsu)
Originally released for Nintendo DS in 2003, Zookeeper is a monstrously addicting match-3 puzzle game renowned for its delicious pixel art and furious, dismissive zoo boss, for whom none of your efforts will ever be enough.
While your boss is now underwhelming to cheer on, the tile swap gameplay remains just as engaging, and now there’s a cool, albeit purely cosmetic, metagame grafted onto it where you earn cash for rebuild and repopulate your zoo.
The timed levels are elegantly designed just like the Mecca bosses, offering a variety to spice up tile matching, though you can’t escape the feeling that success depends a bit too much on the tiles you receive rather than your. emerging skills match.
By Nick Gillett
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