This month’s line-up of the most notable new smartphone games includes Devil May Cry and a Titanfall clone, but are they any good?
This month’s mobile games line-up includes the excellent free-to-play factory builder, Assembly Line 2; Apple Arcade’s cartoon Titanfall-alike, B.E.A.S.T.; and Devil May Cry: Peak Of Combat, a new foray into mobile gaming for Capcom, with one of its most treasured franchises.
iOS, included with Apple Arcade subscription (Oh Bibi)
A cute, cartoon, third person take on Titanfall 2, where you and two teammates take to brightly coloured arenas, shooting enemies and building up power to summon chunky-looking battle mechs.
Once delivered, each mech does extra damage and has a special ability to help you kill as many enemies as possible, whilst avoiding letting them do the same to you; a process that in the current meta seems to involve relentless spawn camping.
Although everything works as intended it doesn’t feel all that compelling yet, which may be down to the large numbers of bots you play with and against. There’s plenty of potential, but it remains to be seen whether that’ll be realised over the coming months.
Assembly Line 2
iOS & Android, Free (Joao Reis)
Starting with a single manufacturing unit and a selling node, you slowly build up the currency to buy more components for your gradually expanding micro-factory.
Earn money to unlock new components and also blueprints, which let you make more complex products that handily sell for higher amounts, the game blending tactical assembly line construction with idle game works-while-you’re-away resource accumulation.
Its interface feels clunky to start with but you soon get the hang of it, while the game’s simple but effective graphics, and increasingly complex gameplay loop, prove pleasantly addictive.
Tiny Quest: Idle RPG Game
iOS & Android, Free (Superb)
Looking like a sparkly, 16-bit adventure game with more than a hint of Secret Of Mana, Tiny Quest is an idle role-player set in a nostalgic, fantasy milieu.
As in most idle games, you’re in charge of upgrades and deciding when and if to spend money to speed the process up. The profusion of currencies, summons, and merging distracting you from the fact that practically everything happens automatically, with or without your input.
You have to watch (very long) ads just to collect many of its rewards in a game that looks colourful and fun but is mostly focused on forcing you to sit through paid advertising. In a word, joyless.
iOS, £1.99 (Night Jar)
Old school 8-bit style hack ‘n’ slash with your axe-wielding barbarian only attacking when you move, forcing you to keep running and jumping around each single screen level.
As well as running towards enemies you’ll also need to avoid traps and collect power-ups, which give you temporary but usually massively destructive firepower.
It’s a phone app, so if you play on iPad it’ll be zoomed in to partially fit the screen, and its touchscreen controls are hard to locate without looking. Other than that, it’s exactly as basic as its graphics suggest.
Devil May Cry: Peak Of Combat
iOS, Free (Capcom)
There’s a long and ignoble tradition of turning bestselling console and PC franchises into dispiriting mobile cash grabs that rely on gacha and microtransactions, rather than player skill, to progress.
It’s unfortunate that Devil May Cry is one of them. Fights look stylish enough, with your demon hunters leaping about, stringing together combos fuelled by switching characters at key moments, but beneath the razzmatazz fights are patronisingly simplistic.
Stamina, the single currency required to progress, arrives in minuscule volumes, making cash payments the only viable route to making headway in this offensively dull and exploitative perversion of a much loved series.
Words In Progress
iOS, included with Apple Arcade subscription (Gamious)
From a line of letters on screen you assemble words, while adding to them as compatible letters appear. That means AND can come SAND and, if you’re very lucky, eventually AMPERSAND.
Along with an endless mode where you just try and keep going as long as you can, you can also play against friends or randoms online in asynchronous matches.
While the interface works, the game feels half-baked, with no instructions and bare bones interactions. It’s not terrible but in its current state feels unfinished, which for a game whose name riffs on the expression, ‘work in progress’ is perhaps quite fitting.
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