Mobile gaming is here. It is established, and it has had an effect on the video game market. One of the most significant challenges of mobile gaming is getting a game to users due to a heavily saturated online market. Since mobile gaming relies on the Internet, what better place to promote great games than through blogs such as Just Chill Here.
1. Whale Trail
Whale Trail, created by UsTwo Studios, is one of those games that a person can pass up due to its cutesy art style. Giving this little gem a pass is a mistake if you are interested in a unique experience. It is a neat game that uses the complex environment of touchscreen devices to follow a simple control mechanic to make a meaningful experience.
The simple “touch, no touch” control scheme allowed the developers to focus on what makes the game interesting: A leveling system, power-ups, the colorful artwork, and of course one of the catchiest commie tunes you will ever hear in a video game.
The player controls Willow, a whale who has apparently eaten too many hallucinogenic plankton (my assumption), which have transported him high into the sky. He is propelled through the sky via flatulence. In other words, you touch the screen, he farts, he flies. Hold your finger on the screen, he flies higher and does somersaults. As you avoid clouds, you will pick up colored bubbles which ensure he never runs out of gas. You also pick up power-ups and earn cash to level up certain abilities. There are plenty of things going on in this game!
Remember when I mentioned a commie tune? I wasn’t playing around. Check out these lyrics:
Imagine a game where the screen is black. The only time a visual graphic is displayed is when you touch the screen, showing you the specific command you just gave. Imagine a game where sound is your only cue and imagine that it works extremely well. This is what Blindscape manages to pull off. The game advises that you get a pair of headphones to play, and I would highly suggest you do so. You just need any headphones or ear buds, because the sound is dimensional, and you need to be able to tell when things are happening in all directions.
I played the game and not only was I impressed by the unique and underused mechanic, I was intrigued by the dystopian setting the story seemed to portray. You take the role of a blind protagonist who is escaping from something, but I can’t give you more than that. Go get the game and experience it for yourself!
3. Tiny Wings
I dunno what it is, but many great games for mobile devices are often disgustingly cute. Tiny Wings is no exception. A combination of speed and air time, tiny wings is like a 2D skiing game, except instead of skiers, you are a fat little bird that slides over slopes like a penguin.
Graphically, it is colorful and it is terribly difficult. It cash’s in on the “easy to learn, a lifetime to master” gameplay that great companies like Nintendo have succeeded at. There are no fancy power-ups and no leveling system. This is all based on your ability to time when you touch the screen. Finger on the screen to make the bird fall faster, finger off to make him light enough to fly high into the sky. The terrain gradually becomes more and more challenging, starting out with long, gentle slopes to scream inducing mountains and peaks that can make you fly fast and high, or stop you dead in your tracks.
The trick to the game is timing when you make the bird fall into a slope. Time it right and you will launch into the clouds and gain speed. Time it wrong and your bird will almost stop completely, and that usually means you will ultimately lose because recovering is difficult. The game is very rewarding for perfect runs. I can’t guarantee you won’t throw your phone at the wall after playing for a few hours.
4. Smash Hit
Do you like breaking glass? Do you like fancy, art house style video games that grasp one particular graphical setting, with one particular style of gameplay? It sounds simple, but Mediocre AB hit the nail on the head with their on rails glass shattering game, Smash Hit.
I installed the game one afternoon on a whim, just deciding that the free trial they offered may actually be fun. Three hours later I was still playing it. The simple tap to shoot metal balls at columns of glass while hauling ass through the air is very fresh and very challenging. There is variety in levels as you progress, but mechanics do not change much. It gets ridiculously challenging, but it ramps up slowly, allowing for a longer, more enjoyable experience.
The physics used to replicate broken glass is pretty convincing and looks nice. To me, breaking glass in the game is very therapeutic. The pace of the stages is fluid and constant, but the developers did well by ensuring you are not just balls to wall screaming about the insanity of it all. I didn’t even buy the full game, but I probably will once I get some money on iTunes.
Badland is a game that is stunningly underwhelming when first starting. Fluttering a little fat shadow bird through an obstacle course by laying your finger on the screen? *yawn*. What isn’t noticed at first, is what makes it a memorable little experience. The game’s graphical theme is unique and dark, almost something you would get out of a PS Vita game. The sounds are eerie and as progress is made, the levels become less linear as figuring out how to get past certain obstacles within a time limit becomes an exercise of patience and timing.
The game has multiplayer aspects and solo play, and while I have not tried the multiplayer, I have enjoyed the solo material. Give this game a try, because it does well in capturing a unique mobile experience.
Check out the trailer, it really catches that atmosphere that makes the game so…genuine.
That wraps up this article. Maybe you can go try these games out and see for yourself how fun they can be. This won’t be the last article like this, so consider yourself warned!