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Best new mobile games on iOS and Android – June 2024 round-up


Squad Busters – helping to make a great month for mobile games (Supercell)

This month’s review of new smartphone games includes one of the best games of the year on any format and a brand new Supercell game.

As summer finally begins to take hold it’s been a great month for new mobile games, with the superb All Of You, from the makers of Love You To Bits; as well as Supercell’s Squad Busters, a completely free Franz Kafka homage, Advance Wars knock-off Warbits Plus, and the excellent Katana Zero on Netflix. Add in the recently released Star Wars: Hunters and there’s something for everyone and almost all of it is free – or close to it.

All Of You

iOS, £3.99 (Alike Studio)

From the same developer as the peerlessly wonderful Love You To Bits, comes another real-time puzzle game in their gloriously characterful cartoon art style.

In each of All Of You’s levels, a set of circles appears that act like panels in a comic book, except each one is animated. Some can be paused, others just get on with their action. Your job is to help a mother hen navigate various devastating perils in search of a lost chick in the final circle.

Initially, the game is just teaching you how to play, but it soon adds a cornucopia of new ideas, from timing-based challenges to others where tactical pauses allow your chicken protagonist to survive its adorable travails.

The music is beautiful, especially on headphones, it’s polished to a high shine, and as with Alike’s previous games, your only complaint will be that is eventually has to end.

Score: 9/10

EigenGauge

iOS, Free (Blastodisk Labs)

Its setting and visuals may immediately remind you of F-Zero, but EigenGauge turns out to be nothing like it. Where F-Zero’s hovering racers had a great sense of handling, drifting elegantly around corners, in EigenGuage your car just moves mechanically, left and right on the track.

Far worse than that is the fact that it drops several frames every few seconds, regularly causing crashes during these frequent visual pauses, rendering it all but unplayable.

No amount of cool faux 16-bit graphics and superficial F-Zero styling can make up for that.

Score: 3/10

Earn To Die Rogue

iOS & Android, Free (Not Doppler)

Earn To Die and its sequel were 2D driving games where you tanked your way through obstacles and zombies, gradually unlocking upgrades and new cars.

Rogue, its third instalment, adds on-foot sections where you blast zombies with firearms, while earning Archero-style upgrades that heal and do extra damage. The good news is the new focus is mechanically excellent.

The bad news is that it doesn’t take long to start feeling sorely underpowered, its initial progress slowed to a glacial crawl, in order to try and shake you down for cash. It’s sad to see another potentially great game ruined by commercial considerations, but compared with its predecessors this is a far less engaging grind.

Score: 5/10

Warbits Plus

iOS & Android, £3.99 (Risky Lab)

In a month rich in games inspired by much loved, but underexploited, titles from Nintendo’s back catalogue, comes Warbits Plus, which is essentially Advance Wars but playable on your phone.

The original Warbits came out in 2016 and while Plus finally makes its delights available to Android players, the difference between the two games is minimal – although it’s received a graphical makeover and is now playable in landscape mode.

It does suffer the odd bug and seems a little battery hungry, given its lack of action, but the allure of Advance Wars’ immaculately honed turn based combat remains untouchable. It’s the perfect mobile catnip for strategy fans – or at least if you haven’t played the original.

Score: 8/10

Playing Kafka

iOS, Free (Charles Games)

Not a point ‘n’ click adventure so much as a drag ‘n’ drop one, Playing Kafka turns three of the surrealist novelist’s works into half hour mini-adventures, each with a branching plot, some light puzzling, and fully voiced characters.

Along with its dreamlike subject matters, its stories based on The Trial, The Castle, and Letter To His Father comprise delightfully contradictory themes and elements.

It probably helps to have a bit of familiarity with the material, but even coming to it cold, if you’re in the mood for some deeply peculiar adventuring, this is completely free with no in-app purchases of any kind.

Score: 7/10

Squad Busters

iOS, Free (Supercell)

A new Supercell game that’s actually made it to global launch rather than being slaughtered in its infancy (like Clash Mini, Clash Quest, Everdale, Hay Day Pop, and so many more) is such a rarity that it’s always worth a look.

This one has you dashing about its colourful arenas merrily battering wandering mobs and, if you’re brave, human opponents’ squads. Your job is to collect gems and the person with the biggest hoard when the timer runs out is the winner. On the way to victory you’ll also need coins to open chests containing new recruits for your squad, making you stronger and allowing you to earn gems faster.

Maps are varied, although all use the classic battle royale technique of gradually forcing you nearer to the centre, and while Squad Busters can feel simplistic, Supercell games are designed to be played for years, and we did find ourselves regularly going back for more of its cluttered, power-up fuelled mayhem.

Score: 7/10

Katana Zero

iOS, included with Netflix subscription (Netflix)

Like a side-on Hotline Miami, Katana Zero shares that game’s twitch action, quick retries, artful pixellated bloodshed, and wry sense of humour.

Your ninja enters each level and must use his sword to eliminate everyone without receiving a single scratch, because if even one enemy successfully attacks you, it’s instant death.

The touchscreen controls are just about functional, but with a controller it’s pretty much flawless. If you’ve got a Netflix subscription, this is a brilliant little portable gift.

Score: 8/10

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MORE : Best new mobile games on iOS and Android – May 2024 round-up


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