Play NYC 2019 wasn’t just about PC and console games; there were plenty of mobile games there as well. Some of these were exclusively mobile, but others were multiplatform affairs.
The TechRaptor crew checked out more than a few of these mobile games in the 18 or so hours we spent on the show floor at Play NYC 2019. Here’s our picks for some of the coolest ones we got to see this year!
Cells to Singularity Evolves the Clicker Game
Clicker mobile games are this weird genre where you really only “play” the game a few minutes a day; otherwise, you’re waiting for resources to accumulate. After you get some stuff, you spend the stuff you just got to upgrade your ability to get more stuff. It’s silly, idle fun that doesn’t really require much in the sense of reflexes, although they do merit a bit of strategy.
Cells to Singularity – Evolution Never Ends is exactly like that; you build up resources and use them to progress to the next tier of things to click on. What makes this game stand out is that it’s trying to build out a relatively realistic (albeit compressed) version of the evolutionary process. You’ll start with the primordial soup, and then you’ll move into fish, reptiles, mammals, and humans before eventually taking mankind to space and beyond.
Because clicker games are generally very similar, the appeal will largely lie on the variations in gameplay and the theme. Cells to Singularity – Evolution Never Ends doesn’t make any revolutionary changes to the clicker game genre, but the theme is pretty darn cool (and educational!)
Fourzy Piles on the Fun
Fourzy is a sort of strange game that takes the gameplay of Connect Four and expands it into something that’s more akin in strategy to Go (Well, maybe not that strategic). Simply put, your objective is to launch your little guys across the screen, bumping enemies and obstacles out of the way. Ultimately, you’re hoping to be the first player to line up four of your pieces in a row, hence the name.
As I’ve said, the most immediate comparison can be made to Connect Four. In Connect Four, players drop checker-like pieces from the top and try to line up four in a row. But, this is a game that’s limited by gravity and the static board. Fourzy takes that formula and amps it up.
Now you don’t just drop pieces in from one direction — you can drop them in from any direction. And there’s more than just the regular old board, too. Levels can and do have their own unique hazards for players to overcome.
Fourzy looks to be a game that took a classic and improved on it immensely.
Grobo Pulls You In
There’s a small (but not insignificant) number of games out there where gravity matters more than just falling down. Whether you’re using a Gravitation Potion in Terraria or rescuing your crew in the retro-esque platformer VVVVVV, playing with gravity in interesting ways can breathe new life into what would otherwise be a bog-standard platformer.
Grobo mixes up the platformer formula by making gravity manipulation more than just one of many ways to move in the game; it is, in fact, an essential mechanic. Rather than just invert gravity, you can also turn it to either side. This effectively means that the ceilings and walls can all serve as the “floor,” all dependent on which way you’re making the gravity go.
It sounds simple enough in concept, but trying it firsthand is an altogether new experience. It’s truly something you have to experiment with and learn — a genuinely new and interesting way to play platformers that will change the way you look at the game world.
Into The Dark: Narakan Puts a Lo-Fi Spin on Roguelike Gameplay
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I suck at roguelikes. I don’t know if it’s bad luck or bad strategy, but I just can’t survive the harsh challenges of stuff like Dungeons of Dredmor or even Rogue, the forebear of the genre. Into The Dark: Narakan (and its free-to-play counterpart, Into The Dark: Zakira) boil the roguelike formula down to its simplest elements and present it in a stylish, lo-fi fashion.
Gameplay is as straightforward as you would expect: You move, interact with objects, or attack. Your weapon determines the squares where you can attack, and the enemies are numerous. Move once, and enemies will retreat or advance — often into a space where you can’t hit them (at least in the early game). It’s almost like turn-based fencing, in a way.
What’s appealing about this game (to me, at least) is the graphical style. We are far beyond the days of Rogue when using ASCII symbols to represent characters and the map was a necessity; the phones of today (and even of a few years ago) can play games that required a console the size of a college textbook 10 years ago. It’s a deliberate choice, and it’s one that works.
Repetoire is a game that’s all about music. It’s not quite playing a piano, but it’s a good bit more complex than four or five icons floating along on the screen. Essentially, players will see various tracks come down on the screen ,and they’ll have to touch it to fit the appropriate patterns. It’s probably best seen in motion, so watch the trailer above to see what it’s like.
What was particularly interesting about Repetoire was how enthralled people were by it. It wasn’t like some booths at Play NYC where people were raucous and lively; instead, anyone who was playing it was positively enraptured by the approximation of music notes that was scrolling down on the screen.
This particular title isn’t out just yet, but it’s in beta testing and you can more or less get your hands on it right now. It’s certainly something worth checking out if you’ve enjoyed stuff like Guitar Hero or Rock Band, although it admittedly leans a bit more towards the classical side of things, musically speaking.
That Chicken Game Is A Cluckin’ Good Time
I eat a lot of chicken, but that’s mainly because it’s a cheap way to get protein that’s delicious. That Chicken Game makes me want to eat chicken out of spite.
The premise is simple: You are a chicken. You have an egg on your back. You are trying to save the egg from a kitchen. To do this, you must run and jump through the level, overcoming platforms and obstacles. And that’s where everything falls apart.
You see, although the egg is on your back, it’s not glued there. Jump, and the egg pops up into the air a bit. Run and jump and you’ve just catapulted your young’un into the abyss. Don’t run, and you’ll land on top of a stove’s open flame and quickly turn into fried chicken (and yes, you literally explode into pieces of fried chicken). It’s a delicate balancing act.
This was one of those games that I enjoyed so much that I had to force myself to put it down. I’m looking forward to its wider mobile release so I can drive myself mad with it.
That’s it for our picks for the six coolest mobile games we saw at Play NYC 2019! Do be sure to check out these devs and their games—we had a blast playing them!
What’s the coolest of the mobile games in our list? Do you enjoy beta-testing mobile games or do you prefer to wait for the finished product? Let us know in the comments below, and check out what else we saw at Play NYC by going to our Play NYC 2019 Coverage Hub.