Summer has sprung! And with it, some amazing apps have hit the App Store. It feels like the past couple months of time-wasters has paved the way for some substantial games worth checking out. I’ve found some of my favorite new games this month! So let’s jump in and talk about some of June’s best apps.
Godzilla Defense Force
Starting this month with a bang, I decided to take a chance on the new Godzilla game – which I don’t think is a tie-in to the new movie? But it definitely works as a promotional tool. The premise of Defense Force is ultimately its only downside, as it involves tapping on the screen vigorously to create more soldiers to fight the incoming kaiju. Much like a real-time strategy game – think Army Men: RTS – you are tasked with leveling up barracks that will produce gunmen, tanks, turrets and more to attack the giant enemies as they get increasingly harder to kill. After a set amount of waves, an iconic Godzilla villain (including the many renditions of Godzilla himself) will attack the town, in which case you better have some high-level soldiers, as well as some powerful cards. Three cards can be equipped at a time, and they range from increasing production speed of certain troops to buffing the town’s defenses for 30 seconds. Cards are acquired by defeating giant monsters, or purchasing packs with – you guessed it – premium currency! But free packs are also unlocked daily and cards are easy enough to obtain without packs. Defense Force also includes a minigame in which citizens saved in-game can be used to mine moonstones, which allow for the cards’ cooldown timer to be recharged faster. The only depressing part about this is the fact that moonstone mining takes time in real life, much like a typical “idle game.” Deeper still, there are multiple cities that need defending at once, making for a boatload of content in one free app. It’s real-time strategy, resource management, and card collecting all in one, and at the end of the day it’s an absolute blast. If you’re a Godzilla fan, or you’re just looking for a creative, colorful game to spend time with that’s not a match 3? Godzilla Defense Force is for you.
Taking inspiration from classic adventure games like Eye of the Beholder, Sprint RPG is a modern take on the dungeon crawlers of old. I didn’t expect to be so fascinated by the game’s minimalist art style or the basic gameplay, but over time I found I could not put the game down. Sprint RPG is played in first-person, with the only available buttons being “move forward,” “move left,” “move right,” “attack,” and “block.” As you move down a narrow corridor one step at a time, you’ll be confronted with enemies and treasure chests (sometimes full of enemies) that need to be attacked. Some enemies are harder than others, with the difficulty ramping up each level. Some enemies require two hits, some require a hit-block-hit combo, some even need to be chased down the hall, hitting them with each step. The joy and the hurdle of Sprint RPG is speedrunning, which is simultaneously encouraged and frowned upon. While each level is timed and requires a fast pace to beat, certain enemies may slow you down, from the ones that flat-out fight you in the middle of the hallway to the ones that are literally part of the wall and will injure you if you don’t attack before turning the corner. Sprint RPG is surprisingly strategic, and as time goes on you’ll find yourself getting pleasantly frustrated by such a simple game’s difficulty curve. Sadly the only reward for completing levels is come coins you can use to unlock new cosmetic items, but the alternate endless mode is a fun distraction for high score-chasers. Sprint RPG is a wonderful bite-sized treat that just might suck you in with its simplistic brilliance.
This app was recommended to me by my aunt, and while I had heard about it some time before, I had always shied away from the possibility of it being a typical “idle game.” I’ve now mentioned “idle games” twice, so I should probably give a little explanation. “Idle games” are those apps that make you wait. They take real-world time, and every job has its own duration that leaves you sitting idly by before jumping back into the game. In essence, they’re terrifically boring and not my cup of tea. Though I must say I spent an absurd amount of time playing The Simpsons: Tapped Out, but I digress. Merge Dragons!, fortunately, is not all “idle.” In fact, the majority of its gameplay is reminiscent of a match 3, if you typically could move tiles from anywhere to anywhere on the board. That probably sounds ridiculous, but trust me, it does makes sense in this game. Every level, you’re given a new garden to clean up, and by combining three or more items (flowers, bushes, statues, etc.), a new item appears to help clear more of the garden. Dragons can be hatched that will harness sun to brighten the shadowy areas, and once all three statues on a board can be successfully merged, the level is complete. As I said, there is some “idle” gameplay, in which dragon eggs can be hatched over time to clear a larger hub world garden, but this is more of a minigame and requires little effort in the grand scheme of things. Merge Dragons! is worth checking out if you’re into puzzle games. I was surprised by how fun it actually was. Thanks for the suggestion, Nicola!
Here’s a fun question. Y’all remember E3? Cool. Y’all remember seeing a game called Mosaic at the PC Gaming Showcase? No? I don’t blame you. But hey, apparently Mosaic is a game coming next year, and alongside the announcement a game called BlipBlop was released on the App Store. So naturally, your mobile game-loving boy took a chance and downloaded it. Now before I describe this game to you, let me provide some explanation on what I think BlipBlop is about. Mosaic’s trailer felt very gloomy. It had a sort of dismal appeal that made me feel like “this is a world where nothing ever changes.” The atmosphere was dark, dreary, and it gave off the vibe that Mosaic’s world is very repetitive. People lead lives that are by-the-book; uniform. Nobody really breaks the mold or steps out of line. Mosaic’s characters seem depressed and downtrodden. So what kind of app do these boring people invest their time in? One with blips and blops, of course! Still confused? Okay. Hear me out. Mosaic: BlipBlop follows you as you…tap the screen. Tap the screen a lot, and you can unlock perks that help multiply your taps, or collect taps when you’re not even tapping. Yeah, I’m doing a great job selling this, I know. But maybe that’s the point! In a game where the only action is to BLIP. BLOPS. How else can I describe it? It’s dumb fun and it’s as cryptic a promo can get for a game that I will definitely check out when it’s officially released. Until then? BlipBlop BlipBlop BlipBlop.
Harry Potter: Wizards Unite
Oh, come on. You think I forgot about this little beauty? You thought I was gonna throw in some obscure time-waster like I always do? Hell no! We’re going out with as big a bang as we started! June was the shit, and the icing on this big, beautiful cake was Harry Potter: Wizards Unite! From the makers of Pokémon Go, Wizards Unite throws you into the Wizarding World with significant fervor, as you’re able to create a character from being assigned a Hogwarts house, all the way down to the weight of your wand. As if that wasn’t enough, Niantic threw in some crazy surprises, like an in-depth, fully-voiced storyline that follows the world of Hogwarts after Harry Potter’s school years. Harry makes an appearance alongside many high-profile characters including Hagrid, Ron, and many classical magical creatures. Spanning the original lore and the Fantastic Beasts series, Wizards Unite boasts enough content to make any Potterhead explode. But what about the gameplay, you ask? Well, there’s more to Wizards Unite than just throwing pokeballs. While the game still utilizes an exploration system that encourages wandering around your town aimlessly searching for “Foundables” to collect, the new gameplay mechanic of swiping the onscreen pattern to cast a spell while using potions to lower each enemy’s resistance is a satisfying addition. I found myself gazing at the screen in wonder while these gorgeous creatures invaded my world with the help of augmented reality. Wizards Unite, though it may be enormously-sized at over three gigabytes, makes for the latest must-have app on any Harry Potter fan’s phone. I can see this game’s popularity increasing with every future event, and I only hope it grows more beloved from here on out. It’s gorgeous, it’s entertaining, and it’s worthy of all the praise. Niantic has done it again!
So ends the greatest month of App Recap thus far. I’ve played a lot of okay-to-good mobile games for this monthly column, and I’ve trudged through a lot of trash-to-literal-fecal-matter mobile games to find those aforementioned ones. But this month? I stumbled upon a treasure trove of…treasure. So I hope you give these games a chance! I hope they’re as good to you as they were to me, and I hope you’ll come back next month when we dive into some more goodies. Just kidding, they’ll probably be semi-enjoyable following these. But hey, I’ll see you then!
For now, though, there’s just so much garbage to sift through.
Wow, so much garbage…