Without a PC, I’m stuck with mobile gaming on my tablet. I’ll be blunt, the race to the bottom on mobile apps is pretty disgusting. There are dozens, if not hundreds, of CoC clones out there, or a card based combat simulator. I was reading about how the iOS store has 500 apps published per day. How exactly do you parse quality in that type of environment? IAP and ad-based games are atrocious. Sure, there are games where it isn’t in your face but those are pretty far between.
So I tend to find the gems in the paid apps section. Oh, there’s plenty of garbage in there too but with a refund system, you can always go back and complain about a given app. The cost is an odd psychological discussion, where I spend $2.35 on a cup of coffee that lasts me 20 minutes but a game that lasts an hour won’t go for more than $2.
I’m not talking about Squeenix’ stupid price point of $15 for 20 year old games. Those are just bonkers – especially for games that I already OWN just want to use on a different platform (hello emulators!) There are some pretty good games at the $5 mark though, things that can keep you going for a long time. And really, it’s important to support the smaller devs who are innovating because once they pick up enough steam, EA is going to come along and copy the crap out of them.
I have a whole whack of interesting ones that I’ve picked up over the past year. The one I’m on right now is Enchanted Cave 2, a tweak on the rogue-like genre. You go down a random dungeon and pick up loot, levels and stat boosts. If you die, you lose it all. If you escape (with a special item) you get to save some of the progress so far, making the next run a bit easier. I remember playing the first game a few years ago on Kongregate (for free). This version had a few more stats, a skill tree that you can put points into as you level, an enchanting sub-system and a crafting system to boot. I think it was under $3 too. It’s a solid time waster.
It’s unfortunate that I had to go through about 2 dozens games to find one that a) kept my attention past the 15 minute mark, b) wasn’t a near complete clone of another game and c) didn’t have a crazy amount of bugs making the game unplayable. There’s got to be a bottom to this barrel.