11 new Android games from the last week: The best, worst, and everything in between (8/1/21
Welcome to the roundup of the best new Android games that went live in the Play Store or were spotted by us in the previous week or so. Today’s list is broken up into several segments, ranging from best, average, to mediocre. So whether you’re looking for the best games of quality or are simply looking for the latest free-to-play gacha titles, you’re covered. This week I have a fantastic port for a popular indie farming sim, the arrival of slingshot-based platformer spinoff, and a remaster of an enjoyable point and click series that’s finally available in a single package. So without further ado, here are the new and notable Android games released during the last week.
Looking for the previous roundup editions? Find them here.
Titles that offer fair pricing, enjoyable gameplay, polished interfaces, or are intriguing
My Time at Portia
Android Police coverage: My Time at Portia is basically 3D Stardew Valley, and the Android port is solid
My Time at Portia is an indie farming sim that’s finally made its way to mobile. The port is solid, though the framerate is capped at 30 FPS, and controller support appears to be hit and miss, at least on Android 11 devices. Still, the framerate is pretty stable, and the touch controls work well. Plus, you’ll get at least 65+ hours of gameplay if you’re looking to complete the campaign, making for a premium release that will offer hours and hours of fun. Best of all, you can snag a copy today at a discount.
Monetization: $7.99 / no ads / no IAPs
My Friend Pedro
Android Police coverage: Indie hit My Friend Pedro is in pre-registration on the Play Store
My Friend Pedro is a popular indie bullet-time shooter on PC and consoles, and Devolver Digital has brought the game to mobile, but it’s an all-new experience that utilizes slingshot controls, not a port. Luckily the slingshot-based touch controls work well, though you’ll first have to get used to them. Luckily there is an option to reverse the controls if you find them tricky. Best of all, you can play the entire game for free, and if you would like to make checkpoints available, you can pay $2.99 to unlock this feature, creating a premium experience that’s easily worth the price.
Monetization: free / no ads / IAPs $2.99 apiece
Neighbours back From Hell
Neighbours back From Hell is essentially a remaster of Neighbours From Hell 1 & 2 in a single package. Unlike the season-based ports still available on the Play Store, the graphics in this release have been updated for HD screens, and the developer even doubled the framerate of both games to allow for a smoother experience. So if you were a fan of the originals, or simply dig point and click adventure games that offer a zany sense of humor, then you’ll probably enjoy Neighbours back From Hell now that you can purchase the complete collection for a low price.
Monetization: $4.99 / no ads / no IAPs
Titles that may not be the best-of-the-best, but still offer fun and interesting mechanics
DC: Batman Bat-Tech Edition
DC: Batman Bat-Tech Edition is an augmented reality app and game, thanks to the fact this release offers ten different mini-games along with stickers, comics, and a bunch of other junk that corporate America thinks will appeal to children. Luckily there is no price attached, so you’re free to dip in and check out those games and comics, though really everything grows stale quickly, plus the AR functionality requires bright lighting, so it’s often hit and miss indoors, like most AR releases. I suppose something like this app exists for brand awareness, which is why it’s free, so perhaps your kid will get a kick out of DC: Batman Bat-Tech Edition. Just keep in mind the content is pretty shallow, meaning hardcore DC fans will probably want to sit this one out.
Monetization: free / no ads / no IAPs
UnderKnight: One Thumb Warrior
UnderKnight: One Thumb Warrior is exactly that, a game you can control with one thumb. This, of course, dumbs things down dramatically since you’ll move and attack with a single button. The graphics are simple, though they get the job done, and the roguelike mechanics means you’ll be doing the same thing over and over again, and since that consists of a single button you continually tap with your thumb, things grow stale quickly. The game is in early access, which means it isn’t monetized just yet, so if you feel UnderKnight looks interesting, now is the best time to jump in before things get much more greedy.
Monetization: free / no ads / no IAPs
Legends of the Dark
Legends of the Dark isn’t a standalone digital adaptation of the board game of the same name. Oh no, it’s a tie-in product that you have to use with the physical tabletop title. A companion app, if you will. So think of this release as the DM for the game, where it fills in the story while tracking all players and their equipment for easy number crunching. So while there is some gameplay within this release, you will have to own the physical game to make use of it.
Monetization: free / no ads / no IAPs
Titles that are buggy, unpolished, or offer aggressive monetization
Flip Rider – BMX Tricks
Flip Rider – BMX Tricks is indeed a game where you’ll pull off dope BMX tricks on a halfpipe. You’ll hold your thumb on the screen to flip, and then you’ll tap buttons to pull off tricks. You’ll do this to earn in-game currency, which will be used to purchase new riders, bike upgrades, and tricks. So even though the monetization isn’t all that high, all of the pitfalls of free-to-play grindy games are here. For a title that’s so simple to play, you have to wonder why it’s monetized so aggressively. Sure, you can play for free, but clearly, the game was built around pushing its IAPs.
Monetization: free / contains ads / IAPs from $1.99 – $14.99
Empire Defender TD: Tower Defense The Kingdom Rush
Empire Defender TD is a tower defense game that appears to be trying to take advantage of the popular Kingdon Rush series by shoving the name of that game into this release’s title. So now that it’s clear this dev is stooping to an unscrupulous practice for recognition, I suppose the buggy UI and gameplay shouldn’t be all that surprising. But hey, why properly balance and bug test a game when you can release it in poor shape while stuffing it with in-app purchases? So even though the 2D graphics look nice, this is a title that needs a lot more work before it’s ready for prime time.
Monetization: free / contains ads / IAPs from $0.99 – $49.99
Shot Online: Golf Battle
As a big fan of golf games, I just had to check out Shot Online: Golf Battle. As you would suspect, this is a competitive golf game with a focus on real-time battles. This makes for a game that offers quick battles that are great for on-the-go play, but sadly the title is filled with cheaters, not to mention horrible monetization, and all of the bots in matches don’t help either. Maybe instead of building a game around greedy monetization, the developer should have focused on what’s important, such as enjoyable and fair gameplay.
Monetization: free / contains ads / IAPs from $0.99 – $99.99
War of Survivors
War of Survivors is the latest generic zombie-survival game on the Play Store, pre-rendered backgrounds and all. You’ll fight zombies, build and defend a base, all while looking for more survivors to pump up your numbers. It’s the exact same setup we’ve seen a hundred times before, all wrapped up in a mediocre package of bugs and ugly graphics. Best of all, the developers added a boatload of in-app purchases because that’s the entire point of this release, money instead of fun. In other words, War of Survivors is a blatant cash grab.
Monetization: free / no ads / IAPs from $0.99 – $99.99
Candy, Inc.: Build, Bake & Decorate
Candy, Inc.: Build, Bake & Decorate is basically a casual idle game where you sit and wait for things to complete so you can tap a button and then wait some more. Sure, things look pleasant enough, but there’s basically no gameplay here, and the monetization is absolutely atrocious. More or less, this is a cash grab designed for people that don’t know better.
Monetization: free / contains ads / IAPs from $3.49 – $119.99
Know A Worthy New App? Let Us Know!
If you have an application in mind for the next issue of the roundup, feel free to send us an email and let us know.
Important: there are 2 requirements in order for the app to be considered, listed below.
- the app’s launch date has to be no longer than 2 weeks ago
- it has to be original, ground-breaking, well-reviewed, interesting, fun, etc – the cream of the crop
Now, if and only if the above requirements have been satisfied, fire up an email to this address: [email protected].
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