ameCentral’s monthly review of the best mobile titles takes in Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales and Samorost’s new game Creaks.
Blinding sunlight and stifling heat may not be all that conducive to hunching over a small, increasingly greasy touchscreen, but fortunately the past few weeks’ release schedule seems not to care. This month’s reasons to dry off sweaty thumbs include the superb and ultra-long lasting Thronebreaker: The Witcher Tales, Amanita Design’s characteristically charming Creaks, and the absurdist thrills of LFDR.
After launching quietly onto consoles in 2017, MudRunner’s unusual blend of simulated heavy goods vehicles and off-road motoring cuts an unlikely figure on mobile. In it you’ll need to drive, hitch up loads, deliver them, and navigate maps fraught with terrain that’s distinctly unsuitable for articulated lorries.
What you’ll discover is a game almost sadistically opposed to arcade-style instant gratification, regularly bogging you down in soft mud, in surroundings that are realistically plastered in mid-brown, for minutes at a time. A bit like Death Stranding, the sense of relief when you complete one of its astonishingly laborious and painstaking missions is palpable.
There is a satisfaction to completing stages with all three bonus goals intact, but the game’s glacial pace and realistic but intrinsically clunky onscreen controls, that offer no option to connect a controller, will not be everyone’s cup of tea.
Players of The Witcher fall into two camps: those who see the card game Gwent as a deep and irresistible distraction included free with the main game, and those who ignore it entirely. Even if you’re in the latter group, this mix of deck building and role-playing may still be a more alluring mix than you might expect.
Telling the story of Meve, queen of Lyria, and replete with familiar characters from the games and books, Thronebreaker’s games of Gwent mix standard one-on-one matches with a plethora of puzzle levels, each with its own set of rules and constraints.
The result is a rich and varied tactical tour de force, comprising dozens of hours of entertainment backed up by a story that’s as twisted and interesting as Witcher fans have come to expect.
Krystopia: Nova’s Journey
Sequel to Krystopia: Nova’s Adventure, this is another point ‘n’ click puzzle game built around a series of drag and drop challenges gaining you access to new rooms and more puzzles.
While it has neither the gentle humour of Broken Sword, nor the surrealist joie de vivre of Escape From Monkey Island, it has its own atmosphere and sense of place – in this case deep space.
Unfortunately ,it suffers from the same problem as the rest of its genre, namely relying on random-seeming and counter-intuitive combinations of equipment to overcome many of its problems. YouTube will get you unstuck but cheating your way through feels as hollow as it always does.
Credit: Best new mobile games on iOS and Android – August 2020 round-up