Last December I bought myself a cheapo Android tablet for $50. The kind of tablet designed for children. The kind of tablet that comes with a giant rubber bumper around it.
It may not be the most dignified of computers, but it chugs along like a champ, and for the first time in my life I’ve finally been able to explore what mobile games have to offer.
So, what free-to-play stuff have I downloaded on it?
- Neko Atsume. This game was one of the driving reasons for my purchasing the device. I love cats. Most people think I am a cat. This game is about optimizing your dwelling to attract as many cats as possible. I love this game. >^.^<
- Plants vs. Zombies 2. I adore the original game for PC, so I was excited to be able to play the mobile sequel. The gameplay is ridiculously fun, is faster-paced, and offers a wide variety of new plants, time travel-themed areas, and quests. Unfortunately the lag is palpable, the UI is clunky, and many of the best plants are hidden behind microtransaction paywalls.
- Mystery Society Relic Match 3: Lost Jewels. I enjoy match-3 games and find them relaxing, but I didn’t want to play another mind-numbing “exploding candy” title. In this one you run around a city as an antiquities agent, hunting down stolen art and artifacts at locations such as museums, pawn shops, storage units, and libraries. It feels like you are actually accomplishing something with each quest. Additionally, you can customize your own office (mine has a T-Rex skeleton in it) and participate in monthly events. Production-wise it could use better music, but the graphics are crisp, and the sponsor ads are fairly unobtrusive and almost always give you some kind of bonus for watching them.
- Castle Cats. It is honestly a fairly boring clicker/waiting game, but there are 100 different cats to recruit as warriors for your guild, most of whom are spoofs on well-known literary and movie personalities. I play it when my other games are cooling down, but mainly just to try and get new characters. There’s nothing else here that will hold your attention for any length of time.
- Seekers Notes: Hidden Mystery. This is one of the best classic hidden object games out there. Dozens of gorgeous, unique locations that level up in difficulty as you replay them. “Curses” that randomly modify the gameplay with various challenges such as anagram mode, silhouette mode, and reflection mode. Thousands of quests. Four minigames. A simple crafting system to net you power-ups and resources. Trophies and guardians that give you daily bonuses once you attain them. The ability for you to help out friends in meaningful ways. Monthly events and mini-events. Honestly, if you are a fan of traditional HOGs at all, you will be addicted to this game.
- Love Nikki – Dress Up Queen. Speaking of addictive, this game is my newest vice. It markets itself as a dress-up game, but that is only the beginning. Completing the main story line involves collecting as many outfit pieces as possible, and using them to battle every single person you meet as though you are Pokémon trainers who have just locked eyes. Rather than focusing on looking pretty, you need to equip gear with the right trait combinations in order to get a higher score.
There are two difficulty modes, and you’ll need to beat both to farm all the drops. The game also offers a town hub with access to shops, a PvP arena, an incredibly robust and complicated crafting system, thematic styling competitions, player guilds, login bonuses, special events, achievements, and dailies.
My one complaint is that in order to get the absolute most out of the game—every outfit, all event rewards, more stage attempts, highest leaderboard scores—you need to pay. It is taking all of my willpower not to cave because the game is so fun I want to unlock everything and get all the shinies. I also wouldn’t mind throwing the developers many dollars because the game is justifiably worth it.
Other games I had installed and then deleted due to technical problems, paywalls, or lack of interest: The Secret Society: Hidden Mystery, AdVenture Capitalist, Colorify, Fluffy Doll Friends Match 3, and Nekotsume Block Puzzle.
What other puzzle and action games should I check out (that won’t lag on my less-than-sophisticated device)? Let me know in the comments!