With the boom of smartphones, you’re never far away from a new time-consuming game. With so many different options to download, it can often be hard choosing the next handheld game to get sucked into. We’re here to help, showing the latest, the greatest, and the games that aren’t worth the space on your phone.
What We’re Playing
Miitomo (iOS/Android) – Like many from this generation, we grew up playing Nintendo games. So, so many memories were made with a Nintendo controller in hand. Yet, as time has gone on, Nintendo has been surpassed in popularity by the XBox and PlayStation. However, there’s one place where the Big N still dominates: handheld gaming. Nothing comes close to the 3DS. So it makes a lot of sense that Nintendo would make the dive into smartphone games. Will their talent in the field make an easy transition?
The first Nintendo smartphone game is Miitomo. When we say “game”, we use the world lightly. While it’s technically a game, Miitomo is more like a social media app. You link it up with your Facebook and Twitter account, add friends and then…pretty much just hang out. There’s not a whole lot of “game” here. But it does show a lot of promise.
Miitomo is basically a character creator. You craft a Mii (from scratch or by using Nintendo’s fairly accurate face detection method), you give them clothing, you give them a voice and then you answer lots and lots of questions. Questions are how the game and other players get to know you. The questions are simple: “What have you been up to lately?” “What’s your favorite food?” “What do you do on the weekend?” It’s nothing too introspective. From there, you add friends and then see their responses, answer their questions and gradually gain in-game currency. You spend that currency on clothing to set yourself apart from other Miis. Then you start a pattern of loading up the game every few hours, checking in on your Mii and rinsing, washing, repeating. There’s not a whole lot going on with Miitomo – yet.
There are a few mini-games to earn clothing and money, sure. But Miitomo feels like something very basic, very young. This is Nintendo, though, so they might have a bunch of genius ideas up their sleeves. Weeks and months from now, Miitomo might transform into something with plenty of mini-games to play and ways to interact with friends. Players seem to be having fun with taking in-game pictures (that’s my Mii above, dressed as a cat for some reason) so expect to see much, much more of that. Who knows what else Nintendo will come up with? Will you eventually build a village for your Mii? Will you be able to make videos? Will you ever be able to transfer your Mii from the game to your Wii U, Nintendo 3DS, or their upcoming NX console? There are a lot of opportunities for growth.
Many were hoping Miitomo would be like Animal Crossing. Not yet. So far it’s a little empty but there is ample room for improvement. Don’t count Nintendo out. This might be the slow start of something terrific.
A Game From the Vault
Plague, Inc. (iOS/Android) – There are few games with the staying power of Plague, Inc. Nearly four years old, this property has not gotten old – not in the slightest. Developer Ndemic Creations has pumped in so much extra content that Plague, Inc.’s replay value is through the roof. There are plenty of ways to end the world, from causing the apocalypse via bacteria, parasite, bio-weapon or just regular old virus. Each plague type has different attributes, pros and cons. They’re all challenging – and fun – in their own ways. Plus the soundtrack pumps along and gets you excited to see the world turn red with viral death.
Plague, Inc is only 99 cents on iOS but worth way, way more than that. If you’re not (still) playing this game, you’re missing out on one of the best things in the app store.
What We’re Playing Next
Since everyone – and we mean everyone – is raving about it, we are going to download Clash Royale and fire it up to see what the buzz is about. Will we slay other players and command the field or fail miserably and let our kingdom fall? Time will tell. Into the battle we go!