Oftentimes, mobile gaming doesn’t get a fair shake. A lot of self-professed ‘hardcore gamers’ consider it beneath them, looking down on the mobile market like it’s something nasty the neighbour’s Great Dane left on their driveway while it had that stomach bug a couple months back.
That’s an industry-wide problem though, sadly. You’ve got PC gamers declaring themselves the master race, Xbox and PlayStation fans bitching back and forth at each other in the comment sections of YouTube videos, and Nintendo… well, doing their Nintendo thing and being completely uninterested in what everyone else is doing. Why can’t we all just get along? Why can’t Xbox One and PS4 owners gather together in a Spring meadow, clasp hands and sing Ebony and Ivory together, as our forefathers intended?
In gaming, an open mind is essential. As I say, so many gamers missed that memo, but still. Regardless of your platform of choice, there’s always something you’re missing out on. At the great World Buffet of video games, you don’t want to be stuck just eating the same stale nachos that have been out for three weeks, do you? Get some variety on your plates, my friends, and embrace mobile games.
Sure, cellphone games have a certain notoriety for being stripped down and technically inferior, which is of course true to an extent. There’s no getting away from that sad truth, but there are also some real quality gaming experiences on offer for iOS and Android, made all the better for the unrivaled portability and convenience factor (which even dedicated portable consoles can’t hope to match).
There’s an overwhelming amount on offer, though, so how do you choose the essential apps? We’re here to help, friends. Settle in and check out 20 Free Mobile Games That Are Better Than Call of Duty.
1. Fire Emblem Heroes
You know who does seem to have embraced mobile gaming lately (at long freaking last)? Nintendo, that’s who. A year ago, the idea of a Mario title for phones would have outrageous, unthinkable blasphemy, but Super Mario Run is now a thing. As is Nintendo/DeNA collaboration Fire Emblem Heroes.
Co-developed by Intelligent Systems, creators of the Fire Emblem main series titles and Advance Wars, this turn-based strategy title sees you assembling an army of four iconic Fire Emblem characters. With them, you play through the main campaign or battle other players’ parties in the Arena mode. It’s not the fully-featured super deep experience that FE fans are accustomed to, but it’s tactical enough to keep their interest. It doesn’t lend itself to play binges either, what with the stamina system, but this is perhaps the best play-on-your-commute title I’ve ever played.
Indeed, Fire Emblem Heroes is a game I’ve found myself eschewing console titles for to play at home, which is about the highest praise a mobile release can get.
2. Plants Vs Zombies Heroes
PopCap’s Plants vs Zombies has done phenomenally well for itself. From its humble beginnings as an what-the-hell-why-am-I-blowing-up-rows-of-zombies-with-jalapeno-peppers-what-is-this-crazy-talk oddity, this cute and comical tower defense franchise became a global superstar. The main game hit every system known to man (presumably being playable on some of Japan’s more high-tech refrigerators), there’s now a TPS series in the shape of Plants vs Zombies: Garden Warfare and it’s still a force to be reckoned with on mobile too.
In Plants vs Zombies Heroes, you play not with seed packets but a deck of 40 cards. It’s a collectible card game in the Hearthstone mold, in which you take turns placing cards on a five-lane board. As the name suggests, too, there’s a similar heroes mechanic in play too, making this a great one for Hearthstone fans to pick up. It’s light on the microtransactions, too, which is a real plus.