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Thread: Deep(ish) and meaningful games for Android?

  1. #1
    Registered: Jul 2012
    Location: Finland

    Deep(ish) and meaningful games for Android?

    I just recently bought myself an Android tablet and started looking for games. But as it stands out, the mobile market is full of those casualized bs games, whose main purpose is just to milk money out of players instead of entertaining them and growing a relationship with the player. Collect stars, buy gems, pay to buy this, wait for this to open, please share this awsum game to your friends, pay to get this upgrade to beat this level... you know the drill. I don't mind paying something for extra content or the game itself, but if the core gameplay is so shallow and not skill-based and you can't really play the game properly without being constantly reminded that it is a cash machine, it drives me away immediately.

    So are there any games that actually try to be good as games? Games that have interesting mechanics, require skill and/or have a good story and involve the player in learning to play the game better. And thus creating a relationship with the player. I'm looking for games that I can enjoy longer than the 15 mins on the bus.

    What I play on PC and consoles are mostly strategy, puzzle, rpg and adventure. Some that come in mind: Heroes of Might and Magic, Age of Wonders, Age of Empires, Civilization, Final Fantasy, Cities Skylines, Rollercoaster Tycoon, Europa Universalis, and Thief of course. So lots of slow tempo and turn based games. I don't shy away from action, but I think they don't work so well on mobile due to controls.

    What I've found already are Polytopia and Kingdom Rush. The aforementioned fits my description perfectly. It's a neat little 4X strategy and requires skill and gets the player hooked because the gameplay itself is so involving. Kingdom Rush (tower defense) is also good, but I already own it on Steam and I don't plan on paying again to unlock all the heroes.

    Any suggestions?

    PS. I know this thread exists, and I'll go through it, but at first glimpse I saw a lot of simple casual games so I thought I'll post this as well.

  2. #2
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    Simple casual games are what works best on mobile, but if you're looking for turn based strategy I highly recommend Hoplite. It'll have you agonizing over what the next turn will be, but it's still streamlined enough that it plays great even on a phone.

    FTL and Streamworld Heist got great iPad ports, but sadly no Android ones. I see XCOM made it to Android tho. I can confirm it played great on a tablet. The iPad version was almost as good as the PC one.

  3. #3
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    There are plenty of adventures and RPGs (mostly of the Japanese variety), though I don't know whether there are as many for Android as there are for iOS. However, with an Android tablet you might be able to get things like DOSbox and SCUMMVM running, which opens up a ton of old PC games. There's also an Android version of Exult, which lets you play Ultima VII and Serpent Isle, though from what I hear it's a tad... experimental.

    If story can make up for deep and complex mechanics, I can very much recommend Out There, 80 Days and the Sorcery! games, as well as the Simogo games. SteamWorld Heist, which is more of a turn-based strategy game that's simple to learn but still allows for complexity, is also great fun.

  4. #4
    Registered: Jan 2003
    Location: NeoTokyo
    Don't forget emulators for classic systems, but that's a technicality. I play a good amount of interactive fiction on my phone too, which always has good storytelling.

    My recommendations are Shattered Pixel, Achicaps and Antiyoy, Monument Valley, then games that fall into the categories of sim (Turboprop), life sim (InstaLife or Seedship), science sim (Cell Lab, Euclidia), and puzzle games(Okay?)... too many to list.

    edit. Some apps let you get deep into already deep games, like PGN Master for chess or Golden Thread Tarot for tarot. Passion indie projects like that are definitely the best jewels in the rough imo.
    Last edited by demagogue; 12th Jul 2018 at 10:50.

  5. #5
    Registered: Oct 2016
    Location: The Warp
    Since you mentioned it, I'm aware that there was a Rollercoaster Tycoon mobile port at some point. I don't know where it was ported since I don't pay much attention to the mobile market, but it's around.

    Great Little War Game offers some decent turn based strategy, with the bonus of pass and play multiplayer.

    Deus Ex: The Fall was supposed to be good, but I haven't played it myself so I can't offer an opinion.

    BADLAND is a good platformer type game with a not-so-subtle message about humanity's impact on nature, which also has a sequel that I haven't played.

    Also, Does Not Commute is worth checking out, despite the fact that it's kind of casual. It's pretty much a game about guiding citizens on their daily commutes, but has some sinister underlying Twin Peaks-esque vibes going on.

  6. #6
    Level 10,000 achieved
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Finland
    Oh, and since you mentioned Cities Skylines, if you're into public transport planning, I can highly recommend both Mini Metro and Freeways.

  7. #7
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    I'm going with something out of left field and am gonna toss Hadean Lands into the ring. It's interactive fiction, but with fairly involved puzzles involving an alchemy system. Zarf's always done benchmark-quality work, so if you're aware of his previous IF pieces like So Far and Spider and Web, you'll know what to expect here. In short: it's very good.

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