Welcome to the roundup of the new Android games that went live in the Play Store or were spotted by us in the previous week or so. Today I have the arrival of Genshin Impact, a quality F2P gacha game that actually offers enjoyable gameplay. We also have Monopoly Sudoku, and even though Monopoly is in the name, this is a sudoku title through and through. Last up is Hot Wheels Unlimited, a lackluster racing game that greedily gates content behind a subscription. So without further ado, here are the new and notable Android games released during the week of September 28th, 2020.
Looking for the previous roundup editions? Find them here.
Android Police coverage: Genshin Impact is the new benchmark for free-to-play mobile games, out now
Is Genshin Impact as good as a Zelda title? No, it is not. But you know what, it’s worlds better than any other gacha game currently available on the Play Store. Not only is there actual gameplay in this title that requires skill, but since this is an open-world game, there are tons of areas to explore that offer plenty of secrets to discover. So unlike all of the shallow mobile MMO and ARPG games that include auto mechanics, Genshin Impact plays like an actual console-quality game instead of an endless and pointless treadmill. So yes, I’m fully serious when I say Genshin Impact sets the new benchmark for free-to-play titles.
Monetization: free / no ads / IAPs from $0.99 – $99.99
Monopoly Sudoku – Complete puzzles & own it all!
Android Police coverage: Monopoly Sudoku is the latest release from Marmalade Game Studio
Despite what the name of this game implies, it’s strictly a standard sudoku title. As far as I can tell, there are no Monopoly mechanics to be found, though this release is clearly themed around the popular board game. At best, you’ll earn rewards for winning online sudoku matches that will raise your player level, which is presented as a moving Monopoly piece, which is about as close as this release gets to offering Monopoly-like gameplay. Still, if you’re a fan of sudoku titles, this is a competent and fairly-priced release.
Monetization: $3.99 / no ads / no IAPs
Hot Wheels Unlimited
Android Police coverage: Hot Wheels Unlimited is a shallow racing game that has the nerve to ask for a subscription
On the opposite side of the free-to-play spectrum, there’s Hot Wheels Unlimited, a kids game devoid of fun that gates the majority of content behind a subscription paywall ($4.99 a month). The core gameplay is racing, and it’s pointless. Not only will the CPU warp in front of you out of nowhere, but there’s also no skill required. You’ll either grab all of the boosts and win, or you won’t because the game wants you to grind more, hence the warping cars. Typically F2P games try to hide how they cheat, but here, it’s plain as day. So yes, this children’s game that’s rated E for everyone is a cash grab designed to take advantage of its audience, just like the rest of this developer’s catalog.
Monetization: free / contains ads / IAPs from $4.99 – $6.99
Blend – Play Group Games inside Chat
Okay, Blend isn’t necessarily a game, since it’s a social media app, but it’s designed to help people find games to play together that are accessible within this app. So really, Blend serves as a game launcher as well as a social app, though the quality of games you’ll find within leave a lot to be desired. Of course, if you don’t mind playing flash-quality titles with your friends or acquaintance, then this is the app for you.
Monetization: free / no ads / no IAPs
Dark Forest: Lost Story Creepy & Scary Horror Game
AGaming+ has been designing enjoyable horror games for Android for years, and Dark Forest is the studio’s latest release. As you would expect, this is a horror game, and you’ll get to meet you’ll meet Baba Yaga, as well as many other mythical horrors like Slender Man. Best of all, if you choose to leave a review, you can request your favorite monsters to be added to the game, which is a neat way to promote the title’s development.
Monetization: free / contains ads / no IAPs
Lungo – Difficult Logic Puzzle Game 🧠
Lungo – Difficult Logic Puzzle Game is a factual name because this game can be tough. While I’m not a fan of logic-puzzlers, if you’re looking for a challenge, you’ve found it. While this release’s balancing can be hit and miss, you’ll see exactly what I’m talking about once you play through one of the more challenging puzzles. This setup makes for a game that’s best played in short spurts, so this release is more a bathroom game fitting for work breaks since it’s a little more digestible when played in this manner.
Monetization: free / contains ads / IAPs $1.49 apiece
Laser Quest is an early access release from InfinityGames, and it’s a puzzler that looks a lot like Monument Valley, but really it’s a mirror direction game. It will be your job to rotate these mirrors to the correct directions in order to guide the light to each level’s goal. It’s a simple setup, but it’s fun enough to warrant a look.
Monetization: free / contains ads / IAPs from $3.49 – $17.99
Creatures of Aether
Creatures of Aether is a card-based strategy game, and it will be your job to build out your deck in order to take on many different foes. You’ll strategically place your cards on a 3×3 grid, and depending on the four numbers on each card, you’ll wreak havoc on your opponents. As you can imagine, you’ll have to upgrade your cards as you go to remain competitive. Sadly the game is a little unstable, so there’s more work to be done before this title is ready for prime time.
Monetization: free / no ads / IAPs from $0.99 – $49.99
Dear My Cat
Dear My Cat is an adorable game all about relaxing as you watch a town of fluffy cats enjoy their daily lives. Still, this is an idle game, and while it’s better than most, the monetization is horrible, which makes it hard to believe that this game stays relaxing for long. How anyone can monetize such a shallow genre, I don’t know, and yet the Play Store is packed with idle games that sport similar in-app purchases. This is why you’ll rarely find idle games in our game roundup, but since this title’s theme and graphics stood out, I wanted to cover the release despite its iffy monetization.
Monetization: free / contains ads / IAPs from $0.99 – $94.99
Spooky Wars – Castle Battle Defense Strategy Game
Spooky Wars is an early access release that offers an appropriate theme for Halloween, which is coming up shortly. At its core, this is essentially a tower defense game, but of course, it also offers card-based mechanics, which means you’ll have to collect cards in order to strengthen your tower and army. It’s a simple game made more complicated by collection mechanics that feel forced, but hey, at least it’s themed well for fall.
Monetization: free / contains ads / IAPs from $0.99 – $99.99
Arcane Showdown is a new strategy game from Big Huge Games, the same developer behind DomiNations, a once-popular strategy game in its own right that was brought down by greedy in-app purchases. That’s right, Big Huge Games is known for rebalancing its last successful game without telling anyone, which is why the title now contains IAPs that range up to $200 per item. So even if you think Arcane Showdown looks like an alright F2P strategy title, it’s all but guaranteed this dev will cash in once the game is no longer popular.
Monetization: free / contains ads / IAPs from $0.99 – $99.99
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