Pokémon Go has been generating headlines and grabbing column inches worldwide for the last week – you, uh, might have noticed – but it’s not the only mobile game out there, you know.
That’s right. You don’t have to disgrace yourself at a Holocaust memorial site, give up your job or endanger yourself and your children. There are a huge range of other mobile games out there that won’t suck up your battery life like a ravenous Magneton or, y’know, get you killed. Here’s our selection of the best ones right now…
5. Pocket Mortys
Rick And Morty is just about one of the most awesome cartoons ever created, with enough attitude to spare, a healthy disrespect for authority and some of the weirdest humour on TV. Pocket Mortys is a tongue-in-cheek twist on the classic Pokémon games. Players must travel across dimensions, collecting different (and seriously bizarre) Mortys and training them to beat the hell out of each other.
It may be heavily ‘inspired by’ Pokémon but it works very well. As a bonus it’s free-to-play and packed with the same blend of high-brow and low-brow humour that makes Rick and Morty such a joy to watch. If you’re already SO over watching Weedles and Bulbasaurs engage in the sort of low level combat (a caterpillar takes on a lettuce? Wow!), this offers some sick satisfaction.
4. Minecraft – The Pocket Edition
Minecraft, man, it’s everywhere. Literally. The pocket edition of Minecraft allows crafters to explore a myriad of worlds wherever they are and whenever they have time. From the comfort of your commute you can explore, build and get blown up by creepers on the go. From the privacy of your bogseat, you can craft and create almost anything out of big chunky cubes of stuff.
It’s like being God, only without all that tiresome responsibility, bad beards and endless smiting.
There’s a free demo that gives players a half-hour taster of the basic Minecraft experience. From then on the full version of Minecraft – Pocket Edition costs £4.99 – but it’s worth every penny especially if you aren’t satisfied with getting your Minecraft fix at home.
3. Hitman Go
Of all the Hitman games, Hitman Go is pretty much the most unorthodox game in the series. It’s part strategy game, part puzzle game, part board game – but the blend is oddly satisfying. The game is a sequence of set-pieces that the player must circumnavigate, getting Agent 47 past security systems and guards, using different abilities to get to his targets.
Think Cluedo, but with more opportunity to shoot people in the back of the head.
It’s £3.99 but well worth a punt if you fancy doing some contract killing instead of catching a Caterpie in a courtyard.
2. Fallout Shelter
Ever wondered how you’d fare as the overseer of your own group of imprisoned nuclear survivors? You haven’t? Bugger. That ruins my next sentence…
Wonder no more as Bethesda’s extremely addictive Fallout Shelter (set in the same universe as their best-selling Fallout console games) gives you the chance to play God with your own vault full of tiny people. Build your vault’s resources and its population will grow. Construct amenities, assign your minions jobs, then sit back and watch them prosper.
Or get torn to itsy-bitsy bloody shreds by Deathclaws. Them’s the breaks.
You can even choose partners for them and decide who gets to breed… Oh, yeah. It’s filthy*.
Bethesda is continually updating Fallout Shelter and it’s one of the first games to tempt ‘proper’ gamers to try mobile games. It’s even been released for PCs. Oh, and it’s free! Fun, creepy in a ‘you-are-big-brother’ type of way, and while there are no Pokémon in the vault, on the plus side you can play it without having to run through a park like an asshole.
1. Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft
Before Pokémon Go appeared – remember the olden days, of last week? – Hearthstone was one of the most popular smartphone and tablet games out there. A card battle game set in the Warcraft universe, heroes from Azeroth sit down in the tavern and fight like hell over a few pints of foaming nut brown ale. That’s right: it’s like a Friday night in Glasgow.
Players must reduce their opponent’s health to zero by dealing cards which equip weapons, cast spells or summon brave companions to deal the villainous blackguard some proper damage. Basically, if Manowar made a game, it would be Hearthstone.
Hearthstone works across all devices from mobile and tablet to PC and Mac, letting players worldwide compete. If you’re not into the whole multiplayer thing, there’s a whole single player campaign for the friendless, lonely and plain anti-social. Heartstone’s mix of orcs, elves and dwarfs provides a welcome escape from the kid-friendly world of Pokémon with its magical beasts, bands of noble heroes and endless quests.
It’s the orc’s bollocks.
Have you got a favourite mobile game that should be on this list? Let us know in the comments section below.