TAKE AIM TO PLAY THE GAME
Suppose you’re recently into mobile games that you can happily play on your smartphone or another mobile device, such as your tablet. In that case, you may be interested in knowing what demographic you fall into. According to the brainboxes at Statistica.com, “Video gaming is no longer a hobby exclusively enjoyed by the young. Because [many] generations have grown up with video games as a normal part of everyday life, the average gamer’s age has increased. During a 2021 survey, 38 percent of video-game players still come from the 18 to 34 age demographic, [but] seven per cent are 65 years and older.” Anyone for the slots game slingo bingo?
Another wake-up call: if you picture an online gamer, in general, as male – you’re in for a big surprise. Traditionally a more male-oriented hobby, the increase in female gamers over recent years means that as many as 46 percent of all computer and video gamers, according to a 2019 estimate in the US, are now female. Quite an increase from the 38 percent female-gaming population of 2006.
Get your fantasy fix
Popular among many women is a range of fantasy games, with the Final Fantasy Brave Exvius ranking pretty much, as best of the bunch. Think under-ground explorations, hidden treasures, secret tunnels, folklore and incredible dungeons. You’ll score rewards by logging in daily, and new missions and quests just continue to keep the pot bubbling over. While the game’s motto is to “Let a new tale of crystals and heroes begin”, just know that critical thinking is of the essence to beat the most skilled opponents out there.
Want in on the action of the season’s most popular sports game? Download the likes of Madden 21 for its countless thrills and spills, where you can begin by creating and customising your players in an all-new football experience with an ultra-rousing touchdown. Yes, Electronic Arts (EA) seems to have the monopoly on annual launches for all the big sporting downloads, which you can generally access free of charge from Google Play. Pretty decent graphics and sound controls are yours for the taking. The question: Is EA the best by default? What’s holding you back from seeing for yourself?
For the thrill of the chase
Back to the stats we go, to find out how much time the different generations spend on their gaming device, or app, of choice. Those under 20 were found to spend 49 minutes “on gaming or leisurely computer usage” each weekday, and more than 90 minutes on weekends/vacation days. A favorite genre among these GenZ-ers is the racing games that are free for Android smartphones and tablets, and can therefore be played on the move. Top of the list? Code Racer. “Rather than bombing around a circuit, your twitchy reactions being the only thing keeping your car from flipping over, you instead define your route by way of basic programming-style commands”, say the reviewers at Techradar.com. Try it out, get on top of the controls – and soon you’ll be head-over-heels in love with this game’s unique quirks and gunning it to the chequered flag.
From AR to Zen
Just a few more games to review as we tally up our best of nine. Let’s be as concise as possible…
If you’re a strategy gamer, don’t skip Chessplode. Each time you take a piece from your “opponent”, there’s an explosion; then, all the pieces in that line or column get vaporised too (unless a King is watching). Plus the board layout is not what you expect, so be prepared to relearn the art of the black and white. This game rocks because of its “predefined challenges, real-time multiplayer battles, and a level editor for making your own boards”. It’s creativity personified.
Shooting games float your boat? Try Angry Birds AR: Isle of Pigs, a new take on Angry Birds that takes it out of your phone via augmented reality (AR) – as mentioned in the game’s title. Those who’ve played recently reveal that adding the 3D environment, in which the egg-stealing pigs are “projected” onto a nearby wall or piece of furniture, means you can check out the target and take aim with a great deal more impetus than before… Then fling one of those fat buzzards at the naughty pigs by means of a large catapult. Can you think of a better way to rid yourself of work stress or do voodoo on that vexing neighbor?
And while we’re on the subject of AR, how about downloading Pokemon Go all over again to catch, collect and even trade, the legendary 600+ Pokemon you come across. There are buddy adventures, you can go raiding with your mates, do battle, take down a gym and find Pokestops. Four years on, and this one remains one of the most iconic games to play on the move, EVER!
Roblox also scores a mention, for its extreme popularity across age groups.
AndroidAuthority.com reckons that although it’s been around a long time, “The ever increasing amount of things to do keeps it relevant to this day”. Heard of a game, before, being described as having “a metric ton” of content to play through? There’s no way. Gamers therefore remain more than a tad impressed by the innovation of its creators. Just a heads-up: this one is “not safe for work” so download – and play – at home, only. Nuff said.
Our penultimate selection for those who love a good puzzle? Empty helps the Zen among us unwind, as we rid a space of unnecessary objects by attempting to merge them into a set of matching flat planes. Each object is silhouette-like and must be dispensed with in the correct order to reach the next level. You can’t do better if you love to mentally chill and visually unclutter.
And, lastly, what about an arcade game for those who love a barney between medieval knights. Knight Brawl sees cute little men with swords and shields doing what would have been “serious damage” to each other, but instead they bounce off the walls and seem to emerge unscathed from every weaponry onslaught. Our friends at Techradar.com describe it as a bout of “realistic physics having long ago left the building” – together with Elvis, methinks. Better fun, apparently, cannot be had with a mobile device.
Rounding off, there aren’t many ways to enjoy yourself these days that are good for everyone 18 and over with a mobile device, and cost – not – one – cent. Go for it!