The popularity of MOBA games is undeniable. What started as a custom map in Warcraft III has blossomed into a multi-million dollar industry complete with full-time professional teams, competitive seasons, and giant pools of prize money. I tried to get it on the ground floor playing games like DotA and League of Legends in their infancy but, frankly, I wasn’t that good. About a week ago, I decided to dip a toe back into the pool with Vainglory, the “MOBA perfected for touch” that released about two and a half years ago. I’m not so sure about it being “perfected”, but there are enough improvements and unique spins on the formula to make Vainglory fun, challenging, and enjoyable on the go.
Nintendo’s latest push has been into the world of mobile gaming. Players from all over have been searching their surroundings for Pokemon since the summer while a smaller, more ravenous fan base has spent the last two months trying to craft the perfect Fire Emblem units. The most well known character in gaming, Mario, had his first mobile game come out in December with Super Mario Run and the recent Android release has allowed me to play it. It’s a high quality game with the polish that an official Mario game deserves but not enough content to warrant its $10 price tag.
Tactical RPGs are my jam. There’s just something about playing chess with swords, fireballs, and monsters that really clicks for me. One of the better recent spins on the genre is The Banner Saga. If you want a more established franchise, look no further than Fire Emblem. I’ve only played a few entries in the series, namely the two excellent Game Boy Advance titles and Awakening on 3DS, but the grand stories and permadeath are always intriguing. Fire Emblem Heroes, a mobile title released a few weeks ago, does away with a few series staples and has an endgame problem, but it’s still a fun game well worth the $0 price of admission.
You’ve undoubtedly heard of the Plants vs Zombies franchise. It’s been around for quite a while and is fairly popular, yet I’ve never played a game in the series. Not until the recent release of Plants vs Zombies: Heroes, a mobile title combining parts of Hearthstone and Clash Royale with the series’s lane-based gameplay. After playing for a few days, I can definitively say that it’s fun and easy to play. If you like competitive games that you can play in five to ten minutes, PvZ: Heroes is going to be worth your time.
I normally write about new releases. Hitman Go isn’t exactly new as it released back in 2014, but a recent sale from $5 down to $1 was enough to entice me. It’s the first of Square Enix’s series of Go games, which now includes Lara Croft Go and Deus Ex Go. Based on how much fun Hitman Go is, I’ll probably be playing those games fairly soon.
I’ve been a Pokemon fan ever since Nintendo sent a copy of the pilot episode to my house because I had an NES, SNES, and GameBoy. I’ve played every generation from red/blue through X/Y and Omega Ruby/Alpha Sapphire as well as collected the cards, but there’s never been something that tried to actually make you a Pokemon trainer. There hasn’t been a way to put an actual Pokedex in your hand and send you out into the world, catching and training Pokemon and battling gyms for glory. I mean, how could something like that even exist?
Enter Pokemon Go, the latest Pokemon game that is absolutely sweeping the globe. Since it’s release last week, it’s been nearly impossible to avoid news of it and people playing it. The immediate smash-hit popularity of Pokemon Go has rarely been seen before. After playing it for the better portion of a week, it’s clear why almost anyone you talk to is trying to catch ’em all.