The Weekender: Pocket Edition

By Nick Vigdahl 03 Aug 2018 1

Welcome to the Weekender, your weekly look at the best new games, sales, and updates. This week's bounty is the best SimCity-like game on mobile, two very good puzzlers, and updates to some of the better games out there. Not to be outdone, our sales section features Handelabra's entire catalog (on iOS) and a few of the best games from the last couple years.

Out Now

Pocket City (iOS Universal and Android [Free]) - full review coming soon!

City builders on mobile tend to be bad. Shallow simulations bogged down by awful monetization schemes have been the norm. Pocket City, the newly released and much anticipated builder, is not one of those. The game is attractive, entertaining, and fully premium. Gameplay is a lot like SimCity. You build a city from scratch and must balance residential, commercial, and industrial zones to prompt continued growth. As the city grows, so do the wants and needs of its residents from police and a fire department, to schools and hospitals, to parks and other entertainment amenities.

Pocket City couples its tutorial with a series of quests that lead you through the normal arc of city development. Quests provide a bonus upon completion and can be ignored if you want to focus on something else. The game also has some nice menu options including cloud saves, the ability to download 'public' cities to play, both screen mode options, five different screen resolution modes, and a slew of battery saver options. It isn't a perfect game, I wish it pushed back a little more as it feels a little bit easy, but Pocket City is the closest you can get to SimCity on a mobile device and is well worth playing for fans of the genre.

The Sequence [2] (iOS Universal)

The Sequence [2] is a new puzzle game and the sequel to 2015's The Sequence. The game is all about building an assembly line to move units from an origin hex to a destination hex. It reminds me a lot of Zachtronics' PC games, Opus Magnum in particular, and after a slow-starting tutorial becomes very engaging and increasingly challenging with new mechanics and bigger game boards. It's not on Android yet, but the original game is, so perhaps it's coming soon.

One More Button (iOS Universal and Android) - full review coming soon!

I've got not one but two entertaining new puzzle games to mention. One More Button takes a clever and unique take on the genre by making the movement buttons part of the game itself. You must move them out of your way, place them in specific spots to remove an obstacle, and really plan out your order of operations. Really, my only complaint is a lack of undo button as I've had to restart a complicated set of moves more than a couple times due to an accidental button push. This quibble aside, it really is a good puzzle game.

Dresden Files Co-op Card Game—Expansion 4 (iOS Universal and Android)

Jim Butcher's Dresden Files exists in an alternate world where vampires, werewolves, spirits, and the Fae are all real. The books are packed full of the adventures of Harry Dresden taking on the forces of evil, and dangerously neutral, with the help of a large cast of friends, associates, and frenemies. There's also a tabletop card and dice game brought to digital life by Hidden Achievement. Dresden Files Co-op Card Game has gotten a steady stream of updates since release and now, expansion 4 "Dead on Your Feet?" is out and adds Jared Kincaid and Mortimer Lindquist decks and book decks for both Changes and Ghost Story. It's available via in-app purchase for $3.99.

One Deck Dungeon: Forest of Shadows Expansion (iPad and Android)

One Deck Dungeon is among my favorite games of 2018 and you can find out why in my five-star review. Handelabra Games did an excellent job of transitioning the game to digital and continues to do a great job pouring new content into it. The Forest of Shadows expansion is a great example. It adds 5 new heroes, 5 dungeons, and 44 encounter cards to the game. The dungeons range from the relatively easy Mudlands, featuring a Mud Golem boss, to the Smoldering Lands, home of a Fire Giant.  The new heroes are Alchemist, Druid, Hunter, Slayer, and Warden and really up the opportunity to optimize your team. The Forest of Shadows expansion is available via in-app purchase for $9.99. The base game is on sale for $7.99 as well.

Star Realms United Assault Expansion (iOS Universal and Android)

The latest and greatest Star Realms expansion is out and available for your gaming pleasure. The third of four expansions in the "United" series will set you back $1.99 and get you twelve new cards. You can check out a lot more about it in our recent news post earlier in the week.

Sales

Handelabra Games Sales (iOS Universal and Android)

Handelabra Games are three for three in bringing great tabletop games to digital life. All three of said games are currently on sale in the App Store (only one is on sale on Android as of this writing).

  • Sentinels of the Multiverse - $4.99 on iOS
  • Bottom of the 9th - $2.99 on iOS and Android
  • One Deck Dungeon - $7.99 on iOS

The Game: Play as Long as You Can (iOS Universal and Android): $.99 on iOS (Review)

Tabletop card game The Game's digital version is a one-player affair and is a lot of fun. It's just a buck on iOS (and normally $1.99 on Android) and worth picking up for fans of solo card games.

Motorsport Manager Mobile 2 (iOS Universal  and Android) $1.99 (Review)

Get your race on with one of the better racing sims on mobile. Motorsport Manager Mobile 2 puts you in control of every aspect of a racing team. You recruit, hire, and train drivers, mechanics, and engineers. You improve your headquarters and supplier networks. You build and upgrade your cars and, last but not least, you manage how your drivers run each race from what tires to use, to how aggressively they drive, to when to fit in the pit stops. I don't know much about racing, but I do know that there aren't many better sports simulation games on mobile.  

Age of Rivals (iOS Universal and Android): $1.99 (Review)

Fantastic card-drafting, civilization-building game Age of Rivals is another of the best of 2017 and on sale for half off.

To the Moon (iOS and Android): $1.99 on iOS (Review)

A heartwarming role-playing game is a bit of a rarity, but that's what you get in To the Moon. It's the tale of two doctors who travel through an old man's memories to make his deathbed wish come true. It's an emotional story, with great music and atmosphere to match, along with deep and powerful characters. It's not perfect, the controls leave a little to be desired, but it will leave an impression on you.

D&D Lords of Waterdeep (iOS Universal  and Android): $3.99 (Review)

Dungeons & Dragons based board game D&D Lords of Waterdeep is available for a solid discount on both the App and Google Play stores. You play as a masked Lord of the city and must out wrangle your opponents to recruit adventurers to complete quests and thus increase your political power.

Steamworld Heist (iOS Universal): $4.99 (Review)

Speaking of best games, Steamworld Heist was near the top of a crowded field of great games in 2016 and earned four well-deserved stars from JP. It's also half off right now.

Seen anything else you liked? Played any of the above? Let us know in the comments!

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