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    1. I've never really been into gaming on my phone, but in the last couple of weeks I've found it's particularly good for entertainment while getting the baby off to sleep. He tends to need holding...

      I've never really been into gaming on my phone, but in the last couple of weeks I've found it's particularly good for entertainment while getting the baby off to sleep. He tends to need holding for 5-20 minutes, during which time no interaction is needed and something to stave off the boredom is good.

      I've been playing Tiny Bubbles which is good because the levels are relatively short and discrete, it's challenging without being too hard (at 4am I don't want that much of a challenge), it's mostly not timing-based, I can play one-handed and drop it at a moment's notice without particularly being penalised.

      Any suggestions for other suitable games would be appreciated.

      12 votes
    2. Last month my dad had a stroke. Miraculously he didn't lose much functionality at all, though he does have some minor cognitive issues that we're working on in rehab - mainly memory. Accordingly,...

      Last month my dad had a stroke. Miraculously he didn't lose much functionality at all, though he does have some minor cognitive issues that we're working on in rehab - mainly memory. Accordingly, we want to find some games he can play on his tablet to help keep his mind active and focus his attention. But the mobile game market is hard for me to navigate and sort through for what I'm looking for.

      I need games that're about a dollar or less and don't have in-app purchases. Basically games you could give to your kid and trust that they're not gonna be psychologically manipulated into wanting to empty your bank card or something like that.

      Brain teasers and simple puzzles are ideal for sharpening his mind but any game that's good clean straightforward fun will work. I don't think he's going to be able to handle anything with a whole lot of moving parts like an RTS right now, for instance.

      I can't afford to spend much on this and I don't know what kinds of games will interest him most so I want to give him a lot of choices. I've already looked through a couple of the other mobile game rec threads on here and I'm checking out the games listed there, but I was hoping you all could help me think of some stuff more geared to my situation. Any pointers even just on where to go looking or what to google would be appreciated. Cheers!

      Edit:

      Thank you all for being so supportive! I've added a bunch of the games you recommended, and I also found a couple nice lists that I thought I'd add here for anyone else interested.

      Short List of Totally Free Games

      10 Completely Free Mobile Games

      Stay awesome tildes!

      20 votes
    3. I've played a few games on Android that are bizarre and wonderful, and nobody else seems to know them. Philipp Stollenmeyer makes nice, tactile, casual puzzle games with a clear and chunky...

      I've played a few games on Android that are bizarre and wonderful, and nobody else seems to know them. Philipp Stollenmeyer makes nice, tactile, casual puzzle games with a clear and chunky aesthetic and great sound. Verticow, Zip Zap, Burger, and Okay? are four I can recommend. His art is very Monty Pythonesque, and the games just feel cool to play.

      I also tell everyone I know about a game from 2014 called Always Sometimes Monsters. This game was telling an inclusive story before it was cool. It seems to have been made in RPG Maker, and is set in a modern city. There is no combat, just being a person, having conversations, running errands, and trying to accomplish your goals. The dialogue is realistic and sharp, and the story unfolds in a very satisfying (if a bit tropey) way.

      I made a friend online a couple weeks ago -- this guy posted his game called Amethlion to an android forum. It's an open world crafting RPG and he was selling it for a buck fifty. I jumped at the chance to play a cool little pixel art adventure and actually get to interact with the creator. It's buggy as all hell, but it is very cute and pretty fun. The creator is a very nice person and has been very grateful to hear my bug reports. Dynamic Zero is the name of his company, and he made the game solo with his brother making the music. It's a family affair and I think that is just so sweet.

      What mobile games are you all into these days, if any? And if the answer is none, how come?

      31 votes
    4. For those unaware, the Bloons TD series consists of tower defense games where you place monkeys along a track to pop balloons. It's called TD and not Tower Defense because a scumbag company...

      For those unaware, the Bloons TD series consists of tower defense games where you place monkeys along a track to pop balloons. It's called TD and not Tower Defense because a scumbag company decided to trademark the name of an entire genre, but that's beside the point.

      Since the series's debut as a flash game over a decade ago, the games have evolved to contain a wealth of strategic complexity. Aside from the towers having different attack rates and ranges, there are different types of damage (e.g. popping, fire, explosion) that make each tower unique. Additionally, the balloons occasionally have resistances to certain types of damage. This forces you to be creative with your tower placement, and opens each game up to an incredible depth and variation. This helps keep the game fresh and exciting, as you try out different strategies.

      ...Or at least, it would do that if it weren't for the arbitrary roadblocks the game puts in place. Presumably in order to ease new players into the mechanics, you're forced to unlock everything through gameplay. This doesn't just include new towers, tracks, and game modes -- you're forced to unlock every single upgrade for every single tower. You unlock these by using the towers to earn them XP.

      In theory this wouldn't be so bad. You could argue that it makes you learn the strengths and weaknesses of the towers before you can upgrade them. But why is that learning forced on me by the game? Why can't I learn at my own pace? I care so much because the game's pace is hellishly slow. You will certainly have to spend time grinding in order to unlock everything.

      If that sounds ridiculous, it's because it is. I should not have to grind in my mobile tower defense game. I've been playing for two days now, and I'm still incredibly far from being able to play without restrictions. I'm mentally preparing myself for the long haul on this, but I can easily see this alienating new players, or those who just want to experience all the game has to offer.

      It really is ridiculous when my own attempts to win the rounds are foiled because the game won't let me have the upgrade I need.

      The other major problem I have with the game are its in-app purchases. Ninja Kiwi, the developer, seems to adhere to the despicable model of charging $5 up-front and also charging for things in-game. The game tempts me every time I look at the menu of which upgrades I've unlocked. "Don't you want to use this tower now, instead of many hours from now? Why not pay $5 to unlock all of its upgrades instantly?"

      There are in-app purchases for different amounts of Monkey Money (which let you continue to play a failed game) that range from $2 to $55. Double Cash mode, which in previous games was unlocked through playing, now costs $19.

      There are good points to this game. The graphics are 3D, which is quite different than the older games, and they look good. They're not an outstanding visual pleasure, but they also aren't irritating or ugly. The word I'd use is serviceable. I preferred the cartoony graphics of Bloons TD 5, but I can see myself getting used to these.

      The music is also adequate. Different tracks may have different music, but the repetition may have you cringing as you grind, grind, grind away for hours at unlocking everything. At 20 tracks, there is certainly enough variety to help alleviate some of the drag, but you also have to remember that the more difficult tracks are likely impossible to beat if you still don't have access to every tower's upgrades.

      So there you have it. I give Bloons TD 6 three rubbery balloon-husks out of five while shedding a single disappointed tear, because all the fun is locked away behind hours of grinding.

      Or you could pay real money to skip all that and actually have fun. Ninja Kiwi, you've broken my heart.

      8 votes