Welcome to part 2 of my mini-series: Exploring the Mobile to Console/PC Game Strategy. This mini-series is based on my experience reviewing Zombie Rollerz: Pinball Heroes, a reimagining of a mobile App game brought to the Nintendo Switch. Feel free to catch up by reading that review and part 1 of this series.
Since my last column, I dove into 5 more games from my previously downloaded batch. I’ll be honest, it was difficult at times to devote enough time to this week’s batch of games, because I wanted to spend all my free time playing Cats & Soup and Piffle. Also, I think I’m starting to get ad fatigue. Some mobile games can be downright ridiculous with ads!
Going Balls (Super Sonic)
Going Balls is a straightforward game. You swipe across the screen to guide a silver pinball through an obstacle course. Immediately, I thought this game would be awesome to play with the Nintendo Switch motion controls. It was rather difficult at times to keep track of the track while my finger obscured part of the track. The Nintendo Switch motion controls could easily be used to steer the pinball.
Going Balls was the worst offender this week of death by ads. Combined with the fact that the courses seem very short, Going Balls received the least amount of play time of this batch. A Switch game could incorporate longer courses, as well as courses in different environments. I believe I had to pay for courses in a different environment on the mobile game. Going Balls would also be a great fit for multiplayer races using the joy cons.
Galaxy Attack: Alien Shooter (ABIGAMES)
I had to include an arcade style alien shooter game. I have fond memories of playing the arcade shooter game at the local bowling alley while my parents played in their league. Galaxy Attack: Alien Shooter has the perfect retro, arcade feel. You start out with three different ships and have to shoot your way through waves of alien spacecraft while dodging missiles and collecting upgrades.
Galaxy Attack: Alien Shooter suffers from a different problem I commonly see in mobile games. There is no explanation of the many different screens and options. It’s also a micro-purchase swamp. I would much rather pay $20 to get a game with a simple layout and get rid of all the pay to play options. It would also be nice to add some semblance of a story line, but this isn’t completely necessary. I would be fine with a very vague, this is our team, these are the bad guys type of narrative. I would keep the arcade feel, but I would definably provide more than one life. I like the standard 3 lives pool, and maybe you could refill a lost life after a boss battle. All in all, I would keep the arcade feel, as this is the main appeal of the game.
Rodeo Stampede (Featherweight)
The full title is Rodeo Stampede: Sky Zoo Safari. Talk about a mouthful. This is the game I was most excited for out of this batch of games. The ads made the game look like a lot of fun. Unfortunately, either the learning curve is very steep or I’m just terrible. The main premise is you are in a stampede and have to lasso animals running in front of you to switch rides. After a designated period of time the animal you are currently riding will try to buck you off. If you are unable to lasso another animal or if you hit any of the obstacles, you have to start over. Most of the animals are normal buffalo, elephants, and ostrich, but there are some crazy variants. So far I’ve collected a Candicorn Zebra named Miss Fang who looks like the mascot of the old zebra gum, a Glam Rockstritch named Quick Scott sporting a bright pink electric guitar, and a Earl of Phant named Quick Zula wearing a forest green onesie and a royal crown. The animals get much crazier than this. I saw a pb&j elephant during one run, but surprise surprise (not really) I died before I could capture it.
Just like Going Balls, I think Rodeo Stampede is made more difficult by the touch screen controls. You have to tap a specific area on the screen to lasso the next animal. More times than I care to admit I tapped my screen furiously in the wrong spot and landed on a termite mound instead of my target animal. Rodeo Stampede has a small zoo management side where you can level up animal habitats and make money based on the number of animals and exhibits available. A console version could benefit from leaning into this section of the game more, similar to the tycoon games.
Sky: Children of Light (thatgamecompany)
Sky is a beautiful mobile game that is not explained very well. Sky also gets bonus points for no ads! The scenery is absolutely stunning, and the characters are gorgeous. Game play is simple. You travel to different locations to find spirits and revive them. There was more explanation given to the game’s lore, but unfortunately, I don’t remember it. Keeping with the trend this week, Sky does have a mechanic that is difficult to manage on a touch screen. You can fly to different locations, sometimes staying in the air for prolonged periods of time. No matter how much I swipe up I can’t get my character to fly up. Sky allows you to control your character by swiping on one side of the screen and control the camera angle by swiping on the other side of the screen.
Sky was released on the Switch last summer. The Nintendo Store lists the game as a free download. From what I’ve read, the Switch game is exactly the same as the mobile game. Sky puts a heavy emphasis on social play. While playing, several other characters run around you. Players can befriend each other with candles, and there is some mechanic where players can guide new players to spirits. Based on the mobile game, I think this is the best strategy. From the beginning, the game play felt like it belonged on a console. I will definitely be checking out the Nintendo Switch version.
Mosaic Chronicles (Error 300)
Mosaic Chronicles is a puzzle story game. Before each puzzle is a couple sentences of a story. By solving the series of puzzles you unlock the full story. I think this is a great idea; however, by the time I unlocked the second part of the story I forgot what the first part had said. I did get faster after my first puzzle, but if you take a break during the series, it will be hard to remember where you are in the story. The first series has 13 puzzles. It is difficult for me to play for hours on end due to the pieces being so small on my phone. The mosaics are beautiful, but the pieces are crazy shapes, and some have to be rotated. You also have to toggle to see the reference picture. I’ve played other puzzle games that let you display the reference picture in the background at a high transparency. This would be a great feature, especially given the unique art style and strangely shaped pieces.
Unfortunately, we have two duds this week. Mosaic Chronicles was released on Steam last August; however, it looks like it’s currently available under early access. I prefer to enjoy puzzle games from the comport of my couch, so I would like to see a version on Switch. I know that PC gamers have really comfortable set ups, but after working all day at my computer the last thing I want to do is play a game at my desk. I don’t think manipulating the pieces would be too cumbersome using Switch controllers.
And with that the second batch of mobile games is done. Let me know if you you’ve tried out any of these games and what you thought of them. Make sure to come back in two weeks for my next batch of mobile games in part 3.
Stay cool, be you. Bye!