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Best new mobile games on iOS and Android – July 2024 round-up

Best new mobile games on iOS and Android – July 2024 round-up
Netflix’s most nostalgic offering (Netflix)

GameCentral takes a look at this month’s fresh batch of smartphone games, including a Netflix version of Minesweeper and Outlanders 2.

From the joyous, lightly puzzle-infused mellowness of Roia to the Scrabble style 21 Letters, a re-tread of Minesweeper, and a far sterner test of your mental agility in A Fragile Mind, this month’s smartphone releases have plenty to exercise your mind, while allowing you to stay mobile.





A Fragile Mind

iOS & Android, £1.99 (Glitch Games)

Glitch Games are well known for producing smart, consistently challenging first person escape room style puzzles, which is exactly what A Fragile Mind is.

Tapping to move between rooms, open your inventory, and take screenshots that you can annotate with scribbled notes, everything is exactly where you need it to unpick its logic puzzles.

Complete with a comprehensive hint system for those moments when deduction and reasoning fail you, it may not have much in the way of animation but it’s every bit as good as the studio’s past outings.

Score: 8/10

21 Letters – it’s like Scrabble but not quite as good (Shallot Games)

21 Letters

iOS & Android, Free (Shallot Games)

Playing like Scrabble’s scrappy younger brother, this is a daily word-making exercise, which as its name suggests presents you with 21 tiles, asking you to score as highly as possible.

As you’d expect, there are double and triple word and letter scores on the grid, but other than that it’s up to you, your vocabulary, and each day’s random selection of letters. You can retry any time by watching an ad.

It’s fun and free, but without a leaderboard to compete against, or any kind of meta game, it’s not quite as compelling as it could be.

Score: 6/10





Roia

iOS, £2.99 (Emoak Studio)

Somewhere between a game and an interactive toy, Roia has you sculpting channels down a huge mountain to direct a waterfall as it cascades its way to sea level.

Using your finger to either build up or scoop out the landscape, you slowly guide the torrent down the hillside, with occasional subsidiary jobs, like herding sheep into their pen or helping a canoe race, accompanying the slowly changing scenery as you descend.

Unusual, peaceful and weirdly gripping, Roia is a meditative treat from start to finish, and will be available on July 16.

Score: 8/10





Looped

iOS, £2.99 (Studio Hamlin)

With its beautifully messy hand-drawn visuals and lo-fi story of love and rocket construction, Looped is a charming interactive fiction set in a wordless world of animals who work in offices.

While there are moments you could almost call mini-games, they tend to be less involved – although slightly longer – than WarioWare equivalents, so relatively slight on the scale of things.

That leaves the story, which takes well under an hour to see in its entirety and, while cute, lacks the emotional sucker punch we’d been hoping for.

Score: 6/10





Minesweeper

iOS & Android, included with Netflix subscription (Netflix)

Originally released in 1990 with Windows 3.1, Minesweeper – along with its productivity-destroying twin Solitaire – used to be the cornerstone of bored office workers’ daytimes before the worldwide web was invented. Sadly, Microsoft has slowly drowned it in advertising, rendering it all but unplayable these days.

The Netflix version injects more colourful graphics and a world tour, which shifts location every few levels, but far more importantly it’s an ad-free way to enjoy the ancient classic.

The feeling of gentle mental taxation persists, even if there are now plenty of games both more challenging and a great deal more involving. In small doses you can still sense some of the old magic though.

Score: 7/10





Outlanders 2

iOS, included with Apple Arcade subscription (Pomelo Games)

Gather resources, assign tasks to villagers, and gradually grow your agrarian farming community across a succession of levels designed to be compact individual challenges.

Starting with food and shelter, your supply chains rapidly gain complexity. Bread requires wheat from your farms, but also quarried stone to build a windmill that turns it into grain, and a bakery whose fires must be fuelled by scavenged firewood.

Slow-paced, involving and increasingly tricky as you unlock more buildings, the interlocking webs of necessary ingredients make it a fascinating playground of time and resource management.

Score: 8/10





Skul: The Hero Slayer

iOS & Android, £6.99 (Playdigious)

Skul’s been around since 2021 on various platforms but his skeletal brand of roguelite hack ‘n’ slash platforming is now available on your phone.

Attempting to beat runs means finding and upgrading skulls, which can favour power, speed or balance, and then using your minor advantage to swing away at beasts who, initially at least, feel horribly overpowered compared to your puny avatar.

The touch controls are nowhere near up to the job, and even with a controller it’s a massive grind, especially when runs are so highly dependent on luck, but this is easily the most cost effective way of enjoying a little hero slaying.

Score: 6/10

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For more stories like this,  check our Gaming page .



MORE : Best new mobile games on iOS and Android – June 2024 round-up





MORE : Best new mobile games on iOS and Android – May 2024 round-up





MORE : Best new mobile games on iOS and Android – April 2024 round-up


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