Graphic by: William Lannefeld
2020 is the year of stress and to help combat that we’ve collected a list of three free mobile games of different genres to help distract you from your problems.
1. The Battle of Polytopia (4.5 out of 5) – The App Store and Google Play
Polytopia is a unique simple turn-based strategy game where a player chooses a civilization to manage and expand. Each civilization comes with different initial strengths and starting environments that players use to grow their empire. You can play different sized maps in both single and multiplayer mode. Unlike some other strategy games, there is no grinding or farming for specific materials, and you have to get as far as you can before you run out of turns.
Instead, Polytopia gives you a basic amount of stars that you can spend on advancing your civilization’s technology and increase the stars you get for each turn. You can spend stars in the Tech Tree and get abilities like: hunting, mining, knights, mathematics, sailing, and more.
Beyond increasing your civilization’s technology, each warrior or explorer you create will be able to move each turn. Different character types have different abilities and can move a different amount of spaces. These characters play an important role as your civilization is not the only one on the map. As you explore you unlock more of the map and find different environments, resources, and people who can choose to dominate or befriend.
If you enjoy the challenge of building something within a certain amount of moves, strategizing where to place characters, and choosing what abilities to prioritize—then Polytopia might be the game for you.
2. Radiant One (4 out of 5) – The App Store
Radiant One is an interactive game in which your choices affect the story. There are currently four storybooks to choose from: The Awakening, The Secret, The Lost, and The Triangle.
The Awakening is an interactive story about a character whose boring life is suddenly enhanced when they discover lucid dreaming. But you and the character will find that not everything is as it seems and you may not be alone in your dream world.
The Secret is a puzzle-solving story in which a character suddenly finds themselves in a mysterious mansion. Your character’s anxiety takes a physical form that can help or harm you, so try to keep it under control. As you move through the mansion you’ll solve puzzles, evade monsters, and try to figure out what this place is and how you got there.
The Lost is an interactive story in which you follow two researchers as they become stranded in the ice caves of Greenland. As you maneuver the underground ice tunnels you’ll find that not everything is as it seems and that you may not be alone.
The Triangle is the newest story that follows a character as they travel on an airplane. Everything seems normal until suddenly the other passengers disappear. Help your character discover what happened and why.
For a free mobile app, the stories and visuals are creative and pleasing to look at. Of course, since it’s free, there are in-app purchases that help you unlock different chapters at a faster pace. Otherwise, you have to wait a certain amount of time before unlocking the next chapter.
Overall, if you enjoy creative storytelling, puzzles, and games where your choices matter—then Radiant One might be for you.
3. Dancing Line (3.5 out of 5) – The App Store
Dancing Line is a rhythm-based game where you guide a line through different artfully created environments by tapping on the screen. There are over 50 levels each with their own unique themes and soundtracks.
The challenge of Dancing Line comes from the fact that there are no free save points, so if you mess up 99.9% way through the game you’ll have to restart the whole thing. Of course, there are in-game purchases or adverts that can help you, but the real challenge comes from naturally running it.
The best way to play is to turn your wifi or data off. The biggest issue around Dancing Line comes from the constant advert pop-ups. You will need wifi or data to download each map but after that, you can play it without either. It’s easier to focus on the game if the game can’t load its advertisers.
If you enjoy beautiful environments, music, and rhythm-based games—then Dancing Line might be the game for you.
These three free games are easy ways to pass the time between zoom calls and homework. If any of these interest you and you want to find more like them, just search them in the app stores and look under the related apps section.