There are thousands of mobile games out there, but it’s difficult to find the real gems in a world of clones. In this article, we’re going to highlight the mobile games that offer truly interesting gameplay, whether it be through the unique and compelling storyline, art direction, or unique twists on existing concepts.

Crashlands

Crashlands is a primarily crafting game, with strong elements of action-RPG. But it isn’t your average crafting game that gets boring and stale, with tons of waiting for building improvements. Crashlands is incredibly streamlined, with elements of randomness that keep it exciting – all weapons you craft, for example, will have random properties, such as critical damage, stun chance, vampire chance, etc.

The game has a fun storyline with a lot of quests to follow, and overall its difficult to compare Crashlands to other games or say “if you enjoy (x game) you’ll enjoy Crashlands”, because it really is quite unique. So you’ll just have to try it for yourself!

Evoland

If you have a nostalgia for the history of RPGs, Evoland is pretty much the perfect game for you – it literally mashes up the gameplay style of a broad history of action-RPGs. It’s a difficult concept to explain, but the game literally “upgrades” itself as you follow the plot – so you begin the game in black and white, and opening treasure boxes will dramatically change the gameplay style.

One minute you’ll feel like you’re playing Legend of Zelda, and the next minute it’s more like Final Fantasy. Moreover, it reminds me this cute browser-based Fireboy and Watergirl game series. This constantly shifting gameplay style pays homage to a lot of classic RPGs over the years. The core gameplay, however, mainly revolves around puzzle-solving, though its more Zelda-esque puzzles (hitting switches, blowing up doors, etc.).

Trial Xtreme 4

Trial Xtreme 4 stands out for its amazing graphics, with gorgeously rendered level backgrounds, bike parts, and lots of cool outfits to unlock. The gameplay is really quite challenging, and you’ll spend a lot of time in the later levels trying to find the perfect approach to the various obstacles in your path, to get the best-timed runs possible.

Monument Valley

One of the more gorgeously rendered mobile games out there, Monument Valley focuses on delivering a compelling puzzle-based experience. Each level has a magical, artistic quality to it, with nice vivid colours that blend together nicely. Why are we focusing so much on the artwork of the game? Because it really stands out! Without the great artwork, Monument Valley would be just another puzzle game – but the artwork is what really makes it stand out.

So if you’re a fan of games with gorgeously rendered art, and relaxing puzzles, Monument Valley is worth the download.

PUBG

The first shooter on our list, PUBG really needs no introduction – unless you’ve been living under a rock. In case you have been living under a rock, PUBG is a “battle royale” shooter, meaning up to 100 players parachute into the same level, cause general mayhem and destruction, and try to survive until only one is left (kind of like Getaway Shootout, in FPS format). It’s the closest thing to Hunger Games meets Call of Duty you’ll ever play, so if that sounds exciting (why wouldn’t it?) PUBG definitely deserves your download.

Riptide GP

The Riptide GP series is an amazing series of hydro-jet racing games (anyone else feeling a bit of nostalgia for the Jet Moto series on the original PlayStation?), set in a futuristic landscape. Basically, you race futuristic jet skis at blur-inducing speeds, while pulling off tricks and stunts soaring over waterfalls and all manners of obstacles. The latest title in the series, Riptide GP: Renegade, has really amazing graphics on its mobile ports, and it should provide you with hours of fun.

Epic Skater 2

Epic Skater 2 is a skateboarding title in a long list of skateboard games for mobile, but its one of the better ones. You can pull off some really crazy trick combos, and gameplay is really easy, utilizing a swipe-for-tricks control scheme. The graphics are the kind of cartoon-shaded 3D you find in games like Subway Surfers, and its really just loaded with unlockables. Over 600 outfits, 40 career levels, 44 skateboard tricks, the list goes on.

Vandals

This is a game that puts a unique spin on turn-based isometric puzzle games, such as gameplay found in Hitman Go. You basically move between connected nodes on street-based levels, avoiding police while you spray paint buildings.

The gameplay can be a bit challenging as it incorporates elements of stealth and strategy – whistling to confuse the police, or creating a diversion by throwing objects. To be totally honest, it’s a bit like Jet Set Radio Future fell in love with Hitman Go (or the other similar Go games). One cool thing though is that you’ll learn a bit about street art history, with educative photographs and information on famous street artists.

InstLife

A really unique text-based life simulator, InstLife will spawn you as a citizen in a random country. You’ll then need to develop your skills and work your way to the top of your career – or escape the rat-race and be a platinum-selling musician. Or a homeless drug addict. Or…whatever you choose, really. It’s your life! The game is chock full of humour too, as violent confrontations can go quite… unexpectedly. Like that.

Oceanhorn

Oceanhorn received a lot of criticism for being a Legend of Zelda homage that (clone?) that fell short of its inspiration – but you can’t develop a game that captures the essence of Legend of Zelda without the Legend of Zelda developers, can you? So if we forego that misgiving, we can appreciate Oceanhorn for being a really gorgeous, incredibly rendered, Legend of Zelda inspired RPG. It has flaws – numerous. The voice acting needs work, and the mobile controls could’ve used a bit of polishing. But overall it’s an enjoyable experience, taken for what it is.

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