Thursday, June 4, 2020

Top 10 Time-Wasting Mobile Games.

November 10, 2019 by  
Filed under Ent., Opinion, Tech/Internet, Weekly Columns

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( Mobile is a platform chockful of games. A few tend to be good, some fall in the middle, and most are…well, they’re bad. They honestly shouldn’t even get through and placed in the marketplace but there they are—similar to other bad games in the same genre. However, for the ones are truly good, they reach that rank of fun time waster. A game where you’ll play it for a while over a long period of time.

Sure, you’ll put it down eventually but you’ll revisit it and play it some more. It might be that the gameplay is unusually good for a mobile title, the story rocks, or it’s a genre that you’re just a sucker for. Here are ten truly fun time wasters to download. All games listed are for both iOS and Android.

Trailer Park Boys: Greasy Money

This is one of the simpler games you see on this list. If you’re a fan of Canadian mockumentary series Trailer Park Boys, this idle game might be for you. The game has a continuing story following the shenanigans of the boys (Julian, Trevor, and Bubbles) and their friends as they run illegal operations in Sunnyvale Trailer Park. You can assign these friends—who are usually unlocked each episode—to your businesses for increased money bonuses.

Every character gained can be leveled up by using liquor and unlocked for a certain amount. At the end of each episode, the boys are arrested—similar to the ending of each season of the show—and your businesses are restarted in the next episode. You’ll spend money gained to increase customers which generates more money and liquor can be spent to renovate businesses for increased income and speed of income.

That’s really it for the mechanics of the game. In execution, after the first episode you’ve pretty much got the hang of the game and it’s just about moving through the story, stocking liquor to level up characters, and meeting the three rotating goals each episode. There are also weekly special episodes which play the same way but feature different upgrade currency than liquor.

It’s a fun game if you want something barebones simple that you won’t have to invest time in. That’s just how idle games work: you do some set up and level the game and it continues playing, generating currency or whatever resource while you’re away. Trailer Park Boys: Greasy Money hits that on the head.

Learning Curve: 1/5

The Muscle Hustle

Now this is for the wrestling fans. The Muscle Hustle is the first mobile game where I saw marble-style gameplay. You control a stable of wrestlers who are indicated by their trading card and can use them for different matches either in the main solo mode or the competitive modes.

You won’t have to learn any complex action mechanics since all you do is hold down on your wrestler’s disc, drag back, and release to send them speeding into your opponents. That’s it for combat on your part, really. It’s similar to playing pool on your phone.

Matches are turn-based with the faster wrestlers going first in order. Each wrestler falls into a different type so releasing them with have different effects such as heavier wrestlers moving slower and not bouncing around the ring like others but still doing damage. Each wrestler has a special skill that can be used during matches and some matches throw power ups or weapons in the ring or have special stipulations.

Wrestlers can be upgraded as you gain their gear in different matches. These matches are set up by city with a number of matches under each before you go to the championship match. Gear and titles will give stat boosts while collecting all of a wrestler’s matching gear for their style or type will allow you to promote them to a stronger form once you max out their level.

The Muscle Hustle is one of two wrestling-themed games I keep on my phone and gets play every day. Check it out if you want something competitive but easy to pick up.

Learning Curve: 2/5

Game Dev Story

Oh, this game. This game right here. Game Dev Story is a true time sink. Developed by Kairosoft, it’s a fairly simple business sim where you run a video game development company. You’re given twenty years to make your studio a development powerhouse as you hire and fire workers, increase the size of your studio, put money towards promotion, purchase power ups, train workers through several job titles, and try to win several or all of the year end awards.

You’ll do all of this while trying to make money so you can make future games. Don’t worry, you can make additional cash on the side by doing outside projects. You’ll want to change up how often you develop a particular genre of game since fans can become burned out but in doing so, you can find the perfect combination of genre and topic and improve both further.

Game Dev Story is an extremely fun game that balances business sim strategy and difficulty with being simple for playing on mobile. It’s definitely worth playing. Also, to note, this is the only game on the list that requires a purchase.

Learning Curve: 2.5/5

Cyber Knights RPG

I’m a huge RPG fan and I love stuff set in a post-apocalyptic or cyberpunk setting. The Trese Brothers’ Cyber Knights RPG fits the bill on both accounts. Off the bat, you’re not going to be hit with a pop up letting you know about some promotion or that you can buy that for this amount. Never mind that nonsense, if you get the free version, it’s largely free throughout. A special character class or two is locked behind the elite version but you can play game in its entirety without them.

As for the gameplay, Cyber Knights RPG is a 2D, turn-based RPG where you move through this slummed out version of Boston which is taken over by several outfits and corporations. You’re a runner—a mercenary who does a variety of jobs. In doing missions for the different groups in Boston, you build up favor with them and they give more lucrative jobs. Ultimately, you have the choice of who you work for and what jobs you take.

The draw back to this is that you might fall out of favor with another group. Going through territory controlled by them will give you a hard time since you could be attacked. The jobs range from delivering something across the city, escorting someone through the city safety, kidnappings, assassinations, hacking, and so on. You can upgrade your character’s weapons and armor and depending on their job or class, some weapons might be locked out since you can’t use them.

You’re also able to improve their stats to make them more effective in battle or at tech skills. In addition to this, you can hire other mercenaries to work for you and after a while, they’ll join you for free or at a discount. You’re also able to improve your character with cybernetics taking them from human to cyborg over time if you choose.

For a 2D title, Cyber Knights RPG has a lot going on in it and its hours and days of fun. Check it out if you want a time waster with some meat to it.

Learning Curve: 4/5


Now, you probably want something more educational. Something that with tease your brain or help in expanding your vocabulary. Wordscapes is a simple but fun crossword game that increases in difficulty as you move from destination to destination. There aren’t any fancy graphics, sounds, or music here. It’s just a scrambled letter pool and a crossword title with a background.

The only frustrating thing you’ll run into is finding out the last word is something simple that you know but couldn’t see in the letter pool. It’s far from the most involved game on the list and you’re not going to learn any game mechanics or controls but I’ve sunk time into playing this. It works as a time waster, a brain teaser, and a chill game.

Learning Curve: 0/5

Choice of Games

This one is for the fiction literature fans out there. Choice of Games is a studio that makes interactive novels. It’s all text-based—like reading a book or this article—only you make decisions about your character’s background, relationships, abilities, orientation, and how they interactive with characters in the story. Your choices change how the story progresses and there are positive and negative outcomes depending on your choice and your abilities.

Interactive novels are Choose Your Own Adventure on steroids. While the developer/author wrote all of this and created the world, you choose basically chose your own ending. There are a number of stories in Choice of Games’ catalogue and most of them are running series with sequels and spin-offs. If there’s a setting or genre of fiction you like, chances are someone has a few books either on CoG or its sister/developmental brand Hosted Games.

The cool thing about Choice of Games is that while there are some that you have to buy, most give you the option to buy it or watch an ad and continue onward at the start. Another cool thing is that you’re likely to do the same book/game more than once to see what ending you get. Your progress is saved so if you move on to the next book or game in a series, you pick up with your abilities and relationships already and that changes how the novel starts.

I recommend the Choice of the Vampire duology and the Heroes Rise novels as great jump offs to get into their library of games.

Learning Curve: 0/5

Shin Megami Tensei: Liberation Dx2

If you need something with a little strategy to it, an easy to follow story, and that you’ll keep on your phone awhile, the RPG Shin Megami Tensei: Liberation Dx2 is a hot pick. There are elements of Pokemon’s monster catching and fighting here. Actually, the franchise is a forerunner to Pokemon by almost a decade. In Shin Megami Tensei: Liberation Dx2, you are part of a team who are able to summon demons to fight alongside them via their smartphone.

Your role is as a demon downloader—or Dx2—has you going about Tokyo via a static map with location sites to combat the threats of average people being target by the rival group The Acolytes. Gameplay is fairly simple at its core. You just go to the next chapter in the main story, engage in a turn-based battle, and collect your rewards and experience points.

Outside of this, the game is a little more complex. There are multiple ways to summon demons, you can work in tandem with other Dx2 in your group, the Liberators, battle other players, and so on. There’s a bit going on in the game mainly to keep it playable for some time.

There is a drawback to the game. As with most mobile games like this, you’ll run into that promotion pop-up when the game starts. Since it’s up to you to take advantage of it, it’s really not that big of a deal but it’s a bother to me.

Actually, you’ll likely never have to purchase anything to get a leg up in the game since most demons can be summoned by combining demons you have. Plus, there are regular promotions to increase the odds of getting rare demons.

Learning Curve: 3/5

Futurama Worlds

This was one mixes RPG combat with a degree of city building. You have to rebuild New New York after a catastrophe while going into outer space and battle enemies to level up the crew of Planet Express and get some resources you might need. It’s pretty straight-forward and walks you through what you need to do next to unlock a part of the city or how long you need to assign a character to a task.

You can unlock several versions of a character and depending on the task, a different one might be necessary. This does prevent them from participating in missions off world, though. Futurama is one my favorite shows, I actually prefer it to The Simpsons and this game actually matches the humor and pace of the show.

It’s also pretty easy to get into but give you just enough challenge that you won’t step away from it entirely. On top of that, the tasks you assign characters to give you a breather to do something else on your phone or in general. So, while you keep playing it, you won’t have to actively keep playing it—just check in and do some stuff and drop in later.

Learning Curve: 1/5

Chef Wars

If you took cooking and crossed it over with Pokemon, you would get Chef Wars. It’s a culinary themed RPG where you set out to avenge your father—a respected chef—who was betrayed by a villainous pig-guy-chef who is the most popular chef in the world. You will improve your skills while learning different regional recipes in a variety of styles such as Italian and Japanese while also competing in cook offs, making friends out of rivals, buying or earning ingredients, and more.

While doing all of this, you will also have to improve your friends’ skills and improve learned recipes—or forget them to make room for others. As part of improving skills, you’re able to make more room to remember recipes but it’s good to have a variety of courses and desserts learned since the judges in different cities have their own preferences and the showdowns—some story-oriented, most random—have their own themes.

Chef Wars rocks if you’re into cooking shows, don’t care for the cooking games available, and want something with an RPG twist.

Learning Curve: 3/5

80s Mania Wrestling Returns

This game stays on my phone. It has residency. My favorite games to play overall are wrestling booking sims. Basically, you run a wrestling company, handle hiring and firing, set up the matches, handle finances, touring, injuries, drug tests, attitudes backstage—all of that. The best example of this super subgenre is Adam Ryland’s Total Extreme Wrestling series for PC. I highly recommend it for wrestling fans and those who like business sims.

80s Mania Wrestling Returns is a soft booking sim. You’re not handling all the business and backstage stuff, just the show booking. You start by selecting a promoter. The second and third will cost you some (in-game) money but come with the bonus of additional money per show.

Then you’re given your roster of wrestlers with 80s stereotypes in the form of trading cards. These are the defaults and the shop—which updates every 12 hours—has some of the special hologram cards.

These hologram cards give you better stats which can result in better matches and easier pushes into different parts of your card (from opening act to upper midcard or midcard to main eventer, for instance). Each character has a particular style they’re best at and the key to good matches is pairing them with opponents of similar styles in specific matches. Hulk-styles vs. Hulk-styles in matches with a hulk-style wrestler specialty, for example.

You have the option of starting from 1980, 1985, or 1990 but the game ends at the final show of 1999. Each year is 52 shows long meaning you’re doing three shows and a big event each month. Cards can be improved by putting them in matches, interviews, and skits to improve their skill, charisma, and popularity respectively. These cards have a max which is why it’s important to get those hologram cards when they pop up.

That all sounds like a lot but really, it’s straight-forward since you’re not doing the nitty gritty of booking the matches. You will generate in-game cash after each successful show and get bonus cash depending on what place your show takes against two others. The best thing about 80s Mania Wrestling is that it’s free-to-play.

You can purchase coins that can be used for a wrestler’s push or exchanged for $100,000 in-game cash but you could generate that $100,000 through playing the game and you get a free coin at the end of the year. I’m constantly playing this game to get through the year, improve my cards, and get that coin. Also, to beat the shop reset and get the card I really want.

Improving cards and finishing out the year is what keeps you going and chances are that you’ll restart your game several times. This game is a peak time waster that you’ll keep playing for minutes or hours at a time.

Learning Curve: 1.5/5

Staff Writer; M. Swift

This talented writer is also a podcast host, and comic book fan who loves all things old school. One may also find him on Twitter at; metalswift.

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