Five of the best new mobile games

Apr 19, 2013

Every week a slew of blurb-worthy games debuts in iTunes App Store and Google Play. Often, the more innovative and independent publishers test the waters by releasing on iOS. Here’s a roundup of the five best games recently released.

Mr. Crab (iOS $0.99)

Let’s start with a game that is truly family friendly. In Mr. Crab, you control the titular hat-clad character as he ascends to the top of each rotational level, rewarded with a shower of confetti. Anchoring the game are strategically placed arrows, which make the gameplay far less dizzying than it could have been. Along the way, Mr. Crab is tasked with rescuing smaller crabs, collecting multi-colored pearls, and using clams or birds as springboards. While the settings vary, the gameplay mechanics stay consistent. Also, don’t let Mr. Crab’s cuteness factor deceive; this game is pretty difficult, but loads of clawtastic fun.

The Other Brothers (iOS $1.99)

The Other Brothers from 3D Attack Interactive is the closest a mobile game has come to replicating the Super Mario Bros. experience. Instead of plumbers, brothers Joe and Jim are auto mechanics roped into the typical rescue mission involving a distressed damsel. The game environment is grittier than Mario, featuring mobsters with uppercut attacks and machine guns, guard dogs, and arduous boss fights. Still, the game mechanics are practically the same as any episodic platformer, as you stomp baddies to increase your overall score and collect doves, which functions similarly to rings in SEGA’s Sonic the Hedgehog series. The game was developed to eventually support Android gaming, so keep your fingers crossed.

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Nimble Quest (iOS, Android Free)

Nimble Quest, developed by Nimblebit, is another throwback mobile game combining fantasy role-playing and the arcade classic Snake. Instead of a rectangular snake consuming squares and circles, you steer a “conga line of heroes,” all of which boast specialized abilities and attacks. The better you do slashing bad guys, the more heroes you unlock. Collecting blue and green gems enables you to purchase power-ups. There is an in-app purchasing system, but it isn’t necessary to enjoy the game. Nimble Quest’s gameplay can be a bit grinding yet remains pleasant. The game is set up with with service Everyplay, so you can share video replays of your most impressive Nimble Quest sessions via Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and email.

Injustice: Gods Among Us (iOS Free)

The major appeal in Warner Brothers’s fighting game is getting to pit famed DC Comics heroes and villains against each other. You start off with The Flash and less popular characters (Lex Luthor, Cyborg, Nightwing), and can select up to three for your fighting squad. Characters level up with the victories and eventually you unlock Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, and Green Lantern. The game uses fantastic touch and swipe controls for attacks and special moves, a combat control scheme first introduced in the popular Infinity Blade series. While it’s another game suffering from in-app purchase syndrome, you’ll marvel at the game’s brilliant graphics (even if it takes up 500 MB).

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Into the Dead (iOS, Android Free)

With Into the Dead, PikPok Games delivered one of the most visually memorable and intense first person running games available as a mobile app. You’re dropped into a field and must run away from packs of the undead. The developers smartly offer four different control schemes from the get-go to make players as comfortable as they can be as the dodge snarling corpses and inanimate obstacles. At first, you’re equipped only with your faceless character’s shallow breathing, but you can pick up weapons during your endless escape. As a freemium game, you can purchase coins right away and ‘fast unlock’ all the weapons. If you don’t feel like dropping your next paycheck on a mobile game, play through and complete missions to unlock items. The horror elements here aren’t for younger kids, as the last sounds you hear at a run’s end are screams and the zombie munching on your character.

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Stephen Danos

Stephen Danos is the Associate Editor for,, and Appolicious. He has contributed to articles published on TechCrunchThe Chicago Sun TimesThe Chicago Tribune, and elsewhere.

He received his BA in English from the University of Iowa and MFA in Creative Writing from Columbia College Chicago. He is the author of two poetry chapbooks, Playhouse State (H_NGM_N Books, 2012) and Gravitational (The New Megaphone, forthcoming).

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