Looking for something new and exciting to tap into on your smartphone or tablet? You’re in luck: March brought the most compelling slate of iOS and Android releases so far in 2019, and we’ve picked five of the top games from the pack.
The rhythmic roguelike action of Crypt of the NecroDancer: Amplified leads March’s list, while games such as Sprout: Idle Garden and Rest in Pieces offer other kinds of entertaining on-the-go experiences. Give these games a shot and loop back on February’s picks for other recent options.
Crypt of the NecroDancer: Amplified
Crypt of the NecroDancer is an incredibly charming, one-of-a-kind hybrid of roguelike dungeon crawlers and rhythm games. Every movement and action must be done to the beat of the music — and that pace changes with each new area — giving the play experience a unique feel.
And it’s a great fit for touch devices, as the previous mobile release made clear, but Crypt of the NecroDancer: Amplified is something of an ultimate edition for the game. It features the prequel, which was paid DLC on other platforms, along with the entire (previously-released) core game in one new, standalone release. That’s kind of an odd approach, but it’s an extra-great deal for newcomers.
Available on iOS, $4.99
Sprout: Idle Garden
Every other game on this month’s list is heavy or intense, but Sprout: Idle Garden is thankfully not. It’s a respite — a low-key, play-at-your-own-pace gardening game that doesn’t push or prod you. Heck, you can just let the game play itself if you please.
As the title suggests, Sprout: Idle Garden shares some commonalities with simple idle clicker games, as you can harvest grown flowers yourself or just let the little gardeners do it at their own, slower pace. But the real joy here is in gradually expanding your garden, building new kinds of layouts and arrangements while incorporating unlocked flower types. Frazzled after a hellish day? Take a breath, grab your iPhone, and tend your digital garden for a bit.
Available on iOS, free
Frag Pro Shooter
Frag Pro Shooter looks like a combination of Overwatch and Midway’s final arcade game, The Grid. It’s a shooter with various character types and classes, but it takes place on what appears to be an obstacle course of a TV show. That’s an interesting combo, and it’s not the end of developer Oh BiBi’s genre twists.
Frag is a team-based objective shooter, but you’re the only human player on your team. Your teammates are controlled by the AI and, when your hero is fragged, you can swap over and take control of anyone else on your squad. That squad is constructed with collected cards, with a very Clash Royale-esque progression system attached. It’s perhaps not as satisfying as a true team-based shooter with a full roster of real-life allies, but Frag definitely entertains.
Rest in Pieces
I can’t decide which part of Rest in Pieces is more disturbing: the fact that you’re swinging a human porcelain doll like a pendulum across an endless path of jagged rocks, or that there’s a haunting clown with glowing eyes (or other ominous creature) staring you down the entire time.
Rest in Pieces is essentially an endless runner, although it’s quite unlike most games in that genre. Beyond the eerie atmospherics, success here is all about momentum as the doll swings back and forth, and you try to nudge it more in one direction or the other to avoid shattering the glossy figure against the next hazard. It’ll smash to bits eventually, of course, but prolonging the inevitable is pretty amusing.
Monsters with Attitude
Monsters with Attitude isn’t the most enticing mae for what’s actually a very entertaining multiplayer game. Developer Keen Flare’s latest builds off of a simple competitive premise, challenging your monster to grow larger and larger by smashing everything in sight ... including rival players.
The meatiest monster at the end of each match prevails, but Monsters with Attitude adds a sense of progression. You’ll unlock new upgrades along the way, as well as additional monsters that have unique special abilities. The actual battles keep things simple throughout, with just a couple of minutes of rapid mashing, but there’s a satisfying flow to the chaos.