Jump Dash Roll's Mobile Roundup #17 - July 2019

July 29, 2019

Summer hols doesn’t mean there’s no inevitable downtime to enjoy a spot of gaming away from home! Pick up your device of choice (preferably wrapped in a cold-pack) and let’s see what awaits!

Dr Mario World
(iOS, Android)

Not available on the NHS.

After surprising many with a long-awaiting debut on the mobile platform with the simplified but stylish Super Mario Run, Nintendo return with another historic Mario franchise. Playing in a similar fashion to the NES original, Dr Mario World sees our favourite plumber turn pill peddler in an effort to stop a wave of icky viruses blanketing the Mushroom Kingdom. Bugs of differing colours need to be matched with the same coloured pills in unbroken lines or columns of three or more to be cleared. Pills drift slowly to the top of the play area, but impatient practitioners can manually drag pills into place. Unfortunately pernicious in-app currency is present in the form of diamonds which can be used to buy items or hire other familiar characters as assistants, but you’re never hampered from enjoying the game by not opting to spend. Another solid entry in what will hopefully be a long string of Ninty games on the go.

Sky: Children Of The Light (iOS)

Islands in the sky.

Created by artistic developers par excellence thatgamecompany, this new adventure is suffused with the same wanderlust and beauty of their other efforts Journey and Flower. 

In a similar vein, your cloaked character must traverse a barren wasteland, searching for lost stars to return to long-forgotten constellations. The game looks absolutely exquisite, its expansive terrain drawing heavily on their own previous titles and also perhaps a little Zelda: Breath Of The Wild, a feat almost hard to believe possible for a mobile game. Keen to further explore the non-scripted player interaction which made Journey so memorable, you can interact with others playing at the same time with a range of emotes, which further unlock as the game progresses. Unfortunately, while the touch-screen controls are passable, it’s clear that the nature of the game and the involvement it requests would be much suited to a big screen and a controller. Definitely worth checking out, but stay tuned for news of a PC / console release. 

Traffix (iOS, Android, PC)

You don’t have to put on the red light.

In the early days of app gaming, air traffic’em-up Flight Control was the toast of the town with its simple but compelling task of guiding aircraft to their landing zones. Traffix can be considered a car-based spiritual sequel, right down to the minimalist design, pastel colour scheme and smooth jazz soundtrack. Controlling traffic lights at intersections, you must allow cars through when it’s safe and appropriate to do so. Being too cautious and so delaying their departure will make drivers mad, as will crashing their vehicle. Ten such errors and it’s back to traffic school with you.

Timing is everything; cars brought to a halt will need time to build up speed again, and levels get progressively more difficult with more lights to manage and trickier, twistier intersections. Add to this randomly generated police cars which will instantly fail the level if allowed to crash, and what started as a leisurely calm pursuit can quickly escalate to a logistical nightmare! Pros can unlock a special ‘chaos mode’ where every car is a police car and there is zero room for error. Top fun for those who enjoy a place for everything and everything in its right place.

Churchill Solitaire (iOS, Android)

Expect Boris Solitaire any day now.

Developed in association with former two-time US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, who apparently learned the game from a Belgian diplomat who reportedly was taught it by the man himself, Churchill Solitaire is a special variant of the classic solo card game that dear old Winston was known to have played. It uses two decks, ten rows and a special section of cards called the ‘Devil’s Six’ which can only be moved directly into the scoring area, not the main play area. Forgetting about these while engrossed in the main play area could cost you the game. 

Opening with footage and quotes from the wartime PM and a stirring military soundtrack throughout, the game goes all in on its officially sanctioned license. The campaign mode starts with you as a young cadet at Sandhurst and invites you to progress the narrative and eventually become Prime Minister (presumably by doing other things in addition to playing solitaire). In-app purchases allow access to a fully randomised deal mode and specially constructed campaign deals, and the game will happily offer hints, for a price. Dubbed the most diabolical solitaire variant ever devised, it will certainly test even seasoned players.

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Steve McCullough

Gaming has come such a long way since I first started playing, and I can't wait to see where it goes next! Especially interested in mobile and indie games, and also a huge board game fan. Will talk about all of the above for beer money.