The mobile platform has some great games, there's no denying that. Some of these best games are games inspired by the classic era of gaming, specifically the 8 and 16-bit era. Here is a roundup of games that try to capture the aesthetic or feel of the classics, whether inspired on their mechanics or the outright feel of the time.
1. Knights of Pen and Paper 2
Knights of Pen and Paper 2 is breaking the 4th wall wrapped in a 16-bit aesthetic. You play as a group of role players playing an RPG (role-playing game), got that? Seriously, you do exactly that. The adventure takes place on a table where a group of people, guided by the GM, game master (the guy holding the book), narrate what is taking place in the RPG they are playing. The game is incredibly well-written and is constantly breaking the fourth wall. The characters make references and poke fun at each other from the fact they are playing an RPG.
The game is currently being sold for $4.99, and it does have some In-App purchases, but it is worth it.
In Downwell, you are basically falling down a well with a pair of gunboots, destroying everything under your sole on your quest for diamonds. As with most mobile games, the premise is simple. The tricky part is that, as you shoot and kill monsters, you also shoot the floor, and that's good because you want to go down, but bad because the game gets harder the further down you go. If you go too willy-nilly, you can die pretty easy.
There's always a risk and a reward in this game, and that's what makes it so frantic and fun. The graphics are not what you'd call impressive, but they are gorgeous in their own 8-bit way.
It currently goes for $2.99, and it is addictive as heck.
Gunbrick is a new take on level traversing. The gist of it is rather simple, but it is hard to explain. You are in a gunbrick (a square brick with a gun and a shield attached to it), and the idea is to traverse the levels with special attention to what side of your brick is landing where. This way, if there is, for example a fire, you will need to traverse it with the shield side of your gunbrick, so you need to position yourself in a way that, when you pass on top the fire, the shield lands on it and you can go on unscathed.
It is a lot more intuitive in practice. I will say it is pretty clever and fun, and you can get it for only $2.99 in the App Store.
4. Battle Golf
Battle Golf is your average golf game with a small twist. You are not following a course or choosing golf sticks, you are just basically standing in one spot while little islands appear in the middle of the screen with a hole. Your goal is to make a hole in one to make the island go away and let the next one appear. Sometimes an octopus or a whale may appear, but the idea is the same: make a hole in one. Controls are rather simple, you touch once to select the direction and the same for hit potency.
That's all fun, but the real fun comes with the 2 players versus mode. It's basically the same, but competitively. You can even hit your opponent with a ball to incapacitate them.
The only nuisance is that after every match you are presented with an ad, but you can fix that by purchasing the app for $1.99.
5. Neon Drive - '80s style arcade game
This game brings nothing new to the table in that you will find similar gameplay in many other mobile games. It doesn't even imitate the 8 or 16-bit aesthetic of many of the games in this list. But what it does is capture the 80s feel with great shiny neon graphics and a retro-synthesized music, and it nails it perfectly. Everything from the music and the background being synchronized, to the fact that you can modify the plate of the car to carry your name, screams attention to detail and love for a time that was pretty influential and greatly missed, in some regards.
Right now, you can download it for $1.99.