As a hardcore gamer, I’m always looking for time during the day to get online for a quick match. With Covid and colder weather keeping everyone in doors, mobile gaming is a surprisingly nice solution to finding better ways to connect with friends and spend some downtime. I present to you, in no particular order, my top recommendations for free-to-play mobile games this year.
Inspired by heroes and their tales in World of Warcraft, Blizzard brought its beautiful card game Heathstone onto mobile devices almost 6 years ago, but with constant updates and new ways to play, the game holds up so well now more than ever. Hearthstone allows you to play as deeply unique character classes and build powerful decks to play against friends or versus online players. Game modes like its newly added Duels game mode allow players to break out of the normal rules of the game and play with powerful treasures in game formats that defy your standard card game experience. It is also cross compatible with PC, so you can play with your friends no matter at home or on the go!
This space-themed multiplayer game brings you onto a ship where there’s a hidden killer. It’s up to you and your fellow crewmates to build trust and complete tasks or fall to a hidden Imposter. You occasionally get to play as the Imposter, allowing you to hunt down crewmates, sabotage their repair efforts, and deceive those who remain in order to win. Among Us has public lobbies, but I find it most fun with at least 4 other friends using voice chat. You won’t forget the feeling of how proud you were when you trick your friends and get your first Imposter victory.
You can finally be the quarterback of your own team in this retro style football game. Retro Bowl offers you endless ways to strategize and customize your team and perform your best. Player ratings, team moral, and events like press interviews help you feel connected to the team you build and keep things fresh.
Clash of Clans
If you know anything about mobile gaming, you’ve surely heard of Supercell’s Clash of Clans. This war-based fantasy game perfectly combines strategy and teamwork, where you’re encouraged to join a clan and train your troops in order to defeat enemy clans, while farming for gold and elixir to fortify your own base against enemy attacks. I know what you’re thinking—Clash of Clans has been around since 2012, why is this on here? Ever since its release, Supercell has constantly updated the game and even in 2021, there are new troops, defenses, and spells to obtain. You can fight enemies in online matchmaking, participate in large-scale Clan Wars, or discover an all-new way to play in the Builder Base.
Inspired by the world of Supercell’s Clash of Clans, this mobile game cleverly combines card game and tower defense elements into one experience. Go it alone or join a partner in the arena to dual players around the world by constructing your battle deck in order to strategically take their trophies.
Fortnite & PUBG Mobile
The popularity of these games speaks for themselves. Loot and shoot your way to #1 in these top Battle Royale games. Fortnite and PUBG Mobile are easily the best Battle Royale games if you find yourself limited to mobile play.
This endless tower defense game lets you evolve your monsters and utilize an array of spells to take down each wave and infinitely scale more and more damage. You set up your defense and the game plays for you.
This augmented reality game proved itself upon release to be one of the greatest mobile games of all time. With Covid encouraging people to stay indoors, it’s hard to give this game my full recommendation, but I feel it’s worthy to include in my list and it’s a great motivator to go out for a walk while collecting new Pokemon. Just stay safe when fighting gyms!
Old School Runescape & Runescape Mobile
That’s right… Runescape is back and stronger than ever with new mobile versions that include PC crossplay. Whether it’s killing goblins that invaded East Lumbridge or harpooning sharks at the shores of Catherby, this fantasy MMORPG allows you to explore its vast world on the go (AKA to the bathroom without logging out).