This April may have been one of the best months of my life. Lots of fun personal stuff going on made for a very entertaining 30 days. Adding to the entertainment was the inclusion of five new mobile games that kept me smiling throughout the weeks. Unfortunately, my computer shat the bed and I had to delay this month’s App Recap. But hey! We’re back and better than ever, so how about I show you what’s been keeping my mind occupied lately?
Let me make this abundantly clear: I do not like football. I don’t understand it, I don’t like watching it, I have barely even attempted to play Madden before. Football is not my cup of tea, and even that’s an understatement. So imagine my surprise when I found myself really enjoying Ball Mayhem, in which you play as a little white blob storming through opponents’ defenses to score a touchdown on the other end of the field. To be fair, this game isn’t meant to be a die-hard football simulator. The rules don’t apply, there are no plays or referees, and the scoring has nothing to do with actual football. Ball Mayhem isn’t what I’d call a time-waster, though. There is some strategy involved, as controlling your little blob is much harder than you’d think. Along with your few AI companions, you must take possession of the ball and run it to the end zone while enemies try to tackle you. Anyone without the ball – including you – can run faster than the player in possession of it, so it’s up to the opposing team’s unarmed teammates to knock away the players trying to tackle said player. The action can get chaotic, and with each match (there are five attempts, or matches, in each round) the difficulty gets harder. Winning matches levels up your character, which can unlock new skins for players and even the ball. I’m currently playing with an eggplant football and I must say, it makes the game more visually entertaining. Ball Mayhem is not your average football game, and it’s much more than just another “Hey! Download this game!” in-app advertisement (which is how I initially found it). It’s definitely worth a download if you’re looking for something fast-paced and unique.
This game has stolen my heart, and I honestly don’t know how to explain it. I find myself returning to Tricky Taps on an almost daily basis. Something so simple has grabbed hold of me so quickly, and it’s just thoroughly captivating. The game tasks you with getting a marble from the entrance to the exit by navigating a Rube Goldberg-esque maze of, well, tricky traps. Instead of controlling the marble, however, you control the parts of the level that are colored differently than the rest (for example, the green elevators and bridges on an otherwise pink level). All moving platforms are controlled with a simple tap or holding your finger down on the screen. These seemingly easy gestures help the marble move along the track; lifting the marble to higher ground, launching the marble across dangerous gaps, opening doors with precise timing to drop the marble through a narrow passage. Tricky Taps is all about being able to react quickly under pressure. The marble has a mind of its own, and timing is key when it comes to shifting the world around its natural path. There are countless levels to endure in Tricky Taps, with each course utilizing similar traps, but changing things up in such a way that it never feels stale. Furthermore, there’s an endless mode that gets increasingly harder over time and could keep you distracted for hours. Tricky Taps is a mobile game that should be experienced personally to fully understand just how addicting it is. I hope you have just as much fun with it as I do.
Reminiscent of early flash games like Ricochet, Mr Bullet probably won’t feel “new” to casual gamers. The gameplay is simple: line your bullet trajectory in just the right way so that when you let go, Mr Bullet’s gun will successfully hit every target onscreen in one shot. The bullet bounces around the screen for a small amount of time, allowing everyone to get cleaned up by the perfect shot. As levels progress, the environment changes and new enemy types are introduced, like zombies and aliens. While it may seem repetitive over time, what makes Mr Bullet different from the rest is its refreshing variety of game modes. “Grenades” feels akin to the flash game Fragger, in which you must aim a grenade toss with the right amount of power to hit your target. “Hostages” requires you to kill your target without harming their dangerously close hostages, while “Friendly Fire” requires you to kill the target without killing yourself, as they stand near obstacles that could easily ricochet bullets back into your own tender flesh. While Mr Bullet may not bring much to the table in terms of originality, its sheer amount of content makes it one to look out for. I’ve had the game for a month and there have been at least 3 weekly updates that added more content alongside any bug fixes. If you’re a frequent bus, train, or plane traveler, Mr Bullet may be the right game for you, as it’ll surely keep you engaged for long amounts of time.
These next two apps are a bit out of the ordinary, as they will both be linked to restroom usage. Miss me with that “bathroom talk offends me” nonsense, though, because while it may be gross, we all do it, and I refuse to believe you’ve never played a mobile game on the toilet. All I’m saying is, if you’re going to play a game atop the porcelain throne, it might as well be Balls Rotate. I have never found a more soothing, relaxing game to play while…occupied in the restroom. Something about navigating a whole mess of balls through a winding maze by just rotating the screen, and then the satisfying vibration of the phone as the balls fall into the next maze – it’s very zen. I knew writing about this would sound creepy. It’s just genuinely hard to describe the sensation of playing a relaxing game like this. There’s not much else to Balls Rotate. The levels are endless, and the courses tend to repeat themselves, but it just oozes this charm that keeps me coming back every so often. This game became a back-burner app throughout the month, as I wouldn’t play it regularly, but it was always there tempting me. It’s even helped me fall asleep at times. I can see this becoming a staple on my phone, as it really helps calm me down and get me into a good head space. Check it out if you need a little peace in your life. Or if you’re pooping. Whatever floats your goat.
After some intense deliberation regarding which game to make my #5 this week, I decided to mention an old friend instead. RunPee does not get the recognition it deserves in the world, and if you’re a regular theatergoer, then you’re really missing out if this isn’t on your phone. My mom heard about this app a few years back in a magazine, and ever since I have used it alongside every movie I’ve gone to see. RunPee is a user-assisted database that gives you the best times to go to the bathroom during a movie. You see, movies can’t be paused in theaters, so what’s better than having an app that says “This is where there’s a lull in the action. Go pee now!” RunPee even tells you what’s happening while you’re gone, through a fairly detailed plot synopsis of the scene. Personally, I don’t leave movies often to pee, but I keep the app around for my favorite feature: “anything during or after the credits?” This has helped me so much, and I’ve never ended up staying 10 minutes later to see nothing or missing something important at the end of, say, a Marvel movie. RunPee let me know that Endgame‘s stinger isn’t worth sticking around for, and I saved a lot of time. See what I did there? Endgame…April apps…full circle! This one is definitely a godsend and I highly recommend you download it. RunPee will become a permanent fixture in no time. The only downside is that it’s not entirely free, and checking a movie’s Peetimes costs a “Peecoin.” These can be earned for free by watching ads, or you can buy 10 for a dollar. Just a dollar! I feel it’s worth it if you don’t go to the movies too often, or if you’ve got a small bladder, but ultimately that’s up to you. RunPee has saved me so many times, though, and I’m happy to share this gift with the world.
So that’s it for April apps! As always, I hope y’all have found some great new games and services to spice up the mundanity of daily life. I feel like this month’s offerings were really special. April was a good month, and May is shaping up to be pretty rad too, especially since an earlier App Recap mention, Golf Blitz, has officially been released! It’s completely free, and just as fun as the beta was a few months back. Congrats to Noodlecake on getting the game out in a timely fashion and for creating something so unique and entertaining. Here’s to awesome mobile games! I’ll see you guys next month.