Hey, everyone! I hope you’re doing well on this beautiful Monday. I’m currently listening to raindrops lightly hitting my roof while I work. It’s overcast and cool, my favorite kind of Spring day.
Today I’m actually going to talk about mobile games! I’ve been wanting to write this for a while and really got motivated to do it this morning when I woke up and played mine. I don’t know about you, but I haven’t been really big on mobile games in the past. I got a little into Candy Crush when it first came out in like 2010, but never got super far and lost interest pretty quickly. Video games are my jam, so that’s what I’ve stuck with.
This past year, though, I’ve been finding and playing mobile games more than video games, and there are multiple reasons why. What really started it all was when I was suffering from a really bad phase of depression (you know, those gosh darn down times). I was in bed the majority of the time and didn’t want to do much more than watch YouTube videos. I would want to play games every now and then, and I would sit at my computer and try, but didn’t get much further than turning my computer on before I lost the desire and got back in bed again.
Now that I’m out of that bad phase, I still end up playing these games more than video games. I joke about being an old lady who plays her mobile games before bed, and I’m totally okay with that. Jenna Marbles, fellow 32-year-old-lady, would probably approve (more on her another time).
I believe it was a Facebook ad that got me to download the first mobile game I have on my phone, and I’ve played it for about a year now.
My Cafe is a game where you run your own coffee shop. Now, I’m not actually a coffee drinker so I cAn’T rElAtE but this coffee shop is full of drama, which was definitely what drew me in to it. It’s probably incredibly unprofessional to stick your nose all up in your customers’ business each and every day, but that’s what you do in this game while also serving them delicious treats and drinks. You solve mysteries, hook people up, and even catch criminals. Then you grow your cafe, which in turn gets you more customers and more drama. It’s a wacky whirlwind of fun.
I’m not super far in the game (I don’t know how many levels there are, but as you can see I’m only on level 23) but there are a ton of reasons why I’ve kept playing for this long. One, the music is especially relaxing. After a couple of weeks of playing, I would be excited to hear it whenever I would play. Two, the stories, while often silly, keep you interested and sometimes end in unexpected ways. And three, it’s not pay to play. I mean, when I was working I definitely had moments of weakness in which I bought diamonds to get stuff (never more than, like, $3), but there’s not a huge pressure to, and overall the game is very chill. You don’t have to annoyingly beg your friends for lives or ingredients and you can play at your own pace. The developers update it for holidays and random themes as well. Currently the theme is Alice in Wonderland.
My Cafe was really the only mobile game I played for a very long time. And then BitLife happened.
In BitLife, you live a life from infant-hood to death, with dozens of options and events inbetween. It’s way more than that, I actually don’t think I’ll even be able to fully explain, but I’m sure you’ve heard of it by now anyway. Before BitLife, there was InstLife, which was essentially the same thing. And before both of these was a globally educational game online called RealLives (which, upon researching, has recently relaunched itself).
BitLife gives you a detailed account of your life while allowing you to choose your own path. You can be bad, good, indifferent, or really anything you can imagine.
You’re able to choose your sexuality, education, career… Pretty much anything that happens in real life can happen in this game. It’s like The Sims. But not. I don’t even know how else to describe it.
The game gives you tons of situational decisions to make, but not everything is easy. Sometimes you’re predetermined to be stupid or unattractive or sick and life is harder for you. But you can go to the library, get plastic surgery, or eat a random toad given to you by a witch doctor and things may start looking up!
You can also pay about $3 and take ads off and get these fun perks and such, but if BitLife hadn’t shown me the ad for the next game, I never would’ve been delighted with the opportunity to play it.
This is where I really start to feel like an old lady because this is a match-3 game, the kind of game which old ladies are stereotypically addicted to. But it’s so much more than that, which is the only reason I play it.
In Homescapes, you meet this sweet summer child, Austin, who is a butler for some reason (it’s very cute, he likes to clean and organize!). His parents want to sell their old mansion because it’s horrifically run down, but it’s Austin’s childhood home and he doesn’t want to lose it! So with the power of matching games and a little butler magic, you slowly renovate this place and show his parents that it’s not all bad if they would just, like, TRY.
I’m not even ashamed of how far I am in this game because it is a gosh darn treasure.
The game offers plenty of boosters and bonuses to where you don’t get ridiculously stuck on hard levels for very long. You get to choose from 3 options of furniture when you’re redecorating, which is nice. Options are always nice. The music is also super relaxing, which is an added bonus if you’re using this game to bring yourself down from a hyped up day. It does ask you if you want to ask friends for lives, but playing in short bursts is really how mobile games are meant to be played anyway so waiting for lives without involving friends isn’t that big of a deal.
And of course there are other games like it, so you can switch back and forth anyway…
Gardenscapes is very much like Homescapes. You are once again with Austin, whose house has been renovated and is now looking to take care of the overgrown and broken down garden. The bonuses and boosters are similar and once again it’s a 3-match game. I can’t decide (and I haven’t bothered to look it up) if this game came out before the other or not. Story-wise it seems to have come after Homescapes (since the house is renovated), but some aspects of it seem less advanced. I’m not sure why.
It’s still fun, though. And again, you get to choose from different options to decorate, so your garden can look the way you want it to.
Both of these games like to give you rewards of infinite lives for a certain amount of time, which WILL keep you up until 4am… >_>
Game of Sultans
Okay, so this game is wildly different from the others, and at times I’m not even sure what it is that keeps me playing it. Originally, Game of Sultans was advertised to me on Facebook and what made me download it was the scenario that played out in the ad: You’re a sultan and you get a maid pregnant and omg drama, and then she has someone else’s baby and omg more drama. Immediate download.
I quickly learned that the ad had been misleading. That never happens in this game.
What DOES happen in this game is, like… a lot. I will try to break it down as best as I can without confusing the heck out of you.
You’re a sultan from the Ottoman empire and your ultimate goal is to grow your empire into a massive one. I guess. That’s the most basic way to explain. But there are tons of things to do along the way.
One thing you do is collect wives. Yes, you have a harem. And yes, they’re basically all big boobied ladies with different interests and personalities. You don’t get to choose them. You meet them around town and then marry them. Then you can “visit” them and they produce heirs.
I currently have 18 wives. I think you can have 19 or 20 without paying anything (there are wives as “VIP” perks). And, yeah, I guess I have some favorites.
I have 54 heirs, but 50 of them are grown and married – haha, what a bad picture of this one. There are only like… 10 or so different character designs for heirs so they don’t do anything with genetics. You train them as they get older, marry them off, and this strengthens your empire.
You also have a campaign to play through where you defeat other empires and slowly take over the world. And you have a number of viziers who aid you along the way – as you train them, your empire strength grows. You can also hunt, for some reason. And practice in an arena, make some sultan decisions, and a ton of things.
I think the variety and difference in this game versus the others I have makes me play it more. It’s a decent game at face value.
The Sims Mobile
Lastly, I feel obligated to talk about The Sims Mobile because, well, The Sims of course. I don’t know why but this game has not succeeded in capturing my attention like others. I haven’t played much at all (as you will see in the following screenshot).
I like some of it and I do intend to continue giving it a chance, but it’s not one of my routine games. I think I play it once a month or so, whereas the others I play daily.
If you had told me a few years ago that I would be sitting down to write a post about my favorite mobile games today, I would’ve laughed. But here we are! I am not ashamed. I think mobile games are useful for people with anxiety, who need distractions, who want to pass the time, and who enjoy games. Do you have favorite mobile games? Or further thoughts on these (any good things with The Sims in particular)? Let me know in a comment!
I hope you enjoy the rest of your day and the rest of your week! I have more I would love to talk to you about, so I should be posting again soon. Until then, take care!