Save the Princess
As anyone who read choose-your-own-adventure books as a child will probably have guessed already, players can steer the narrative with the decisions they make throughout their quest, and this, of course, means there are multiple endings to discover.
Featuring music by Dark Fantasy Studio, Save the Princess doesn’t outstay its welcome, taking between one and two hours to complete, although players who want to experience all of its narrative paths and endings will get more mileage out of it.
Save the Princess is available to download for free on Google Play.
Genre: Casual, Platform
Gameplay-wide, Hopply is a mobile platformer that takes the ‘less-is-more’ approach, making it easy for anyone to hop into, but it doesn’t solely rely on its unique presentation to keep players hooked. Randomly-generated levels, daily challenges and the promise of new characters to unlock provides more than enough incentive to draw you back in.
We caught an early glimpse of Hopply during the Pocket Gamer Connects London event way back in 2016, but its arrival on the app stores has been worth the wait. This one is free to download and play from the App Store and Google Play, assuming you don’t mind the occasional, non-obtrusive ad.
A Monster’s Expedition
If this sounds depressing, spending no more than a few minutes with the game will quickly change your mind. This is a relaxing and introspective puzzler that attempts to frame the human race from an outside perspective. It’s not unlike wandering through a digital museum, one that’s full of creative conundrums and peppered with British humour.
The in-game world is made up of countless little islands. None of them are connected, so the eponymous monster must uproot trees to fashion rafts and bridges, or find other environment-based solutions to the problem of getting from A to B. This essentially makes it block-shifting puzzler of sorts, albeit a thoroughly original one.
A Monster’s Expedition is available to play on iOS with an Apple Arcade subscription.
Odie’s Dimension II
Like its predecessor, Odie’s Dimension II has players explore a strange world full of oddball geometry, dragging and rotating the environments along the way to clear a path for protagonists Laura and Lara. The influence of the aforementioned Monument Valley is plain to see, but the game evokes other classic puzzlers like Threes and Twenty 48 Solitaire, too.
There’s plenty of originality to be found in the game’s story which follows Laura and Lara as they attempt to escape from their isometric prison. The narrative plays out across five chapters, all of which will give your grey matter a good workout.
Odie’s Dimension II is currently available to download from Google Play for £0.99.
The slower pacing and tactical approach sets Hellrule apart from its auto-running counterparts, as does its handcrafted levels. This is a gauntlet run against hordes of hellish nasties, with players taking control of a dapper gent armed wielding a weaponised parasol. Sort of like the Penguin from Batman, with a bit of class and sophistication.
A rockin’ soundtrack from Spanish freak metal band El Reno Renardo will ring in your ears as you hack and slash your way through the game’s first chapter, which consists of four levels and a boss fight. Chapters two and three are due to land as future updates, and the whole shebang is free to download from Google Play with no ads, IAPs, or monetisation of any kind.