Procrastination is a terrible thing, but sometimes even a workaholic like me needs to drop everything, think about nothing and spend a few minutes playing some silly, even if imaginative, game. On mobile. Moments before falling asleep, on public transport and of course on the toilet.
I have had dozens of such games on my mobile phone, but in recent months I have settled on three, which I turn on at different times, sometimes just to collect daily rewards, other times to spend maybe 15 to 30 minutes with them.
All of them are free, satisfying, easy, and you get a very good feeling about the progression, which is completely self-explanatory to the point of being absurdly generous. I will be happy if you yourself write me in the comments tips for similar games and games that you use to pass the time on your mobile and with which you relax!
The first to come was Survivor.io, which – admittedly – I don’t play as much anymore, but I still go back to it every now and then and make some progress again. It is essentially a clone of the “old” good Vampire Survivors, which are also available for free on mobile, but I don’t play them on this platform at all. I uploaded enough of them on Steam Deck and then started to discover other games of this young genre.
Survivor.io gave me many hours of fun. It’s just as simple and instant, but more colorful and fast-paced, as each attempt ends at 15 minutes at the latest. You upgrade your character, change weapons and equipment, marvel at combos, try to max out each ability to unleash absolute graphical hell before you as hundreds of enemies rush at you, their bodies felling under your automated attacks.
At times like this, you don’t even have to play the game, you just stand in the middle of the screen and the confirmed kill counter jumps into the tens of thousands. It’s terribly addictive, the levels get harder and harder and of course you can’t avoid the grind, but the game is fun for a long time without having to spend a single crown.
In its essence, SSSnaker is a bit similar to the principle of Vampire Survivors, that is, the game itself is in charge of your attacks, while you only have to worry about the movement of the character. The character here is a snake, and you may have already guessed correctly that in this case the inspiration was drawn from the ancient Snake, which we steamed decades ago on the first mobile phones.
Unlike Vampire Survivors or Survivor.io, here you go through one level after another, while in each you face successively appearing enemies with different attacks and abilities. Bubbles fall from some of them, which, just like in the old version, give you a new body part, but here comes a great twist – each part is a cannon that automatically shoots at the nearest enemy.
The longer you are, the more firepower you have, and of course, every now and then you’ll get an upgrade that turns your basic cannon into a cannon that spews fire, electricity and other goodies, and you can upgrade that type of cannon up to three times across the board to ensure your eye here too delicious graphic mess.
And instead of dying by biting your own tail, you create a devastating loop that destroys anything caught in it. The only thing you have to protect from enemy attacks is your head, so most often you expose your body full of dozens of cannons to them.
SSSnaker is an absolutely brilliant affair, where the movement of the snake is much more important and fun than the character in Survivor.io, and if you stick with the game long enough, in addition to all sorts of improvements, you will unlock a mode a little more like Survivor, or games like Snake.io, where you can already “bite” other snakes and get hurt.
Tomb Raider Reloaded
For the third of all good things, we have another auto-shooter (yes, the article willy-nilly implies that I now enjoy games in which I just run and the action kind of happens on its own). Tomb Raider Reloaded is based on my favorite series with Lara Croft, but that’s the last thing you should care about the game because it has nothing to do with the brand except for the famous heroine.
Of course, I was attracted by the theme (as was the case with Mighty Doom, but it didn’t grab me as much, for good reason). I was worried about the low rating in Google Play, but in the end I was hooked and I don’t mind that Lara doesn’t have a good name. In short, I enjoy the gameplay, which is basically the same as SSSnaker, i.e. again one small arena after another full of enemies, again lots and lots of upgrading characters and equipment through the grind, many events, daily challenges and so on.
But even here, I found something in the wrung-out formula that made the game interesting enough and hooked me – Lara only shoots when she is standing. Enemies and traps are constantly at your throat, and you have to look for places where you can stop for a moment to shoot a few monsters before they get married on your exposed thighs…
It probably sounds like a pain in the ass, but to me it’s just so exciting and you have to pay more attention and control to the game than SSSnaker (and a lot more than Survivor.io), which is just desirable at times.
I’m a target!
None of these games are perfect, and by the standards of great video games, they are of course crap. All of the titles on my list are intended for a specific audience that is not looking for paid games without microtransactions and ads on mobile. But I can simply procrastinate and relax with them.
I could play games like XCOM, different strategies, racing and stuff like that. But I don’t really want to play on my mobile. I’ve had a computer and consoles since. On my mobile, I just want to turn on some stupid game once or twice a day for a few minutes (I used to fall for idle games, for example), which is satisfying because it is simple, accessible and immediate, and yet there is an awful lot going on in it and it keeps they shower you with rewards. Who understands me?