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3 Quick Tl;Dr Android Game Reviews / Recommendations (Episode 149)

Welcome back, my fellow Android gamers! After the warm "welcome back" last week, I'm thrilled to follow-up on schedule and on-time this week, hehe.

This week, I played a very unique indie puzzle game where we have to undo jigsaw-like puzzles, an early access version of the brand new Crash Bandicoot runner by King, and a fun fantasy-themed simulation idle game where we manage an RPG-like shop!

Disagree with my opinion? Let’s have a friendly discussion below.

New to these posts? Check out the first one from 149 weeks ago here.

The games are "ranked" somewhat subjectively from best to worst, so take the ranking for what it is.

Let's get to the games:

UnpuzzleR (free)

Genre: Puzzle / Casual / Indie / Jiggsaw – Offline Playable

Orientation: Landscape

Required Attention: Some

tl;dr review:

UnpuzzleR is a unique casual puzzle game where our objective is to undo a jigsaw-like puzzle one piece at a time. Each puzzle piece has an arrow indicating the direction it will attempt to move once clicked, and if nothing is blocking the piece, it flies away and is removed from the puzzle.

The difficulty is nicely balanced, and since we can skip levels, there’s no way to truly get stuck in any of the game’s 250 levels. There are also no annoying tutorials or introductions to the 15 different puzzle piece types. Instead, we get to simply learn as we play, which is rare for a mobile game.

The minimalistic art-style features a dark-mode for playing in dimly lit rooms, and with no time-limits or scores, the gameplay experience is stress-free and very casual, while still providing a challenging experience in later levels.

Monetization happens through forced ads between levels and incentivized ads for additional hints or to skip levels. These ads can be removed through a one-time $1.99 iAP on iOS and $4.99 iAP on Android that also unlocks all 250 levels and allows us to make unlimited mistakes per level.

UnpuzzleR is a must-play game that you’re almost guaranteed to love if you enjoy relaxing puzzle games.

Google Play: Here

Crash Bandicoot: On the Run! (free)

Genre: Runner / Level-based / Action – Offline Playable

Orientation: Portrait

Required Attention: Full

tl;dr review:

Crash Bandicoot: On the Run! is a level-based runner set in the Crash Bandicoot universe that, to my big surprise, is being developed and published by Candy Crush-dev King. The game is still in early access, with a full launch across Android and iOS planned for Spring 2021.

True to the original Crash Bandicoot game, the art-style is colorful and vibrant, with most scenery even drawing heavy inspiration from the original game. Also like in the original, we must blow up TNT boxes, collect apples, and spin to tackle enemies. Unlike most other runners, we even have checkpoints from which we restart when we die – a welcomed addition since the game is surprisingly challenging.

As we play, we collect resources used to craft potions that are required to play and progress in the campaign levels. If we run out of resources, we must play special resource levels to gather more, or participate in the asynchronous multiplayer runs. After completing enough levels and ultimately defeating the boss, we progress to the next campaign area and repeat the process.

I have to also give some credit to the level-design, which, with its secret areas and roads that split into two, create a more interesting gameplay experience than that found in most runners.

Crash Bandicoot: On the Run! is not currently monetized in any way, which makes it a great experience for those who can access it. It is ultimately just a runner, but it’s a very polished runner, and one that may give old-school Crash Bandicoot fans a true nostalgia trip.

Google Play: Here

Shop Titans (free)

Genre: Simulation / Idle / RPG-themed – Requires Online Access

Orientation: Portrait

Required Attention: Little (semi-idle)

tl;dr review:

Shop Titans is a fantasy RPG-themed idle simulation game about designing, personalizing, and managing a shop that crafts and sells all the weapons and equipment fantasy heroes need.

Adventurers flock to our shop asking for specific items, which we then craft and sell to earn gold used to upgrade our shop or invest in workers that automatically collect the resources needed to craft items. The rarer the item, the longer it takes to craft, which is where the idle part comes in. We can also equip crafted loot on our own heroes before sending them out on idle quests to gather unique resources used to craft more powerful equipment.

We can haggle and negotiate with customers, join a guild, customize the looks of our shop, and even buy and sell resources and items to and from other players on the marketplace – all of which ensures that there’s plenty to do despite the idle gameplay.

Progression is relatively slow if we don’t pay to progress faster, however, and there’s even a monthly $10 subscription in addition to the expensive iAPs for premium currency. This will ruin the otherwise fun gameplay experience for some players. With that said, the game can still be enjoyed as a casual idle experience and is worth checking out for fans of idle RPGs.

Google Play: Here

OUTDATED: Google Sheet of all games I've played so far (searchable and filter-able):

NEW: You can search and filter all games I’ve played in my app MiniReview:

TL;DR Video Summary (with gameplay) of last week's 4 games:


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