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WAYWARD SOULS (iOS)
BY ROCKETCAT GAMES
While the Zenonia series has always been a mobile-RPG standby, they lacked a certain finesse. Wayward Souls, then, is a breath of fresh air, rejecting that clutter and infusing some much needed roguelike influences (the Souls name here seems far from unintentional). Deviously simple but permanently challenging, Wayward Souls delivers rapturous fun of the “one more round” variety.
Perfect for: Fans of Mage Gauntlet, budding warriors, those that wish to praise the sun while in transit
Playtime: Short for a single playthrough, but rich on replayability
AMONG RIPPLES (PC, MAC, ANDROID, LINUX)
BY EAT CREATE SLEEP
Sim games usually go macro; feudal empires, bustling metropolises, sprawling interstellar civilizations. Among Ripples takes the micro approach. With no HUD and no instructions save for a brief tutorial, you’re tasked with keeping a pond ecosystem alive. Spawn fish, otters, and clams; adjust the oxygen level; manage toxins. Let it wash over you and you might find it as absorbing as a game of Civ.
Perfect for: Aquatic biology majors, anglers, anyone putting off cleaning the fish tank
Playtime: As short or long as you like.
DAYLIGHT (PC, PS4)
BY ZOMBIE STUDIOS
You might think you’re attached to your phone now. But Daylight will make you cling onto that $500 piece of glorified aluminum like your life literally depends on it. Because in this survival horror game, it does. Your only weapons include clear-headed judgment and the eerie glow from your techno-screen. And as if that wasn’t enough, the procedurally generated layouts, buildings, and events ensure you can never get comfy.
Perfect for: Horror junkies, technocrats, people in C-level hospital positions
Playtime: Depends on willpower, or how long it takes to clear a few big levels