Lara Croft GO is a game with great visual language
So, you need to travel long distance?
Mobile data is patchy and the free WiFi refuses to connect. You’re addicted to Pokemon GO, but the thirsty fiend drains your phone battery in the blink of an eye.
To avoid clutter, all you have in your bag is a bottle of water (hydration is important!) and an Android device.
There are a wealth of games on the Google Play store that are great for long journeys where an Internet connection isn’t consistently available.
DESIblitz presents five Android games that are perfect for offline travel.
80 Days is a game that you will play through, then play through again. And again. And again. Every time finding new stories, new pathways in an entirely new experience each time.
This diesel-punk twist on Jules Verne’s classic novel, made by Inkle LTD and written by Meg Jayanth, is equal parts visual novel and strategy game.
While the aim of the game is to complete a circumnavigation of the globe in 80 days or less, the journey is very much the focus.
What 80 Days truly excels at is the player driven crafting of small-scale vignettes, small stories that pack a huge emotional punch.
With a staggering 750,000-odd word count, a player could sink dozens of hours into this app and still not find everything.
Tech-wise, this is an excellent app, which players can drop in and out of at a moments notice, making it ideal for journeys of variable length. At £3.99, it’s great value for money too.
If you like Tetris, Scrabble, and cartoon bears in equal measure, you’ll feel like it’s your birthday with Alphabear.
Probably the most bizarre entry on the list, Alphabear is a puzzle game that keeps you on a tight leash. Players must create words using letter tiles on the board, but also need to be mindful of various countdowns.
Each word creates a new bear. If two bears stand side by side, they combine to make a bigger bear. The bigger the bear, the bigger the prize!
Unlocking new levels and collecting bears that modify the gameplay are all part and parcel, offering a lot of variation. The game also gets quite challenging at times, requiring a deft hand and a keen mind.
You can play the game for free, but a one off micro-transaction will cancel the energy bar, allowing you to play indefinitely.
Lara Croft GO
Don the tight t-shirt and short shorts of gaming’s greatest icon. A small scale turn based strategy game based on the Tomb Raider license, Lara Croft GO is an excellent game for travel.
The game uses a small set of mechanical rules that get increasingly complex through the environments you explore. Lara Croft GO is surprisingly tense, despite there being no real pressure.
This is a game with great visual language. It has an intuitive control system, perfect for single finger tablet or smartphone use.
This game will surprise you at how good looking it is, combining a bold art style with fluid animations. A hidden item element will encourage fans to revisit earlier levels to find all the treasures too.
Lara Croft GO is great for picking up, playing a level of two, then putting away.
A chilled out puzzle game with an Escher-like twist, Monument Valley is a relatively straightforward experience.
Players guide their avatar around a non-euclidean world, where the environment changes significantly with the camera angle.
Perspective puzzling is the best way to describe Monument Valley. The player’s 2D perspective is translated into the character’s isometric world, which allows for some devilish and fun puzzles.
On top of an excellent core gameplay mechanic, the game has a gorgeous minimalist aesthetic, with a bold colour scheme.
A relatively short game, Monument Valley can be completed in a couple of hours, which is perfect for longer travel. The game also offers a sizeable expansion for those who want more.
The Room Trilogy
This is a bit of a cheat since it’s actually three games, but each entry is so good that its hard to choose. The Room is an atmospheric puzzle box game with strong undertones of horror.
This is a game that takes cues from the horror genre’s powerhouses, like Lovecraft or Clive Barker. The Room has players investigate a series of ornate contraptions that link together.
Combining the effects of these inventions unlocks more of an overarching mystery.
With each iteration the scope of the game gets bigger, with The Room 2 taking place across multiple locations, and The Room 3 expanding this even further.
These are gorgeously realised full 3D games, thanks to the Unity engine. The Room Trilogy offers a lot for travellers who like to absentmindedly fiddle with contraptions.
User be warned, The Room is quite resource-intensive, and can drain your battery quickly.
This list is just a small showcase of what extremely talented developers are doing with Android’s open platform.
In an era of heavy social media integration, offline games are a welcome change for travel. Especially the types of game that are easy to pick up, but that you can potentially sink hours into.
There are plenty of fun and addicting puzzle games available for free on Google’s Play Store. Spending a few pounds, however, will nab you something a little more special.