Kung Fury: Street Rage
If you’ve seen Kung Fury, you’ll know what to expect from Kung Fury: Street Rage. This loving tribute to the insane flamboyance of the ‘80s sees you roaming around a gloomy 2.5D city beating the living daylights out of hundreds of stupid goons.
It’s reminiscent of Double Dragon and that whole generation of arcade beat-em-ups, but cranked up to the max. Not only will you perform backflip kicks and point blank handgun executions, but you’ll play as a lady barbarian with a mini-gun, a killer robot with a TV for a face, and a dude with the head of a triceratops. Also, there are unicorns. And Thor. Get it here.
It was Temple Run that introduced the world to the joyous concept of 3D auto-running, but Minion Rush is arguably the best example of the genre. There’s just something about minions that dovetails perfectly with hurtling inexorably into terrible danger.
Gameloft’s highly polished film licence sees you running headlong into the screen in the shoes of a cheerful minion. You’re always half a second from death as you jump, duck, and swipe between three lanes to collect or dodge whatever comes at you. Packed with fun gameplay, adorable animations, and hilarious cut-scenes, Minion Rush is the Despicable Me spin-off of choice. Get it here.
Angry Birds Star Wars
Okay, so Angry Birds Star Wars isn’t the most faithful film licence in the world. In fact, let’s be honest: it’s just Angry Birds but with a Star Wars costume on.
However, we think it merits a place on this list because of the stellar job it does recreating the atmosphere of the classic movie series in the unlikely environment of a game about hurling birds at pigs.
Angry Birds Star Wars pays loving homage to the Star Wars universe, with artfully designed settings and sound effects lifted from the films, but it also includes a stonking dose of its own characteristic Angry Birds style and humour. The result is surprisingly great. Get it here.
Strangers Things: The Game had a slightly unpromising start in life, in that it was effectively created as part of the marketing effort for season two of Stranger Things. But don’t let that put you off, because the executive who farmed the job out to a developer made an excellent choice in veteran studio BonusXP.
The result is an ultra-stylish retro adventure game set in the 80s and made in the 8-bit style. You play as the cast as you explore an authentically blocky Hawkins, Indiana solving puzzles and collecting vintage items. It’s free, and it’s brilliant whether or not you like the TV show. Get it here.
Jurassic Park Builder
The vast majority of Jurassic Park games, or dinosaur games generally for that matter, are about running away from and/or killing the fearsome reptilian monsters that once ruled our planet. Jurassic Park Builder is different.
Focusing instead on the less immediately thrilling activity of park management, this addictive management sim from Ludia sees you collecting and cultivating more than a hundred dinosaur species from land and sea. At the same time you’ll have to keep your park in tip top shape and your guests entertained and, if possible, alive. Get it here.
South Park: Phone Destroyer
South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker like playing video games. This has proven to be a boon for gamers, as the various South Park spin-off games that have come out recently have avoided the fate of many big licence cash-ins by being really quite good.
South Park: Phone Destroyer is the latest example. It’s not a masterpiece, and gamers who are not fans of South Park will probably find more enjoyable alternatives elsewhere, but if you like a bit Cartman et al you could do far worse than Ubisoft’s humour-packed blend of PVP, RTS, CCG, RPG, and STD. Get it here.
Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens
There are children alive right now who don’t know that Lego used to be a toy that you could make things with. So successful has been the Lego videogame series that it outshines Lego itself.
And the games keep on coming, all containing the same humour, puzzles, and kid-friendly difficulty level. If you’ve played one, you’ve played them all, but Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens is still a solid entry on mobile, offering a streamlined version of the console game with a financially appealing free to play payment model.
Plus, if you want to swing a lightsaber on mobile, this is probably your best bet. Get it here.
Office Space: Idle Profits
The first thing to say is that Office Space: Idle Profits is not a good game. So why is it on this list? Two reasons. The first is that it’s an Office Space game, with charming artwork, plenty of humour, and scenes from the actual film. Office Space is just a fun IP.
The second is that it’s a cookie clicker. No cookie clicker is actually a good game, because every cookie clicker asks you to do the same thing: tap the screen as fast as possible. You could recreate 95% of the gameplay in a cookie clicker by simply tapping on your desk. But they sure are addictive. That, coupled with the Office Space IP, and the fact that it’s free, makes Office Space: Idle Profits well worth downloading as far as we’re concerned. Even though it’s objectively terrible. Get it here.
Kubo: A Samurai Quest
The vast majority of mobile games based on films are match-three puzzlers, because they are the easiest games to make (other than cookie clickers) and most film conversions are extremely cynical and lazy.
Kubo: A Samurai Quest is a Puzzle Quest-style match-three puzzler, but it gets away with this because a) it’s a really good Puzzle Quest-style match-three puzzler, with gorgeous origami figures battling it out at the top of the screen, and b) the frantic match-three puzzle gameplay somehow fits with the film’s themes of origami and martial arts. If you only download one match-three puzzle game based on a film, download this one. Get it here.
The Adventures of Tintin
Gameloft is mobile gaming’s own soulless corporate behemoth. It piggybacks on big IPs faster than you can say “compare the meerkat”, and when it can’t get its hands on the real thing it makes knock-offs like Modern Combat, NOVA, and Gangstar.
But you have to give Gameloft its due: it knows how to make a great game when it wants to. The Adventures of Tintin is an impressive spin-off of the 2011 Spielberg CGI-fest, with highly polished presentation, excellent and varied gameplay, and graphics that looks pretty nifty even now. Whether you’re a fan of Tintin, action games, puzzlers, platformers, or games generally you should give it a shot. Get it here.