eightbitmatt
Society44 Design

Some relaxing & well designed games to play on your phone.

Games aren’t my strong suit. I enjoy simulators and will spend an hour or two every so often playing them but I’m not a massive call of duty or Fortnite fan. But I do love design and I’ve got a mobile phone.

This is where I play and as much as everyone hates mobile gamers, I absolutely love relaxing with a casual mobile game that is well designed. In this post I wanted to look at some of my favourite and why I love the design of them.

Alto’s Odyssey

I can’t snowboard and I never really plan on trying. I like my bones too much to risk breaking them, I’ll leave that up to someone else. But when I saw Alto’s Odyssey advertised on Google Play I couldn’t resist.

The concept is simple, you are on a snowboard type thing sliding through a landscape collecting coins. Occasionally dodging rocks and jumping across gorges as you go.

The dark design of Alto's Odyssey is a masterpiece of gaming and creativity.

I absolutely love how this is created, its kind of Wes Anderson in design. Shot straight on and it’s almost like the background moves around the character. I really love the visuals too, the backlit character creating a small shadow and the deep reds and bright yellows of the background shining through.

The screen from the game, above, is just one of the beautiful shots you can get from it. Which wouldn’t look out of place as a design on a wall, or on a major gaming platform. People might be surprised when I tell them this is on Android.

Two Dots

This game is a simpler version of Candy Crush and it’s a lot less annoying, the aim is to connect 2 or more dots and clear the objective of that level. How quickly you do that determines the amount of stars you get. The creators have done a great job of thinking through the elements of this game and the same thought process has gone into the design.

The simple dot design and wonderful mechanics make it such a beautiful game to relax to. It’s so addictive that I managed to get several people playing too.

Two Dots is split into a lot of different sections each with their own enemies and a wonderful scroll animation that anyone could fall in love with. It’s well worth the download if you want to kill some time here or there.

Prune

Can’t grow a plant in real life? Yeah, me neither. So when I saw Prune I was immediately fascinated because in this game all you do is grow things. Specifically a tree.

Using different mechanics you have to prune your tree as it grows to avoid obstacles and reach the light. Sometimes lights are in hard to reach positions or have to avoid red lights that burn away your trees.

There’s no right way to do this, which is why I love it. It also looks a lot like Alto’s Oddyssey with it’s dark foreground and light background. So it can be played in the evening when your eyes are struggling but you want to occupy yourself.

I Love Hue

Colours are great. Aren’t they? Also have you ever been to a shop and seen all the candles lined out perfectly in different coloured sections? That is heaven on earth. If you love both of those things then you’ll definitely love “I Love Hue“.

The premise is to organise colours into their separate hues and make them align light to dark and colour to colour. It’s such a relaxing and peaceful game. It’s not as well designed as the others in this list but I felt it was worth the mention because it does look really good and is incredibly therapeutic.

As I say, this isn’t as well designed but I think the route they took is simplistic, and that works wonderfully. There are a bunch of things I would change when you finish a game and on the main menu but overall I think it looks really good.