Well would you look at that: a Mobile Monday that isn’t packed with EA Mobile games. There isn’t really anything new out there that’s caught my eye, so let’s take a look at some older titles. Click that button to read about Dead Trigger and Trials Frontier.
In gaming terms, Dead Trigger is pretty old. First hitting Android and iOS back in 2012, it’s clear that this title rode the zombie hype-train that was at full steam back then. Despite its age, Dead Trigger is worth a look because it’s still testament to the power of smartphones, and because I really wanted something with which to test my new SteelSeries Free.
Dead Trigger is a first-person shooter. You play as someone caught up in the zombie apocalypse, and must band together with other characters to survive. The story is generic and forgettable, but at least it doesn’t grate. The story exists to tie some missions together, but for the most part it just stays out of the way and lets you shoot zombies.
The shooting itself (and the rest of the game) is quite fun indeed. Missions take place in small levels swarming with the dead, and the levels sometimes branch off into secret areas to prompt exploration. The graphics are detailed and lush, although zombie models and animations show their age. The controls are the biggest downside, as touch input isn’t the best option for an FPS. They work well enough, but this is much better played with a controller.
All in all, Dead Trigger is a good mobile game. It’s fast-paced, looks good and has decent mission variety. The control issues can be overcome and the game plays well on older phones. Also, it just received a bunch of Halloween-themed items, so it’s obviously still supported by its developers.
You know what the Trials series isn’t known for? Its story. They’ve kept it simple over the years: you have a bike, here’s a stunt track, your injuries are meaningless. Trials Frontier for Android and iOS seeks to cram in some story, and it fails completely.
Obviously, the storyline isn’t meant to be taken seriously at all, but the game is stuffed with bad, inconsequential writing that hurts the brain. This is especially problematic because of the game’s really short levels, which feature really long briefings and dialogue trees.
Thankfully, the standard Trials gameplay remains intact. Players must race through a motorcycle stunt course, navigating obstacles using the game’s excellent physics engine. Some races have an objective, like busting a sick backflip or out-riding an opponent, but they mostly involve setting scores and climbing leaderboards. It’s great fun, but the tracks are inconsistently designed. Some are tricky, others can be won by holding accelerate and looking away.
Otherwise, Trials Frontier is a mixed bag of good and bad. It can be played offline (a rarity these days), and it has excellent touch controls. Unfortunately, it also has an ever-present and in-your-face microtransaction system, always reminding you that you could spend just a little money. Also, it doesn’t have controller support, and that’s disappointing since it’d be so good with a controller.
All in all, Trials Frontier manages to emulate its bigger siblings. Unfortunately, it mostly comes off as a poor imitation with inconsistent levels, poor storytelling and constant panhandling for cash. If you can ignore these faults, it’s a fun title with a lot to offer.