Are you traveling for the holidays? Doing the nightmare drive to grandma’s with a car full of people you see once a year that really, really want to discuss their thoughts on the geopolitical landscape with you? Whether you’re taking a flight, a drive, or just staying at home with your charger handy, I’ve got a few games for you that are real cozy holiday plays.
1) Ulala: Idle Adventure
Alright, for this one to work you’re going to need approximately three friends to play with. Now, you can find groups in game, but this game is way, way better with a crew of people – preferably people you already play other games with. The concept? It’s a stone-age idle MMORPG, complete with tanks, healers, DPS, grinding, skills, and more. It’s not just teaming up and idling though – although you probably won’t be checking in more than once or twice a day. You’ll have to carefully manage deep skillsets on a team of 4 players to successfully counter big bosses and progress, and you can even manage your friends (if they let you, and they should) so that whoever happens to be online at any given time can make progress for the whole group. There are pets, there are clans, clan wars, PVP, and a whole bunch of other stuff. Is it pay to win? You can definitely get some advantages – but I’ve been playing this thing daily with a core group for months now, and that’s really rare for me in mobile land. Give it a whirl, and it might surprise you!
Right now you’re saying to yourself – but Dan, you tell me to play Hearthstone during the holidays every year! Maybe I do. Maybe I do. But this time, it’s different. I’m specifically encouraging you to jump into Hearthstone’s take on the auto-battler, Battlegrounds (located under the “Modes” tab). While I do love some Teamfight Tactics and Dota Underlords, Battlegrounds is my current favorite of the auto battling genre. It’s real easy to pick up after a few games, and the variable heroes make each game come with its own special elements to weigh and discover.
3) Void Tyrant
If you’re like me, the new age of card-based roguelike RPGs that Slay the Spire has led the charge on in is an awesome place to be. Void Tyrant has a bunch of differences from one of my favorite games of 2019, but it’s also satisfying and fun to romp through as a mobile adventure. Like many “roguelites” that have sort have taken over the pure roguelike games of yesteryear, you’re earning new options and metaprogression every playthrough, even if you get squashed along the way to the big bosses. New builds and archetypes let you get more creative as you learn the game’s systems, and while it may not be as meaty as some other card-based rpgs, there’s plenty here for a while lotta flying, laying in bed on your ipad, or cruising in the car with Uncle Dilly.