With elements of Oregon Trail and Minecraft, The Trail is a fun mobile exploration game that pits users against the greatest enemy of all: Mother Nature. Players start with little more than the clothes on their backs and have to make their way through the world by picking up skills such as scavenging, hunting and crafting tools from raw materials. You can trade with other players in the game and interact with them a little bit through some set phrases. Not all interactions are friendly, however: If you run out of energy on the
Etrail and pass out, the game lets passersby loot your stuff until you recover.
There are in-app purchases, which will speed you along your way — but you can play with patience and save your real-world money, too. The game also lets you build and furnish a house, which you can fill with items that can help you along your journey. This is a simple game at its heart — explore, collect and craft — but the scenery and your goals change throughout the game, making it a fun app to come back to for a long time.
EWhile Reigns looks fairly simple, this game that puts you in charge of a kingdom is not a light bit of entertainment. Heavy is the head that wears the crown, after all. Players are asked to flip through a set of cards and make decisions about how to run the country. You swipe left or right to make your decision about the problem listed on the card. Each decision affects the balance of your kingdom between four powers: the church, the people, the army and the treasury. If one of those powers grows too powerful or too weak, you may find yourself with a reign-ending problem — a religious coup, a popular revolt, a bankruptcy — on your hands.
This is a game you’re expected to lose repeatedly, but don’t worry. After each loss, you’re reincarnated as the next king and have to make another round of decisions. The descriptions can get quite gruesome, so it may not be the best for small children. At $3, it’s a bit pricey for an app game, but it is a fun exercise in learning how to keep things balanced. Its strange, quirky charm may appeal to your inner despot.