Action games encompass a wide array of categories, ranging from racing games that pit you against players the world over for track domination, to endless runners that push you to set ever higher scores, and RPGs that let you embark on adventures in fantasy worlds. With such a huge selection of titles to look through, it's all too easy to overlook a game you might otherwise like.
We made this list with intentions to shine a light on newer games that many folks haven't heard of yet. The requirements we set were simple: the games had to be released in 2019, they needed to be available for both Android and iOS, and they all had to be free to install with no "pay to play" schemes. That left us with five great options, so check them out below and see if one catches your eye.
1. Shadow of Death
Shadow of Death is a great side-scrolling hack-and-slash RPG that boasts simple but stunning visuals that really capture the dark atmosphere of the game. In it, you'll play as an antihero out to regain his memory and powers while battling otherworldly creatures that plague his ruined world.
As simple as the gameplay is, it gets challenging early on as you fight your way through a barrage of monsters out for your blood. Fortunately, the game comes standard with all the familiar RPG elements like unlockable skills and perks that come with battling and leveling up. In addition, defeating monsters also gives you the chance to loot stronger weapons and armor to make you more formidable.
As you progress, Shadow of Death also lets you save other fallen heroes like the heavily armored, hammer wielding dark night Mount, and the cursed spell-casting Quinn Nephilam. Not only that, you can also utilize animal companions such as ice wyverns to aid in your quest to eradicate the plague.
2. Pokémon Rumble Rush
Pokémon Rumble Rush is a fun action game that you can play whether you're out and about or relaxing at home. It will have you glued to your device as you fight and capture Pokémon of all shapes and sizes. The game has a simple storyline which casts you as an explorer tasked by the Adventurers Club to research newfound islands and the creatures that live on them.
Gameplay is relatively straightforward. You'll be exploring eras within a given region using Guide Feathers that can be obtained through boss battles. From there, you'll battle battle with varying types of Pokémon in the name of science and capture them to either keep or send back to the Adventurers Club for further research.
Though Pokémon Rumble Rush doesn't give you the ability to evolve Pokémon, you can make them more powerful through various attachments like gears that increase their combat prowess or health. These gears can be had by refining ores that are randomly dropped by bosses out in the field.
3. CarX Drift Racing 2
Without a doubt, CarX Drift Racing 2 is one of the most challenging mobile racing games out. Honestly, it puts other titles like Asphalt and Need for Speed to shame as far as gaming skills go. As the name implies, the game focuses less on overall speed and more on the fine art of drifting.
While CarX Drift Racing 2 offers a multiplayer mode that lets you go head to head against players across the world, the game starts you off slow with solo gameplay to ease you into the world of drifting and let you hone your skills at your own pace. Practice is absolutely essential in the game, as the slightest miscalculation will cause you to spin out of control.
When it comes to car selection and customization, CarX Drift Racing 2 takes the cake. It features a wide array of cars that you can unlock and personalize to match your preference. Not only that, the game also gives you the ability to completely fine tune your car, from its body panels and lights to the engine and gearbox, all the way down to suspension, brakes, locking differential, and tire pressure.
With realistic physics, stunning graphics, and fully customizable controls, CarX Drift Racing 2 will have you obsessing behind the science of drifting through practice and car customization for hours on end. So if you've always wanted to learn to drift without the worry of wrecking your car, CarX Drift Racing 2 is the game for you.
4. Tales of Wind
Also known as Laplace M, Tales of Wind is a massive online RPG that first released as a PC game. In typical role-playing fashion, you'll take on the role of the hero that's out to save your fantasy world from evil beings hellbent on conquest.
To better suit your gaming style, Tales of Wind lets you choose between several character classes such as a sword-wielding warrior, spell-casting mage, a paladin that specializes in healing, and so on. In addition, your player's appearance is also fully customizable to ensure you stick out from the rest of the players exploring the massive world you're in.
Of course, there's also all the usual goodies associated with RPGs, like the ability to customize your skills to better reflect your fighting style, summon monsters to aid you in dungeon crawls, collect and upgrade ever more powerful weapons and armor, and so much more. Beyond that, you can also team up with others to battle bosses that would otherwise be extremely difficult to take out on your own.
If those weren't enough, Tales of Wind also features a mini-game that's more akin to Stardew Valley, and will have you farm your very own plot of land to grow crops, take care of livestock, cook, and more. In fact, there's so much to do and experience in the game that we haven't even begun to scratch the surface, so try it out for yourself and see what it has to offer — you won't be disappointed.
5. Talking Tom Hero Dash
Talking Tom has long been a staple on the smartphones of many parents due to his ability to entertain children by having them repeat words and phrases along with touch interactions. Now, kids of all ages can enjoy the lovable cat and his band of cute buddies with Talking Tom Hero Dash, an endless running game set in a city run afoul by a band of mischievous raccoons.
Gameplay for Talking Tom Hero Dash is straightforward. You'll mostly be running through city streets for as long as you can, while collecting coins, dodging obstacles, and knocking out raccoons. Your hero's appearance can also be customized by unlocking various costumes as you progress in the game, along with the ability to rescue other critters like Angela and Ginger that you can use to keep gameplay fresh and fun.
Though present as full screen commercials that occasionally appear and as banners that show up on the main screen, ads are far from distracting and don't affect gameplay in the least. In addition, you can also view ads voluntarily to collect rewards and gain a second chance at another run in the event you get knocked out.
This article was produced during Gadget Hacks' special coverage on mobile gaming. Check out the whole Gaming series.
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