Mobile games are fun, simple and accessible, but that doesn't mean they are lightweight or insignificant. They have the ability to bend time and make commutes bearable; they transform idle moments into thrilling distractions. In a new series, CVG celebrates the most impressive examples of this exciting new wave of games.
Click through the link to find our full list of the best mobile games.
The Best iPhone games: Bitless
- Also available on:
- Windows Phone 7, iPad (HD)
Nicholas Rapp's first mobile game takes three App Store tropes and fuses them together with irresistible humour and class. Auto-runners, platformers and retro-style games aren't difficult to find on iOS, but Bitless combines them all to produce a harder-than-hardcore indie favourite in the making. It follows in the proud, sadistic twitch tradition set down by games like N+, Dustforce, VVVVVV and Super Meat Boy.
Bitless succeeds where so many touch screen games fail. The controls are super-responsive as your unstoppable little yellow cube careers through each stage. The weight and speed feel perfectly judged, and holding your finger down to leap further adds intuitive extra subtlety. Passing through each level's testing tricks and traps requires patience, immaculate timing and the odd slice of luck.
Because your character is constantly on the move, the game is utterly relentless. Your many, many deaths are greeted with a pithy remark, a gap of barely a second, and you're off again. Thankfully, there is some concession to players without cat-like reflexes as not every stage has to be conquered to progress, but it's still a game very clearly aimed at the hardcore, as its creator confirms.
"My primary goal was to make it as difficult as I could without it feeling cheap," Nicholas Rapp tells CVG.
"How can you make a hard game that you want people better than you to still find challenging? Ultimately I wanted something that platform junkies like myself would find challenging, but still fun."
Bitless remains a hobby for Rapp. He wanted to take a Super Meat Boy-style experience with him on his phone, so he built one himself. "I made Bitless because it was a game I wanted to play," he says.
"My initial metric for success was for someone I don't know to play it, and tell me they liked it. Given the positive press, and the great responses I've gotten from people who've reached out to me, I've definitely accomplished that goal. It's the greatest feeling in the world to have a complete stranger tell you they love your game, that alone makes it all worth it."
It has been cruelly overlooked so far, though. "I haven't made tons of money. I've sold around 1,500 copies across both Windows Phone and iOS, but that's okay," adds Rapp.
"I will continue to work on updates, and there is some additional content that I have planned which will hopefully keep Bitless relevant for a little while longer and generate some more downloads."
Bitless is much more than a hobby or a loving tribute to games like Super Meat Boy. Its slick execution and careful combination of genres marks it out as a mobile indie darling no-one seems to have noticed yet.