After paying for your phone, your mobile service, and an extra data package, the last thing you want to do is pay for a mobile game app. With the number of free games on the market, it might seem like there isn’t much of a point.
But while there are plenty of great free games out there, sometimes you really do get what you pay for. Here are seven mobile games so great they’re worth paying for.
The Arcana: A Mystic Romance
Let yourself be whisked away into a magical world of mystery. You’re an apprentice in a magic shop who doesn’t remember much beyond a few years ago. As it turns out, there’s a good reason for that. There are six different character paths you can follow, each offering a different unique story.
This game for iOS devices is free, but it has paid content well worth spending money on. The two primary objects you can purchase are coins and keys. You can get plenty of keys by regularly playing mini-games like Heart Hunter. Coins, on the other hand, are much more difficult to come by. Coins are also the only way to get bonus scenes in the game. They’re definitely worth the purchase.
Catan has an amazing mobile game available in your app store, perfect for those times you want to play but don’t have three friends around to play it with. It’s just like the classic board game. Several tiles are laid out with numerical values assigned to each. The tiles represent resources you must earn to purchase cities, settlements and cards. You build around each tile to claim those resources.
Also just like the board game, each round you play is different. The placement of the numbers on the tiles, the rolls of the dice and the decisions of the computer based players means each round is unique. The price for the game varies based on OS and the package you buy, but the basic game is a steal at $4.99.
The hit game previously only available on Steam has made it to the mobile marketplace. You might not think of a farming simulation as a game worth paying for, but Stardew Valley is a lot more.
Get to know the characters in your village. They all have individual stories that you can be a part of. Take sides in the town battle against a mega store looking to make its mark. Explore dungeons for ore and clear out monsters for the local guild.
There’s a lot going on in this game for you to get involved with. What’s $8 against hundreds of hours of gameplay?
Minecraft Pocket Edition
Minecraft is a game that needs no introduction. This popular collaborative and completely customizable world is now mobile. The app itself costs $6.99 and has additional in-app purchases. For the true Minecraft fan, it’s worth the price to be able to carry the game around with you.
You can even connect with your friends playing on PC or console versions and interact with the world with the same tools they can. Play on survival mode or relax in builder mode as you craft your own experience. All from the comfort of your mobile phone.
If you only have one game on your phone, make it Pokémon GO. It’s the perfect game, whether you want to play solo or interact with others. Create your trainer and wander the world collecting Pokémon, battling for gyms and trading with friends.
Augmented reality features allow you to overlap the game with reality itself. There’s even a PvP battle feature available to those who reach Pokémon Go level 10.
Like The Arcana, the app itself is free, but to get the full experience you need to be ready to shell out some cash. You’ll need additional incubators for your eggs, and odds are good you’ll find yourself low on Pokéballs.
If you liked Choose Your Own Adventure books as a kid, you’ll love Reigns. As a member of royalty, it’s your job to shape your kingdom. You do this by interacting with advisors and citizens alike.
Try to build resources and balance taking care of your people without upsetting the nobles. It’s not easy, and every decision you make has an impact. Reigns is only $2.99 and a great time-killer.
The Room Series
It’s not fun being locked in a room you can’t get out of, except when it’s a game. It’s why escape rooms are so popular and why games like The Room are so beloved.
All three of The Room games are available on mobile, and that means you can lock yourself in any time. For between $0.99 and $3.99 you can wander from room to room, pointing and clicking as you try to solve the mysteries. They’re a good mix of frustrating and satisfying. This series does room puzzles right.