The first ever Google Play Indie Games contest has wrapped up with UK developers Nerial winning twice over for their outstanding game Reigns. This comes as little surprise to us: Reigns is a fantastic game and one of our favorites of 2016.
On top of winning the overall prize, Reigns also won the Unity prize, which provides Nerial with a 12-month subscription to Unity's professional game development platform.
We took another look at Reigns, as well the runner ups, The Battle of Polytopia and Causality. You can find the full list of finalists here.
Reigns is a game all about making the right decisions to keep your kingdom prosperous and secure. You start out as a young king taking over control of his kingdom in the first year of his reign. Advisers, citizens and animals appear as cards, coming to you with issues and questions that require a ruling — swipe right for yes, swipe left for no.
The decisions you make will affect the four aspects of your kingdom: the church, the people, the army or the treasury. Each is tracked at the top of the screen by the meter, and your duty as king is to monitor them and make sure that no meter becomes entirely full or empty — if that happens, your fate is sealed and the heir to the crown rises and becomes the new King.
It's an absolutely unique title that will hook you in with it's dark sense of humor, stylish design, simple game-play and intriguing storytelling. Check out our beginner's guide for more information on how to play the games and some tips to help you start your reign out right.
The Battle of Polytopia
Fans of turn-based strategy games like the Civilization series will absolutely want to check out The Battle of Polytopia. Developed by Midjiwan AB from Sweden, this stylish game packs in a deceiving amount of strategy and fun. Explore the world around you and build up your kingdom by investing in new technology and troops as you capture villages and expand your empire.
It's easy to see why this game made Google Play's top three — with multiple game modes including the rarely seen pass-and-play option for playing against friends and 20 tribes to unlock and play as, this feels like a full-fledged strategy game packaged with cartoony graphics and scaled down perfectly for playing on a mobile device. The turn-based game-play against the AI is brisk and you can add more opponents or up the difficulty level if you're in need of a bigger challenge. Best of all, it's a free download from the Google Play Store! This games feels perfect for your daily commute on public transit, or really any time you got time to kill — If you start a Domination game (last tribe standing wins), you can save and resume your game at a later time as needed.
Causality will absolutely blow your mind. This is just a brilliant game where you control time and make adjustments to the level and alter the sequence in such a way that you help your stranded astronauts reach their goals.
Set in simplistic-yet-beautiful alien landscapes, this stylish game will have you wracking your brain as you try to figure out how to guide each astronaut to their color-coded exit within the time frame. Of course, you have full control over the timeline, and can jump to any point in time and change an aspect of the level. There are 60 mind-bending puzzles to unlock and complete in this outstandingly polished and challenging game.
Get the most out of your Android gaming experience
SteelSeries Stratus Duo ($60 at Amazon)
A great Bluetooth controller for use with Android games that offer gamepad support that also includes a wireless USB dongle for gaming on PCs. Highly recommended!
Ventev Powercell 6010+ Portable USB-C Charger ($37 at Amazon)
This battery pack from Ventev is recommended so often because it's so compact and convenient. You get a built-in USB-C cord, built-in AC prong for charging the unit, and 6000mAh battery capacity.
Spigen Style Ring ($13 at Amazon)
Of all the phone mounts and kickstands we've tested, the most consistently reliable and sturdy is the original Spigen Style Ring. It also has a minimalist hook mount for your car's dashboard.
We may earn a commission for purchases using our links. Learn more.