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Best new Android games to download in November

Update: Teslagrad, Spitkiss, and Old School RuneScape

Android has an awful lot of games, and each month brings new titles. Knowing which ones are any good can be tricky. So we've put together a list of the best games that we've discovered on the Play Store—just three each month to ensure that only games we've played make it onto the list. This month, we've added Teslagrad, Spitkiss, and Old School RuneScape.

November

Halloween is over and it's safe to go outside without being spooped again, even if Fortnite hasn't got the message yet. As winter draws ever closer, naturally, you'll be playing the excellent Reigns: Game of Thrones. But that's not the only great new game. Here's a few other titles that you should put on your November play list.

Teslagrad

PC gamers may already be familiar with Teslagrad, a critically acclaimed indie Metroidvania with a charming Android art style. Metroidvania means a mix of puzzles, platforming and action RPG elements and Teslagrad delivers all of those in a cracklingly electric steampunk (wait...electro-punk?) package.

You play a young boy who discovers the ancient technology of Teslamancy, which you use to navigate the dangerous levels and puzzles using the power of electromagnetism. The gameplay mechanics are innovative. The ability to reverse the magnetic polarity of different blocks and objects lets you reshape the levels to a degree - creating your own platforms.

It can get quite challenging, particularly when you need to make accurate jumps on smaller touchscreens, but overall the game ports well and you'll quickly find yourself captured by its compelling story, all told through expressive animation without a single line of dialogue. To celebrate its mobile release, the game is currently available at a 30% discount ($4.89) on the Play Store.

  • App version: 1.5
  • Compatibility: Android 1.5 and up
  • Price: $6.99

Get it on the Play Store

Spitkiss

Billed as a 'game about precision platforming and polyamory', Spitkiss already has an unusual twist, but it's not a dating sim either. Instead, it has a rather strange protagonist in the form of a glob of saliva. As said spitball, you are passed through the means of a kiss. You've got to slide, bounce and cling down the gullet and through the insides of the tender lover of the human you came from.

This might sound somewhat gross, but the game mixes artwork from pastoral scenes, sweet treats and cartoon characters with all the bodily organs to keep things cute. Besides, all the squelching and plopping sounds brought a childish grin to my face while playing.

The polyamory part unfolds via interim scenes detailing the lovelife of Ymer, the game's main human character. It's told with some flair and comedy, and while it's nice to see this unconventional relationship model get some love in a video game, you'll be dedicating most of your brainpower to the platforming, which can get very, very tricky, requiring both speed and accuracy. There are 80 levels to dribble though, and thankfully the game isn't so punishing as to be frustrating, but enough to deliver those little moments of satisfaction, as you overcome a new hurdle.

  • App version: 1.225
  • Compatibility: Android 4.3 and up
  • Price: $1.99

Get it on the Play Store

Old School RuneScape

Old School RuneScape has been on the Play Store for some time now, but was only available to members who paid up to join the beta until October 30. Now the game has been officially released and is available to everyone as a free-to-play game. The free version imposes some limitations on the player, but there's more than enough free content for you to decide whether you want pay a subscription to join in the legendary MMORPG. Membership costs $10.99 a month, and thanks to cross-play, that gives you access to the game on PC and iOS, too.

Old School Runescape, as the name suggests, is based upon the PC game Runescape of the early 2000s, right down to the rather dated-looking graphics and interface. But don't let that put you off trying. Old School Runescape has been enjoyed by over 260 million players over the course of its 17 year history and is continuously being tweaked by developers who listen to their devoted community. There's a reason why it's stayed so popular. 

Runescape is a fantastic sandbox RPG that really lets you live in the open world, exploring the vast lands of Glienor alone or with friends, facing down monsters, learning skills and completing hundreds of quests. There's another perk to it being old-school: anyone frustrated with current IAP-laden, grind-heavy popular mobile MMORPGs will find Old School Runescape's economic model refreshing, and its design philosophy rewarding. If you can look past the visuals, it's got a whole lot of heart.

  • App version: 176.6 
  • Compatibility: Android 5.0 and up
  • Price: Free, subscription optional

Get it on the Play Store

October

The Fall season is here, it's time to stop spending so much time outside and put in some serious gaming, people! To that end, we've a pair of premium games to get stuck in to, one for tactical minds and one for story lovers. For a little of both, there's also a great new free offering in the form of an old-school RPG.

Chaos Reborn: Adventures

Here's one for the hardcore. The brainchild of X-COM creator Julian Gollop, Chaos Reborn: Adventures is a challenging strategy game that you can really sink your teeth into. The game is fantasy themed, in which two wizards face each other across a hexed battle map, summoning creatures and casting spells to defeat their rival.

Chaos Reborn is a premium game which also exists on PC, and asks for an equivalent price on Android. But for your 10 bucks, you get a deep, challenging strategy game which doesn't hold your hand. It's tough, and it takes a while to get the hang of all the mechanics and options at your disposal. But when you do, you have a deep strategy game with an offline single-player story campaign and competitive multiplayer where your own skill is rewarded - not how much money you spent on in-game advantages or loot boxes. 

And winning at Chaos Reborn is definitely rewarding...it's a complex game, with elements of RPG, card battles, chess and even poker, such as positioning, combining colors and elements, bluff, and chance are all a factor. Aspiring warlords looking for new worlds to conquer shouldn't be put off by the price.

Get it on the Play Store

  • App version: 1.0.1
  • Compatibility: Android 5.0 and up
  • Price: $9.99

Life is Strange: Before the Storm

If you enjoyed playing Dontnod's Life is Strange this summer, then you'll be happy to know that you return to Arcadia Bay in this prequel, which sets up the story and clears up many mysteries that were only implied during the first game. 

This time, the protagonist is rebellious punk teen Chloe Price, a creative thrill-seeking rebel who finds an escape from her troubles at home with her authoritarian stepfather-to-be though her surprising friendship (or more?) with the beautiful and popular Rachel Amber. Unfortunately, Rachel has some dark secrets of her own.

Deck Nine's Life is Strange: Before the Storm is a great complement to the original, as themes of friendship, family, love, loyalty and justice are explored through the emotionally charged lens of its protagonist. If you're hungry for story-games on your phone following the sad demise of Telltale games, then it's time to give the Life is Strange series a try.

Get it on the Play Store

  • App version: 1.0.2
  • Compatibility: Android 4.4 and up
  • Price: Free first episode, $11.99 for full game

Vampire's Fall: Origins

Vampire's Fall: Origins is a free indie RPG with a really old-school feel to it. A free-roaming world with a top-down isometric view reminiscent of classics like Diablo and Baldur's Gate, you are - yes! - a callow youth who takes up arms to save your village as it becomes threatened by a rising evil.

vampiresfall
Vampire's Fall: Origins is a free-to-play indie RPG! / © Early Morning Studios

To stop this evil, you'll wander the world, get quests from NPCs with big ol' exclamation points over their heads, and battle monsters for treasure and experience to improve your equipment and character skills. It sounds cliche, but Early Morning Studios clearly love the genre and play all the classic tropes well.

If, like me, you enjoy this kind of classic RPG, Vampire's Fall: Origins is a welcome addition to the Play Store and a refreshing antidote to all the glossy gacha games that seem more interested in extracting money than story or world-building. The game is completely free to play with no loot boxes or pay-to-win mechanics, and also playable offline (but there's a multiplayer PvP element for online play, too), but you can also opt to support the devs by watch ads throwing some money their way if you want to.

Get it on the Play Store

  • App version: 1.0.38
  • Compatibility: Android 4.1 and up
  • Price: Free

September

As the gaming summer comes to an end it would be amiss not to mention the arrival to Android of gaming's biggest phenomenon, Fortnite Battle Royale. If you'd like to know how Epic Games' smash hit plays on Android, check out our full review. But even if you're not a battle royale fan, we've got some great titles to recommend for your gaming pleasure this month.

Gladiabots

Gladiabots is a fun strategy game in which teams of robots battle each other, but with a special twist—these robots are autonomous, so rather than control them directly, the follow the AI that you have programmed for them in advance. Programming? Not so fast. You don't need to take a coding course before enjoying Gladiabots, but you still might learn something about AI along the way.

The programming instructions for your robot team is done via simple flowcharts where you can set actions and conditions that dictate how each bot behaves in different situations. It sounds complicated but the game teaches you the basics through a well-designed sequence of tutorial levels that introduce you to different concepts step by step until you're ready to program a full team.

Once you're ready it's time to throw your team into battle against CPU and human opponents (cross-play is supported with the Steam and iOS versions of the game). There are several different robots to choose from with different strengths and weaknesses, so your team makeup and positioning matters, but the main challenge is making your robots smarter than the other side, since your enemy only has access to the same units you do.

After playing Gladiabots, I swear I'll never laugh at the stupid AI in video games again now that I have got an idea of just how tricky it can be. Aside from this insight, Gladiabots is a great strategy game, and really addictive and challenging as you refine your AI to make the perfect competitive team. Be warned, that this is still a Beta version, so many things could change (hopefully for the better) before the final release.

Get it on the Play Store

  • App version: Beta 1.2
  • Compatibility: Android 4.1 and up
  • Price: Free with in-app purchases

Gleam of Fire

Retro action platformers and Metroidvania style games have enjoyed something of a renaissance in recent years and Gleam of Fire is the latest treat for fans of this style. The game has actually been out for a couple of months, but it took some time to discover its depths before I could present it to you here. Taking place in a dark world punctuated by the bright neon light of magical effects, you guide our suspiciously batman-looking hero through the 2D environments using abilities such as your sword, arrows and dash to evade traps and defeat your enemies.

Gleam of Fire has a distinct visual style that it pulls of with flair, or is it flare? Lighting up the gothic shadowy realms with flashes of electric blue and splashes of red blood looks really cool, and the levels are well designed so as to keep the action at an engaging place and introduce new monsters and challenges at the right intervals.

Be warned though, your journey will not be easy. Gleam of Fire is particularly unforgiving when it comes to checkpoints, as in...when you die, you're back to the beginning of the level, even if you were seconds away from finishing. There's just a touch of Dark Souls-style harshness here, which will be a bonus or a sore point for different kinds of gamers.

While not a true Metroidvania game (you can't backtrack to different levels), Gleam of Fire rewards you for exploring with upgrade powerups and secrets, so there's plenty to do within the 30 levels you get for the price.

Get it on the Play Store

  • App version: 1.6.0
  • Compatibility: Android 5.0 and up
  • Price: $2.99

Final Frontier

After Doom and its clones birthed the first person shooter, and Dark Souls inspired the Souls-like genre, are we seeing a similar thing with Reigns? Because it's impossible not to play Final Frontier without thinking of it as a version of the royal strategy/RPG/card game...in SPAAAAACE!

And sure, it kind of is. Instead of ascending the throne, you're placed in command of a space colony and have to make important decisions that are presented to you by a variety of different characters, from scientists to military officers and even the alien natives that may be present on humanity's future home.

As with Reigns, the different decisions increase and decrease various resources and please/displease different characters and factions. You're also expected to die-a lot-as the consequences of poor decisions catch up with you and you assume the role of the last commander's replacement and experiment with a different approach.

Just because Final Frontier has copied a successful formula, I'm happy to see another game join this nascent genre, as it still means a new setting, stories and characters to discover. Final Frontier also has a unique modifier mechanic that allows you to tweak the situation in further run-throughs. All in all, this game stands up in its own right and is worth a try for fans of the Reigns series looking for more or anyone seeking a fun challenge.

Get it on the Play Store

  • App version: 1.0.1
  • Compatibility: Android 4.1 and up
  • Price: $3.99

Already played the best new Android games this month? Why not take a look at what's coming next, in our round-up of the most anticipated Android games coming this year!

What were your favorite games from the last month(ish)? Let us know in the comments below and we'll try and check them out!

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