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6 Awesome Mobile Games Without Microtransactions

Two People on Couch with Phone
Remember the good old days, when you only paid for a video game at the checkout counter? If you do, then the world of mobile gaming can sometimes feel like a wasteland of crafty marketing tactics, pay-to-win schemes and pushy ads for the game’s premium currency. Whether you’re looking for old-school fun or you’re a parent who doesn’t want to be stuck with a huge bill for un-refundable microtransactions, you might want an alternative from these high-pressure freemium games. Here’s a look at some seriously good microtransaction-free games for your phone or tablet, all of which cost under $10 on the App Store or on Google Play.
“The Room”
No, it’s not an adaptation of the so-bad-it’s-good movie by Tommy Wiseau — but that doesn’t make it any less entertaining. The Room is an immersive experience that challenges you to unravel dark mysteries and escape through mind-bending puzzles. It’s just like an escape room that fits into your pocket. Plus, at just $0.99, this spooky game is a scary good deal. And if you can’t get enough, the game offers several sequels. The Room series is available for both iOS and Android.
“Transport Tycoon”
If you played the “Tycoon” games back in the 1990s, you know how charming, complex and addictive these simulators can be. But even if you didn’t experience these classics during the decade of Lisa Frank® and Beanie Babies®, you’ll still be spellbound by building your own little pixelated transportation empire. This straightforward sequel to the 1994 computer game was even masterminded by Chris Sawyer, who created the original franchise. You can start your dynasty on Android or iOS for the low price of $6.99.
“Stardew Valley”
“Stardew Valley” immerses you in an idyllic pixel-art world of farming, friendship and exploration. Its gameplay and graphics hearken back to the classic entries in the “Harvest Moon” franchise, but “Stardew Valley” allows for greater customization and a wider range of activities. This critically acclaimed indie hit is available for $7.99 for iOS and Android devices. While that’s a few dollars more than the other entries on this list, “Stardew Valley” has enough content to keep you busy for dozens of hours.
“Alto’s Adventure”
Fans of the endless runner genre won’t want to miss out on “Alto’s Adventure.” This 2D side-scrolling snowboarding game takes you through fantastical minimalist landscapes and offers a polished, intuitive gameplay experience. This ethereal snowy adventure is playable on iOS and Android devices for $4.99.
If you want a memorable point-and-click adventure, choose “Machinarium.” With challenging puzzles and an art style that resembles a hybrid of “The Nightmare Before Christmas” and “Wall-E,” this robot-themed adventure is sure to delight gamers of all ages. And at just $4.99, this award-winning hand-drawn adventure is a steal of a deal. You can get it for both iOS and Android.
“Wayward Souls”
No list would be complete without one hardcore game. This retro-inspired “Dark Souls”-like action game features six unique playable characters, an intuitive control setup and 13 procedurally generated, randomized dungeons. You’ll need to improve your reflexes and polish your skills to beat these levels — there’s no level grinding or pay-to-win schemes going on in this aggressively difficult adventure. You can purchase “Wayward Souls” for $6.99 on iOS or Android.
Whether you’re enjoying a port of a retro-era favorite or experiencing a modern classic, you’re sure to have a blast with these microtransaction-free mobile games.
This article is presented by Zimbrick European.
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