Five Games To Play When You Get A Brand New Phone

Getting a new phone is hardly on the same level as putting together a new PC gaming rig, but whenever I get a brand new phone, I almost always go straight to a few tried and tested games, just to see if there's a difference, just to have a play on the new screen. It doesn't have to be dependent on raw processing power, it just has to be purrty.

Well, I guess it can be either. Regardless, any time the Gizmodo guys get a new phone for review, I always snatch it for a cheeky half hour, load up a few games and get a feel for how good (or bad) some of the most graphic intensive games run on it.

Here are a few of my go to games.

Rayman: Jungle Run

I guess technically I should play Rayman: Fiesta Run, but I think a key part of messing around with a new phone, getting a feel for how things look/run, is all about playing something that looks good, but is also familiar.

And I think that's the key: getting an understanding of how good/bad a new phone is for games is dependent on you being all like, "this looked crap before... now it looks amazing."


Rayman: Jungle Run is just a game I know inside out. It's a game I've played to death. It's also a game with a dazzling art-style that really pushes the mobile platform. I love it.

Real Racing 3

When Apple wanted to show off the processing power of its all-new iPhone 5, they brought out Real Racing's Australian development team, Firemonkeys, to show off the their latest project Real Racing 3. They did that because, as a technical showcase, it's pretty much unparalleled.

Yes, you may have issues with Real Racing's move to the free-to-play model, and yes those concerns are probably valid, but this is about looking at your fancy new piece of technology, validating your purchase and exhaling. AAAAAAHHHHHHHH.

This looks good. Phew.

Infinity Blade

Remember when DVD players became a thing and everyone basically just watched The Matrix over and over again?

Then Blu-Ray came out and everyone just kept watching The Dark Knight?

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that Infinity Blade is The Dark Knight/Matrix of mobile phones. Whenever a new phone comes into our office literally the first game the Gizmodo team downloads in Infinity Blade. Every goddamn time. It is the benchmark. It is the Crysis of mobile games. It might not be the most accessible or fun game on iOS (actually I'm 100% sure it's neither) but it is a game you want to experience on your new phone. Because it's shiny. So shiny.

Modern Combat 5

Gameloft games tend to get a bad rep on account of their need to create derivative games that are pretty blatantly based on other major IPs. I mean come on: Modern Combat? Seriously.

But that doesn't stop Gameloft from creating some genuinely gorgeous video games with absolutely ridiculous production values. The Modern Combat series, particularly the latest one, is seriously, seriously pushing the boundaries between what mobile games are capable of and actual AAA console shooters. The difference between the two is eroding rapidly. Modern Combat 5 is testament to that fact.

Monument Valley

Monument Valley falls into the 'glorious art design' category of mobile games. Those are also the kind of games I want to be checking out on a brand new phone. Not necessarily because the performance will improve, mainly because they look good on improved screens. It's the equivalent of buying a brand new television and testing it out for the contrast ratio.

Personally I love games with clean, colourful art design. Therefore Monument Valley is always at the top of the list of games I want to check out when I get a brand new phone to play with.

What did we miss? What's the first game you play when you get a new phone? Let us know below!


    Im not that interesting. The first game I play when I get a new phone is the last social/puzzle/freemium-city-builder game i played on my last phone. I recently got a new phone and the first games I loaded were Marvel puzzle quest, Deadman's cross, and Family Guy: Quest for Stuff.

      Upvote for Deadman's Cross, and Marvel Puzzle Quest.
      All you needed to say was "Brave Frontier" and I would have magically upvoted you twice.

        Hrrmm, perhaps my phone shall be home to a new game tonight then.... :D

        Last edited 02/10/14 3:39 pm

          You will thank me or hate me, depending on how addicted you get.
          Not if you get addicted.
          How addicted.

            That's not good. cos if addiction is a guarantee, I'm screwed cos im easily addicted to things. I've been trying to shake my MPQ addiction for the last 10 months! (Just ranked #1 in my bracket for the doc ock event though woo!!)

    Can you please provide your opinion on how these games run on various specced phones (or is this more a gizmodo question). Ie low end windows phones (530, 630), android phones, iphone 5, through the mid range ones and up to the latest and greatest (Android s5, iphone 6, windows 930)?
    Looking at gaming on a phone it would be interesting to know that the ones I am looking for for instance won't be an immediate disappointment when I go to download one of these and cry at what is a bad experience.

    I download temple run for every device lol. Not sure why but I just do.

    Whenever a new phone comes into our office literally the first game the Gizmodo team downloads in Infinity Blade. Every goddamn time.
    Are you absolutely sure about that? :P

      If true, that's an impressive feat. Either that or they don't get a lot of phones XP

    Ingress. It's awesome. I'm surprised there is no coverage on kotaku, with them having huge events all over the world including Australia (sometimes).

      Perhaps because it requires you to go outside? :-)

    Hmm... the game I fired up as soon as I got my new phone set up... not sure... judging by when I got my current phone... umm...
    Dark Souls 2, I think. I use my phone to listen to music and browse the web. Communication and games I leave to my PC. :P

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