Knock-knock… who’s there? It’s .io games kicking in your front door and holding you and your family’s attention hostage. If you’ve checked out the top free games in either the iOS App Store or the Google Play Store in the past month, chances are you’ve seen a few of these pop up on the high charts. With five games currently in the Top 20 category of free games, you probably have an .io game on your device right now. Although each one has its own little twist on the in-game environment and game-modes, they all share the same main objective: have the most points.
In these multiplayer arenas, you play point-hungry fiends, like yourself, all over the globe. Directly quoting the creator of one of the most popular .io games Agar.io, Matheus Valadares “The more successful you are, the bigger a target you become.” Basically find whoever is in first and take them down. Basically, find whoever is in first place and take them down. With intuitive controls and competitive game-play, .io games are perfect for pick-up-and-go arcade playing. Easy peasy, but what’s with the “.io”? Although Io is formally known as Jupiter’s fourth largest moon, the two are completely unrelated. I just love fun facts.. Here are some more pearls of wisdom.
The .io genre has become a sort of trend amongst game developers, as its designated handle nods to the popular British Indian Ocean Territory internet domain. The .io domain is great for gaming start-ups. Why? Its subscribers enjoy relatively small occupancy, making it much easier to obtain specific domain names. This eliminates the need to muddle through the never-ending .com’s in search of a relevant match to the games in which they are producing. Often times, these developers insert .io in the title in homage to this domain, which resulted in the trend. Wonderful! Mystery solved, let’s look at our .io options!
At the top of the .io chart and brand new to the market this week is Tornado.io by Voodoo Games. Voodoo is a developer known for its simple time-wasters, as well as other .io titles like Hole.io and Paper.io – neither of which will be talked about in this post. Tornado.io pretty much says it all in the name! Become a funnel of destruction and tear through various maps, growing in size as you engulf larger and larger objects.
Fight to the top of the leaderboard, out-grow your competition, and suck up those microburst-looking jabronies. The game also offers two solo game modes, one of which called “Slime Hunt” where your competitors are slime-balls, not player characters. Don’t get dizzy from all of the eye-rolling you may currently be doing, as the mode isn’t worth playing… at all. Enjoy the quality of the environment, its beautiful animations are a large improvement to the previously basic .io games. Tornado.io also offers numerous unlockable skins to funk up your twister.
As the most recent release to the .io family, Tornado.io is a good introduction for those new to this style of game. Is it a great way to twiddle your thumbs while your significant other is deciding which baking show to watch on Netflix? Yes, absolutely. Will you lose sleep playing it? I really hope not. It does offer some replay value, but the novelty wears off quickly and will probably be replaced with something similar in the near future.
Now let’s talk about a game that’s taken .io gaming to the next level. Not Doppler’s stunningly elegant multiplayer battle arena, Crash of Cars, sets the bar for its distant cousins. The reason I put this game in a post with Tornado.io is to show you what the gameplay style can be in the proper hands. A constantly updated app that I’ve had the pleasure of watching grow since its release, Crash of Cars is a casual game with some serious play value. Another free game, its leveling system combined with its staggering 112 vehicle garage will keep you coming back for that bigger, badder buggy.
These mean machines are sorted by rarity, ranging from common to legendary. The rarer the car, the more likely it is that it has bonus abilities or traits, such as speed and durability. Choose your vehicle and collect crowns (points) by either finding them scattered throughout the map or by destroying a fellow player. Around the map, you’ll find power-ups containing weapons and bonuses, such as health boosts and shields. Level up your player profile and gain upgrades to these weapons and power-ups, making them deadlier and more effective.
With the multitude of vehicles in Crash of Cars, it’s no surprise the game offers just as many unlockable skins. Represent your country or choose something flashy. Show your competitors how snazzy you look. The game boasts 15 different maps, some of which allow you to complete different objectives in order to unlock “Hidden Cars.” These aren’t obvious tasks and can only be completed by receiving hints from the developers on social media. For those who don’t follow the developers on social media, there is always YouTube. The game also offers a fusion lab, where you combine vehicles you’ve attained to make wicked machines with an amalgamation of the fused vehicles’ characteristics and abilities. This is the cream of the Crash of Cars crop.
With the games that clutter the App Store, Crash of Cars is one that has not received fair recognition. On the market for about a year, it started slow. By instituting new events with competitive game modes, Not Doppler has breathed new life into this .io game… all while consistently releasing new maps and cars. If you’re new to .io gameplay, I highly recommend giving Crash of Cars a spin.
Next time you see a game with “.io” in the title, I hope you’ll know what to expect. A constantly repackaged concept, there seems to be an .io for everything – tornadoes, holes, giant boulders, you name it. Just remember that some of these games rise above the rest! To me, games like this hinge on having that advantage over your competitors. These advantages are gained through playtime via leveling or upgrades. Keep an eye out for more games like this on the horizon. Till then, don’t play with your phone too much, you’ll go blind.