Greetings, friends, and welcome to Mobile Game Monday, where we chat about games you can play on the go. If you like to game on a phone or tablet, this is the place for you. Join us every week as we go on all sorts of adventures. 

Holidays like Mother’s and Father’s Day are not always easy for those who have lost their parents. My father passed away 14 years ago, and it can still be tough at times. I want to say to anyone who has lost a parent, I see you, and I feel you.

To make it a little easier, I like to focus on the great memories I am lucky enough to have of my dad. I have also learned to appreciate those still here with me so much more. To all the great dads out there, Happy Father’s Day, and thank you for being there. Your actions may mean more than you will ever know.

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In remembrance of my dad, I thought it would be fun to share stories about things my dad and I used to do for fun. Don’t worry; I included fun games as well because, on any given day, we would be at the arcade.

Bowling Crew

When I was young, I found my dad’s bowling ball and shoes in our garage. He told me he used to be in a league, and I thought that was the coolest thing ever. In my child-sized brain, I imagined something like the Justice League but for awesome bowlers. Growing up, I spent many nights at the bowling alley playing in the arcade and knocking down pins.

Our local alley had The Simpsons Bowling arcade game that consumed so much of my childhood and countless quarters. It was such an important part of my childhood that I currently have the Arcade 1Up remake in my game room.  

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Later, my family discovered bowling (and Pool) on Wii Sports, which fueled some seriously intense competition in our house. One way or another, bowling has always been a part of my life because of my dad, and the bowling alley always reminds me of him.

Left a ball featuring a bald eagle is about to be launched down an icy river lane. A green line shows the lob and left and right movement is shown beneath the ball. Middle, in a streak of blue, a ball heads towards the Jack Rabbit Pins. Right, the Steam Punk ball is about to be thrown on the Steamball Club lane.

Photos courtesy of Amazon.

Bowling Crew brings the lanes to you in this slick bowling mobile game. Bowl your way through 19 different themed lanes, from the Jack Rabbit Pins to the Luxe Lounge. Every lane has a new shirt and set of balls to collect, each with stats and bonuses to help you in the game. The controls are easy to pick up and pretty intuitive. Face off in short matches against players online or with your real-life bowling buddy. This is a solid alternative to actual bowling, though nothing beats the real thing. 

Bowling Crew is free in the Google Play and App Store.

Williams Pinball

In my small hometown, there was a locally owned place called Fun City. They had a handful of classic pinball machines, arcade games and some sketchy go-carts that were broken down half the time. Oh, and the mini golf course closed 90 percent of the time for “maintenance.” It may not sound like much now, but it was the absolute pinnacle of fun when I was a kid.

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When you first walked in, you were greeted with a row of old pinball machines, lights flashing, music blasting and ready to play. We could spend hours here, playing on every machine and trying to beat each other’s scores. I wanted to find a game that captures the nostalgia of the old-school pinball machines.

If you are looking for a pinball game that feels like you are playing on a real machine, Williams Pinball scratches that itch. Featuring a huge variety of official Williams Pinball machines, including Attack On Mars and Universal Monsters, this game has all the satisfying lights and sounds of the real thing.

A collage of a closeup of various pinball machines including Indiana Jones and Universal Monsters. They are very intricate with lots of tracks, knobs and lights just like the classic machines.

Screenshots courtesy of the App Store.

Unfortunately, you only start with one table, and it is a lengthy grind to collect more (or spend money, of course). For a while, you will play the same machine over and over, but I usually favor a machine and stick with it anyway. There are even fun customization options and recently added multiplayer options.

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Williams Pinball is free in the Google Play and App Store.

Galaxiga 

The next stop at Fun City was the random arcade machines planted around. First, we would play some rounds of Frogger with Mom because that is her favorite. Then, we would play a few of Dad’s favorites, especially Galaga or Space Invaders.

These arcade adventures are easily some of my most cherished childhood memories and certainly influenced the person I am today. The music from some of those old arcade games gives me goosebumps now. Anytime I am lucky enough to come across these games in the wild, I have to play.

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I could not find an official Galaga mobile game, but trust me, Galaxiga is the next best thing. Though this arcade-style shooter was inspired by Galaga, it has so much more to offer. The graphics are a little more modern than the original and surprisingly impressive. You now have countless ship options and can build squads with different types of ships to get stellar bonuses.

A collage of various levels from Galaxiga. Left pixelated style ships shoot at a large eye wrapped in green bandages. Middle a squad of ships blasts a laser through enemies. Right a menacing looking boss and ship take multicolored shots at each other.

Photos courtesy of the App Store.

The levels are broken up into short groups of waves, so you can play a few quick levels when you have a chance. Simple and addictive, Galaxiga is great for fans of classic arcade shooters.

Galaxiga is free in the Google Play and App Store.

Our Adventure Ends Here

I know that if my dad were still here, we would have had a great time playing these games. This was a nice trip down memory lane for me, and hopefully, you found a game you like and can play with your loved ones. Games have always been an important part of my family, and they are a great way to spend time together.

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To my Dad, I hope there are bowling lanes, pinball and arcade machines wherever you are. I love and miss you! Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there making memories with their kiddos. More often than not, those moments mean the world to them.

Take it easy and play it safe, gamers.

Did you play in arcades as a kid? What was your favorite game? Let us know in the comments below!

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