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 ANDROID FEATURE

PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds on mobile - 3 ways to get your PUBG kicks

Three mobile battle royale games you can play right now
Product: Rules of Survival | Format: Android, iPhone, iPad
 
Updated December 1, 2017: It turns out that Tencent is bringing not just one but two PUBG games to mobile. If you don't believe us, a trailer has dropped for each.

Tencent TIMI studio's game seems to introduce naval combat and a more arcadey feel, while Lightspeed & Quantum's game offers a more familiar approach to the game. Check out the trailers here.

Which means that these three suggestions could be mere warm-ups for the main act. Exciting, eh?

We've also added some news on two more mobile PUBG wannabes from China at the bottom of the feature.




PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds - or PUBG to its friends - is rather hot right now. This PC shooter has lit up Steam with its tense, sneaky-snipey action.

If you haven't heard of it, PUBG is the leading example of a certain type of online multiplayer experience known informally as 'battle royale'. It sees you set loose on an island with as many as 99 other players and tasked with being the last to survive.

First you must scavenge for supplies, including medkits, armour, and of course weapons. Then you must head for the designated safe zone, which continues to shift at random within an ever decreasing circle until the remaining survivors are forced into a tense final standoff.

PUBG's immense success (despite not even being available as a full game yet) has already seen its formula copied on console and PC, but mobile isn't immune to this phenomenon.

Here are three games that attempt to replicate PUBG on mobile.

Guns Royale



Our Harry reviewed Guns Royale (wonder where they got the idea for that name from?), and while he wasn't massively impressed by what he found, he could see some potential.

The game wisely moves the PUBG action to a top-down twin-stick shooter perspective, lowers the player count to 16, and makes everything chunkily accessible through its Minecraft-like aesthetic.

There are a lot of bugs at this stage, as well as a freemium system that threatens to unbalance matches. There's also a tacked-on AR thing that doesn't really work. But with a few updates, Guns Royale could turn out to be very accomplished indeed.

Rules Of Survival



Here's another game that wants to be PUBG on mobile, but is a bit too rough to pull it off. Rules Of Survival is a far more faithful crack at the formula, with a familiar third person over-the-shoulder-view.

Poor translation, iffy controls and unstable performance mean it's far from a must-play PUBG stand-in, but there are promising elements here.

In particular the sense of tension - so key to PUBG's appeal - is palpable in each match.

Bullet Strike Battlegrounds



This one launched in beta earlier this month, so we're not entirely sure how good it will be at replicating the PUBG formula just yet.

It looks to have everything in place, though, including: parachutes, sniper rifles, idyllic scenery tainted by sudden bouts of violence, and shooting people in the back like a coward.

We'll be keeping an eye on this one with an 8x scope. Remembering to zero our sights according to distance, of course.

What to look out for

Major Chinese games publisher Tencent - and originator of PUBG mobile itself - recently launched another battle royale game for mobile in China.

Titled 'Glorious Mission,' it looks an awful lot like PUBG, with a 64 square kilometre map into which 100 players parachute and proceed to shoot one another.

Tencent's size and resources give hope for a decent experience, however, as does the fact that it has secured the rights to publish PUBG itself in China. Hopefully it will gain some insight into how to crack the formula.



While we're talking of Chinese PUBG knock... I mean PUBG-like games, there's one currently doing the rounds from NetEase with a bizarre Terminator license. Despite the curious Arnie reference, it looks a lot like Bluehole's own game (see picture above).

Don't hold your breath for a Western release - especially not with that Terminator license.

Another new PUBG wannabe has hit the App Store called Unknown Royal Battle. A little on the nose, don't you think?

This one mimics PUBG's iconography to a ludicrous degree, but it at least has the sense to shift to Minecraft-like art style. It doesn't look too professional, though.

 

Reviewer photo
Jon Mundy 1 December 2017
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