148Apps New Years review roundup

Posted by Jessica Famularo on December 31st, 2016
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

It’s been a busy year here at 148Apps as we’ve been typing away reviewing the dozens of mobile games that launched this year. Our reviews editor is a discerning fellow critiquing each game thrown his way with a meticulous eye. Don’t believe me? A mere four games received the coveted five star rating. You may have already read our Game of the Year lists, but now let’s take a look at the games we rated the highest.


+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2016-01-21 :: Category: Game


Its mix of survival themes and Diablo-esque collect and craft mechanics ensured that everyone who played it was glued to their phones when Crashlands first launched earlier this year. A bit more approachable than fellow survive-a-thon Don’t Starve, Crashlands drew us in with its well-realized open world and bar-none design.

Here’s what we had to say about it:

“It's not an overstatement to say that Crashlands redefines what an open-world crafting game should be. It cleverly builds upon its trending source material while remaining fresh and new with its inclusion of so many innovative design choices and charming presentation.”

Clash Royale

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2016-03-02 :: Category: Game


Supercell added to the overflowing pool of collectible card games released in 2016 while managing to keep its head above the competition. Clash of Clans’ tower defense stylings transitioned to tactical deck building flawlessly, and matches play out quicky adding a sense of urgency.

Campbell wrote in his review, “Clash Royale is a heck of a package. Top to bottom, it's an extremely fun experience that is so well put together it's hard to put down.”


+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2016-07-28 :: Category: Game


Weilding a one-eyed sword, young Sasha sets out to wander a dark and disturbing purgatory in search of her parents and younger brother before they can move on to the after life. It’s a quiet game that reveals its secrets slowly. We loved it’s innovative battle system well-suited for touch controls. What could have well been another dungeon slog turned out to be one of the best games of the year.

We didn’t hesitate to recommend Severed in our review, either:

Severed is a super compelling game that looks great. It's mechanics go to surprising depths and the sword-swiping combat feels fantastic on iOS. Simply put, Severed delivers on pretty much all fronts, making it easy to recommend.”

Gemini - A Journey of Two Stars

+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Released: 2016-08-25 :: Category: Game


Gemini’s gorgeously rendered space imagery is pure loveliness, and its simple yet affecting story deserves equal praise. It’s a wonderful example of how we can use gameplay to tell a story directly without relying on cutscenes or text.

Gemini had a powerful impact on us. Campbell writes:

“When I started playing Gemini, I was not prepared for what I ended up experiencing. What looked like an academic experiment in puzzle games is actually a story, told earnestly and free of pretension.Gemini is a special game. It takes abstract objects and somehow uses them to tell a powerful story about companionship that will stay with you. Play this game.”

In our eyes, these titles were deserving of every ounce of praise they received, though we shouldn’t forget some of the titles that scored slightly lower. Some of our favorites this year, or of all time, stand among them. Games like SteamWorld Heist, Deus Ex Go, and Kathy Rain scored slightly lower but were fantastic experiences that we’ll be returning to for some time to come.

Do you agree with our reviews of these games? Which mobile game do you think is deserving of 5 stars? Let us know in the comments!

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