Every year, I always honor my favorite mobile games by highlighting some of my favorites. For this year, I'd like to try to do more than just say "hey, these games are fun." So, with some inspiration from other Game of the Year honors from around the web, I've assembled a few categories of video game honorifics to bestow on the mobile games that most deserve it.
In the coming days, be sure to check in to see nominees and winners picked from this list as we count down the final days of the horrid year known as 2020.
Genshin Impact's Dragonspine event, The Chalk Prince and The Dragon, is well under way, giving players a ton of challenges to complete for some amazing rewards, including brand-new weapons, upgrade materials, and the ever-crucial Mora.
Many of the activities associated with this event simply unlock over time, but there are rewards related to the Frostbearing Tree (which needs to be fed Crimson Agate to level up, much like the Statues of the Seven scattered across the rest of Teyvat). From this tree, you can earn Fates, a new namecard, and more.
Anyone who talks to me about games knows that I haven't been able to shut up about Genshin Impact since its launch this past fall. It's a game with a lot of faults--namely its predatory monetization scheme--but it also provides a vast (and interesting!) open world, a novel and nuanced combat system, and a surprisingly compelling story, all of which you can experience without spending a dime.
Since my initial burst of playing in September, though, my excitement to log in every day was beginning to wane. New events and characters were nice new additions, but they weren't entirely well-conceived or received. That is, until miHoYo pushed their 1.2 update which unveiled a new region of Teyvat: Dragonspine Mountain.
It's a festive time of year so even the farmer in Pumpkinbutt's Halloween Dream deserves a break from the nightmare he's perpetually trapped in right? Skyflyer Studio appears to agree since they've updated the game with forty new Christmassy levels.
However, even the naturally cheerful holidays can be a little terrifying it seems with this new batch of stages being called The Christmas Caverns, which hardly sounds like a relaxing time sitting around a cosy fireplace.
We’re living in the age of the smartphone, and having a portable, camera-equipped computer in your pocket 24/7 is brilliant – at least in theory. You can connect with the whole world, wherever you are; take and share photographs on the fly; instantly find answers to any question that pops into your head; and entertain yourself during life’s duller moments.
But social media platforms, mobile games and streaming services are designed to be as distracting as possible. That’s how most of them make money. The more time you sink into browsing and tapping their content, the better – for them. For us, the temptation to spend more time on our phones than on real-life connections and responsibilities is increasingly tough to resist. Various studies suggest this unhealthy relationship with our phones may play a part in rising levels of anxiety and depression – especially among the younger generation. So, how do we rebalance our usage?
After three years of development, Daily Digital Games has released a new 3D sci-fi adventure game called Xenon Moon on iOS and Android devices.
It’s a challenging game where you explore a world, mine its minerals, and use the materials to craft and upgrade various items and equipment. There’s also puzzles you will have to solve to progress as well as combat scenarios for when the going gets tough.
In case you missed it, I am on a quest to rank every Apple Arcade game there is.
Patch notes have been removed and have been replaced with (NEW) designation for the games most recently added or updated on this list.
UPDATE:As the pace of Apple Arcade has slowed, old games will also be re-evaluated based on reader feedback and content updates. Recently re-evaluated titles will be designated with (UPDATE) next to the title name.
Game ranking updates for 12/22:
- The Survivalists (#48)
- Alba: A Wildlife Adventure (#54)
- Zombie Rollerz: Pinball Heroes (#62)
- Warp Drive - Teleport Racing! (#79)
- The Pathless (#101)
Games marked with an asterisk(*) are games that suffer in rank due to technical problems.
All current rankings are listed below. More titles will be added frequently until the list is complete.
Hellopet House by Appxplore has received a big content update to coincide with the upcoming Christmas holidays, adding three new pets to the game and new winter ornaments to decorate your house with.
The three new pets include a leopard-spotted Bengal cat, a stubby bulldog and, aptly, a reindeer. It’s the game’s first pet that isn’t a dog or cat, while also remaining part of the game’s festive flavour. This new arrival to Hellopet House also has a nose which lights up, which sounds like everyone’s favourite helper of Santa Claus.
Lo-Fi Room, the object hunting and rhythm game hybrid is looking for playtesters to provide feedback as development progress
Lo-Fi Room, the upcoming rhythm action and object hunting game, is currently on the hunt for playtesters to play and provide feedback. The developer plans to send out codes for lucky players to get involved before the end of December.
So if you'd like to give the game a try ahead of its release for iOS and Android next year, head on over to the Google Form and register your interest by entering your email address. If you're selected you'll be asked to give your thoughts on the game through a feedback form.
Warzone Idle is an incremental game that's available now for iOS and Android. It sees players taking charge of an empire and building it up to become all-powerful. Beyond that, they can also engage in a spot of strategic multiplayer and a battle royale mode.
The game starts with players in control of an army camp that will continuously generate armies. These can then spent to conquer neighbouring territories as though they're nothing more than currency.
Star Wars: Knight of the Old Republic II just released on the App Store, and it's not exactly pretty. To be fair, this is over 15 years old, so bringing it to mobile likely has its challenges. That said, the second installment in the Knights of the Old Republic series comes to iOS with a janky control scheme and some bugs that disrupt combat.
Check out the video above where I get through the first real challenge of the game: fighting the mining droids on Peragus. In it, you'll see some struggles with movement, collision issues with combat maneuvering, and even a strange bug that locks your character in place after combat.
From there, you can pass over shelling out $9.99 for this game and pick something else up. This is not the port you're looking for.
To celebrate the upcoming movie Wonder Woman 1984, Warner Brothers Studios and NetherRealm have introduced the Golden Armor Wonder Woman character in their popular mobile fighter Injustice 2.
This version of Wonder Woman will make use her Divine Protection skill that increases Damage over Time resistance whilst her Offensive Guard will give her entire team's Combo Meter a boost. She will also be able to finish wounded opponents using Whip Lash, which lassos them back into combat before dealing a blow.
Music and art collide in Vectronom, a rhythm-based 3D platformer that may have missed your radar if you were too busy soaking up the sun during its initial release last year.
While the game doesn’t blatantly tell you to stay indoors, it does encourage you to bop to the beat in the comfort of your own home by immersing you in a puzzle platformer in isometric view. Your goal is to get from Point A to Point B by navigating obstacles that change in sync with the beat, so you’ll be forced to observe from a distance, memorize how the patterns shift, and then take the plunge. You’ll need to have the chops to solve environment-specific riddles that often require you to time your movements to the rhythm of the music.
Plug In Digital and PHZ Game Studios has released Siege Castle worldwide for iOS and Android devices.
It’s a strategy game where you design and build your own castles before you engage in sieges using automated physics-based battles. Once you’ve decided how your castle is built, including its defense and offence abilities, you need to choose what tactic you’ll employ when attacking your opponent by selecting from a range of siege weapons including ballistas, cannons, catapults, and of course, trebuchets.
The end game of Genshin Impact largely revolves around spending resin to take on world bosses and clear domain challenges. These fights grant amazing rewards like rare artifacts and ascension materials for weapons and adventurers, but obviously only if you're up for the challenge.
Of all the world bosses in Genshin Impact, by far the most difficult is Oceanid. This hydro boss spawns waves of enemies and unleashes powerful elemental explosions, all while your field of battle submerges underwater. It's intense, and--at times--downright brutal, but if you have any hydro adventurers like Mona, Tartaglia (Childe), Xinqiu, or Barbara, you need to defeat this boss to ascend them. Read on below for some tips on how to make the Oceanid fight a little more manageable.