There’s no denying console and PC gaming are the big hitters in the gaming arena, but it should come as no surprise to find out that it’s mobile and portable gaming that are really beginning to dominate. With the majority of us spending our precious time travelling and away from our TV’s and computers it was inevitable the jump to mobile gaming would happen. Leading the charge has been the smartphone, giving gamers the freedom to game anywhere without the need to bring anything extra.
Actually for those of us old enough to remember, the more mature gamer, the concept of mobile gaming isn’t a new one. From the Nokia’s of the 90’s where we were gifted with the simplistic genius of Snake, the perfect game to port to a mobile phone, to the more complex mobiles of today, smartphones and tablets have transformed the way in which we game.
So its with nostalgia and a heck of a lot of time spent travelling and gaming, I bring you my top 5 mobile gaming apps you should be playing…
1. Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic is a role-playing video game set in the Star Wars universe. Developed by BioWare and published by LucasArts the game was originally released back in 2003 as an Xbox (yes, original Xbox, you heard that right) exclusive.
This game would have to go down as one of my all time favourites! The storyline and level of character interactions alone make this game a true stand out. I spent many, many hours playing this game when it was first released getting lost in its amazing and vast world. The story of Knights of the Old Republic takes place almost 4000 years before the formation of the Galactic Empire, Darth Malak, a Dark Lord of the Sith, has unleashed a Sith armada against the Republic to carry out his sinister plan. You play as a Jedi finding their way and pieces of their memory/past as you progress. What secrets will you find out… Will you join the light or the dark side of the force?
This is a game which truly has stood the test of time, it is now 13 years old and I would happily play this again today; in fact I am, because it’s available on both iOS and Android. So if you’ve never played now is the perfect time, or if like me you simply loved this game and never wanted to stop then I honestly can say nothing has been lost in its port from console to mobile.
2. Hearthstone, originally known as Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft, is a free-to-play online collectible card video game developed and published by major developer Blizzard. Hearthstone isn’t just an app for fans of World of Warcraft though; tabletop gaming and fans of card games alike will also love this app.
Offering you the ability to battle against the AI, your friends or even randomly matched strangers, you’ll find find yourself entertained and with no shortage of challenges no matter which option you choose. With the end goal to create the best deck possible, you are rewarded for your playing efforts or by meeting challenges with coins which you can spend in the in game store to get more cards.
I love Hearthstone and find it’s the perfect time filler for when I’m traveling. While the background music and sounds are pleasing enough, I find this is one game I’m quite able to play why listening to my own music over top off, which is just a massive bonus to me.
Helping to keep the game interesting for players, Blizzard have also introduced new expansions, which contain new cards and goodies.
3. Pokémon GO was certainly the little app that could of 2016. If there was one app I could recommend which got families out and about, made strangers into friends and just generally brought a whole community of gamers and non-gamers together like never before Pokémon GO would be it.
I wont lie, I’m still playing and desperately trying to complete my Pokédex, so what can I say about Pokémon GO that has not already been said? Probably nothing, but here goes: Ever since its launch earlier in the year, Nintendo and Niantic’s pocket monster app has transcended its gaming roots to become part of the pop culture lexicon. While it may not still have the radical cult following it had in the first few months, there’s no denying that it’s still exceptionally popular.
With the latest update featuring the roll out of Gen 2, Niantic has upped the ante with more Pokémon, newer features and a whole bunch of tweaks to keep the Pokémon trainers of the world excited and engaged.
Love it or hate it, one things sure, Niantic knows how to get players coming back to its game. It did it at Halloween by making its spooky monsters show up more frequently and doubling the rewards for each captured critter. Now again at Christmas with an adorable Santa Pikachu up for grabs Pokéfans are out in force and we can only wait to see what will be next for New Years.
4. Crossy Road is a game which looks like the bizarre love child of Minecraft and Frogger! This game is another one of my absolute favourites, and its on the list for more than the fact its been described as endless frogger! Developed and published by Australian indie developer Hipster Whale, the name and concept of Crossy Road plays on the old joke, Why did the chicken cross the road?
Besides the retro trip down memory lane, one of the many draw cards to this game is the ability to simply pick up and play. The concept of it an exceptionally simple one, cross the road with your character of choice and there’s no faulting its addictive cute charm.
The downside here is like all endless runners, Crossy Road could get old over time. While the traffic may get faster and the roads and rivers increase in size the challenge it offers and its cute graphics may eventually fade to repetition. However, considering it’s a free to download game which is both challenging and visually appealing, I recommend you give it a try. Yes, you might find it repetitive eventually, but it would definitely take some time before you’ll tire of it. Plus, should you want to pass time and there’s nothing to do, this could be the app for you.
5. Robot Unicorn Attack 2 is the sequel to the immensely addictive and hugely popular game Robot Unicorn Attack. The original game saw players challenging a series of randomly generated levels in a constant attempt to better their score. The only controls were a jump button and a dash button, the latter of which could be used to break through certain obstacles.
Fans of the first game who aren’t already playing this will be pleased to know Robot Unicorn Attack 2 hasn’t tampered with this existing formula all that much, but there are a few notable changes which I wont spoil.
I love this game! It has so many selling points I honestly don’t know where to start. Firstly the music in this game is a bunch of 90’s awesomeness which can never be contained. Featuring tracks like “Never Ending Story” by Limahl and “Always” by Erasure you’ll find yourself playing for hours just for the music alone. Secondly it has a unicorn and you can pimp it out! Enough said
On the whole, Robot Unicorn Attack 2 is an amazing game with plenty to do. It remains true to the original game’s formula but adds a metagame with a tonne of content atop the basic gameplay. While it’s apparent that many App Store users are resistant to the new game purely because it’s free-to-play with in-app purchases, unlike the original Robot Unicorn Attack. Robot Unicorn Attack 2 is anything but exploitative and definitely an app you should be playing already.
So what are your favourite go-to mobile games? These are just a few of my favourites but I’m sure there are plenty of gems out there!