In the .biz realm, we often find ourselves wrapped up in the investments, deals and stats of the gaming world (and rightly so), but it’s also important to highlight the games themselves - the fruits of the labour that can only appear after years of research, funding and, of course, development.
So here are the most exciting new mobile games right now, the developers and publishers behind them, and why, exactly, they've made the cut.
A vibrant new game infusing pool with golf elements, Subpar Pool is the latest release from Martin Jonasson’s indie studio Grapefrukt Games. It certainly embodies the developer’s "extravagant minimalism" brand, as Subpar Pool tasks players with shooting lively balls into table pockets within a limited number of attempts.
Levels are procedurally generated to produce an endless amount of content, and it requires a strategic mind to overcome all the variable factors. The main game mode is like a relaxing retreat with its meditative soundtrack, whereas Fast Run is designed for those adrenaline-hungry fans who want to play to a time limit.
Jonassan’s earlier works include glorg, tektonik, rymdkapsel and twofold inc. His games have released on a range of platforms from PlayStation to Steam and, of course, mobile.
Cut the Rope 3
The beloved Cut the Rope IP is already over a decade old, and finally we have the third numbered entry in the main series with Cut the Rope 3. It lands after more than 50 concept iterations as the successor to this nostalgic franchise, bringing a new physics-based adventure with Om Nom and Nibble Nom.
ZeptoLab has had a lot to live up to, returning to such a mobile classic. The dev worked on 3 together with Paladin Studios and settled on the game as an experience focusing on top-notch quality. Choosing the premium path over the traditional mobile in-app purchase approach, ZeptoLab has ultimately released Cut the Rope 3 on Apple Arcade.
The Cut the Rope franchise has appeared on iOS, Android, Windows and Nintendo 3DS, with plenty of spinoffs like Om Nom: Merge, Om Nom: Bubbles and Om Nom: Run bulking up the catalogue. Needless to say, the return to the Cut the Rope main series 10 years after 2 and 13 years after the original, is exciting indeed.
Embodying a Stranger Things-esque atmosphere just in time for Halloween, the Kingdom franchise has returned with its latest game, Kingdom Eighties. Naturally, with an 80s setting comes neon lights and plenty of purple.
Kingdom Eighties has launched on iOS, Android and Steam with a combination of action, tower defence, simulation and micro-strategy genres. Teams build up their base to defend a pixel-style town, all to the score of a synthwave OST, naturally.
Croatia-based Fury Studios is the developer behind the game, known primarily for the Kingdom series. Publisher Raw Fury, meanwhile, has a ranging catalogue including Tails Noir, Per Aspera, Dream Cycle and Moonstone Island.
Star Stable Online
It’s been 12 years (12!) since Star Stable Online first released, with a worldwide launch following soon after. However, in all the years since, mobile play has only been possible on iOS… Until now.
At long last, this equestrian entry has launched on Android via the Google Play Store with all the stallions and adventures a horse enthusiast could ask for. Players can take care of horses from over 50 breeds, train them, set out on quests and explore the island of Jorvik. As the name suggests, there are online elements too - in the form of competitions and tournaments.
Star Stable Entertainment is the developer and publisher behind this title, its sole release outside of the Star Stable Friends companion app.
South of the Circle
Rounding off this week’s list is the narrative adventure South of the Circle, with a stellar artstyle, emotional soundtrack and engaging vocal cast only amplifying the poignance of its Cold War backdrop. The game follows academics from Cambridge, Peter and Clara, who must make choices between their careers and love.
South of the Circle has released on Steam and iOS, free on the latter and taking the in-app purchase approach instead. There’s no Android release yet, as is commonly the case from developer State of Play; Lumino City, INKS, KAMI 2 and now South of the Circle are all on the Apple App Store, with only KAMI 2 among them crossing over onto the Google Play Store.
Actors involved in South of The Circle’s voice work include Anton Lesser, Gwilym Lee and Olivia Vinall.