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.
Captain Tsubasa: Ace
Japanese manga series Captain Tsubasa has got a newly licenced mobile game available now in open beta on iOS and Android. Named Captain Tsubasa: Ace, the action sports title features franchise favourites from Yōichi Takahashi's series like Kojiro Hyuga and the titular Tsubasa Ozora, plus many other characters to collect.
The open beta features two game modes - the Dream League being based around strategy and football formations, and the Ace Duel giving fans real-time operations to play out. Certain events will be familiar to series veterans, giving a chance to relive them in mobile game form.
Captain Tsubasa: Ace was developed by Program Twenty Three, known for sports game Slam Dunk and symphonic RPG Takt op. Symphony. Publisher DeNA, meanwhile, has become best known in recent years for working with Nintendo on Fire Emblem Heroes, Pokémon Masters and more, even establishing a new venture together in Nintendo Systems.
Reminiscent of Scrabble, Gubbins sees players stringing tiles of letter together into words in a unique new way. After all, letter-arranging gets more complicated when the mischievous Gubbins get involved - sometimes helping and sometimes leaving chaos in their wake, from scattering mushrooms and chickens all over players’ letter board, to outright rearranging the letters already placed.
There are daily levels to play and a roguelike element challenges players to improve their skills, all to the backdrop of a classic, cartoony animation style with simple but effective typography.
Gubbins marks developer Studio Folly’s first mobile game after founding in Melbourne in 2020. It’s a free-to-play puzzle game with in-app purchases where "kooky cartoons serve as a canvas". And Gubbins makes sure players know, even spicier words are fair game.
Match3 games have long been a subgenre in the puzzle range, and Forza Customs is the latest among them. It sees players tinker with various vehicles in a whole range of models based on real life, with plenty of personalisation options available before showing vehicles off to the rest of the community via a photo mode.
Hutch and Turn 10 have confirmed future content updates will include new game modes and, naturally, more models of car. The game is another free-to-play title and is currently the top free racing game on the Play Store, finding its niche in combining casual play and match3 mechanics with a realistic artstyle.
Hutch has a long line of vehicular mobile games already, Smash Bandits Racing, Smash Cops Heat, Rebel Racing and F1 Clash: Car Racing Manager among them. The development studio announced a new game in collaboration with NASCAR this September.
Phantom Blade: Executioners
Indie developer SoulGame has released its debut title Phantom Blade: Executioners. An action adventure RPG, Phantom Blade features fast-paced combat, kung fu punk action, ranging class paths and, of course, an East Asian theme. Ink-brush stylised landscapes contrast a horrific and malevolent force from Chinese folklore that players learn more about as they play through the narrative.
SoulGame has been celebrating the launch by handing out plenty of ingot and summoning tickets to players, in addition to the Myriad Illusions Epic phantom set. The developer has chosen to launch Phantom Blade across a whole host of platforms and stores, including the Apple App Store, Google Play Store, PlayStation Store, Epic Games Store and Steam.
Jorel’s Brother and the Most Important Game of the Galaxy
The final entry on this week’s list takes a much more colourful approach than the last, with a much longer title too. Jorel’s Brother and the Most Important Game of the Galaxy is the latest game from Copa Studio and Double Dash Studios, with point-and-click gameplay built around a new narrative in the award-winning Jorel’s Brother franchise.
Characters from the Brazilian animation series appear in-game, including the leading eccentric family and, of course, Jorel’s younger brother. There are plenty of minigames and the animation style makes the game feel like an episode in and of itself. The title requires an upfront purchase and features in-app purchases too.
Copa Studio is the Brazilian animation studio behind the Jorel’s Brother franchise while Double Dash Studios brings mobile game development experience to the table, with previous works including Survivor Heroes Team Roguelike and Eat Dino Eat - Run Eat Grow, each in their own zany animation style.