Once again it's that time of year where we all start feeling reflective and look back on the year just gone.
So to that end, we thought we'd ask our Mobile Mavens - a collection of games industry experts - a few questions about the year gone by, and what lies ahead in 2024.
Here we ask:
What was your favourite mobile game of the year?
You can read part two of this article here.
So I have two games that I really overplayed this year. Both are not what you’d call the “usual” games, but I love Japanese IP games, so for me, it would be Street Fighter: Dual and Monster Hunter Now.
SF: Dual I was obsessed with for the first part of the year after it launched. The sheer amount of content and stuff you can do daily is crazy, I reckon my session length per day was one to two hours at the peak. This is a game that really showcases how to good live ops and events, especially, around the unique spin on traditional characters, my favourite being “Fashon Blanka”.
The second game is MH: Now, which, as most people will know, is Niantic’s second biggest game ever after Pokémon GO. It’s location-based, so it does require you to move around, but if you’re like me and love being outside or have a dog, this is your perfect companion to be outside with. Everything about the MH IP is over the top: BIG weapons, BIG monsters, BIG power moves. All in all, it’s escapism and fantasy on a big scale, which I love.
I was really impressed with Royal Kingdom and got to the end of content very quickly. It’s only in soft launch so who knows if they’ll take it global but it’s been exciting to watch them evolve.
Martine Spaans runs publishing label Tamalaki.com; a boutique publisher with a hands-on approach, specialised in Hidden Object, Match-3 and Simulation games.
Tamalaki joined forces with partner-company FGL.com, which focuses on idle/clicker gamer, card and board games, and silly puzzles.
I am still playing my daily dose of Merge Mansion after three years, but that doesn’t count, right?
I really like to highlight Secret Shuffle. It's an awkward silent dance party game. It's really fun at parties, also for non-gamers. I won’t say more, just check it out for yourself.
Monopoly GO may not be my personal top pick, yet it earned the title of Mobile Game of the Year.
Scopely's approach is notably audacious, especially in a landscape where many companies are playing it safe due to the challenges posed by IDFA changes. This team stands out for its willingness to embrace the unknown with a blend of boldness and strategic foresight.
Choosing a favourite among the plethora of captivating games proves as challenging as selecting a favourite child – and having three kids myself, I know this is an impossible task. So here are my favourites for 2023:
Honkai: Star Rail: A captivating experience that continues to impress from launch to the present.
Warcraft Rumble: A fun and entertaining game that has grown on the player over time.
Monopoly GO: A title that needs no further explanation beyond its name.
Raid Shadow Legends: A perennial favourite, with its ever-evolving content ensuring a continued allure for the player.
Oscar Clark has been a pioneer in online, mobile, and console social games services since 1998. He is also author of the book, Games As A Service – How Free To Play Design Can Make Better Games.
Obviously, my favourite game of the year is the one we are working on, Rare Pets Merge Mystery, but that is just soft launched.
Other than that, I have been playing a lot of Warhammer: Tacticus and an indie merge game called ‘Teeny Tiny Town’ after meeting the developers at Pocket Gamer Connects Helsinki.
I'm not sure if I have a new one in 2023. But I have been playing a lot of Marvel Snap still - I finally made it to the infinity league!
Personally, I would choose Wreckfest Mobile! Why? Quite simply, we started HandyGames over two decades ago, and one of our first games was an awesome racing game that we did for Siemens Mobile Phones, the Siemens Racer on the old S45! Yes, Black and White, only some KB file size, and it was fun.
Now, over 20 years later, we can play such a PlayStation game on a mobile device with up to 140 FPS! Mobile devices are now a serious gaming device and you can play console-quality games on it. We have worked for that achievement for so long, and I am happy to see that. Only those who developed games from 2000 to 2006 for mobile know about those real challenges.
My favourite mobile game of the year has to go to Monster Hunter Now. My wife is a massive fan of the series, so it’s a game we can enjoy together.
I know it's a popular choice, but I really do love to play Monopoly GO with my kids. There's just something about it that gets me every time! But I don't have time for that after joining Paper Games.