Mobile Mavens

Indie Mavens' Games of the Year 2017

From Hill Climb Racing 2 to Breath of the Wild, our Indie Mavens throw their favourites into the ring

Indie Mavens' Games of the Year 2017

It's that time of year once again, the time when we look back at the last 12 months and marvel at the breadth of talent on show in the mobile games industry.

2017 has seen a wealth of excellent games on iOS and Android, but everyone's got their own opinions on which title is the "best" of the year.

So we decided to ask our Indie Mavens which games they've been playing this year that have stayed nestled in their brains ever since they pressed start, whether that be on mobile or even on Nintendo's shiny new Switch console.

Specifically, we asked:

  • What is your Mobile Game of the Year for 2017 and why?


Pierre-Luc Vettier CEO Zero Games Studios

It's hard for me to choose a game for 2017 as very few games caught my eye. I consider 2016 and 2015 to have been better years than 2017, to be honest.

OK Golf is very nice, at least. It's simple, slick and well-made, which I love. It would be my game of the year.

The Planescape Torment port is also very good, but even if it had been released in 2017 on mobile devices, it's a 1999 game, so I guess it's not a totally new game and it would be awkward to consider it.

Aaron Fothergill Co-founder Strange Flavour

Likewise, very hard for me to choose one this year too. Mostly because I don't think I've seen more than 1% of the good games released this year mentioned on the App Store or in the press.

I think my favourite mobile game of the year though is Motorsport Manager 2.
Aaron Fothergill

Apple's change in the App Store with iOS 11 and the dropping of iOS apps from the desktop version of iTunes has pretty much wiped out visibility of anything that's not directly featured by Apple (and of course, they're the ones getting heavily featured in the media).

Of the ones I've actually been playing (other than our own, rather excellent but extremely hard to find, Fish! the follow up to our hit game Flick Fishing) I rather enjoyed Miracle Merchant, but was also really pleased when Rogue Touch (another classic early iOS game) got a 64-bit update to work with iOS 11.

I think my favourite mobile game of the year though is Motorsport Manager 2. Being a massive F1 fan, I played the original to death, then played the desktop version to death, and I’m still playing the new mobile version.

Playsport Games' Motorsport Manager 2

Tanya X. Short Creative Director Kitfox Games

Pretty sure this was my answer last year, but I'm still a loyal fan of The Battle for Polytopia... as one of those Civilization players who loves the first Age more than the rest combined, it's perfectly made for me. And even the most sensitive free-to-play skeptic should appreciate their content-based approach to monetization.

I also had a fantastic time with Card Thief, an excellent puzzle game with a bit of a steep learning curve but lots of rewarding strategy if you stick with it. If the idea of sneaking and stealing treasure appeals to you, or if you're curious about new approaches to puzzle design, definitely check it out.

Tinytouchtale's Card Thief

Recently I've also been playing a bit of The Arcana, a visual novel with great art and a lovely setting (I've always wanted to be an extra-talented fortune teller who works for a gorgeous Duchess).

The game has a very generous introduction, reeling you in, but then unfortunately becomes a bit too stingy with its virtual currency for me to keep enjoying it. This is a game where I feel the monetization is changing my relationship with the game, and I wish I could just buy a premium version.

Ben Murch Co-Founder Perchang

Has been a bit of a funny year on the mobile gaming front for me. At Perchang, we have really been heads-down on creating the new game, so I barely looked up to see anything else!

Mario and Zelda are probably the joint winners of Game of the Year.
Ben Murch

This has meant I've been playing tablet and phone games in small doses. Mobile also appears to be working in much more word-of-mouth territory than other platforms, meaning I'm discovering "new" games that have been out for years!

Hill Climb Racing 2 was my game of choice at the start of the year. So easy to pick up and have fun with in quick bursts. Adding other players to race against added to the replay factor too.

Super Stickman Golf 3 is a continual favourite to play with my five-year-old nephew. It's simple enough for him to get AND challenging enough to tax me! Cracking job!

Fingersoft's Hill Climb Racing 2

I was also gifted a Switch in the Summer. I think we all know just how good the first party Nintendo software is, and that Mario and Zelda are probably the joint winners of GOTY.

However, that feels a bit like cheating. Sooooo, instead crack open some Stickman Golf and Hill Climb Races for blasts of fun that everyone can enjoy over the holidays.

Oh, and Merry Christmas all!

Molly Heady-Carroll Co-founder & Lead Artist Arcane Circus

Ooph... Good question! There's been some great games this year! I haven't played Monument Valley 2 yet, if I had then it would probably be up there because I really enjoyed the first one.

For me, it's between Beat Street and Hidden Folks this year. Beat Street breathed new life into the classic beat 'em up genre, updating it for a modern audience and doing an elegant, intuitive job with the mobile controls, its really beautiful to play.

Adriaan de Jongh and Sylvain Tegroeg's Hidden Folks

Hidden Folks, on the other hand, is admirable in its simplicity of design and the huge amount of craft and love put into every little tiny detail (shout-out to the very talented Sylvain, who drew everything by hand.)

Hmmm... Well, since I am still waiting for the Android version of Hidden Folks to come out (and my main gaming phone is Android), I guess I will have to go with Beat Street. I've played it more than any other mobile game this year, so it's doing something right for me!


Ric is the Editor of, having started out as a Staff Writer on the site back in 2015. He received an honourable mention in both the MCV and Develop 30 Under 30 lists in 2016 and refuses to let anyone forget about it.