2019 was a pretty awesome year for smartphone fans. Both in terms of hardware — we got some pretty amazing devices — and in software, with many new apps and cool games becoming available for both iOS and Android. We went out and gathered 10 of the best, must-check-out games that came out this past year. Here we go:
Call of Duty Mobile
The biggest gaming franchise to make the jump from console to smartphone — Call of Duty is finally available for handsets! You probably know that — it quickly became the most downloaded game on smartphones. Yeah, playing an FPS with touch controls is far from ideal. But developer Tencent obviously spent a lot of time to try and simulate the smooth and precise gunplay that Call of Duty is known for. And somewhat made it.We can play all of the popular modes that were added through the years — from classic Team Deathmatch to the Zombies survival mode, or the more obscure One Shot One Kill. And it’s all on the all-time popular maps, so any franchize veteran can jump in and feel right at home.
It seems the guys over at Supercell have a pretty good idea of how to make a mobile game that goes viral. They made Clash of Clans… and now they made Brawl Stars. It’s a top-down team-based shooter, which can get pretty tactical and competitive. There are a ton of characters and upgrades to grind for (or unlock with in-app purchases) and the game’s popularity ensures that you will always find a match.
Sky: Children of the Light
This game is a chill, almost meditative platformer, where you control an angel-like creature on an adventure to find some fallen stars. There’s a multiplayer element, too, though the other players are only in your game as “shadows”. It helps to add a sense of connection and comradery to the atmosphere of the game. You can greet other players and “connect” by sharing a candle, but there isn’t much PvP or PvE to be done in this game. It’s just a relaxing journey.
Dota Underlords / Auto Chess
Auto Chess has been an unexpected hit in 2019. It started out as a mod for DOTA 2, then moved on to being its own thing as a separate mobile and PC game. Valve also noticed that the mod is super-popular, so it launched its own version of Auto Chess — that’s DOTA Underlords.
In any case, both titles are very similar. Their gameplay is an addicting mix between turn-based strategy, resource management, and tower defense. One has to try it to fully grasp it. Thankfully, both games are free to play!
Armajet is a cool, side-scrolling platformer / shooter / team deathmatch game. To put it simply — 4v4 matches where lots of things go boom. It’s cross-platform and available for consoles, PC, mac, and — of course — mobile. The matches usually last 3 minutes, so it’s perfect for that mobile “I have a few minutes to burn” gaming style. There are a lot of guns to unlock and you can either grind for them or pay with real money to unlock.
Grimvalor (iOS release was 2018)
Grimvalor is a hotly-anticipated side-scrolling slasher adventure. It’s kind of a Souls-like take for mobile — the enemies do a ton of damage and it’s easy to get swarmed. The combat is very dodge-dependent, and there are altars where you can “rest” to heal and level up. Yes, if you stop to rest, all the enemies respawn. If you are on Android, you can play the first act for free, with a purchase to unlock the rest of the game.
Oddmar (iOS release was 2018)
A quirky platformer where you control Oddmar the dwarf through an epic adventure of… mostly collecting coins. This one feels like it drew some inspiration from Super Mario in all the good ways. You’ve got a lot of obstacles to jump over, fall through, or bounce off of, you’ve got plenty of enemies which you defeat by stepping on them. The level design is solid and the animations are smooth, fun, and quirky.
This is a top-down shooter and a rogue lite. You raid dungeons over and over again and every time you fail, you come home with the gold, experience, and items to help you progress to the harder levels. The gameplay is simple — you use the virtual joystick to move your hero. As soon as you stop moving, the character will auto-fire at the closest enemy. It may sound silly, but just wait until you get in a higher level bullet hell and you start thinking forward about character positioning and projectile speeds.
MU Origin 2
The game is free to play, so there’s some obnoxious in-game monetisation. For example, paying users can literally buy experience points, which is basically half the RPG game experience. So, maybe it’ll be a good idea to stay away from PvP and just try the quests first.
Stardew Valley is a… farming simulator, which became a surprise viral hit. Don’t let the friendly pixel art style — there’s tons of depth to this game and running a successful farm is actually tough work. There’s also a multiplayer element where a lot of people like to hang out. Yeah, you can fish together. Take that, Fortnite!