The world’s 2.2 billion gamers will generate $US108.9 billion ($137 billion) in revenue by the end of 2017. And mobile gaming, says a new report, is one of the fastest growing parts of the booming market, likely to account for 42 per cent of all global gaming revenue in 2017. So which games are the must-haves, the ones that will ensure mobile’s grip on gaming only gets stronger? We give you ten of the year’s best.
Crashlands – This action-RPG crafting game is billed as one of the best Android games ever made. Playing as Flux, an intergalactic trucker crash landed on an alien planet, it is your mission to find the spare parts to make repairs. With crafting stations, tools, a myriad of items to combine into parts, and weapons to fend off attackers, Crashlands offers more hours of gameplay than you really need.
Riptide GP: Renegade – Race and upgrade a jet-powered hydrofoil in this latest release in the Riptide series. You’ve been caught in an illegal street race and stripped of your credentials, and must battle it out on the canals in single and multiplayer modes to climb back to the top. Riptide GP: Renegade has no in-app purchases, meaning no interruptions to the hyper-speed thrills of this arcade-influenced racer.
NBA 2K17 – For the sports fans, this year’s NBA mobile title features superb graphics and physical controller support. A career mode allows you to build on your team’s progress, among a host of other ways to keep you coming back to this premium hoop shooter.
Pokemon Go – The biggest game of 2016 is still one of the best. Using the smartphone camera, Pokemon Go uses an augmented reality environment where you traverse the real world searching for cute creatures to capture and, well, make them fight! The game is frequently updated, and continues to evolve in 2017, thanks to new game mechanics and more creatures.
Minecraft: Pocket Edition – This hyper-addictive, 8-bit online phenomenon needs little introduction, but for those still wondering what all the fuss is about, Minecraft’s pocket version is a great way to get into sandbox-style gaming. Essentially, you mine resources and build stuff, but it’s so much more than that. Word is, the mobile version will eventually drop its Pocket Edition title and become the full-version game.
Super Mario Run – The classic Nintendo platformer featuring everyone’s favourite plumber has evolved into an endless auto-runner, with smart level design and one-hand playability. Released in December 2016, this is Mario’s first mobile adventure, and, according to Mario Brothers creator Shigero Miyamoto, you can eat a hamburger and play at the same time.
Super Samurai Rampage – No prizes for guessing who you are or what you’re doing in this swipe-based, high-score funfest. Swipe left or right to dole out your own brand of katana-slashing mayhem as you rampage through this very fun arcade martial arts masterpiece.
Unkilled – A Freemium zombie shooter from the makers of the popular Dead Trigger, the 2015-release Unkilled still wows the fans with its amazing splatter-fest graphics. With over 300 fast missions, end-of-level bosses, weapons to unlock and upgrade, and online PvP mode, it’s up to you to stop the zombie apocalypse. Just put the crosshairs on your target and fire!
Angry Birds 2 – Despite some in-app purchases, even the free version of Angry Birds 2 is a great way to burn the minutes. The challenging, physics-based gameplay is constantly updated and maintained to keep you coming back for more of those belligerent buzzards. While not without its controversy over a focus on purchases, this classic slingshot adventure is still one of the world’s favourites.
Goat Simulator – It’s an obscure little title, but the sheer comedy of it makes it a must-play. Essentially, you are a goat, and that’s all that limits you in a world of suburban trampolines, teetering ledges, and paranoid pedestrians crying out to be head-butted. Don’t ask questions. Just download and prepare for hysterics.