Now that the E3 event is over and the passions have subsided, we can talk about the games we found interesting among the mobile announcements this year. The mobile gaming industry is growing strong, and the condescending console preachers might be stealing a sneak peek at some of these big-name and indie titles from the E3 and IndieCade booths. If not, keep your joysticks to yourself, and let the mobile generation enjoy their new treats in the bliss of sweet anticipation. Here are our top 20 picks of AAA and indie mobile games at E3, some already released, others in post-production, but some still waiting for more details to be revealed. Note: some trailers are still for the console game since the mobile teasers haven’t been released, yet.
The Walking Dead: Michonne
The Walking Dead: Michonne sees you experiencing the untold story of Michonne, an iconic character from the series as she gets lost and comes back to her companions Ezekiel, Rick and the rest. The vents take place somewhere in between the 126 and 139 issues of the comic book. Telltale Games releases a three-episode mini-series some time this fall for consoles, PCs, Android and iOS devices.
Final Fantasy VII
Square Enix has announced a mobile port of Final Fantasy VII reportedly coming to the iOS devices sometime in the future, although we don’t know yet if the Android port is in the works.
Patience, folks, it won’t be long until you lay your anxious fingers on Unkilled when it launches in iOS and Android reportedly this summer. Actually, it was supposed to have launched by now, but got postponed by a month, cross your fingers. Sporting the same controls as in the Dead Trigger 2, the new Madfinger release Unkilled will offer quite a few modes for the traditional first-person shooter action, with the traditional survival, the challenge and some special modes, like the snipe one and an overall of some 300 missions. Notably, the entire screen real estate is for the action while the heal, missile and enhance buttons reside modestly in the upper right corner. This time around, the developer chose to let you auto-fire the weapons once you target the zombies, which sounds like a welcome modification designed to let the players focus completely on the aiming. Being the next installment of the Dead Trigger franchise, Unkilled shines in all the Unity 3D glory, with the nausea-inducing close-ups of the undead horde. Some missions will have you saving somebody, others will see you hide to survive or traditionally search and destroy thing. It’s going to be a freemium, IAP-supported game, like it or not.
Dawn of Titans
Dawn of Titans is coming to iOS and Android later this year, and it looks darn impressive, with the multi-million armies marching on and the real time massive battle scenes. Produced by Natural Motion, the game is built on the Echo engine, which allows for console-quality 3D graphics on mobile. We will see about that claim, but the trailer looks spectacular and awe-inspiring, like the Lord of the Rings used to be for the movies. Your soldiers will be lead by the mythical creatures, but so will the armies of your opponents, so except for those nasty beasts, expect some in-depth social elements, as you forge powerful alliances, battle it out with your friends or against the AI. What is more, the game will let you build your own gorgeous-looking kingdoms.
Kingdom Hearts Unchained Key
Kingdom Hearts: Unchained Key from Square Enix was initially announced as Japan-exclusive mobile game, but the developer luckily for us changed their mind, and soon (don’t know when, but soon) Android and iOS users in the Western hemisphere will be able to enjoy the jolly hack-and-slash action RPG with turn-based combat mechanics. Mickey, Aladdin, Donald, Goofy and the Final Fantasy heroes will star in this somewhat retro-looking 3D, or is that 2D, style that promises some intense and substantial fun, perfect for the newcomers to the franchise. Directed and composed by Tetsuya Nomura and Yoko Shimomura, the same masterminds behind other Kingdom Hearts titles before, Kingdom Hearts Unchained Key is reportedly coming to mobile in 2015 in Japan; the release date Western-side is yet to be announced.
Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes
Electronic Arts certainly got its share of the spotlight at E3, and one of the most intriguing upcoming mobile releases of this or the next year is the Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes. Not only is it intriguing because it’s coming from EA, or because it’s the new Star Wars game, but also because little detail has been spilled about it so far. No trailer, no estimated launch dates, except for the approximate “later this year.” Reportedly, the game should launch on Google Play as a freemium CCG. Yes, you Kotor fans can relax – a card collecting and battling game is always a card-collecting game that appeals to.. well, those who appreciate collecting over acting. Not my personal favorite genre, but if it’s good the Force may lure tons of attraction its way. Keep your tabs open for the updates on the release dates! Please, make it different from Kabam-style.
Brothers – A Tale Of Two Sons
Originally released two years ago back in 2013, Brothers – A Tale of Two Sons is a no-words silent adventure of two brothers, obviously, through a mythical world built off of the Norse culture and mythology. The game puts the player in control of the two brothers, each controllable by one of the two onscreen joystick buttons, which makes half of the challenge to get them through the scary caves, tricky passages, mountain peaks and musty depths inhabited by cruel, otherworldly creatures. 505 Games is reportedly planning to release the game on mobile by the end of this year.
For the first time in the FIFA mobile history, we will see some female players in this new FIFA 16 from Electronic Arts. The rumor has it that the game lands on iTunes and Google Play sometime this fall, late-September or early-October as a freemium thingy. Do we get to untangle that corruption knot in the game? Just kidding, relax you football fans.
The IndieCade booth was the place to stick around if you were after interesting indie releases. Synonymy, already available on Google Play and iTunes for $1.99, is the brainchild and a mobile debut of a former filmmaker Christopher Cinq-Mars Jarvis. Educational, fun, revelation-style game designed to help you discover the intricacies of the English language through play. Reportedly, the 5th March developer has other languages in the works and if you are on the fence about the price, it’s a beautifully rendered, subtle and stylish experience for the fans of the linguistic mind games narrated by Richard Dawkins. The profits generated by the sales go to the educational charities. If “all synonyms were mapped using 3d graphing software, as if each word were a planet that had a gravitational pull proportional to its number of relationships to other nodes” sounds like an interesting game concept, give this beauty a try.
Fallout Shelter has already launched on iOS (Android TBA) and you can read our full review here; Michael gave it a thorough spin, so make use of his tips and tricks and advanced tips for the game. Bethesda exploits a very popular game concept – people living in a vault after a nuclear apocalypse. It’s something along the life simulation Sim-style, where you can build chapters, defend them, explore surrounding wasteland, upgrade your characters, let them reproduce… You will manage your scarce resources to survive, and the freemium model implemented in the mobile port seems to be working ok for the players.
Gnog looks like a mix of Two Dots, Monument Valley or Back to Bed and Adventures of Poco Eco in one. It takes you to the joyfully colored world of monster heads, each of which has two sides – one is a face with a personality and the other is its inner world. You walk from one to another to solve the puzzles and advance to the next monster head. The game looks totally lovable, jolly and brain-stimulating. So, keep your tabs open on this indie charmer from Ko-Op when it launches on iOS next year.
I Am Bread
One of the weirdest games ever, I Am Bread is “the beautiful story of one slice of bread’s epic and emotional journey as it embarks upon a quest to become toasted.” If you’ve ever played Surgeon Simulator, I Am Bread dwells on the story of the guy who ends up being on the operating table. Bossa Studios either has a very dark sense of humor, or a top-notch sense of irony. Expect this physics-based, annoyingly hard game that sees you guiding a slice of bread on its way across the kitchen to the said toaster on iOS tablets later this year. And remember, sliced supermarket white bread is the worst kind of bread for your health. Zero value, but the fats, gluten, sugar and palm tree oil. No wonder that guy started hallucinating.
Lara Croft Go
Square Enix announced Lara Croft Go, something like Hitman Go and Monument Valley, but with Lara Croft starring. The game launches on Android and iOS later this year, and I sure hope this time they make her look like Angie. Being a puzzle adventure, Lara Croft Go sees you guiding your favorite protagonist along board-game-like landscapes, solving puzzles, navigating caves, scouting jungle in strictly linear moves. Your task is to get her from point A to point B without getting killed. The art looks slick and the music sounds wonderful, so we surely hope the game would be accessible money-wise.
Madden NFL 16 Mobile
EA Sports releases Madden NFL 16 Mobile to provide the American football aficionados with even more American football on their handheld devices when it launches on iOS and Android later this year. So, if you are not fed up with getting your head kicked and punched all the time, keep your tabs open for Madden NFL 16 Mobile.
- Google Play currently in select countries
EA has been pretty busy at E3, and Minions Paradise comes just in time as we expect to watch Minions the Movie starting July 10 this year. The game has already launched on iTunes as a freemium title, and we expect it to hit Google Play store globally any time now because as of now it’s only available in select countries. What can I say – it’s adorable as everything minion. Phil is a clumsy fella who sinks the cruise ship where his buddies were having lots of fun. Now, they are stranded on a deserted island and Phil is responsible for turning it into a paradise. You get to build stuff like amusement parks, bars, attraction sites and all sort of fun things to entertain the minions. It’s simple, funny and addicting, so expect to cash out some real money in exchange for the doubloons.
Relics of Gods
Relics of Gods by Seasun Games is a fantasy MOBA that seems to be walking a classic money-centered path, but the visuals look spectacular, and we can expect quite a lot of strategy entertainment from this turn-based 3D title. It will feature over 50 playable characters and over 15 races alongside an engrossing fantasy plot when it launched later this summer on iOS and Android. Keep your tabs open for Relics of Gods if MOBA is your cup of tea.
Coming from the developers of the First Strike, one of the best and weirdest games of 2014, the Cloud Chasers is a long-awaited entry from Blindflug Studios. This developer aims to bring your attention to the serious world problems through gameplay, so this time, we will deal with the issues of immigration. Amelia and her father Francisco had to leave their corn farm because it could no longer feed them – the Earth is seriously short on water, and all the fields and forests have turned into deserts. The few privileged have assembled their advanced tech and moved to live in the sky, sending the huge water harvesting drones to scout the cloud fields and collect the little water that’s left in them. Everyone else is left to survive in the desert, and the main currency is the water. Amelia flies a small glider she uses to collect water from the clouds, so your aim is not only to help her collect the water, but guide her and her father through a series of dangerous and interesting encounters on their way to the spire – a gate to the promised land. The game looks gorgeous and we expect nothing less than stellar from this developer. Stay tuned to PocketMeta for more updates on Cloud Chasers, or read our overview here.
Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions
Geometry Wars3: Dimensions by Lucid Games is a spectacular evolution of the iconic PC game, and now it is available on iTunes and Google Play for $4.99. Set in an abstract world of geometry shapes, the game grants you a fast and robust space ship to take down the enemy shapes. You will zoom across the huge 3D platforms, destroying the hordes of neon light specks. The mobile port features the 50 missions in the all-new 3D glory and a classic 2D mode, with an overall of ten battle modes and four drone companion types you must unlock. The mobile version comes without the multiplayer, but the single-player campaign is rich in content and offers a wonderful replay value until you three-star all the levels. One of the best releases this month, Geometry Wars 3: Dimensions will keep your fingers busy. Read our game overview here.
Itunes $9.99 (yep, the trailer is from GDC, but there was no other teaser available)
Earth Primer is not actually a game, but a fully-fledged science book. It’s the kind of educational tool I wish I had when I was at school, yawning over the boring encyclopedias. Earth Primer lets iOS users young and old discover in very interactive and engaging ways how our planet works. You will see the core, build the mountains and volcanoes, create the oceans and blow the winds to spread life across the continents. Despite being a serious $10 investment, Earth Primer is a unique app of a high educational value, interactive, scientific, playful. Not only is it interactive, but it manages to combine a guided gameplay with an open-ended sim play for the fans of geology. It features five chapters – Earth’s Interior, Surface, Water Cycle, Biomes, and a Sandbox Mode. Available exclusively on iOS, Earth Primer is retailed for $9.99.
Breath of Light
- Google Play $2.99
Last but not least of the gorgeous indie games showcased at the IndieCade @E3 is the Breath of Light. Already released on Google Play and iTunes, this $3/ no IAP indie delight falls into my favorite category – relaxing, meditative Zen puzzler. You are given a set of mysterious stones you need to rearrange to let the air flowing from one flower reach the other flowers on the grid. Thus, the Mother Nature launches one of her favorite games of pollination and the flowers blossom, bringing back the life to a desolate place. Notably, the game has neither high scores nor clocks, but a trippy gameplay with a no-nonsense challenge. It’s delightful, try it.
That’s it for today. If you care to take a look at the other IndieCade games we skipped, head over to the showcase page and let us know which are your favorites in the comments below, or join our Forum!