As with every year, mobile gaming continues to grow at an astronomical rate. In fact, this year saw perhaps the most popular mobile game ever release (and no, we’re not talking about that one). There were updates in Square Enix’s vaunted GO series, space robot pirates and even hydrojet racing. At least in terms of variety, that’s a hard roster to beat. Let’s take a look at the nominees for best mobile game of 2016.
A mobile strategy game from Supercell that isn’t Clash of Clans? Thankfully, Clash Royale is a little more than that. The freemium title mixes card-battling, tower management and multiplayer battles into one big smorgasbord of fun. With challenges, tournaments and chests to earn, Clash Royale strikes a very good balance between free to play and paid.
Niantic’s Pokémon hunting mania took the world by storm, challenging players to enter the real world and build up their collections. Pokémon Go quickly became one of the most popular mobile games ever, mixing social interaction and exercise with exploration. Though the grind and overall wonky launch servers soured many folks, Pokémon Go has improved with tons of new features and Pokémon to capture.
Deus Ex GO
Taking the turn-based puzzle formula further is Square Enix’s Deus Ex GO. While not as involving as Hitman GO or Lara Croft GO, Deus Ex GO managed to combine hacking and stealth into a worthwhile mobile premise. With numerous puzzles to solve, Deus Ex GO provides a decent diversion from Mankind Divided.
Riptide GP: Renegade
Some people just want to race on hydrojets and can you blame them? Riptide GP: Renegade is the latest in the series with a new single-player mode, bosses, vehicles to unlock and different playable characters to take control. The attractive visuals, fast action and sleek optimization make Riptide GP: Renegade easy to recommend.
Bully: Anniversary Edition
Rockstar’s other open world epic Bully finally hit mobiles and we couldn’t be gladder. How else will we rise through the ranks of school, becoming the one true authority over our peers? The open world of Bully: Anniversary Edition offers tons of stuff to do with a significant amount of PG-13 hilarity and it’s packed with great characters throughout.
Turn-based action with robot pirates, heists and strategic gun fights describes SteamWorld Heist in a nut-shell. It’s not just the procedural generation or distinct style that sets the game apart. Rather, it’s the combination of everything and how easy it is for players to become addicted that makes SteamWorld Heist one of the best mobile games this year.
Supercell seems to have a monopoly on hopelessly addictive titles. Clash Royale thankfully doesn’t fall too deep into the money trap that Clash of Clans has become. Matches are easy to get into but it takes a significant amount of skill to master the game’s mechanics. With a huge roster of characters and plenty of replay value, Clash Royale is our pick for the best mobile game of 2016.
Note: GamingBolt’s Game of the Year categories, nominations and awards are selected via an internal nomination, voting and debate process. You can check the rest of categories and the respective winners here.