The Best Mobile Games of 2019 (So Far)

By Matt Skidmore 26 Jun 2019 0

Halfway through the year and there have already been plenty of top-notch games to savour. From classic board games to cunning real-time strategy, not forgetting insanity-inducing card games, a wheeler-dealer RPG and a groovy roguelike. No matter what your tastes, everyone should find something to tickle his or her fancy.

Admittedly, there hasn’t been much in the way of truly original content; with most of the best games being tabletop adaptations or PC conversions. However, when the games are this good it seems churlish to criticise, especially since they prove that in spite of the doomsayers the premier mobile game market is still alive and kicking.

Star Traders: Frontiers (Review)

Star Traders Frontiers Carriers

The ever-reliable Trese brothers turn their creative hands to the open world sci-fi RPG genre with terrific results. Although essentially a game of intergalactic commerce, Star Traders’ diversity allows for a range of differing approaches. Not happy with a methodical law-abiding approach? Then why not indulge in a  spot of smuggling or piracy? Perhaps you will decide to ditch trading altogether and take a military-focused approach or stick to the carefree life of a wandering adventurer. Initially intimidating, you will soon discover that the dynamic world of Star Traders is one that is well worth your investment.

Legends of Andor (Review)

Legends of Andor 2

All three of the board games on this list are at least five years old in terms of the physical version, proving that developers are prepared to look beyond the latest shiny new releases. This is definitely a good thing as there are plenty of classics just waiting to be discovered by a wider audience.

At first glance, Legends of Andor appears to be a hack and slash game, which simply involves rolling a fist full of dice and laying waste to hoards of monsters. Start playing, however, and you will soon realise that the game is actually much more puzzle-based than that. The most precious commodity is time, forcing you to carefully coordinate the actions of your band of heroes. The tight time limit means that each scenario more often than not climaxes in a tense showdown. There is a generous amount of content and it plays brilliantly solo. This may be a conversion of an older board game but its re-emergence on touchscreen makes perfect sense.

Evolution Board Game (Review)

Evolution Gameplay2

Evolution is a card game of survival in a constantly changing ecosystem where food is often scarce and predators are on the hunt for a tasty snack. Players develop different species in a struggle to be the most successful. The real fun starts when you begin to add extra traits to a species, maybe transforming a peace-loving herbivore into a slavering ball of fangs and teeth.  Charming presentation and a terrific single-player campaign ensure that Evolution simulates the struggle for existence in a fun and rewarding way without getting bogged down with too much detail.

Castles of Burgundy (Review)

castles of burgundy 2 Board Layout

The board game version of this settlement building game is a stone cold classic. Thankfully, the app does a superb job of recreating the experience, making it one of the best board-to-digital conversions available. The excellent interface means that players familiar with the board game will be able to jump in and play straight away. Although new players will have to invest a considerable amount of time going through the comprehensive tutorials, it is well worth the effort. Despite a reliance on rolling dice, the range of options means you never feel restricted by bad luck. Keep your plans fluid and make the most of your current rolls and before you know it you will be raising a glass to celebrate the most impressive estate in Burgundy.

Necrodancer: Amplified (Review)

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A roguelike game in which Nocturna and her adversaries strut their stuff like John Travolta. Keep time with the catchy beats whilst committing murder on the dance floor to build up some impressive combos. This is the definitive version and includes all of the content from the original pocket edition alongside the additional Amplified expansion. Necrodancer is a brilliant mash-up, transforming the typical sedate pace of dungeon crawling into a mad frenzy as you shake it like a Polaroid picture.

Cultist Simulator (Review)

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Time to enter a world of despicable cults, unspeakable horrors and gibbering insanity. No, it’s not Christmas Day at your parents but the Lovecraftian setting for Cultist Simulator. You may be thrown into the thick of the action with little clue as to what is going on, but atmospheric narration creates a web of rich and involved stories. You will soon be establishing your very own cult, recruiting gullible followers and indulging in sanity-warping rituals. The clever card play mechanics are perfectly suited to touchscreen, making this one cult well worth signing up to.

Dungeon Warfare 2 (Review)

Dungeon Warfare 2 Review

If Cultist Simulator hasn’t sated your taste for the dark sidethen Dungeon Warfare 2 should be your next port of call. There is no doubt that there is something deeply satisfying about turning the tables on parties of greedy adventurers by laying traps to send them plummeting into bottomless pits or crushing them between moving walls. As the Dungeon Lord, you get to do all of this and much, much more. The theme works brilliantly and the sense of progression is extremely satisfying. The puzzle-like gameplay and robust physics engine ensure that Dungeon Warfare 2 adds some much-needed pep to the tower defence genre.

Shards of Infinity (Review)

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Coming from the same stable as Pocket Tactics’ favourite Ascension, Shards of Infinity was always going to be worth a look. The design is tight and there is a lot more outright confrontation than in most other deck building games. This is because instead of competing for points, the aim is to reduce your opponent’s health to zero.

The big innovation is that through a mechanic known as mastery you can increase the power of your cards. Hell, build up enough mastery and you can summon the infinity shard for an instant win. With the potential for countless card combos, this is a game that can handle up to four players but really excels in a two-player face off.

What have been your favourite games of 2019 so far?

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