Pocket Tactics Editor's Choice Game of the Year 2013

By Owen Faraday 20 Dec 2013 0
Kicked ass, took names. Kicked ass, took names.

If you're looking for proof that core gaming has a home on mobile devices, look no further than our Editor's Choice Game of the Year.

Poor XCOM: Enemy Unknown. The most we ask from the average video game is that it be good -- but when XCOM arrived on PC and consoles last year, we expected it to be the saviour of the turn-based strategy genre as a whole. And it was! XCOM sold a mountain of copies and was festooned with awards. 2K reinvested in it twice with a pair of expansion packs, upending the idea that strategy games aren't "contemporary".

Having survived one stint as coal mine canary, XCOM was enlisted to do it again back in March when 2K announced that the alien invasion tactical game was coming to iOS. Not only would XCOM have to prove that a AAA PC game could be coerced into running on a mobile platform, but that the iOS game-buying public would be willing to ante up $20 for it.

In both cases, XCOM pulled it off. There's still reports of problems running on older hardware, and it's not exactly a delightful UI experience on iPhone, but on newer iPads XCOM runs flawlessly. And sales of the game were apparently brisk: it ranked in the top 5 grossing iPad apps in 41 countries, including the US and the UK, territory where the charts are usually dominated by more fashionable free-to-play games.

XCOM has had to wear a lot of hats: redeemer of turn-based strategy, flag bearer for premium mobile games, evangelist for sadistic difficulty levels. But hey, they all look good. It's a worthy successor to a true classic and hopefully a sign of the shape of things to come -- not just more ports to iOS, but bigger, more sophisticated games on mobile.

Runner-up: Agricola

Honourable Mention: Warhammer Quest868-HACK, Year Walk, Ace Patrol Pacific Skies, Drive on Moscow, Pandemic

To see all the games recognized in the Pocket Tactics Best of 2013 Awards, visit the awards index page.
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