7 Games that Defined the Smartphone Gaming Era

by Tim | Jul 23, 2021

7 Games that Defined the Smartphone Gaming Era

For some people, smartphone gaming has always been how they’ve played games, but many others remember a time when gaming on a mobile phone was a difficult, if not painful, experience! However, since the introduction of the smartphone, playing games on the go (such as jackpot mobile casino titles and live roulette online) has become much easier, with some incredible releases for gamers to enjoy.

This is why we decided to put together a list of titles that defined smartphone gaming. Yes, you’ll instantly recognise some of these games, but others may not be the most popular, or even the best-selling titles. Check out our list of these seven platforming-defining games (arranged in alphabetical order) to read about these titles.


1. Alto’s Adventure

Mobile platform: Android, iOS

Genre: Platformer; endless runner

Release date: 2015

If you like simple games that offer heaps of atmosphere, then Alto’s Adventure is the game for you. 

In this mobile platformer game, you play Alto, a sand and snowboarder who makes their way across beautiful landscapes, collecting coins and avoiding all sorts of environmental obstacles. This style of game is referred to as an “endless runner”, because once your Alto starts moving, they never stop, nor do they ever “die”! As the player, all you need to do is time Alto’s jumps and flips to gain speed and increase your points! 

Why it made this list

What makes Alto’s Adventure truly special is the very calming mood that it offers. Despite the increasing levels of challenge, the game’s visuals, sound effects, and music never fail to offer a very serene gameplay experience.


2. Angry Birds

A cartoon illustration of an angry bird.

Mobile platform: Android, iOS

Genre: Puzzle

Release date: 2009

Even if you’re not a gamer, you are probably familiar with Angry Birds. This series of games has expanded beyond the mobile phone with a variety of merchandise as well as two full-length feature films, which is unsurprising considering how popular these games once were. 

For those of you who haven’t played an Angry Birds game, it’s a puzzle game where you use a slingshot to fling different types of birds into forts built by greedy pigs who’ve stolen your eggs! You have to break the forts, eliminate the pigs, and reclaim your eggs to complete each level in this fun puzzle game. Players are awarded points and stars depending on how efficiently they completed the level.

Why it made this list

While there have been games that have used similar mechanics before, Angry Birds combined them all into an easy-to-understand and fun formula that captured the attention of the first generation of smartphone gamers.


3. Florence

Mobile platform: Android, iOS

Genre: Interactive story

Release date: 2018

Florence is a game that tells the tale of a young woman, Florence Yeoh, and her chance encounter with a cellist named Krish, who she meets in the park. Players follow Florence’s blossoming relationship with Krish through all its ups and downs, completing interactive segments and puzzles throughout the game.

Why it made this list

While Florence may be more “story” than video game, the narrative it shares with the players is an incredibly important one that’s masterfully told. While the ending may not hit home for everyone, it’s still an artfully told journey that is unlike many other mobile games.


4. Fortnite

Mobile platform: Android, iOS

Genre: Shooter

Release date: 2017

Even if you don’t have a child (or even a teenager), you’ve probably heard of Fortnite – an incredibly popular video game that’s played by millions of people around the world. In this shooter, players pick an avatar before joining in battles against other players or monsters (depending on the game mode). Where it differs from other games is that players must also collect resources and build themselves forts to protect themselves (hence the name). However, it only takes a few moments to build different structures, so battles and building take place simultaneously, with players throwing up walls and other structures to gain any kind of advantage over their foes.

Why it made this list

Fortnite may not have started as an incredibly popular game, but it has now become a cultural phenomenon. To put things into perspective, one 16-year-old player won $3 million (that’s about £2.2 million) at the annual esports tournament, the Fortnite World Cup – a clear example of how much support this title enjoys from gamers all around the world.


5. Gorogoa

Mobile platform: Android, iOS

Genre: Puzzle

Release date: 2017

Gorogoa is a truly unique experience that’s hard to describe. In this puzzle game, the player must manipulate multiple images on a 2×2 grid to guide the player through to the next level. While this may sound simple, the game gets mind-boggling the further you get into it, because the way you manipulate images becomes more detailed and complex.

Why it made this list

Gorogoa offered an experience that was completely new to gamers across the world, even if they didn’t play the game on mobile. This fresh take on puzzle solving – combined with beautiful art and music – was never seen before, and might never be seen again. So it’s a good thing we can still play this incredible puzzle game!


6. Infinity Blade

Mobile platform: Android, iOS

Genre: Action; role-playing game

Release date: 2010

A fairly straightforward action role-playing game (RPG), Infinity Blade sees the player control an armoured warrior on his journey through a castle to defeat the immortal God King. Players must attack, dodge, block, or parry their way through various enemies before they finally come up against the game’s final antagonist. The game also includes easy-to-understand RPG elements such as gaining experience and levelling up, which allows your character to gain strength as well as acquire more advanced equipment.

Why it made this list

While Infinity Blade may not win any awards for its gameplay, it was one of the first titles to show what mobile phones were graphically capable of at the time. It used Unreal Engine 3, which was powering many games on PCs and consoles at the time, to bring a whole new level of visuals to mobile phone games.


7. Pokémon GO

A man tries to catch Pokémon while playing Pokémon GO.

Mobile platform: Android, iOS

Genre: Augmented reality, Role-playing game

Release date: 2016

Pokémon GO is an augmented reality (AR) game that sees players take on the role of a Pokémon trainer, catching Pokémon that can be found around them, as well as battling against other Pokémon trainers. Using your phone, you could interact with the game world, which was virtually overlaid on the real world around you.

Why it made this list

Unlike some other titles, this isn’t a game that people simply enjoyed… It was an all-out craze, with mobs gathering at various destinations across the globe, all with the same goal – catching the rarest Pokémon! It had been downloaded more than half a billion times by the end of 2016, and generated literally billions in revenue for the game developer! Unfortunately, with such a large volume of players, some even ended up in tragic accidents while playing without due care and attention in the real world. 

It was also the first time we saw an AR experience being enjoyed on such a grand scale, demonstrating the potential future for this type of technology. While Pokémon GO may not have stuck around in our collective consciousness for very long, there was no doubt that it made a huge impact when it was released.

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While these mobile games may have changed the industry, other games have revolutionised it too, even if they’re not as widely accessible. That’s right: casino games! Whether you love to play online slots, play online scratch cards, or play roulette online – you can find all these great mobile phone games (and many more) at The Phone Casino.

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