Mobile phone technology has advanced in leaps and bounds since the first “brick-like” devices were sold to the public in 1983. Thanks to this progress, gamers today are able to enjoy a huge variety of titles on the go, from strategy and shooting games, to mind-boggling puzzles. You can even play scratch card games on your phone while sitting on the train or during a flight with on-board WiFi!
But which of these games have stood out among their peers and how many have you played? We take a look at 8 exceptional mobile phone games that have risen to the top of the mobile gaming industry.
1. Angry Birds
Angry Birds is a puzzle game that was released in 2009, just two years after the release of the iPhone. This iconic title from Finnish developer Rovio Entertainment hooked people with its easy-to-learn, hard-to-master gameplay, as well as its cute characters and cartoony graphics
In the world of Angry Birds, some evil green pigs have stolen the bird’s eggs, and it’s up to these angry birds to get their eggs back! In each level of the game, the player is required to use a slingshot to fling different types of birds into the pigs and eliminate them.
However, the devilish pigs built various fortresses out of different materials, making this challenge harder than you might expect. To defeat the pigs and bring their eggs home, players must learn to master the slingshot and the various bird types they shoot with it!
The (some might say addictive) game was played by 200 million people at the peak of its popularity in May 2012, and has since been turned into two feature-length animated films.
2. Candy Crush Saga
The second game on our list is another puzzle game from the early 2010s that many people will have likely had a “crush” on at some point. Yes, Candy Crush Saga is what we’re talking about! Created by mobile game developer King, the objective of the game was very simple – match tasty-looking candies on a grid in groups of three or more before your time ran out. Successfully matching these symbols got you points, and exploded the candy combos, causing more sweets to drop from the top of the grid.
But if you wanted to rack up a really big score, you had to create combinations of matches, and make use of the special candies that were created when you matched four or more sweets of the same type. Each level of the game also had different objectives to achieve if you wanted to progress to the next stage.
Candy Crush Saga has been downloaded more than half a billion times, with the game earning the developer over $1 billion (£722 million) in 2014, thanks to in-app purchases!
3. Clash of Clans
The third mobile game on our list sees us step away from the puzzle genre in favour of strategy. In Clash of the Clans, players must build up their own villages while preparing to attack those of other gamers. Players use resources to upgrade their buildings, troops, spells and units, which enables them to successfully defend their village while attacking their opponents. The objective of the overall game is to gain ranks in player-vs-player leagues, but you get smaller challenges each time you play, such as collecting the most trophies by attacking or defending, or upgrading your base.
Clash of Clans exploded onto the scene when it was first released in 2012, and went on to spawn an entire genre of mobile phone strategy games.
4. Flappy Bird
Whether you loved it or hated it, Flappy Bird was undoubtedly one of the most popular mobile phone games ever made. This title was created by one person, a Vietnamese developer who released games through his development company, dotGears.
The goal of this game was straightforward: all you had to do was guide a bird between the gaps in pipes. However, this was easier said than done. Once the game began, the bird would fall towards the ground, while a tap of the screen would cause it to leap into the air. The player had to correctly time each tap to prevent the bird from hitting the ground or any part of the pipe.
This infuriatingly simple game became a worldwide hit, but the game developer actually pulled it from both the Google and Apple app stores after he realised the game was too addictive and decided to stop distributing it. However, before it was removed, Flappy Bird was making the developer approximately $50k (£36k) a day through in-game ads.
5. Pokémon GO
If the words “Gotta catch ’em all” mean anything to you, you probably already know all about Pokémon GO. This was the world’s first popular augmented reality (AR) game, which overlaid a virtual world filled with Pokémon with the real world all around us. Players could “see” in-game locations and Pokémon on their phones, and would have to move around the real world to access these locations or capture the wild Pokémon.
This game may not be as popular as it once was, but needless to say it was a complete cultural craze when it first came out. Millions of people around the world could be seen with their phones out and AR engaged, as they vied to catch rare Pokémon, or engaged in Pokémon battles with other players. The game was so engrossing for some players it actually became dangerous for them to play it, with some trying to join in while they drove a vehicle, or being so unaware of their surroundings that criminals would try to steal their phones!
At the height of its popularity, Pokémon GO was earning the developer more than $10 million per day, and less than a year after its release, it had earned a total of $1 billion!
For people who owned phones before the smartphone era, there will always be one game that stands above the rest: Snake. This was another simple but addictive game where the player had to guide a “snake” (represented by a few dots) around an arena while eating pellets (represented by slightly different dots). Each time the snake ate a pellet, it got longer, making it harder to safely navigate around the arena (because it wasn’t allowed to touch itself or the sides). The aim of the game was to get as high a score as possible from eating pellets before you crashed and died.
While games that were virtually identical to Snake already existed on home computers and video game consoles, this game became a cultural icon when it was released on Nokia phones in the late 1990s, simply because people got to enjoy it on the go. This quote from the article, “The history of Snake: how the Nokia game defined a new era for the mobile industry”, neatly sums up how important this game was at the time it was released:
“Snake was a milestone moment for the mobile gaming industry, and much of what we see today can be linked back to the dawn of the cellular serpent navigating the small, black-and-white screen. It brought smiles, happiness, brain stimulation, and it was just something to do now and then – or better yet fill the time on a drab afternoon bus ride back from school. It also showed us what can be done on a phone, perhaps making us a little bit more demanding for future years to come.”
7. Fluffy Too
Fans of mobile online slots are undoubtedly familiar with Fluffy Too, the sequel to the original Fluffy Favourites slot (a surprise hit among online casino fans). In this follow-up, players get to try their luck on a 5-reel slot with 25 paylines. The game also offers some exciting bonuses in the form of Free Games and Coin Pusher features. The Free Games feature refers to the free spins that players can enjoy if they land 3 to 5 elephant wilds, which reward the player with 15, 20, or 25 free spins. The Coin Pusher mini-game refers to the classic arcade game where players drop coins into the machine onto a moving tray, with the hope of pushing the coins on the tray out. In Fluffy Too, this bonus feature could help you multiply your winnings!
At first glance, this online slot may not appear that great, but this is just one in a series of the “Fluffy” slots and casino games that have found a special place in the hearts of many gamblers. All of these titles are set against a carnival backdrop, with the reels packed with cute animals – a rather unusual theme for slots, which is probably why players have flocked to it. Combined with the potential for excellent wins, Fluffy Too offers a great time for those who enjoy a cuter experience when spinning the reels.
8. Superman: Last Son of Krypton
Up in the sky! Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s the Superman: Last Son of Krypton online slot! In this exciting gambling game, players get to enjoy a 5-reel, 25-payline experience, and there’s a massive 25,000-coin jackpot up for grabs! In this slot, you’ll get to see symbols of classic locations and characters, including The Daily Planet, Lois, and of course, Superman, albeit in the form of his mild-mannered alter-ego, Clark Kent. The game treats you to two types of bonus free-spins games, each with their own unique benefits, as well as wild symbols for extra wins (if you manage to land three Clark Kents on a payline).
Packed with the latest 3D graphics, sound effects, and gameplay, this is undoubtedly a game of chance that will be remembered by fans of comic books and slots alike. And, of course, you can have a great time with this superhero slot on your mobile phone.
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