17 Most Memorable Mobile Games Of 2017

I hope you like lists, because it”s the time of year when pretty soon you won”t be able to move for the things. The best movies, albums, TV shows, smartphones, steak knives, cardboard items – you name the product, someone will be sticking into some kind of rigid numerical order and rattling on about it.

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We”d love to be able to take some kind of moral high ground here, but the truth is we at Pocket Gamer like a good end-of-year list as much as anyone. Besides, how else are we to recognise the stellar mobile games released in 2017?

So here it is: Pocket Gamer”s list of the best 25 mobile games of 2017. (Psst: your friends on the team have also listed their personal gaming obsessions, starting with our Glen and Jon, so for a more personal approach check those out too.)

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If there”s one no-brainer on this list, it”s Monument Valley 2. The only mobile game to receive full marks in 2017, this is a beautifully moving puzzler that will gently twist your brain in knots while simultaneously making your heart sing.

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Many developers have tried to make an online FPS for mobile, but precious few have succeeded. Guns of Boom is the rare game that hits the sweet spot between accessibility and skill, complete with a freemium system that doesn”t grate or unbalance things.

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A fiendishly original puzzler that concerns itself with rotating triangles into place through maddeningly constrained levels – all with Kenny Sun”s usual beautiful abstract visuals.

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The team behind Knights of Pen and Paper takes on sci-fi, with predictably lovely results. And so we have a pen and paper RPG wrapped up in a Star Trek pastiche, with loads of neat touches and flourishes.

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We didn”t get a new Kingdom Rush game in 2017, but that”s because Ironhide was cooking up something new. The result, in Iron Marines, is arguably the greatest mobile distillation of the RTS genre yet.

It took ages to land on mobile, but The Witness on iOS was worth the wait. This is a first person puzzler set on a mysterious island, with a stunning visual style that”s only matched by the ingenuity of its puzzles.

We”d call Causality “time manipulation for dummies,” but it”s really not remotely dumb. It”s a sharp, charming and surprisingly accessible puzzler.

Here”s another great casual puzzler from Level 5. What sets Layton”s Mystery Journey apart, though, is the fact that it”s no mere 3DS port – it was actually designed with mobile in mind.

It might look like No Man”s Sky mobile, but Morphite is a far tighter game. You”re still exploring planets in first person, but it”s more direct and fun.

It”s rare that you see a 2D shmup with the ambition of Steredenn. Into the thrilling bullet hell mix go roguelike elements and a branching weapon-customisation system.

It”s dank, it”s dark, it”s deeply unforgiving. So why is this side-scrolling dungeon-crawler so difficult to put down? Probably because it”s packed full of surprises and built around an ingenious battle system.

Miraculously, bashing zombies was made to feel fresh in Death Road to Canada. It”s a dungeon crawler with a post-apocalyptic twist and a wicked sense of humour, as your motley party scavenges across America.

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A match-three puzzler with scope, originality and a cracking story? That doesn”t sound right. But that”s precisely what Ticket to Earth turned out to be.

Pavilion is a platform-puzzler in which you don”t actually control the protagonist directly, rather the level elements around hime. It”s also one of the most detailed, downright beautiful games of the year.

It might look like a very old point-and-click adventure game, but Thimbleweed Park is so much more than that. Thanks to an interaction system that”s both complex and flexible, it”s as fun to play as it is to follow the (excellently told) story.

Despite having clear shades of Square Enix”s GO titles and Monument Valley, Euclidean Lands manages to forge its own puzzling path. Each level is a compact Rubik”s Cube puzzle that needs to be twisted into shape.

Simulacra is a lost phone game that stands apart from most of its rivals with a deeply unsettling story, excellent voice acting and realistic simulation of the smartphone experience. It”ll make you squirm.

Titanfall: Assault was one of very few 2017 mobile games that managed to take the Clash Royale template and do something genuinely worthwhile with it – this time adding an extra layer of strategic depth.

Kalimba is a smart 2D platformer that has you controlling two characters at once – but it was the ingenious spatial puzzles that were wrought around this mechanic that really made it stand out in 2017.

Like Lewis Hamilton winning his fourth world championship, Motorsport Manager 2 takes what was already a top mobile management sim and makes it even better. There”s no actual driving, but it”s arguably the best racing game of 2017.

This is the mobile tactical RPG done right, with a smart levelling system and a finely judged level of challenge that ensures you”re always on edge.

Here”s another game that does something interesting with the Clash Royale blueprint. This time the action is turn-based, lending this mobile MOBA the feel of a particularly streamlined boardgame.

Super Meatboy meets Super Stickman Golf, with a dash of Max Payne”s bullet time mechanic for good measure. Golf Zero is a genuinely unique, brilliantly conceived hardcore platformer.

Calling Campfire Cooking a grid-based puzzler is bit like calling a hotdog “protein and carb sustenance”. It”s way more lip-smacking than it sounds, as you flip, shift, and cook a range of delicious-looking foods using spatial logic.

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A beat-“em-up that can genuinely be played single-handed. Beat Street takes its cues from the best scrolling brawlers in videogame history, but is way cuter and more accessible.

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Jetpack Joyride 2, a sequel to the popular endless runner, is available now for iOS and Android in select regions

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