With everyone and their gran now putting out GOTY lists, I think it's a great time to shine a spotlight on some titles that many might have missed during what was a terrific year for mobile gaming. This here is the first of two parts.
Ordia, the "one-finger flinger", is pretty much the best platformer I've played on mobile all year. It's accessible, challenging when it needs to be, incredibly moreish, and polished to a shine.
Here's a brief description I wrote earlier in the year:
"As a one-eyed ball of goo, you’ll start out by launching yourself from the bubbling primordial ooze to the endless caverns above. The goal is to continue working your way forever upwards, hopping between handpoint nodes and dodging the odd spike or hungry worm as you go."
Photographs is a stellar puzzler with a heavy narrative focus. It spans five distinct vignettes, which outwardly appear quite different. You've got the story of a young diver, a mage who uses her magical talents to prevent tragedies, and an alchemist and his daughter, who, together, study and formulate cures. It's often bleak and macabre, with the odd hopeful moment to balance things out.
DUNKYPUNG is a hard-as-nails platformer with a great, simple aesthetic. It's among the hardest games I've played all year, but it's also a very fair and straightforward game once you acclimate to its controls.
Here's what it's all about:
"You’re a little ball, or a PUNG, controlled by rhythmically tapping the screen to gain air – think Flappy Bird but infinitely more reliable. In fact, the game controls so well, with predictable physics to boot, that you’re left with only yourself to blame when death does arrive."
Total Party Kill
Total Party Kill is a super-smart puzzler with a killer core concept. Progress through the game's sizable dungeon can seemingly only be made by killing one or more of your three-person party.
You control all three characters, with each boasting their own specific skill. The wizard can create ice blocks out of his fellow adventurers, the knight can send his besties flying with a single swing of his sword, and the archer can pin his pals to basically any surface with his bow and arrows.
Spring Falls is an elegant and meditative puzzler which tasks you with manipulating the structure of a mountain to redirect water to flowers dotted around each stage. It's incredibly simple, but it feels great to play and looks terrific to boot. Definitely one to try if you need to relax during the festive break.
That's it for part 1. Be sure to check back tomorrow to see the remaining five games.