Over the last decade or so, the mobile games industry has exploded and is now considered to be worth more than $50 billion. Over 2.1 billion people in the world enjoy mobile gaming, and these numbers continue to go up. It may surprise you to learn that every day, 500 new games get submitted to the App Store and similar numbers to Google Play. But some games have a more enduring quality than others, so here is our pick of the five best mobile games of all time.
1. Pokémon Go
Pokémon is a rare game in that it has safely transitioned from a paper-based card game to an online interactive game using the latest technology of augmented reality. It also scores some brownie points for trying to combine online gaming with exercise! Players use their mobile phone camera via the gaming app to display their local surroundings on the screen. Anything from their front room to High Street town centre. During their meander, Pokémon characters appear on screen, and these need to be captured and trained in much the same way as any other version of the game. It has an enduring quality and gets increasingly better as augmented reality develops new and better features. Pokémon is a massive franchise and known right across the world. If you enjoy gaming on the go, this is undoubtedly a mobile game you should try if you haven't already.
2. Candy Crush
Candy Crush is a Marmite game. There is no getting around it. You either love it, or you hate it. The premise is not particularly complicated; players must swap brightly coloured jewels on screen to create combinations of three, four, five or more matching icons to empty the grid and meet various targets set by the level. Sometimes you are trying to free a trapped gem; other times, you must find a certain amount of one colour and correctly match them to release them, and others are simply a race against time. Successful levels are rewarded with extra bonuses in the form of special features that help you win the next level. Game play progresses through various worlds, and although these are similar and continue along the same line, it has certainly attracted a lot of popularity over the years. To end your frustration and move on when you are stuck, you are invited to make in-app purchases, which is, of course, how the game makes its money.
3. Angry Birds
Angry Birds is a great mood booster that can relieve the stresses and strains of daily life. Fling your birds at the pigs and try to crush their defences and them. It's one of those gruesome murder games that is dressed up as a cutesy cartoon, and people love it. It has become a global franchise with stuffed toys, clothing and more added to the range. The birds and the pigs have become instantly recognisable and iconic. Again, if you wish to spend money, you can progress quicker, and you work your way through levels and worlds, squashing pigs and flinging birds to your heart's content. It is available for iOS and Android devices and remains consistently high in download charts no matter what else is released around it. So, if you haven't tried it or are rapidly losing patience with a colleague but don't want to lose your job, download it, and throw some birds.
Tetris has sparked a whole range of shape sorting games that are just different enough to ensure they don't breach copyright laws. However, the original and iconic game has held its own and continues to be regularly downloaded by gnu and existing players alike. It is a straightforward premise; various shaped blocks drop in at the top of the screen and fall slowly to the bottom. Before they hit, the player rotates them or moves them from left to right across the screen to ensure they slot neatly into an available space. When all space along a horizontal line is neatly filled, it disappears. This is vital because you must ensure the bricks do not reach the top of the screen to stay alive. The twist here is that the better you get, the faster the action develops. Pretty soon, you're fending off a frenzy and desperately trying to sort them before you run out of space.
Compared to Tetris, Minecraft is a baby of the mobile gaming industry, but it reached epic success overnight. It is a cross-platform game and available no matter what console, computer, or device you want to play on. It is an adventure game that is a block-based sandbox, meaning it can be whatever you want it to be. It has inspired leagues of players from primary school up to adult and manages to stay current and popular. The mobile version of the game has had to be simplified slightly because of the size of a mobile screen, but it still offers familiar Minecraft play.