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Best mobile game lists are all over the internet, but often they’re less than helpful. Sometimes they focus on a particular genre and inevitably become repetitive; sometimes they’re overloaded with graphics and bogged down in clunky slideshows; and sometimes they’re simply outdated. On top of all this is the fact that there are simply too many mobile games for anyone to definitively rank the best ones! So in this article I’m going to keep things fairly simple. By virtue of being new, new-ish, cutting edge, timeless, or culturally relevant (or some combination of these distinctions), these are some of the mobile games I’d rate as the best to play in 2018.

The Room: Old Sins

Fireproof’s astonishing “The Room” series has been around for years now, always taking us deeper into creepy, vaguely Victorian mystery worlds, and is one of the most consistently popular franchises in mobile entertainment. Three games preceded The Room: Old Sins, which thrives in presenting an impossible, devious, transforming puzzle box of weirdness – as one writer put it. There just aren’t app-based games out there with a better sense of atmosphere, or frankly with more interesting puzzles.

ENYO

ENYO is a game that, as far as I’m concerned, never really got its due. Developed by Arnold Rauers, it describes itself as a “tactical roguelike” about hook and shield combat. Another way to put it is that it’s like a more complicated game of chess with war-like characters loosely tied to Greek mythology. It’s a game that’ll make you think, but which is also a pleasure to play from a visual standpoint – and, like the best mobile games, it gets progressively more difficult.

MARVEL Strike Force

Truth be told there are a lot of different Marvel games I could’ve picked. I mentioned cultural relevance above as something that can make a game stand out, and Marvel always does a nice job of updating its games to suit its latest cinematic material. Strike Force is no exception – and it’s also just a fun game. Basically this is the premier RPG with Marvel heroes and villains, and it’s beautifully done.

Mini Metro

This is a game that seems to be getting a lot of buzz lately, and if you only glance at it for a moment that might seem baffling. It’s about as simple as a game can be from a visual standpoint. But this game, which was developed by Dinosaur Polo Club and has won numerous awards and distinctions, is an almost mesmerizing puzzle game based on city metro systems. Your job is to draw the map to keep public transportation as efficient as possible, which is more difficult as the city around you grows.

Age Of The Gods

Age Of The Gods by Playtech is becoming something of a franchise in a category that people tend to either love or ignore. In a phrase, it’s a slot machine arcade game. But with a full theme and design built around the ancient Greek and Roman gods and myths, it feels like more in a pretty satisfying way. There are a few different spinoff titles, and the developers are said to be developing a poker-style game as well.

Reigns

This is one of the sassiest games out there, which I mean in a good way. It’s designed almost like a spin on Tinder – except for the fact that it’s set in a generic medieval world, and your job is to make decisions as king of a fantasy land. You’re simply presented with questions, one after the other, swiping right or left to make decisions, and waiting to see how your kingdom reacts to them. Eventually you lose power (or are assassinated), and you immediately assume the role of the successor and try your luck again. It’s a subtly brilliant gaming experience.

Flick Kick Football Legends

Again, here, I’m going for cultural relevance. Since I’m writing this in a World Cup year and there are so many good soccer/football games available on mobile, it seems only right to include one. Flick Kick Football Legends is certainly one of the best of them, albeit one of the sillier ones also. You control a franchise from the ground up, signing new players and playing through games with simple, flick-based controls. The game uses a sort of ‘70s European soccer aesthetic, which makes things kind of funny throughout as well.

80 Days

80 Days has been around for a while, but deserves all the attention it gets. This is a game based on Around The World In 80 Days and presented as a text-based adventure with more than half a million words in total rolled into its various narrative paths. It’s almost shockingly well done, and quite clearly at the forefront of its genre. And best of all, if you enjoy it you can play it all over again and take a completely different path through the game. Only the general idea – controlling French valet Passepartout as he helps his master Phileas Fogg travel the world – remains the same.

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