It’s that time again – let’s ring in the new year with the best of 2018! These apps were handpicked by our staff as the best of the best; the pinnacle of their genre that stuck with us long after playing. Whether playing on Android or iOS, you need these installed on your phone and tablet. Without further adieu…
Pako 2 feels like what would happen if you took the very end of every mission of Grand Theft Auto
Pako 2 is the perfect sort of game for every fan of crazy 80’s car chases and chaotic physics games. A melding of everything great about hot pursuits with slick controls leads to what can only be described as truly wonderful madness. It’s got great retro visuals and loads of additional content to unlock, keeping your latest getaway as refreshingly unpredictable as your first. Pako 2‘s breakneck run absolutely worth your time. See our full review here.
Words are a powerful thing, especially when they assemble Voltron-like bears to save history. Confused? It’s okay, we all are, but that doesn’t stop Alphabear 2 from being one of the best puzzle games of this year. Going beyond the limits of Scrabble, Alphabear 2 offers wordplay combinations that reward the most astute and swift linguistic aficionados. Whether you want quirky humor or deep puzzles, Alphabear 2 has you covered. See our full review here.
MouseBot is one of those games that catches you unassumingly.
Few games were as unexpected as Vector Unit’s Mouse Bot. Who would expect the mobile racing masters would dive into the 3D platforming genre, let alone inject their racing sensibilities into such a quirky new IP. Where many mobile platforming games struggle, Mouse Bot flourishes thanks to a wealth of clever traps to evade, adorable story, and cute as a button graphics that keep you earning cheese for that sweet new robo-mouse skin. A delight for older fans of Crash Bandicoot and young gaming enthusiast alike! See our full review here.
At its surface, Nishan Shaman is a simple musical rhythm game; drum along with the music based on the arrival of the monsters and sit back and relax.
Who expected the year’s best rhythm game to be based on an ancient Chinese myth? Either way you spin it, Nishan Shaman stunned us with its arresting style as we tapped along to the beat, cleansing the world of evil spirits. If your 2018 was a rough year, start off 2019 right to the beat of Nishan Shaman‘s drum. See our full review here.
Infinite West is the turn-based strategy must-have of 2018. Pitch-perfect design, fantastic balancing, a rogue-like structure, slick controls, and endless replayability allow you to live out your cowboy/girl dreams. It’s a simple game, with depth lurking under the surface to always leave you begging for one more run. See our full review here.
See / Saw
See / Saw is everything you could possibly want in a physics-based murder simulator.
Do you have an itch to see tiny geometric test subjects fling themselves through all manner of hilarious, physics based deathtraps? Well, first of all, you should probably join Sam’s Murderous Gamers Anonymous group, and secondly, download See / Saw this instant! While far less gory than the titular franchise referenced in its name, See / Saw is the perfect mix of Super Meat Boy and Portal you’ve been waiting for. With easy controls yet fiendish challenges awaiting, it’s time to tilt your perspective with See / Saw! See our full review here.
Like a delicious donut, Donut County's gone so fast that you'll mourn its exit, only to start again.
Donut County is simultaneously one of the most engaging AND relaxing games of 2018. A nominee for the 2018 VGA’s, it stands tall as one of our favorite mobile games of the year thanks to its reverse-Katamari Damacy, town-swallowing shenanigans. Brimming with wondrous scenarios as goofy as they are brain-teasing, it’s hard to not dive back in and replay it as we write this list. It’s more fun than a barrel full of raccoons, and absolutely worth the asking price. See our full review here.
Pavilion is marvelous, and I’d be neglect in my review to delay even a moment to convey this to you.
Few games capture the mysterious beauty of Myst as spectacularly as Pavilion. Presenting players with a 4th-person perspective, nudging the protagonist along through a surrealist landscape, Pavilion is one of the most artistically stunning mobile games of this year. Fans of Monument Valley take note – you will fall in love with Pavilion. Perhaps the most acquired taste of our list this year, but still so enrapturing it’s impossible to pass it up. See our full review here.
If you had told me someone was going to create hybrid of Overwatch and Cover Fire, I would’ve called you mad.
For those interested in something less introspective, but just as excellently executed, you’d be hard pressed to find a better mobile shooter than Hero Hunters. Boasting not only slick cover-shooting, but a swath of unique heroes that serve you in both its extensive campaign mode and addictive online multiplayer, Hero Hunters is quite the package. While many a “hero shooter” game has fallen flat in the aim to mimic the subgenre’s best, Hero Hunters rises above to achieve true frenetic, action-packed glory you’ll want to have in your pocket. See our full review here.
Bacon: The Game
Bacon: The Game is perhaps one of the strangest, most freakishly wonderful games to have ever existed.
Yes, a game about bacon released in 2018. Indeed, that game was stupefyingly better than it has any right to be. To describe it is like solving a riddle, as it contains hidden depths amid one of the simplest mechanics in games – the mere act of flipping a piece of bacon. It’s free, it’s amazing, you’ll put bacon on everything, and you’ll be laughing along with us soon enough. See our full review here.
Game of the Year: Card Thief
Card Thief is your new gaming addiction, melding deep stealth tactics with accessible card play.
To be the best mobile game of the year, an app must be accessible yet deep, vividly detailed and engrossing, content filled but not requiring more time than a three minute bus trip to get the full experience. Card Thief encapsulates all of these ideals, evoking the core tenets of Thief and its stealth contemporaries, all in the span of a deck of cards. Easily one of the most refined, replayable, and downright amazing games of this year on any platform, earning a 10 out of 10 from Elijah (a rarity, to be sure), we are proud to name Card Thief as our Game of the Year! See our full review here.
Cover Photo by Beata Dudová from Pexels