Pocket Tactics Awards 2022 – mobile games of the year
2022 has been full of so many fantastic new mobile games, some with faces from well-known IPs and others that introduce you to brand-new worlds and characters. Every member of the Pocket Tactics team has managed to choose just one mobile game of the year each and elaborated on their choice with a quick paragraph or two.
We’ve also chosen our picks for Switch games of the year! So head over there if you want to learn about what titles enthralled us on the Nintendo console. Who knows, you may even find a game to pick up and play over the holiday period.
Gibbon: Beyond the Trees – Ben
The importance of any art to raise thoughts about something is a little hard to say. Some games make us think, about life and war and love and death, in sincere and interesting ways. Some don’t do it at all. Some, like Gibbon: Beyond the Trees, do it elegantly, quietly, and devastatingly, like a ballerina through the brain.
In our Gibbon: Beyond the Trees review, we called it “a slight but impactful piece of work [that] blends engaging gameplay and a vital ecological message seamlessly, all while being gorgeous to look at and listen to. It’s a powerful, polished package that has almost nothing wrong with it.” That’s it, that’s all you need to know.
Marvel Snap – Connor
It might not have arrived until late in the year, but the wait was certainly worth it for Marvel Snap. Imagined as an alternative to the never-ending Heathstone, Marvel Snap is a true force of a card game, combining easy-to-understand mechanics with a wealth of playstyles and lightning-quick gameplay for a mobile game that you won’t be able to put down.
With plenty more planned for 2023, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see this make the list two years in a row, especially when you think of all the incredible heroes still to join the roster, and with developer Second Dinner promising more game modes too, we’re pretty sure we’re going to spend much of the next twelve months summoning superheroes to do our bidding in battle. Cheers for that, Iron Man. I recommend you check out our Marvel Snap deck guide and Marvel Snap tier list.
Project Sekai – Daz
I was so excited when Project Sekai got a global release that I deleted every other game off my overcrowded phone just to play it. As a late-blooming Vocaloid fan and a rhythm game fanatic, I knew I was going to love this game, but I didn’t expect to play it for hours at a time every single day.
Sega and Colorful Palette drew me in with the characters and songs that I recognised but kept me engaged with an amazing cast of original characters, engaging visual novel stories, and satisfying, challenging rhythm gameplay. It may have connection issues, but that’s not going to drive me away any time soon. Take a look at my Project Sekai events and Project Sekai cards guides if you want to learn more about the game.
Dislyte – Holly
Dislyte’s art style and focus on music are what drew me to it – plus, who doesn’t want to make a team of the ‘most badass gods ever’? The gameplay loop of grinding for XP materials and Relics to equip each hero with won me over as well, as I’m a sucker for that type of thing. I really like mythology, too, and all the characters have really cool designs. It’s always fun looking at who they’re based on and how those myths and legends may influence the wardrobe, appearance, or moveset of each unit. Despite him being almost my first pull, Drew is still a favourite, though I never thought I’d see Anubis in a suit.
There’s a surprisingly fleshed-out story to work through, and Lilith Games keeps it updated with events and a hefty amount of new characters to try out, including a range of weapon types, battlefield positions, and roles keep the gameplay fresh. I expect great things from Dislyte’s future, and you should too. We’ve got a Dislyte tier list you should go and take a look at too.
Disney Mirrorverse – Kayleigh
As a huge Disney fan, of course I was always going to be intrigued by Disney Mirrorverse, what I didn’t expect was for it to become a game that consumes my life six months on, yet here we are. It features an engaging story, a charismatic cast of both heroes and villains from famous Disney and Pixar franchises, while wrapping it up nicely with some satisfying combat. Speaking of which, the battles in Disney Mirrorverse are well designed, encouraging you to think about which team of characters you want to take in with.
Go on, go, make Disney Mirrorverse part of your world, it does make a man out of you. If you need more convincing, give our Disney Mirrorverse review a read.
Poinpy – Nathan
You might not have heard about Poinpy, and that’s fine. It’s a mobile game from the creator of Downwell (also fantastic), and it released as part of Netflix games. If you have a Netflix subscription and the app on your phone, you can download and play Poinpy right now. So listen to me carefully… download and play Poinpy right now. An addictive platformer where you must bounce the eponymous Poinpy up into the stratosphere while avoiding obstacles, few games I’ve played this year have absolutely nailed the addictive gameplay of this one.
What elevates Poinpy (other than his impressive jumping abilities), is the slow rollout of more jumps in his arsenal, and a gradual build-up of mechanics and options. It’s the perfect toilet game, where you can jump in for five minutes every now and again, but I also find myself glued to my phone for several hours muttering “just one more go” under my breath. It’s also got a beautiful art style and some lively music that leaves a lasting impression, and altogether, I think Poinpy is one of the best mobile games I’ve ever played. P.S. stick it out to see the ending, it’s absolutely bananas.
Genshin Impact – Ruby
Genshin Impact may be my mobile game of the year for many years to come unless Honkai Star Rail or Zenless Zone Zero manage to knock it off its perch. The frequent updates the game gets from Hoyoverse, the seemingly neverending stream of amazing fresh characters, and the enthralling story you find in Genshin are hard to beat, and I honestly can’t name any other mobile game that’s grasped my attention for such a long time, or even comes close to this masterpiece.
Tower of Fantasy – Tilly
While it’s certainly seen its fumbles since global release, Tower of Fantasy is an ambitious and exciting open-world game. With a unique battle and weapon system, a variety of quirky characters to charm you, a heap of content to explore, and some truly unique stories and environments, it remains a 2022 standout for me, especially with so much of it being available for free.
Though it wasn’t quite the prophesied ‘Genshin killer’ some suggested it could be, it’s still a fun contender for when you want to take a step away from Teyvat, and manages to fill that MMO-shaped hole in my heart. Check out our Tower of Fantasy review to find out more.
That’s it for our mobile game of the year list for 2022, we highly recommend you pick up any of the titles mentioned above going into 2023 and beyond.
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