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 ANDROID FEATURE

The 10 best iOS and Android games of the year (so far)

2017's top smartphone games
Product: Best iPhone games | Publisher: Steel Media Ltd | Format: Android, iPhone, iPad
 
We're over half way through 2017, and it's probably already safe to say that the year won't go down as a classic in many senses of the word.

Take a look at the smartphone games that we've been blessed with so far, however, and 2017 starts to look just a smidgen rosier.

Here's a round up of the games we've loved the most during the first half of the year.

Anything missing? Let us know what you've been playing most in the comments below.

Monument Valley 2
By ustwo - buy on iOS



How much did we like Monument Valley 2? 10/10 Platinum Award, that's how much. Improving on the brilliant original with new physics-warping mechanics and a much bigger emotional wallop, it stands as a brilliant example of how to make a sequel.

You might well finish Monument Valley 2 in a single sitting, but that's as much a sign of its compelling brilliance as it is its brevity.

Layton's Mystery Journey
By Level-5 - buy on iOS / buy on Android



The first Professor Layton game to be made specifically for mobile rather than a Nintendo handheld is a pretty big deal. Layton's Mystery Journey doesn't disappoint - though doubtless many will balk at that super-premium price tag.

For the money, though, you're getting a fully fledged adventure-puzzler masterpiece, with slickly produced, expertly voiced animated cutscenes. We're in the big leagues now.

Yankai's Peak
By Kenny Sun - buy on iOS / buy on Android



It was only the beginning of June that we labelled Yankai's Peak "One of 2017's best puzzle games," so its place on this list was pretty much assured.

Part of the appeal with Yankai's Peak is that it's so remarkably fresh, with a triangle-rotating mechanic that feels completely new. This also means it's quite tough to get into, but a little persistence will yield a memorable and rewarding brain-tickler.

Oxenfree
By Night School Studio - buy on iOS / buy on Android



This narrative mystery adventure might have a cute art style, but don't let that fool you. It's got a considerable creep factor.

The writing is excellent, the voice acting top-notch, its characters well realised, and the 2.5D aesthetic gives the game a wonderful sense of depth and mystery.

Guns of Boom
By Game Insight - download on iOS / download on Android



We thought that there had been games that solved the mobile FPS conundrum in the past, but then Guns of Boom turned up out of the blue and showed as how it should really be done.

From the moment you start your first competitive online match, Guns of Boom just feels right. From its beautifully streamlined controls to the feel and balance of its guns and its clear art style, Guns of Boom makes this unwieldy genre sing on mobile.

Steredenn
By Pixelnest Studio - buy on iOS



There isn't much you can do with the bullet hell shmup to make it stand out. Right? Wrong, says Steredenn developer Pixelnest Studio.

By adding roguelike elements like randomly generate waves and permadeath and mixing in a vast weapon customisation system, Steredenn takes things to another level.

Kingdom: New Lands
By Raw Fury - buy on iOS / buy on Android



Describing Kingdom: New Lands is a tricky one, because its gameplay basically involves running left and right and tapping the odd virtual prompt. But it's the context within which that simple action takes place that makes it a winner.

You're a monarch riding to and fro on your trusted steed, building up your fledgling kingdom from nothing. The range of tasks you need to busy yourself with is surprisingly broad, and it's all presented with considerable pixel-art panache.

Ticket to Earth
By Robot Circus Party - buy on iOS



Ticket to Earth is a puzzle RPG hybrid, but it's a lot more interesting than that makes it seem. From its high class presentation to its sharp writing and imaginative sci-fi setting, the game is a cut above most other games of this sort.

Of course, that would all be for nothing if the core puzzle-based combat system was flat. But it turns out to be just as interesting as the rest of the game.

Super Mario Run
By Nintendo - buy on iOS / buy on Android



Nintendo's first proper mobile game actually launched on iOS right at the end of 2016, but that meant it missed the cut for our best-of-the-year list. That simply won't stand.

Fortunately, a belated Android release has come to the rescue. Super Mario Run is a quite brilliant distillation of everything we love about Nintendo's mascot. It's an autorunner, but with an onion's worth of layers that warrant both numerous replays and a premium price tag.

Death Road to Canada
By Madgarden - buy on iOS



PC to mobile ports can be tricky things to pull off, but Death Road to Canada makes the switch comfortably. This is a dungeon crawler with a modern, zombie-filled twist as you and a car-full of allies traipse across an undead-ravaged America.

Stopping for supplies, tackling zombies, and managing your bickering team-mates is a precarious but highly entertaining balancing act.
 

Reviewer photo
Jon Mundy 27 July 2017
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