N-Gage | 2008 | RedLynx
You may look at the colourful, simple graphics and wonder what all the fuss is about. But what you’re looking at represents a milestone in mobile gaming.
Arguably no other phone title in 2008 turned up loaded with as much hype and expectation but Reset Generation effortlessly justified Nokia’s belief (and investment) in its creation.
Although too complicated to explain in 100 words, you’ll have to trust ol’ PG when we term it a groundbreaking release – a mobile game able to challenge the best on any platform, as innovative as it was deep, as challenging as it was addictive. - Joao Diniz Sanches
iOS and Android | 2015 | Bandai Namco
Pac-man 256 is what happens when the old and the new collide. It's a fantastic blend of classic arcade know-how and modern touchscreen gaming.
Endless, neon-blasted levels roll by as you chomp up dots, dodge ghosts, and try and make sure you're not a victim of the glitch that killed the original game when you got far enough.
This is a prime example of a new kind of casual gameplay that took the App Store by storm. It's challenging, it's gorgeous, and anyone can pick it up and have a go. - Harry Slater
iOS | 2013 | Somethin' Else
In a medium obsessed with visual fidelity, Papa Sangre II is an anomaly: a brilliant video game based entirely around sound.
What's more, by replacing map screens and fancy 3D modelling with expertly crafted binaural sound design, the folks at Somethin' Else manage generate a far creepier and more immersive atmosphere than most modern horror games.
Tapping the screen to walk forward, you navigate the world by closing your eyes, listening to audio cues, and then spinning your actual body around to change direction.
It's an unusual, headphone-only deal, and all the more intense for it. If the sound of Sean Bean whispering at you from the bowels of hell itself while strange creatures click and skitter behind you doesn't get your heart thumping, then you're probably dead already. - James Gilmour
iOS and Android | 2010 | Cave
DoDonPachi Resurrection is a game of shifting tempos. Of putting yourself in mortal danger, and raising your special meter by getting perilously close to enemy ordinance, and then unleashing a barrage of bullets in an all-out attack.
You dodge and weave, then murder and kill, bouncing between offence and defence like a champion boxer. It's a credit to Cave's precise controls that you can manage this mayhem so easily on a touchscreen.
Sure the game might look like someone sneezed glitter onto your screen, the music is slightly maddening, and don't tell anyone the cool spaceships are secretly prepubescent girls. Despite all this, it's a deep, hardcore, and satisfying game that works wonderfully on touch. - Mark Brown
iOS and Android | 2015 | Moppin
Downwell is the unholy union of Spelunky, Bayonetta, and that jerky feeling that Leonardo Dicaprio used to wake up in Inception.
A wonderful vertical roguelike with gun shoes, evil bats, and its challenge level set up to make even the most nimble-fingered swear a lot, it shows that the App Store isn't just clones and clans.
Presented in dreamy 8bit monochrome, it's a homage and a step forward. And it's about falling down a well and blowing monsters up with the weapons strapped to your feet. Honestly, what's not to like? - Harry Slater
iOS and Android | 2014 | Firaxis
Never name your XCOM teammates after friends and family. Seriously, don't do it. Because this game will break your heart, stamp on it, then hand it back still expecting you to put it to good use.
And we wouldn't have it any other way because, as Tom Jones famously sang, "XCOM, XCOM. You're my XCOM."
You will learn from your mistakes and find those lessons morbidly satisfying. You'll soon realise that every move requires well-thought out strategy.
And when ending a turn, you'll bury your head in your hands, praying your soldiers come out the other side. Easy to control, hard to master. XCOM is a bonafide classic, and we love it. - Ray Willmott
iOS | 2014 | Capcom
Monster Hunter Freedom Unite holds a special place in my heart. A brilliant port of one of the most compulsive multiplayer games ever built, I poured hours into it.
Hacking up dragons and monstrous toads with a group of friends is probably the best experiences I've had on my iPad. Throw an MFi controller into the mix and you're pretty much guaranteed hours of fun.
Capcom might have left the game on the scrap heap after recent iOS updates, but when it was working, it worked better than pretty much every other game that brags about its multiplayer on the App Store. - Harry Slater
iOS and Android | 2010 | Revolution
It's not an over exaggeration to say that Broken Sword is the greatest point and click adventure game of all time. It would certainly get my vote.
You play as both George Stobbart, a hapless American tourist who happens upon a murder and then takes it into his own hands to figure out who did it (oh George) and Nico Collard, a Parisian journalist who has been investigating nasty goings on behind the scenes for some time.
Over the course of their adventure a clown gets punched, they fall in love, and they visit a variety of picturesque locales. Like Ireland and Scotland but romantic versions.
The dialogue is what really shines here though. It's genuinely amusing, and all of the characters are likeable in their own zany way.
Broken Sword: Director's Cut is the definitive version of this excellent adventure, and can be played time and time again. - Glen Fox
iOS and Android | 2012 | Spry Fox
Triple Town is a prime example of digital crack. The basic idea is quite amazingly simple, you just match three or more of the same object.
Except, you’re placing everything on a limited amount of spaces that represent a small town. Enemies will even try to come and occupy your free space until you lose.
Thankfully, every time you match three objects or more, it transforms into something else. A bush becomes a tree that you can then match to make a house that you can match to… Well you get the idea.
It gets messier every turn and shows quite a lot of depth. Even after all this time, I still recommend it. - Clement Renaudin
iOS and Android | 2012 | Supercell
They say money is the root of all evil, but I don’t think that Mrs Hitler was impregnated by a furled up roll of Deuchmarks.
The saying works better if you replace "money" with "rich men in business suits" and "evil" with "bland Clash of Clans clones."
And "is" with "are" if you want to be all grammatically correct.
Love it or loathe it, if imitation is the highest form of flattery then Clash of Clans cheeks should be a rosy blush-red.
With millions of players, millions of dollars in the bank, and millions of clones, Clash of Clans is a piece of mobile gaming history that is here to stay. - Alysia Judge
See numbers 40 - 31 or get the entire list
What's all this, then?
The Pocket Gamer 10th anniversary is a month-long celebration of the last decade of mobile games running March 10th - April 10th and featuring a stream of retrospective articles and fun stuff, supported by our friends at Gram Games, Gamevil, JoyCity, Rovio, Nordeus, and Ninja Kiwi. Head over to the PG 10th anniversary homepage for more information.