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7 genres that work best on mobile

I'll take that to go
Product: Temple Run 2 | Developer: Imangi Studios | Format: Android, iPhone, iPad | Genre: Endless running
Certain genres just don't feel right on mobile. Take first-person shooters, for example, which rely too heavily on a vast array of buttons to sit comfortably on a touchscreen.

However, the same can't be said for all genres - particularly those with games that only require a simple tap or swipe.

Now that's where mobile really thrives. Here are 7 genres that work best on mobile with a selection of their finest examples.

Endless Runner - Temple Run 2

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There are an absolute ton of endless runners on iOS and Android and for one reason: the genre really works here.

Temple Run 2 is my personal favourite because it allows me to fulfil my dream of becoming Indiana Jones. Kind of.

There are plenty of high scores, challenges, and unlockables to chase to keep you busy and it still looks great for its relative age.

One Tap - Badland

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Elements of one tap can be found in a lot of genres on mobile so it can be a tricky genre to pin down.

Essentially, they're games with which the core mechanic is handled by a simple tap. Think Tiny Wings or Flappy Bird as other examples.

Badland is my pick of the bunch, though, due to its Oddworld-style atmosphere and shaking up of the genre by putting you in the hands of multiple creatures to control with a tap rather than one.

Tilty Racer - Asphalt 8

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The tilty racer has been seen elsewhere, Mario Kart on Wii being a prime example, but I like how close to the action playing these types of games on mobile brings.

Asphalt 8 is a fine example of this, with its metal-enhanced visuals, impressive sense of speed, and glorious crashes totally stealing the show from other racers.

Match Three RPG - Puzzle & Dragons

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Puzzle & Dragons was a major hit in Japan and was the highest-grossing game in the region for an impressive two years.

The match three puzzles here take the form of a turn-based battle in one of the games many dungeons. You can combo more than three orbs to unleash even more devastating attacks.

Adventure - Broken Sword Director's Cut

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I have no shame in admitting that Broken Sword is not only my favourite adventure game on mobile but also my favourite adventure game of all time.

It's a particularly excellent port as well, with improved visuals and a UI that's clearly been rebuilt from the ground up with mobile in mind.

It's a classic that deserves to be played some how and you certainly won't regret playing it on your mobile or tablet. 

Gamebook - 80 Days

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Gamebooks just feel so natural on mobile.

Gone are the days when we have to carry a pencil and dice around with us and keep having to print out yet another sheet of game rules.

It's also nice to not have to rely on your imagination and just have the visual stimuli presented directly to you. 80 Days is particularly lovely to look at and tells a very engrossing story based on the Jules Verne novel, Around the World in Eighty Days.

Reflex Tester - Super Hexagon

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Watch a video of Super Hexagon and you'll realise one thing fairly quickly - it's mesmerizing.

It's a good thing too because you'll need to be in a zen-like place to get some of those higher scores.
It's hard, it's addictive, it's mesmerizing and you should play it.

Social RTS - Clash of Clans

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Clash of Clans is the most successful mobile RTS of all time.

It's free, social play is its main focus, and it doesn't require you to stare at it until you win such as Command & Conquer on the PC.

Oh and it does it all while looking really good. It's the very example of how to bring a genre to mobile.

What genres do you feel work best on mobile? Do you have an alternate favourite game to recommend us? Get chatting in the comments below.

Reviewer photo
Glen Fox 8 February 2015
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