So, 2007, eh? It's been a good year so far. Well, apart from the weather. And England's sporting performances. And TV companies ripping us viewers off so much we're practically nostalgic about the days of Crazy Frog stealth ringtone subscriptions.
Okay, so in some respects it's not been a great year.
But it has been for mobile games! And to prove it, we've rounded up our ten favourite titles from the first half of 2007, representing a snapshot of the best that your mobile has to offer.
We haven't just ranked our reviews in descending score order and picked the top ten, though. Instead, we've considered aspects like how well they've stayed the distance since their original release. Read on for our Top Ten, but feel free to rubbish our list in favour of your own favourites by posting a comment…
Top 10 mobile games of 2007 (so far)
|World Series of Poker: Pro Challenge
Developer: Glu Mobile
Publisher: Glu Mobile
Take on the stars of the poker world in this game, which eschews the usual 'six players round a table' format in favour of face-to-face duels. It's slickly designed, with some neat features including a Tilt meter, which fills up as you win hands, and forces your opponent to play like an idiot when it reaches the top. The Career mode delivers bags of depth, and the AI is top-notch, providing poker buffs with a long-lasting and rewarding challenge.
There aren't enough truly great strategy games for mobile, but HandyGames' Townsmen series has always provided the goods. Townsmen 4 is the best version yet. It's still a town-building game in the vein of Civilization or Settlers, with lovely stylised isometric graphics and a deep mission mode to keep your interest up. Balancing your resource levels is a tough task, but if you want a mobile game that truly taxes your brain, look no further.
|Resident Evil: The Missions (3D)
If you've got a decent 3D-capable handset and relish the thought of things that go bump in the night, Resident Evil: The Missions is a must-buy. It has you playing Jill Valentine as she works through heaps of objective-focused missions, most of which involve dealing death to pesky zombies. Each stage lasts a few minutes, making them perfect for dip-in/dip-out mobile play. Meanwhile, the controls are actually better than the famously quirky console versions.
|Tiger Woods PGA Tour 07
Publisher: EA Mobile
Tiger's latest mobile outing is polished from start to finish, not least because it's a great mobile golf game, as opposed to a great console game squeezed unhappily into a phone. The whizzy 3D version has just one course, but it's a lush-looking Pebble Beach. Most impressive are the one-thumb controls, though, enabling you to blast through a round in minutes. Just the game to help you get in the mobile swing of things.
|Championship Manager 2007
Developer: Dynamo Games
Publisher: Eidos Mobile
When you think about the games that should work well on mobile, sprawling stat-heavy football management titles probably aren't high on the list. But the latest mobile Champ Man proves the doubters wrong by being a hugely playable and accessible mobile game, while packing in as much depth and number-crunching as possible for fans of the PC version. Take control of a Premier League club and work your magic in the transfer market, on the training ground, and most importantly, on the pitch.
|The Fast and The Furious Fugitive (3D)
We haven't always been big fans of I-play's The Fast and The Furious racing games – especially the 2D versions – but this latest 3D incarnation is absolutely spiffing. You play a disgruntled cop on the run across America, with each location you visit having a mixture of pure races and missions, before a final bit where you outrun the police to the nearest border. Ace graphics, smooth handling, and accessible controls make this a top-notch mobile racer.
|Real Football 2007 (3D)
It's not long until Real Football 2008 comes out, but this version will do for now. And how. It's a fully 3D football game that just pips the excellent
FIFA 07 to the title of 'best current mobile footy game'. It's only out for high-end phones, but lets you string together super-slick passing moves, offers a choice of camera angles, and has some fantastic presentational tricks, with replays and cutaways to celebrating managers. It's got sparkle, panache, and enables you to give Chelsea a good tonking on demand. What more can you ask for?
Developer: Digital Chocolate
Publisher: Digital Chocolate
We're still playing DChoc's Tower Bloxx nearly two years after it originally came out, so we were plenty excited about the follow-up. Thankfully, Pyramid Bloxx is just as good, if not better. The one-button gameplay involves chucking stones from worker to worker using the '5' key, and the better you do, the better your pyramid. There's monkeys and donkeys helping for comic effect, and a finely-tuned scoring system that'll keep you playing for months.
Developer: PopCap Games
Publisher: PopCap Games
Furballs. When your cat's boking them all over the floor, they're not good. When they're in a stellar mobile puzzler, they're ace. Chuzzle was PopCap's first in-house mobile game, and it's a corker. You slide rows and columns of furry Chuzzles back and forth to make matches of three or more, with combos scoring you extra points, while the appearance of Super Chuzzles and Rainbow Chuzzles mixes up the gameplay even more. Fearsomely addictive stuff.
|Playman Extreme Running
Developer: Mr. Goodliving
If we had to put our hand on heart and state the mobile game that's most impressed us so far this year, it'd be Playman Extreme Running. The parkour platformer has you running, jumping and somersaulting around a selection of city locations, trying to score points, collect flags and/or beat rivals to your goal. It's genius not only because of the simple controls and fluid animation, but also as a result of the carefully crafted progression that sees you unlocking levels easily and then coming back to refine your scores. Every mobile user should have this game on their phone. Want more? Check out our top 10 mobile games for 2008 so far, and our other mobile games charts.