A classic Finnish indie, Tampere-based 10tons has released paid mobile games spanning casual marble shooters such as Sparkle to puzzlers like Azkend and fast-paced shooters such as recent release Neon Chrome. It’s also branching out, releasing on Steam and Nintendo Switch.
Formed with a passion to redefine core mobile gaming through high quality graphics and gameplay, Armada Interactive is currently polishing its debut release, PVP-focused strategy game Quantum Siege. One of its innovations is a 360-degree rotatable battlefield.
Cornfox & Bros.
Not lacking in ambition despite its small headcount, Cornfox & Bros made its reputation with Oceanhorn, a vast and beautiful mobile adventure inspired by Nintendo’s The Legend of Zelda games. And now it’s looking to go bigger and better with the Unreal 4-powered Oceanhorn 2.
Critical Force Entertainment
Can a mobile game become a successful esport? Critical Force certainly thinks so, as do the over 30 million players who have downloaded its Counter-Strike-inspired team shooter Critical Ops. Another believer is Overwatch League team owner Kevin Chou, who’s just joined the company’s board.
The pre-eminent developer of games for Apple Watch, with three releases including classic RPG Runeblade, Everywear Games has since added another string to its bow. Its most recent release is idle city builder Micropolis!, which runs on iPhone and Watch.
Powered by its Hill Climb Racing titles, Oulu-based Fingersoft has seen its games rack up over 800 million downloads. That level of success has enabled the developer to become a publisher of other studios’ games, such as Bad Crane’s clicker Make More!
Despite releasing one of the most successful paid mobile games in the striking and stark form of platformer Badland, Frogmind’s in-development game is rather different. Badland Brawl is a free-to-play physics-based PVP experience that’s seemed to be inspired as much by Angry Birds as Clash Royale.
Established to create mobile games which make the most of rewarded video adverts, Futureplay focuses on experiences that are simple, fun and always asking players to come back for more. From debut Farm Away to city builder Build Away, and most recently Craft Away, these idle clickers are cute and colourful. And next up is the influencer influenced Star Away.
One of the most innovative Finnish developers, Grand Cru’s games are highly polished mash-ups of surprising genres. This is particularly the case in most recent release Battlejack, which combines the gameplay of card game Blackjack with deep RPG collection and levelling mechanics.
Kopla Games’ debut Nonstop Knight demonstrated that idle games could be deeper than mindless clickers. Indeed, so successful was the title the game’s German publisher Flaregames ended up buying Kopla and applying the concept to hard man/internet meme tie-in Nonstop Chuck Norris.
Another Oulu-based developer, Koukoi describes itself as making mobile games “with the aim on game”. To date these have included two releases in its Crashing Season franchise, while it’s just released Ferdinand: Unstoppabull, a match-3 tie-in for Fox’s animated Ferdinand movie.
What do you get when game designers team up with the brains from CERN in order to try to create the best science learning game on the planet? That’s the mission statement of Lightneer, which is looking to shake up education with mobile games like its sub-atomic particle game Big Bang Legends.
The clue is in the name. Motorious Games has the official licence to make mobile games using the BBC’s Top Gear licence, releasing Top Gear: Road Trip in August 2017, which mixes up match-3 gameplay with car collection mechanics.
Next Games Oy
Having demonstrated its spurs with debut Compass Point: West, Next Games leveraged its production smarts working with AMC for the official mobile game for TV series The Walking Dead. It’s since signed a deal to create a game based on the Blade Runner 2049 film.
Combining its experience making PC strategy titles with the fast prototyping thanks to its inhouse technology, Nitro Games build and tested seven games in 2016, eventually releasing WWII-themed real-time PVP title Medals of War.
The ability to pivot is a vital one for companies looking for success in the dynamic mobile games business. And that’s exactly what Playraven has demonstrated, switching from making original, narrative-focused games to going all-in with its forthcoming game Project Aurora. It’s a mobile experience set within the universe of CCP’s classic PC MMOG Eve Online.
Acquired by Ubisoft in 2011, Redlynx is a stalwart of the Finnish development community. Best known for its Trials series, it’s just released South Park: Phone Destroyer and is working on the third version of its innovative touchscreen racer DrawRace.
Rovio Entertainment Ltd.
With perhaps one exception the best known Finnish mobile developer, the studio behind Angry Birds has experienced some ups and downs. But, thanks to the success of Angry Birds 2, Rovio is now strong and growing. It’s even experimenting with new types of games like clicker Business Time.
Fiercely independent and always creative, Secret Exit has been making smartphone games since the first iPhone and its debut Zen Bound remains a classic. Since then, however, it’s focused on more dynamic experiences in the shape of its physics-based Dismount series.
Seriously was founded by some of the most experienced Finnish mobile developers and it’s lived up to that promise. Its Best Fiends games combine simple gameplay with stunning graphics, strong narrative, and excellent product development and marketing.
Small Giant Games
As the name suggest, Small Giant isn’t large in terms of headcount but it has a big vision for its games. Most recent release Empires & Puzzles innovates match-3 gameplay and combines it with RPG mechanics, resulting in a compelling experience.
Few things shout Finland louder than the Moomins and Snowfall Games’ mission is to bring players together in the spirit of those good-natured forest folk. Its debut title Moomins Under Sail is currently in development.
What more can be said about Supercell other than it’s the best and the most profitable mobile game developer in the world? All four of its released games have generated over $1 billion of lifetime revenue, and its success is only matched by its ruthlessness in cancelling games it doesn’t believe will match its exceptionally high standards. And that’s the position of currently soft-launched team shooter Brawl Stars. What will happen next?
Two Men and a Dog
Although it’s since doubled its headcount to four, Two Men and a Dog remains a perfectly formed indie developer. Its 2015 debut Zombie Catchers remains very successful and the company is now preparing to launch its sequel, as well as working on another game in the series.
User generated content isn’t a big thing for mobile games, but Tampere-based Traplight is out to change all that. Its game Big Bang Racing lets players build, share and race their own crazy tracks, and with millions of tracks created, it’s clear people love the opportunity.