Adventure, Puzzle, Virtual Pet/Toy
If there was an official award for 'Most charming game of the year,' it would have been wrapped up in August. Donut County has got it nailed down.
Fortunately, it's also a really great, polished, intuitive, and downright fun game. You drag a little hole around the floor of a cartoon world, swallowing up pebbles and cups. The hole grows, and so does the size of the stuff you can swallow. Brilliant.
Second place in that charm contest will be hotly contested, but Evergarden could well be in the mix. Its 3D paper-craft aesthetic is quite lovely.
Beyond that, it's a very clever puzzler that riffs on the 'evolutionary matching' premise of Triple Town. You match plants, they get more complex, then match those. But those are just the basics in this beguilingly tactile experience.
Barbearian isn't a typical made-for-mobile isometric hack-and-slash game. Its levels take too long to plough through for that.
But that's a large part of its charm. This is a meaty, knotty, hardcore action game that constantly taxes you. Frankly, it's a breath of fresh air.
Action, Arcade, Casino
It's tricky to get stealth right on mobile. The slower pace, the precariousness of it all. But Sneak Ops nails it.
It strips back the stealth experience to its bare phones without sacrificing tension. Somehow, though, it retains the friendliness and accessibility of a classic high-score chaser.
Arguably the least Colin Lane game Colin Lane has ever made, Golfing Around is a surprisingly fleshed out and unflashy arcade sports game.
It's a surprisingly straight take on golf - albeit with an ingeniously intuitive control system and inviting graphics.
Legend of Solgard
One of the more interesting King games we've played in recent times, Legend of Solgard evokes the spirit of Might & Magic: Clash of Heroes with its match-three RPG gameplay.
Naturally it's a lot more streamlined (and let's face it, not as good), but it remains a highly entertaining and brilliantly presented midcore experience.
Super Spell Heroes
Super Spell Heroes takes the competitive multiplayer structure and cute presentation of Clash Royale, but swaps out the card-laying strategy in favour of tense match-three mechanics.
It works well, with a surprisingly tactical and reassuringly skill-based slant. You'll have to jump through some freemium hoops, but you should be used to that by now.
Kings and Assassins
Card/board game, Multiplayer
A very well executed multiplayer boardgame with an intriguing asymmetrical nature. It's a gloriously lop-sided game of cat and mouse.
In fact, the only thing really missing here is a single player campaign. Otherwise, it's pretty great.
Juanito Arcade Mayhem
A joyous take on the classic Pang formula, Juanito Arcade Mayhem
has you scampering left and right, shooting blobby balloon monsters out of the sky.
It also folds in plenty of other loving retro gaming tributes, with levels inspired by Tetris and Super Breakout. It's all very well executed, and lovely to look at as well.
A brief but lovely story-driven game with themes of family, trauma, and taking control of one's obsessions - and the slight hint of something sinister.
With super clean visuals and a trippy dream-based setting, Radiant One is memorable despite its brevity.