2014 was a banner year for iPhone, iPad and Android games – but could 2015 blow it out of the water? Considering how many games we’re already excited about, early indications look good.
And let’s remember — these are just the games we know about. With 12 months of surprises ahead of us, 2015 has the potential to be the best year ever for mobile gaming. But until we discover those surprises, here are the 25 mobile games we can’t wait to play in 2015.
Galactic Keep: Dice Battles
Seeing as Galactic Keep was on a similar list for us back in 2011, we’ll understand if you’re skeptical about playing this one in 2015. That said, we have high hopes that this pen-and-paper-inspired RPG will finally see the light of day soon. Why? Because we’ve played it, and even though we were told it was “pre-alpha, with a lot of rough edges,” Galactic Keep: Dice Battles was already more polished than most of the games you’ll find on the App Store today.
Love You to Bits
Tiny Thief was one of the coolest adventure/puzzles ever to hit the App Store, and while developer 5Ants has yet to announce a follow-up, former 5Ants employees have decided to give the formula their own treatment with this sci-fi spiritual successor.
The Banner Saga 2
One of the best games of 2014 ended on quite cliffhanger, so you can bet that gamers everywhere breathed a collective sigh of relief when Stoic Studio confirmed that a sequel was officially in the works. Since the story was originally conceived as a trilogy I suppose this was no surprise, but still – confirmation is a good thing. There’s no word on a release window, so we might be a tad optimistic with our hopes of seeing this one next year. Fingers crossed!
Broken Age: Act 2
Tim Schafer’s long-awaited, Kickstarter-empowered return to form was an absolute delight when it launched in 2014 – but it was also painfully incomplete. The first of two acts, gamers were left waiting and wanting, wondering when Act 2 would finally see the light of day. And now, thanks to a recent forum post at Double Fine, we have the answer: early 2015.
Minecraft: Story Mode
Telltale Games have seen their fair share of licensing opportunities, but for the first time, they’re being set loose in a world completely bereft of narrative. Can they use this sandbox to create something distinctly their own, while sticking with the spirit of the original? It sounds like a challenge, but hey – so did The LEGO Movie, and look how well that turned out.
Whatever Harmonix is working on
While their mobile gaming debut wildly missed the mark, Harmonix isn’t known for making stinkers. Neither are Tilting Point, the partner they’ve teamed up with who helped bring Leo’s Fortune to the mobile masses last year. So while we might not have loved Record Run, there’s little doubt that the creator of Guitar Hero, Dance Central and more will deliver a game that’s music to our ears in 2015.
Briefly available in a Canadian soft launch (though since removed), Hitman: Sniper combines what players love about the series with a dash of what made Silent Scope so much fun: picking off your targets from a healthy distance. The Canadian early release featured only one scenario, yet managed to stay fresh thanks for varying objectives on repeated playthroughs.
Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare
We haven’t heard a peep about this since it was showcased at Apple’s WWDC event back in June, but what was shown was a fantastic proof of concept: PvZ Garden Warfare can run beautifully on iOS thanks to Apple’s Metal technology. Was it just a tech demo? Or could we actually be playing Garden Warfare on touch screens in 2015? Considering how much we enjoyed the PC release, we’ll keep our fingers crossed.
If you’re old enough to remember Maniac Mansion, you’re old enough to remember how great it was – and how important. Without it we probably wouldn’t have had the classic LucasArts adventures that followed. So when the creators behind it decides to pair up once more? You’d better believe it’s worth following. Thimbleweed Park looks to be a spiritual successor to Maniac Mansion, and thanks to reaching a last minute Kickstarter stretch goal, it will be coming to both iOS and Android.
World of Tanks Blitz is solid proof that people want team-based, metal-on-metal multiplayer that fits in their pockets. But there’s nothing that says this metal can only come in the shape of a tank. Chillingo and Impact Games’ MECH will place players in the pilot seat of a bi-pedal weapon of war. My MechWarrior-loving 10 year old self is absolutely giddy with excitement.
If there’s an RPG to watch for in 2015, Zodiac might be it. Developed by Kobojo, the team has brought on a few notable veterans from the Final Fantasy universe to participate in its creation. Scenario writer Kazushige Nojima and composer Hitoshi Sakamoto are both on board. And while we haven’t heard who’s handling the art duties, they deserve a hearty high five from the rest of the Kobojo team.
Super Meat Boy Forever
I said it back in June, and I’ll say it again now: I’m not convinced this game exists. Team Meat has teased us with a few mobile projects over the years, but not a single one has seen release. That said, I’ve never wanted to be proven wrong so badly. Super Meat Boy Forever is planned to be an auto-runner designed from the ground-up with mobile in mind. Rayman Bladesaw Run? Works for me!
The next project from Ron Carmel (World of Goo) isn’t quite as cute and quirky as his past efforts. In fact, it looks rather cutthroat. Created alongside his partner on the project Noel Llopis, Subterfuge is a multiplayer game played out over 7 days, where players jockey for position as the top miner using aggression, diplomacy, bribery, and lies. Can you trick other players to make your way to the top?
The Room Three
Chaos Rings III
While it still hasn’t been confirmed for an English-language release, past games in the Chaos Rings series have all made their way stateside, so we’re holding out hope for Chaos Rings III to follow suit. The game launched in Japan back in October, and while reviews have been mixed (Famitsu gave it a 32/40, TouchArcade’s hands-on praised some elements but was critical of others), we’re still all too eager to get our hands on it.
Woah Dave! was one of our favorite games of 2014, so when the fine folks at Choice Provisions informed me that the mastermind behind that game, Jason Cirillo, is also responsible for Destructmundo, it immediately jumped on our want list. The object of this Destructamundo? To blow up entire planetary systems using as few warheads as possible.
Adventure Time: Game Wizard
PixelPress was great in theory, but ultimately flawed in execution. The “sketch it, scan it, play it” approach to game design held plenty of appeal, but the launch product was sorely lacking. But what if someone could take that product, refine it, and deliver on more of what was promised in the original PixelPress pitch? Slap on the Adventure Time license and (we hope) you’ve got exactly that with Game Wizard.
Brian Reynolds has had an interesting career. He was responsible for strategy classics like Civilization II and Rise of Nations, but he also spent some time at Zynga and was the chief designer on FrontierVille. DomiNations, the first project from the resurrected Big Huge Games, looks like it could have a foot in both worlds. Of course, that’s just speculation. We’ll have to wait until DomiNations’ release in 2015 to find out for sure.
Sometimes knowing nothing makes you want to know everything. Such is the case with Piloteer, the third game from Whitaker Trebella that – asides from the teaser image above – we know nothing about. Trebella knows a thing or two about great game design though, bringing us titles like Pivvot and Polymer in the past. He describes Piloteer as “a huge departure” from his past work, which leaves us with just one question: WHAT IS IT, WHIT?!?!
Playdek have built up an incredible reputation for adapting board games flawlessly. From Ascension to Lords of Waterdeep and everything in between, they’re the go-to developer for great tabletop ports. (Personally, I’m quite partial to Summoner Wars). But in 2015, they’re stretching their legs and trying something a little different: a tactical RPG created by Yasumi Matsuno. That’s the gentleman who brought us Final Fantasy Tactics and Tactics Ogre. Playdek might be stepping out of their comfort zone on this one, but with Matsuno at the helm, anything short of perfection would be a surprise. (No pressure, Playdek.)
Remember how we just told you that Playdek were the go-to developer for great tabletop ports? GMT Games agrees. That’s why they’ve partnered with Playdek to bring their epic board game of Cold War diplomacy to digital devices in 2015. Haven’t heard of Twilight Struggle? That’s a shame. It’s the single most popular game on BoardGameGeek (the de facto site for board game enthusiasts), and requires you to pack a lunch if you want to play it in a single sitting. Let’s hope the digital version will let you take a break long enough to recharge your tablet.
Whether you loved FTL, had your heart broken by the launch version of Star Command (that said, Star Command Galaxies for desktops looks fantastic), or are just hungering for more Out There, Spacewrights should definitely be on your radar. Mixing ship customization, combat, exploration and visits to the surfaces of alien planets, Spacewrights is the little indie Star Trek homage that could.
Whether its the action-heavy wackiness of Quadropus Rampage or the bite-sized fun of Roid Rage, Butterscotch Shenanigans make neat games. Their next (and biggest yet) is a crafting and exploration game with a healthy dose of action-RPG elements. There will be an absurd amount of customization, an intuitive system for making things, and plenty of the ol’ bscotchshenani charm. Keep an eye out for Crashlands this Spring.
Mevius Final Fantasy
Ready for a crazy promise? SquareEnix says that Mevius Final Fantasy will be “a full-scale, high-quality RPG world the likes of which has never been seen on smartphones and tablets.” Those are bold words — especially from the folks who are already pushing the mobile RPG envelope with games like the aforementioned Chaos Rings III. And while not a lot is known about the game itself, it’s been confirmed that Final Fantasy veterans Yoshinori Kitase and Kazushige Nojima are on board, and there are some indications that Japan might see this one as early as Spring 2015.