Our rule of thumb is mobile-first, which means Darkest Dungeon (which hit PC first) is not eligible. Sorry!
throwing in for Fire Emblem Heroes also, mainly for the same reasons listed above. I’ve fallen in and out with it and don’t really play it as much, but the other Nintendo Mobile games that came out this year didn’t feel as good as Fire Emblem (Animal Crossing almost feels a bit too gated), and other gacha games I played didn’t really have any interesting mechanics to make the actual game part of it that interesting. FEH brought the most important parts of the main game (strategy, unit type matching, etc) to a smaller, more digestible scale, and I definitely think it deserves the praise that it’s gotten.
i understand, will edit my post!
I’m going to second the Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp nom. Yeah, it hasn’t been out very long but man I am addicted. Nintendo did a great job bring AC to the mobile game framework and it’s very easy to play without spending any real money–plus it brings the same experience of checking in on my game, decorating my areas, and having weird conversations with animals.
Animal Crossing Pocket Camp got an early reputation for being a scam, but playing it you can really see how much work Nintendo put into making it feel 1. like Animal Crossing and 2. as undemanding as possible. Out of every mobile game I played this year this one pushed me the least towards using its paid currency, instead it rewards waiting and establishing a steady, chill routine. It’s not Animal Crossing on the Switch, but Pocket Camp is the best alternative I could have asked for.
edit: i realize now 3 of us were nominating pocket camp at the same time, I still stick to it but if an alternative is needed Madoka Magica Side Story: Magia Record is impressive just from the sheer amount of content in a free game, you can tell it’s been in development for years and years and why it was delayed repeatedly
I nominate Crazy Taxi: Gazillionairre.
A colorful, fun, funny clicker game that I put a ton of time into when it came out. Unfortunately, they were slow in introducing content updates and I fell off it, but really enjoyed it for quite awhile.
Also, I wrote my best, stupidest post about it when it first came out
Gotta be Million Onion Hotel, a truly fantastical and bizarre game with quite a sense of style and humor.
EDIT: also it doesn’t have monetization past the initial $3.99 price tag, meaning I don’t have to get daily login bonuses or go through the tedium of farming premium currency or feeling the pressure to spend. I typically hate these features in mobile games, and it’s refreshing to have an experience like MOH that has NONE of those trappings.
Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Links, if it qualifies. It came out in Japan at the tail end of 2016, but was released worldwide (including in Canada, where I live) this January.
If you’ve played the TCG or many of the previous video games, you know what to expect with Duel Links. A few rules are changed to streamline the experience, fit better on a phone screen and play faster for online play. Half life points, half the deck size, half the main phases, and half the monster and trap/magic zones. Otherwise, it’s the same Duel Monsters experience many people have had before.
But it has a great monetization system, fun duels, and goes back to the Yu-Gi-Oh! I grew up with as the playable characters are primarily from the first series - Seto Kaiba, Yugi Moto, and so on. Each character can get abilities related to their character; for instance, Bandit Keith has abilities that let him switch cards out of his hand, since he was a cheater in the show. Kaiba’s abilities relate to dragons; Yugi’s to spellcasters.
The game is very generous with the premium currency, giving out hundreds for every anniversary, a few character birthdays, any inconvenient downtime, to celebrate events (which happen a couple times a month), and as level-up rewards both for your profile and every duelist you can play. In addition, similar to an actual box of trading cards, the card draws are not entirely random. If you want - say - Blue Eyes Ultimate Dragon, and it is in a box with 200 packs, you will draw Blue Eyes Ultimate Dragon. In other games, with gatcha draws, the random element means you are technically never guaranteed a certain pull. I’ve seen people discuss spending hundreds and never getting the character they want.
I’ve never spent money on Duel Links, I’ve never had to, but I’d feel less guilty about it knowing I’m at least actually going to get what I want instead of something like Fire Emblem Heroes (fun though it is) where I could spend real money and not even get the right colour pull for the hero I want, let alone the specific character.
I’d like to Second Typeshift. I still play it almost every day. Each daily puzzle slowly increases in difficulty throughout the week, so it really provides a steady learning curve.
Crazy Taxi Gazillionaire
It’s a real fun clicker! The best in a year with many good clickers (don’t you fucking dare @ me, @regresssion). There are certainly valid criticisms of it, but I think it is trying to be well written and inclusive in a way that few games – let alone mobile games – try to.
…I never tried it, I probably should
Because it story and character a both good and charming, gameplay has it own depth, making the game a example of high-quality mobile game (the sound track is amazing), which is micro transactions are balanced enough, in fact I am playing for quite sometime and never need to spend a single cent and I do have(since the game isn´t competitive, you have no pressure to do anything, is more about collecting stuff and just by playing it casually you will have enough resources steady 10 Draw Pulls, not forgetting events and giveaways they do).
while i agree that 2017 has been the year for Granblue in English in terms of exposure and fandom, the game itself came out in 2014 and technically never had an official English release, just a language patch in 2016. so unfortunately, it is ineligible for this year’s awards
Oh, you are right, my mistake! I will edit the post.
For it’s fairly ridiculous staying power alone, Tappy Cat gets my nomination. A game that’s 90% rhythm game, 10% Neko Atsume. It’s not perfect and the grind is bad if you really want to collect all the cats, but it is ridiculously cute and it was incredibly difficult to put down when I first downloaded it. Just looking at it and hearing the theme makes me smile, and I haven’t had the heart to remove it from my phone all year. They’re still adding new songs to it (mostly royalty-free classical music) and I still boot it up from time to time to watch my chubby kitty in a dinosaur costume take a deep breath as it gets ready to happily play its tree stump guitar.
Honorable mentions go to the very charming Data Wing and Spaceplan. Both games that have stories that are better than any little phone game has any right to be. Why is it that a clicker and a racing game about a triangle have better stories than any of the mobile versions of Star Wars or Fire Emblem?
It’s an open world sliding block puzzle game. Your character can only go in a straight line so getting around the world is the challenge. It also has the metroid thing of new powers open up new areas of the map. I was really surprised how much the ‘open world’ dressing added to a game that’s really just a series of puzzle rooms. Zipping around was fun and flying back through rooms you already solved is the type of video game high many devs and genres chase.
Honorable mention to Cat Quest which I preferred but played on consoles. I also imagine its a better console game then mobile game because I don’t think the mobile version has a dodge roll and every game is improved with a good dodge roll! Really fun and simple hack & slash RPG with a cute cat theme.
I know Fire Emblem Heroes has been nominated twice, but I also want to throw another nomination it’s way.
I enjoyed the game a fair bit at launch, but they’ve really added a lot more customisation options with successive patches. With the recent V2.0.0 patch, there are now a considerable number of options for customising characters, including Skill Inheritance, Equippable Badges, and Weapon Forging.
In addition to gameplay improvements, there have been quite a lot of QoL improvements, such as providing clearer information, easier access to Quest details, a reroll for Training Tower formations.
Orbs and Feathers are plentiful enough that you can easily fill any hole in your team with a 5* version of a character, and probably tweak them to a reasonable power level besides. Single player content comes out at a good pace and the challenge maps offer some real challenges that can’t simply be powered through (Well, maybe, but you would have to spend a massive amount to get characters to that level)
The biggest flaw in the game (outside of any opinions you may have on gacha mechanics in general) is the variable stat lines for characters. I would find it more palatable if it wasn’t possible to get 5* characters who just don’t work very well because of a -SPD or -ATK value, for example.
I have spent some money on the game, but honestly I’m quite happy with it as a F2P experience and don’t feel particularly uncompetitive.
Hey, Waypointeers! There’s only seven more days left on nominations! The mod team are gearing up for Phase 2 of The GILM Awards, so we can let y’all decide what the Waypoint Community felt were their favourite works of 2017. We know a few people are wrestling about their nominations, so this is just a reminder to get yours in before the deadline hits — we’re not taking late submissions!
On that note, there’s a few items that have only been nominated once so far. If you feel strongly about any of these making it to our final poll, they need a second nomination before Phase 1 closes.
- Red’s Kingdom
- Hidden Folks
- Star Wars: Force Arena
- Black Survival
- Wiz Khalifa’s Weed Farm
- Tappy Cat
Wow. Seconding HQ.
How… did this not…
Like - I’m on Andriod, and can’t yet, but it’s still my favorite game to watch/hear people talking excitedly about.
Waypoint Radio this week(?) nailed it. It’s one time a day, where everyone is doing/watching the same thing. It’s destination/event/social gaming.
I’ll second Ticket to Earth. The combat feels pretty unique and they were able to keep adding elements to it to keep things fresh. The art style and character models are pretty on point as well.