As we approach the end of 2019, we thought we’d take a moment to look back and reflect on the year in games. We figured the best place to start is, of course, by looking at what we, Droid Gamers, consider to be the best games of 2019.
Just to be clear: these aren’t the thoughts of any individual writer, but the view of the site as a whole. We’ve looked back through all of the year’s reviews and rounded up every single game that received an eight or above.
We intend to run individual best game features too, to allow the unique thoughts of each writer to shine, but let’s start with the site as a whole. Here are our collective favourite games of the year.
For our money, Chess Rush was the best Auto Chess-like on mobile for one reason in particular: it provided a turbo mode at launch. That isn’t to say that we don’t love Auto Chess as it was intended, with it’s long, drawn out and deeply strategic battles, but we often don’t have time for that on mobile. Much of our time gaming on our phones is snatched, while we wait for a taxi or take a loo break, and turbo mode was perfect in those moments.
Chess Rush was also visually stunning compared to its competitors at the time, which certainly helped. The gap has likely closed since then but we still want to highlight Chess Rush’s excellent launch position in our best games of the year list.
Another Eden demonstrated that not only can you have a decent JRPG built from the ground up for mobile, but that it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. Another Eden featured development talent from the likes of Chrono Trigger, Luminous Arc 2, and Binchotan, a story that took place across a variety of time zones, and a huge cast of characters that you could recruit to join you on your journey.
Durango: Wild Lands might be finished but we absolutely loved it when it launched. It provided a decent grindy MMORPG experience, the likes of which we hadn’t seen since Old School RuneScape. The best part was that it wasn’t pay to win either, so you could enjoy it without spending a penny. Perhaps that contributed to its poor financial performance.
Cyber Hunter was NetEase’s attempt to bring a battle royale experience to mobile, borrowing from everything that had come before. It’s mostly a Fortnite-like though, with cartoon visuals, some lite-building, and excellent shooting mechanics. We liked it because it just felt right, with tight controls, excellent building mechanics that let you summon a vehicle and more, and an awesome sci-fi style.
Rumble Stars is one of the more innovative experiences to come out of Clash Royale’s new style of arena battling. It’s a football game in which you have to score three goals past your opponent in real time by firing a bunch of different animal characters onto a pitch. These include a panda that will goal hang, a tireless puppy dog that passes it around, and a super fast tiger that can do it all on his own. Create the ultimate team and get scoring those goals.
Pocket Cowboys was like an innovative mixture of Chess and battle royale, challenging you and three other opponents to choose their next move at exactly the same moment and then watch it play out. If you read the movements precisely, you could shoot your opponents entirely unscathed, but the wrong move leads you wide open to retaliation.
Evertale is the best Pokémon-like RPG available on mobile, with stunning visuals, over 180 different creatures to collect, and a team of heroes to join you. The best part is that there’s a a single player campaign to battle through, with tons of gorgeous locations to explore, and a wide variety of PvP leagues. So, no matter how you enjoy playing a Pokémon-like RPG, Evertale has you covered.
Rush Rally 3 is a rarity on mobile: a full, premium, console-quality racer. It’s rally racing, so you’re racing for the best times across numerous different tracks rather than going neck and neck against different racers. Other racers aren’t entirely necessary, as the roads and weather effects are challenging enough to navigate – particularly if you use the realistic controls. If you like building a huge garage full of vehicles, exploring the world in the front seat of a fast car, and participating in a wide variety of events, Rush Rally 3 is the racing game for you.
Star Traders: Frontiers is a rich, open universe RPG that lets you live any sci-fi life imaginable. You’ll visit a wide variety of procedurally-generated maps as you explore, become a space pirate or bounty hunter, trade, and anything else you can imagine. You can’t do it alone though, so you’ll assemble your own crew of characters to man your spaceship.
Langrisser Mobile embarrassed Nintendo this year by providing a free to play mobile version of the classic SRPG but without any of the watering down that Nintendo felt the need to with its own mobile Fire Emblem. There are turn-based battles that take place on enormous maps, a single player story that was written exclusively for mobile, and a wide variety of characters to unlock – all of which can be upgraded in numerous different ways.