2017 was an exciting year for games. Nintendo finally hit the market in a big way. We had a score of new games from every genre. There were viral hits like Chicken Scream as well as under-the-radar gems like Mushroom 11 and others. Of course, the most popular games this year were freemium games. That shouldn’t surprise anyone. However, we think that mobile gaming had more to offer than a repetitive, pay-as-you-go experience this year. Listed below are our picks for the best new Android games from 2017!
Capcom had a pretty busy year. They released not one, but four Ace Attorney games on mobile. These are ports from other consoles. However, all four of them play well on mobile. Each game has its unique quirks, but all of them play the same. You uncover clues, dispense justice, and investigate crime scenes. All four titles are stable. They're a bit expensive at $11.99. On the plus side, they don't have any in-app purchases or advertisements to deal with. These are some really good games.
Iron Marines is the latest release from Ironhide Game Studio. They also made the popular Kingdom Rush franchise. Iron Marines is a classic tower defense game. You build defenses along a path. Those defenses kill bad guys as they come. The game features solid mechanics, above average graphics, several game modes, boss fights, heroes, and over 50 achievements. New updates added to the experience as well. It offers a rock solid tower defense experience. The game runs for $4.99 and it also has in-app purchases.
Lumino City is one of the most unique game releases this year. The game uses real life graphics. The developers photographed the game's set. Your decisions move the pieces along its path. Thus, the graphics in this game are basically perfect. The game features various, fun puzzles, cloud saving, and a cute little story. Some have complained about compatibility issues with 18:9 devices. Otherwise, the game seems to be fairly stable. It goes for $4.99 with no in-app purchases.
Nintendo hit the ground running in 2017. They had three hit games, including Fire Emblem Heroes, Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, and Super Mario Run. All three games are intensely popular, highly rated, and really fun. Even the two freemium games are better than most freemium games. Super Mario Run got a bit of a bump rap because of its difference from regular Super Mario games. However, in the realm of mobile platformers, it's actually extremely good. We couldn't pick just one so we nominated Nintendo as a whole.
N.O.V.A. Legacy is one of the most popular FPS games from 2017. It kept the sci-fi shooter theme from the previous games while adding a bunch of extra stuff. The game includes a real campaign mode, online multiplayer, decent graphics, various customizations, and more. It even has private multiplayer matches and the story mode is playable offline. Aside from its freemium price tag, there really isn't much wrong with this one. Also, despite its claims, its install size is much larger than 28MB.
Morphite is one of the underrated Android games of 2017. It's a first person shooter with sci-fi theme. Players engage with the story missions or explore randomly generated planets. The base game is free and includes two missions along with unlimited exploration. The full game requires a purchase, but only one. It also has good looking, low-poly graphics, simple mechanics, boss fights, trading mechanics, and hardware controller support. It's rare to see a pay-once shooter these days and Morphite delivers.
Mushroom 11 is an indie puzzle game. It won various awards for its mechanics, music, and game play style. You swipe away parts of a fungus. The fungus grows back on the other side. That lets you move the blob where it needs to go. The game features achievements, various challenges, and even a bit of backstory lore hidden in the game. We're not sure why this one isn't more popular. The mechanics are sound and the game plays fine. It's $4.99 with no in-app purchases or advertisements.
Oxenfree is a fun psychological thriller. It saw a release on PC first. It released to mobile in 2017. The game follows a group of friends. They unwittingly open a ghost-spawning rift. The story branches from your decisions and some decisions are rather tough. It also features decent exploration mechanics, good graphics, simple touch controls, and more. However, the main attraction here is the story line. It's simply fantastic. The game runs for $4.99 with no in-app purchases or advertisements.
Playdius Entertainment is a publisher on Google Play with three excellent Android games in 2017. A Normal Lost Phone and Another Lost Phone: Laura's Story are mystery games. The player rummages through a fictional person's phone. The goal is to find out what happened to them. The third game, Bury me, my Love, is a text game about two lovers. One of them is a refugee seeking solace and telling the other one about it. All three games are outstanding in their respective genres. They're also relatively inexpensive with no in-app purchases or ads.
RollerCoaster Tycoon Classic is a port from the PC version of RollerCoaster Tycoon 1 and 2. It has every scenario and mechanic from the PC version. You build theme parks, make money, and even build custom rollercoasters. Each scenario has different criteria to complete. There is also DLC with more scenarios as well as a scenario creator tool. It's a refreshing break from the usual array of freemium simulation games. This one goes for $5.99 with the DLC adding an additional $5.99.
Shadowmatic is a unique puzzle game. Each level has a few objects that cast a shadow on the wall. Players move the objects around until the shadow is a coherent image. It's not an overly complicated game. However, it looks beautiful and the mechanics are simple. Plus, it's family friendly, contains over 100 levels, and also includes achievements and hints. The free version contains 14 levels. You get the full version for $2.99 as a single in-app purchase.
Slayaway Camp was a surprise hit in 2017. The game features retro graphics, various puzzles, and copious amounts of gore. Players make their way through 140 levels with videotapes to collect and some truly excellent kill scenes to witness. The game is extremely gory. Thus, it's not recommended for kids. However, the retro graphics takes a bit of the edge out of the carnage that ensues. Plus, the game is relatively inexpensive with no in-app purchases or ads. The soundtrack is pretty good too.
Thimbleweed Park is another surprisingly good noir mystery game. It follows the story of Agent Ray and Agent Reyes. They're investigating some weird stuff happening in Thimbleweed Park. It features puzzles and story elements to solve, five playable characters, support for multiple languages, two difficulties, and more. It's also delightfully funny, with over acted line delivery and some decent jokes. It's a little more expensive than average at $9.99. That may be why this one wasn't more popular when it was released.
To the Moon is a delightful little game about two scientists. They allow people on their deathbeds to live out their lives and fulfill their greatest wishes in their own heads before they die. Your job is to play through an old man's memories to find out why he wanted to go to the moon as his final wish. It's a narrative-driven RPG with no combat. The game is also fairly short. However, the story line and soundtracks are both exceptional. This is a good, relaxing play. It's also fairly cheap at $1.99.
Monument Valley 2 feels like low hanging fruit for a game of the year pick and it is. Any of the games listed could've ended up here. Monument Valley 2 is a continuation from the first game. It features the same graphic design, more of the Escher style puzzles, and an introduction to some new mechanics. This one also focuses a little more on its story than the prior title. It's definitely more mature of a game than the first Monument Valley. It does suffer from some of the same criticisms as the first game, including a shorter than average game play experience. Still, it's a rare mobile sequel that didn't go freemium like many mobile sequels have in the past. We respect that.
If we missed any great Android games from the last year, tell us about them in the comments! You can also check out more Android app and game lists by clicking here!