The future of mobile gaming isn’t just bright, it’s positively firing off jets of scorching solar flares with promise and potential. As the technology develops and iterates, developers like Bethesda, Ubisoft, and even Nintendo are starting to bring full, high quality titles to the platform, redefining the very concept of a good mobile game in the process.
In short, it’s a great time to be a mobile gamer, whether you’re just a casual player or someone genuinely intrigued by the possibilities of pocket sized interactive entertainment. We’ve already got our sights on just a favoured few of the best upcoming mobile games currently in the works, with their very existence undermining the naysayers who still argue that the smartphone scene is nothing more than a home to Candy Crush clones.
After literally decades of making a name for itself on the PC, Jagex has finally caved to fan demands in bringing its arcade RPG Runescape to mobile platforms.
The studio hasn’t taken the task lightly, either, spending years making sure the game runs as smooth and sophisticated as possible on any mobile device, with all the bells and whistles that Runescape players know and love intact. It’ll even have seamless cross-platform play enabled between mobile and desktop, so dedicated fans won’t be forced to restart their entire character from scratch when Runescape finally releases on smartphones later this year.
Super Meat Boy Forever
Super Meat Boy Forever began life as a modest mobile port of the original Xbox indie platformer of 2010, but the project has apparently become such an endeavour for Team Meat that the game’s now turned into a fully fledged sequel.
That’s good news for Meat Boy fans, as well as smartphone gamers who’ve yet to appreciate the indie darling’s devious madness and platforming brilliance. We can only imagine what Team Meat have in store for a follow up, but we can’t wait to get angry at an anthropomorphic chunk of flesh all over again, this time without even having to boot up our home console.
Mario Kart Tour
Following Super Mario Run, Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp, Dr. Mario World, Nintendo’s ongoing partnership with mobile has now lead it to one of the company’s most iconic series to date: Mark Kart. While only a select few have been able to partake in the game's closed beta testing, you can easily trust Nintendo’s standards of quality control to result in a finely tuned, exceptionally polished title that takes the karting you know and love and reimagines it for the small screen.
You can bet your blue shells that the game will feature full multiplayer, too, reigniting Mario Kart fever across the world once more as casual competition turns to breakneck battles between frenemies and family members. Better start working on those skid boosts.
Plants vs. Zombies 3
We don’t know much about the upcoming instalment in Popcap’s flamboyantly humoured tower defense series, but we do know that it’s definitely in the works. EA itself has confirmed the game’s existence, in fact, and a select few have even been invited to participate in some of Popcap’s closed pre-alpha sessions on Android.
Like I say, little details have been officially revealed about Plants vs Zombies 3, if it even ends up being called that, but you can likely expect Popcap’s delicious blend of addictive strategy, eye-pleasing visuals, and hilariously creative interpretation of horticulture that has defined the Plants vs. Zombies series so far. It’s been over ten years since the first PvZ released, and while the 2013 sequel and spin-off Garden Warfare series have had their moments, it’s high time for a comeback that reminds everyone why we fell in love with the franchise in the first place.
The reception to Diablo Immortal, a mobile-only spin-off to Blizzard’s hugely popular action role-playing franchise, has not been… kind amongst the series core fan base, to say the least, but the truth is that everything we’ve seen from the game so far has us impressed. This isn’t some knock-off cash-in that’s set to bastardise everything you love about Diablo, but an authentic, high production value dungeon crawler that takes the series’ archetypal DNA and boils it down to a mobile friendly experience that nevertheless still feels like Diablo.
More than that, Blizzard promises that it will continue supporting Diablo Immortal with new stories, characters, and features well after launch, making this an upcoming mobile that’s worth watching both before release, and long after it. Have your reservations if you want to, but Immortal will be well worth a try once it finally hits players hands later this year.
Call of Duty: Mobile
While Call of Duty has dabbled in the waters of handheld before, with various spin-offs on the PS Vita and Nintendo DS platforms, Call of Duty: Mobile (opens in new tab) will be the first time the series gets a fully fledged portable experience that’s an entire game in its own right. Many players around the world are already getting to try out the standalone mobile title, developed by Tencent in partnership with Activision, in its beta tests, and the reports have been might positive so far, boasting silky smooth performance, impressive visuals, and a gluttony of content to rival any mainline Call of Duty instalment.
Everything’s here, from battle royale to the multiplayer experience that has become part of the franchise’s DNA since 2007's Modern Warfare, all delivered with Activision’s dogged commitment to blockbuster production value that has permeated every instalment so far.