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2013 Mobile Game of the Year

/ Jan 20th, 2014 No Comments

Mobile games, like games on any other platform, are diverse. They are made up of original works that innovate and entertain, clones that modify gameplay to move them on the go, and ports that have the capacity to revive old titles relegated to old technology for a new generation of players. But for all their differences, every mobile game is the same in one aspect: they must be mobile.

Unlike handheld games, these titles are specifically for platforms that are dedicated primarily to other tasks, whether it is on a phone or a tablet. It’s this attribute, in addition to others by which all games are judged, that plays a huge part in deciding the Mobile Game of the Year.

The Nominees

Darklings – An arrival that barely made a 2013 release, Darklings is a touch more obscure than the others on this list but its unique gameplay makes it a must play. Speed and accuracy are the name of the game in this title where players must draw shapes in order to steal the souls of their enemies in this engaging, albeit suspicious in motive story. However, while it is fun and interesting, its lack of variety makes it somewhat repetitive with only three bosses that players must face over and over again. Darklings earned a review score of 92%.

Darklings for iOS


Real Racing 3 – Available on iOS and Android, Real Racing 3 is exactly what you’d expect of a great racing game on a handheld device. This game takes full advantage of the native touchscreen and tilt sensors for a yet unmatched racing experience on the platform. Additionally, players won’t find the repetition that some in the genre struggle with as play is diverse, with multiple game modes and beautifully rendered cars and tracks based on real-world vehicles and locations. Real Racing 3 is easy to pick up or toss aside without feeling any guilt about buying it because it is free. The game’s hallmark time-shift multiplayer has been critiqued for not having the competitive feeling of playing with others, but that problem has been patched with the addition of live online multiplayer. Real Racing 3 was given a review score of 82% when it released March.

Real Racing 3 for iOS/Android

Real Racing 3

Gemini Rue – Gemini Rue features an interesting and enthralling story with a depth not typically found in mobile games, but that does mean this is not a game you can just forget about. Pop culture fans undoubtedly enjoy its references to Blade Runner and Cowboy Bebop, of which there are plenty. It is a port of a PC game and makes the transition so well that most of the time it’s hard to tell, but those playing on a small screen will notice at it lends itself better to clicks of a mouse than taps of the fingers. Gemini Rue earned an 78% in a review back in April.

Gemini Rue

Gemini Rue

The Winner – Real Racing 3

While these are all great games, each with their own qualities that make them must-plays on the platform, there can be only one Mobile Game of the Year. Real Racing 3 brings everything one would expect of a mobile game and more. With amazing graphics, smooth controls and accessibility, players will be coming back to this one again and again until they see a sequel.

Miranda L Visser

Miranda L Visser

Gaming since she dug an NES out of a dumpster down the street from her home as a child, Miranda L Visser contributes to Gaming Illustrated while working on her M.A. in Norway. She dearly misses steak and being able to walk down the street to buy cheap games.
Miranda L Visser
Miranda L Visser

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