TSA Game Of The Year 2014: Mobile

Choosing our Mobile Game of the Year was never going to be easy. With thousands of potential candidates and a sporadic release calendar, conjuring a list of finalists was a task in of itself. Then, of course, you have to take into account the myriad of ports and remasters as well as those games which released prior to 2014 yet were only brought to light within the past twelve months.

With each passing year, mobiles and tablets are becoming more and more competent as gaming devices. When not wowing us with their inventive, bite-size bursts of fun, they also play host to a growing number of familiar gaming icons, going beyond that simplistic five minutes of immersion. Whether you’re on iOS, Android, or even have a Windows Phone, the roster of games available continues to expand and diversify.

On top of that, more studios are starting to think outside the box – or pad, if you will. Though touchscreen controls remain a mandatory feature, we’re starting to see an influx of gamepads specifically designed to enhance your portable gaming experience. It’s still a fledgling movement though in 2015 we’re going to start seeing an abundance of competitive, affordable options available on the market.

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If such options were readily accessible in the here and now, there’s a good chance it would impact our voting habits. A large number of games that narrowly failed to make our shortlist lost out simply due to the inherent unreliability of virtual joystick controls. Sure, there have been some outliers, including the exceptional Monster Hunter Freedom Unite, which managed to bag 9.8% of our total vote.

For now though, touchscreen remains king, with smaller, more digestible mobile games coming out on top. Chief among these is Sirvo’s deviously simplistic Threes! netting the majority vote with 30.8%. There’s no flashy visuals here, no heartfelt narrative or award-winning soundtracks. Instead there is a board, some numbers, and an unshakeable need to trump your mates in this addictive puzzler.

It continues to be a popular genre on mobile with runners up Monument Valley and Hitman GO both receiving 12.8% of the total vote each, coming in at joint second place. Some may also be surprised to hear that Flappy Bird made our final list. Although much of its legacy comes the game’s viral success, there are few who can say that they played it just once and never felt the need to pick it up again immediately after.

Threes! is TheSixthAxis’ Mobile Game of the Year 2014.

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8 Comments

  1. Monument Valley (& Forgotten Shores DLC) is my overall GotY… By a very long way in what, for me, has been a pretty poor year for AAA gaming.

    And as a mobile game Desert Golf is the perfect bite sized time waster

    Both games all the better for being premium. Wish all mobile games were.

    • Monument Valley was lovely, fella. Such crisp, clean graphics which really showed off the screen – coupled with some lovely puzzles and a relaxed vibe to it all. Didn’t realise there was DLC(?) Must go check. Also, will check into Desert Golf too. Cheers for the info.

    • Still waiting/hoping for Monument Valley to come to Vita as hinted. Might as well give up and buy it for the iPad soon.

  2. I can’t help but look back at 2008-09-ish as the peak of mobile gaming for me.

    I had a Nokia N95 that played incredible games: Metal Gear Solid Mobile, Crash Racing, Duke Nukem 3D, Quake Arena, Space Impact, the best solitaire collection I’ve seen, God of War, Worms World Party, Need for Speed and a handful of other brilliant games I can’t remember the name of. Then there’s the Gameboy emulation and motion controls and actual physical buttons and a d-pad!

    And all games were complete and without microtransactions and advertising.

    These days I really don’t get along with mobile games 9 out of 10 times. Kairosoft tends to hook me for a couple days at a time.

    This years “Threes” is pretty decent, and I have it installed… But it’s only fun for bite-sized go’s, and loose my attention after a few tries. I probably won’t remember it fondly in five years time.

    Sorry for being a party-pooper… :-/ I needed to vent.

  3. Threes! is a perfect puzzler.

    Monument Valley is fantastic achievement as well, a very relaxing game. But it doesn’t have the sheer addictive power Threes! wields.

  4. Threes?

  5. Threes is great but personally can’t get enough of boom beach at the moment.

  6. Desert Golfing. Best game of the year. Admittedly I’ve only played Desert Golfing, Threes, Abe, and Killzone: Shadow Fall all year, but whatevs.

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