(While going through all the stuff from 2016, I happened to run across another one of my earlier pieces that I wrote pre-SNAPPZILLA. This was kind of my “year in review” for 2015 and of course, is full of mistakes and misspelled words, but is still fun to read through just to see how far things have come since then. Don’t worry, @DeadJam and I are still working on “2016 in review” right now. -hN)
2015……And My 2 Cents
So, 2015 has come to a close. The days are shorter, weather is starting to suck, and the App Store is in its “slow period”. I’ve been using this time to catch up on my ginormous backlog (even though I’ve been buying even more games with all these Holiday Sales), and I’ve been thinking, pondering, reflecting on the past 350 or so days of iOS games. It’s been a crazy year, but then again, every year is cray cray when your dealing with the App Store.
That’s one of the things I love about mobile gaming. There is ALWAYS something going on. Some kind of excitement. Some kind of drama. I’m also a console “gamer” and there NEVER seems to be this much action in the console industry. You have your usual big names games release in the fall and over the winter, then it’s pretty dull over the spring and summer. Every so often, you’ll get a curve ball thrown at you, but it’s pretty much the same every year. It’s not a bad thing. I’m so used to it, that it’s pretty standard fare, but with mobile gaming, there seems to be something going on almost every day! Sometimes good, sometimes bad, but there’s always SOMETHING. Dozens of excellent games releasing every Wednesday/Thursday, surprise releases every week, huge updates almost daily, price drops and sales almost every minute. It’s absolutely crazy! Yea, there’s also bad news too. Games going “Free To Play”, games breaking or not being supported because of whatever reason, games falling off the App Store and out of your Purchased Lists completely. Yea, those things suck, but you take the good with the bad. Wether your a “casual” gamer or “hardcore”, F2P Hater or Lover or only buy “Premium” games, there’s something for everybody in the App Store.
Anyway, I’ve been using the downtime to kind of go back into my notes and Purchased History and go through the hundreds of iOS games I’ve played this year. Narrowing it down a few more everyday. With all the great games released, it’s almost impossible to pick just one game that I felt was better than all the others. I struggled with how I was going to do it. Should I just pick one Game Of The Year? Should I do GAMES Of The Year? Should I do Runners Up? It’s been tough. So, I’ve just decided to do a list of my “Favorite Games Of 2015”. These are the games that I played the most or had the most fun playing.
So, without further ado, my Favorite Games Of 2015………
Air Attack 2 (Art In Games): This game just came out of nowhere for me when it released in December. I had played and loved the first Air Attack back in the early days of the App Store (2010), but had no clue a sequel was in the works until about a week or so prior to release. AA2 is absolutely BEAUTIFUL looking. One of the better looking games that I’ve played on iOS. It plays really well too. Tons of levels, tons of missions, tons of fun.
Horizon Chase: (Aquaris Game Studio) : Oh boy, this game. This game right here! I love racing games and always have. This game has such a great mix of nostalgia and modern gaming and definitely can’t be missed. Again, tons of races, upgradable/unlockable cars, and a killer soundtrack.
Callys Caves 3 (Jordan Pearson): I’ve loved all the CC games. This one was everything I wanted in a sequel, MORE OF EVERYTHING. Great controls, upgradable weapons, huge boss fights, and a decent story to boot. Tons of personality in this game.
Galactic Nemesis (CS54 Inc) : This is one of my favorite “retro shooters” on the App Store. Great controls, beautiful pixel art, plenty of levels and upgradable ships. Definitely an all around great game.
Downwell (Devolver Digital) : This is one of those games where gameplay is king. It may not look pretty to some, but as soon as I started playing it, I was in love. The powerups, the combos, the different themes all won me over. Absolutely love this game.
Cavernaut (Einheit B) : This game is just a great old fashioned mobile game in my opinion. Pretty much what games were kind of like in the early App Store days. You paid a buck (or so) and had a really fun experience. Simple as that. This is one of the few “tilt control” games that I play.
Her Story (Sam Barlow) : Her Story probably isn’t for everybody. When I first started playing it, I didn’t think I was going to like it, but the story really drew me in and the gameplay was so different (in a good way). All I can say is that Her Story is a great “experience”.
Super Boys: The Big Fight (Moof Games): I’m kind of biased when it comes to Moof Games. I love everything they do, so when Super Boys released, I pretty much knew already that I was going to like it. I just didn’t know that I was going to like it this much. Easiest way to put it is that it’s Super Smash Bros. for mobile…..(in a way). There are tons of characters to collect, tons of matches/levels, power-ups, upgrades, multiplayer, you name it, it’s all thrown in here. I can’t recommend this game (and all of the other Moof Games) enough.
There are still so many games I want to talk about, but it would take me until 2017, so I’ll just drop some names of games that I wanted to talk about, but couldn’t. I guess you could call them “Honorable Mentions”
PewDiePie- Legend of Brofist (Outerminds Inc)
The Executive (Riverman Media)
Max Ammo (Mantis Shrimp)
Particle Mace (Andy Makes)
Devil Eater (Load Complete)
A Note from Noen: 2015 was a very different (but good) year for me. After about 30+ years of playing video games and studying the industry, I decided to use everything that I’ve learned and experienced and start reviewing and talking about games publicly. I’m definitely still learning as I go along. With social media being so huge, it’s really hard to get noticed, plus there are TONS of people trying to do the same thing. I started a YouTube channel first. Pretty much just making gameplay videos and talking about the game while I played. It was fun, but I couldn’t get subscribers if I paid them it seemed like. Plus, there are thousands of people doing gameplay videos on YouTube, so it’s easy to get overlooked, so I decided to take a break and start messing around with writing about games on Tumblr and Twitter and just trying to learn as much as I can about the mobile industry. Twitter has been great for me. It’s awesome being able to talk to the developers one on one. I’ve met so many cool people and learned so much.
So………my plan for 2016 is to get back into reviewing games on YouTube and keep practicing on my writing. I’ve had a couple offers to do some things for other game sites and I’ve even debated on starting my own site up. Who knows? The only thing I do know is that I’m going to put a lot more effort into everything this year. Thank you to all of you who have been following me over the past several months and putting up with my random banter. You guys are awesome!
Keep it stiff!!