Technology with attitude

6 of the best E3 2015 mobile game announcements

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Mobile gaming always seems to get a bit of bad rep at the big gaming conventions. Let’s take a look and see what we’ll be playing on our handhelds for the next year or so.

It seems interesting that the big guns at E3 have all embraced the mobile market in some form or another. As discussed in a previous article, AAA developers will always turn to mobile as the novelty of having a big game on your person at all times is a guaranteed seller. What is interesting is how these companies aren’t just making the classic ‘companion’ app now, instead they’re primarily focusing on releasing ‘side-games’, full games that are working as a playable tie-in to your game, rather than just a second screen. During Bethesda’s conference when they ran their spiel about how they’ve always appreciated the mobile arena and how they’ve always wanted to make a mobile game whilst sticking to something that’s remotely Bethesda, it seems that many of the developers out there are seemingly moving in this direction with mobile. And with Square-Enix dropping the megaton of mobile news, it was clear that mobile it still a force to be reckoned with in the larger gaming space. If only more people took it as seriously as the AAA developers do.

With this in mind it seems right to celebrate the mobile achievements of this years E3, and what on earth we’ll all be playing this year on our favourite handheld devices. Hell, there’s even a couple games in here that’s available right now. If you have a compatible device, of course.

So then, in no particular order. 

1. FALLOUT SHELTER (iOS)

That unexpected announcement from Bethesda was this, a free-to-play game about managing a post apocalyptic vault where you can impregnate your dwellers.

Firstly, this game looks terrific. Much like its older sibling, it’s full of style and has lovely animations but crucially, it’s horribly addictive. No doubt there is plenty to do throughout – think Tiny Tower. After a nuclear strike. – including shuffling jobs, defending against attacks from raiders, sending dwellers into the wasteland to acquire materials, collect resources, and even make babies. It’s a classic ‘keep everything moving steadily along and solve every crisis’-esque simulation we all know and love, but with a terrific Fallout twist. It’s just as easy to sit there and do next to nothing whilst watching your dwellers live out their existence in this home that you have built for them.

Fallout Shelter works best when you have everything done and can enjoy the visual world that Bethesda have built for you to play around in. It’s unique in the sense that while there are plenty like it on the App Store, this one is theirs. It’s written all over the game who it really belongs to, and you don’t mind at all because it’s Bethesda.

And when it’s this good you can’t get mad at them for anything. Not even waiting until next year to release DOOM. I’m over it.

2. Minions Paradise (iOS/Android)

Here they are again. Those pesky little yellow brats ready to tear apart all the hard work done by you to forget they ever existed.

To be fair, the Minions have their moments and Minions Paradise (another that’s already available) certainly has the look and charm of a game that’s absolutely a tie-in for the upcoming movie, but is also swinging just on the correct pendulum of fun for fans of the franchise.

You are the creator in this Minions God Game (think Molyneux if he ever got in bed with Dreamworks), it’s up to you to craft and create homes for your minions to live within. Your island can be expanded and you’re able to explore separate islands packed full of minigames and new buildings.

So far, so unoriginal and uninspired, yes? Absolutely, it’s not though until you get into the core ‘Minions’ of it all that you appreciate what the game is going for here. The writing here is nigh-on spot on with the tone and quality of the Despicable Me movies. They’ve been animated to an inch of their little lives and genuinely look very impressive. Random small little jokes happen throughout and the big fans of the yellow blighters will get far more out of this than a player who isn’t. Still, it’s free and available on iOS and Android, with in-game purchases. More expensive purchases are hidden behind a password protected wall, parents. Hooray!

3. LARA CROFT GO

Lara Croft is back in Rise of the Tomb Raider this year, in a timed exclusive coming to Xbox One this November (the same as Fallout 4, in fact. Fools), however those lovely chaps at Square-Enix have seemed it right to release a smaller title focusing on an etheral experience for our favourite tomb raiding-heroine.

Lara Croft has shades of Monument Valley, upon first glance and is a follow up to the really rather good Hitman Go which came out late last year.

The game will be a turn based puzzler and take place in a long forgotten world, a common trope of the series. There isn’t a huge amount to say about this one just yet as we only really have the trailer to dissect our clues from but it’s looking very pretty and has shades of a classic mobile game. The fact it’s following in the footsteps of Hitman GO is a good sign, as that was terrific. We will share more on this mysterious title as we get it, but it’s on this list purely for its possibilities. This could well be a classic of the genre with a Lara Croft spit and polish.

4. FINAL FANTASY VII (iOS)

Yes. This is happening. The fable. The legend. The life consuming all encompassing stone cold no holds barred second coming-esque masterpiece that is Final Fantasy VII is coming to iOS.

It looks iOS users will be getting another treat besides Fallout Shelter this summer. Square Enix confirmed that the original Final Fantasy VII will be coming to iOS.

Now, no. We’re aware the video above is not the video for this particular port, it’s the video of the upcoming console/PC remake that sent everyone who watched it completely batshit insane and with good reason. We’ve thrown that video in to whet your appetite for what’s to come. And that’s one of the single greatest games in the history of the industry will soon be on your mobile phone.

Let that sink in for a second.

This is going to be a direct port of the original that was released way back in 1997(!), so don’t expect any particular upgrades or fancy new updates – apart from perhaps somewhat dodgy touchscreen controls – as you travel through Midgar as Cloud Strife in an attempt to stop the Shinra Electric Power Company from draining the planet life. Oh, just writing those words again makes me get goosebumps.

There’s a chance it’s going to be pretty pricey, as Final Fantasy VI is currently on the UK App Store for £11.99 so expect FFVII to appear in a similar price bracket. If not more, the jump from VI to VII was rather monumental, after all. A game of this magnitude is going to get some serious attention upon release so make sure you’re ready for the conversation. I know I will be.

5. The Elder Scrolls LEGENDS (iOS)

Coming soon to iOS, The Elder Scrolls Legends looks to be a strategic card game, due for release on iPad before the end of the year.

There wasn’t an awful lot of details regarding the game revealed during Bethesda’s monumental E3 conference, although the general assumption is that you choose a class of character to be and then proceed to build a deck of cards around them which will enable you to get new, better cards to be victorious against other people with cards. No doubt a foray of microtransactions will see their way into the game, enabling you to purchase super special cards. But it’s the Elder Scrolls and the fanbase is enormous.

Expect this one to be huge.

6. Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes (iOS/Android)

star-wars-galaxy-of-heroes-e-novo-game-mobile-1434401199795_956x500Again, not a huge amount is known about this just yet. But it’s Star Wars, so lets get into what we do know.

During EA’s E3 conference, Star Wars: Galaxy of Heroes was announced, an upcoming mobile collectible card-based RPG.

The game will span the prequel and the original trilogy, featuring characters from all six films and The Clone Wars. You’ll be able to collect ships, items and characters and enable them to build a deck more powerful than you could possibly imagine. Or something.

That’s all we know at the moment, it will be released later this year on iOS and Android. Huzzah!

So this was our list of the biggest mobile games announced at E3. If you think we’ve missed something let us know in the comments and why it should be included.

It ain’t gonna beat Fallout Shelter, though. That is magic.