Visibility. The biggest problem mobile games face in the current climate. Every game. Every publisher. The difference is that publishers like Supercell can buy their audience with excessive advertising, premier placement and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Most mobile developers do not have that luxury. Most developers have no exposure whatsoever.
If you have only one, two or three mobile games in your portfolio, you don’t even have the ability to leverage your own games against each other, because you simply do not have the necessary visibility to drive traffic, and as a result, you’re not really making any money. And don’t be fooled. The quality of a game is ultimately irrelevant. You can have the best game in the world, but if no one knows about it, it won’t make you any money. There is no such thing as “a good game will always find an audience.” It is a myth.
As I mentioned at other times, I am working with Gigataur these days, a Canadian mobile developer/publisher. In that capacity, I am looking for such undiscovered games so that we can republish them through our Playmium line and generate actual money for their developers.
As I did last month, I have compiled a list here, of some noteworthy games I came across during my voyages through the world of Google Play and the App Store.
1. The Incorruptibles — Bonus XP
If you are looking for a cool strategy game that has depth and an identity of its own, look no further than Bonus XP’s “The Incorruptibles.” The game is impressive and chock full of features that deepen the experience, reminding one of the golden age of strategy games. It should not come as a surprise, because you can easily tell that some of the brightest minds of the strategy game genre are behind this game, with decades of experience, building games such as “Sid Meier’s Civilization” and the “Age of Empires” series.
2. Vikings: War of Clans — Plarium
While we’re on the subject of strategy games, Plarium is always doing stuff on the highest level of quality when it comes to the genre on mobile platforms. Don’t let the beautiful presentation of “Vikings” fool you, however. This game is a whole lot more than mere eye-candy. It is also a full-blown strategy game with depth on an absolutely epic scale. Be prepared to set a good amount of hours aside when you download this game, because it will hold you in its grip.
3. Crystal Blitz — Nika Entertainment
You can find Match-3 games like sand on the beach but the ones that are the most fun are the ones that introduce new ideas in the gameplay and shake up the stale formula a little. In this case, Ukrainian Developer Nika Entertainment has done just that, adding an actual game world to “Crystal Blitz,” that feels alive and gives the game a very distinctive feel. One that reminds me of a role-playing game, almost, without actually being one. The game is exceedingly well done and instantly grabbed my attention.
4. Runemals — Jandusoft
When you see a tagline line that says “Collect them all!”, you are instantly reminded of Pokémon but as it turns out, “Runemals” has more in common with Gung-Ho’s “Puzzle & Dragons” than the Nintendo flagship. But then again, it has real turn-based RPG elements that make it unique and highly attractive. With its colorful graphics and the screen layout, it almost feels like a classic “Final Fantasy” and Match-3 mash up. Be that as it may, however, in the end, it is simply a lot of fun, and that is what really counts.
5. Heroes and Castles — Foursaken Media
This fully fleshed-out 3D fantasy action game comes to you courtesy of Foursaken Media, and it does not mess around. With massive battle scenes, “Heroes and Castles” is a tower defense/strategy/action game that will draw you in, whether you decide to play it in single-player or in the two-player mode. Plenty of advancements and hero types keep you busy as you build and control huge armies on the battlefields. The clash of titans has never been more fun.
The graphic style was what initially drew me to this game but I soon realized that there’s more to it than just beautiful images. All that splendor comes at a price, though, and with 230MB, the game has a pretty big footprint and takes a while to download, but it’s well worth it. Featuring almost 400 different monsters for you to battle and collect, this game makes Pokémon look like continental breakfast, while “Monster Planet” dishes out a full dinner menu. Give it a try and lose yourself in its cool, scifi-fantasy world.
7. Schools of Magic — Codigames
A role-playing game with a colorful, cartoony look, “Schools of Magic” focuses almost entirely on the magic users you typically find in role-playing games. Never mind the sword-fodder like goblins and orcs, in this game, you will encounter wizards, necromancers, druids, priests, mages and the like, all ready to battle you. And if the storyline and campaigns the game provides aren’t enough for you any more, try the player-vs-player battle system that allows for virtually endless challenges. The game does have a few glitches, but once you get past that, you will find a truly rewarding experience.
8. Soul Hunters — Lilith Mobile
Lilith Mobile is a really interesting developer, and “Soul Hunters” is a great example, why. It is a classic Nintendo-style role-playing game but it has replaced the Japanese-style graphics with something that looks more like a contemporary casual game. The result is a beautiful mesh of old and new, giving “Soul Hunters” a very fast-paced and modern feel while retaining the charm of classic console RPGs. And to make things even cooler, the developer has just teamed up with Ubisoft, including Assassin Creed’s Ezio Auditore as a character in the game. Ooooh… goodie.
9. War Dragons — Pocket Gems
If you love dragons, you will love this game. This is a spectacularly-looking real-time strategy game in which you control not only your citizens as you build a kingdom, but also the dragons that serve as attack forces. Fully realized in 3D, the game is not only fun to watch, but also quite a ride to play. With over 100 different kinds of dragons, you won’t run out of variety anytime soon, and the multiplayer mode allows you to challenge players in the real world and lay waste to their domains. It is every bit as much fun as it sounds, and the spell effects alone make this game well worth checking out.
This is a fascinating game that falls somewhere between experimental and traditional arcade shooter, and the result is… well, hypnotic is probably the best way to put it. Beautiful, otherworldly graphics complement the great gameplay that will want you to just keep going and going and going. As you drift through this ocean of color and eat the particles, your own organism will grow and, depending on what you eat, it will grow into different lifeforms. It is like the opening level of “Spore”, in a way, but much, much cooler and more organic, almost as if you’re observing life through a microscope.
The well of overlooked games seems endless, and though there are way too many clones of successful games, I’ve come to realize that many of them tweak the established formulae and turn their own version into something fun and entertaining nonetheless.
But the problem remains—visibility. It is a challenge that we at Gigataur are addressing with a two-pronged approach. The first is that we convert even a limited player base into measurable revenue, something that has so far been altogether impossible. In addition, by establishing Playmium as a brand, we are able to cross-promote titles within the Playmium line of games, drive traffic to them and convert players into actual money. This is something that independent developers and publishers with small catalogs simply cannot achieve.
So, what are you playing right now? Any games I should be checking out?
If you’re a developer or publisher and you have a cool mobile game that you’d like me to consider for inclusion in our Playmium line of titles, feel free to send me an email at and I’ll be in touch with more details.