It’s award season here at Twinfinite! Let’s look back at the best handheld and mobile games from 2017. Voted on by our editors, these these games in particular stood out as among the best on-the-go games. Let’s start our top vote-getting honorable mentions, runner-ups, and finally, of course, our overall winner!
Second Runner Up: Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon
Despite having released Sun and Moon just last year, Game Freak hits it out of the park once again with the release of Pokemon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon. Unlike previous third game releases in past generations, Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon don’t exactly make a lot of effort to hook you in right from the beginning. On the contrary, your first 15 to 20 hours with the games are going to be pretty similar to your first romp in Sun and Moon.
However, Game Freak slips in little additions here and there, making Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon feel like more refined and polished versions of their predecessors. We called these games the definitive, Director’s Cut versions of Sun and Moon in our review, and that’s thanks to the more coherent story and writing here, as well as the generous wealth of post game content that’s been offered up. With the inclusion of new Pokemon, new Z-Moves, and every single legendary creature you could think of, Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon feel like the ultimate feverish fantasy of any Pokemon fan who just wants to catch ’em all. Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon serve as the perfect nostalgic goodbye to the Nintendo 3DS.
First Runner Up: Animal Crossing Pocket Camp
It seems like an eternity since Nintendo first announced that it’d be bringing Animal Crossing to smartphones. Yet, now that it has finally arrived and players are busy running their own campsites and collecting as much fruit, fish and bugs as humanly possible, the wait certainly seemed worth it.
Though Pocket Camp moves the focus away from building and maintaining a thriving town to enticing animals to come and hang out at your campsite, the core experience feels very familiar. This has all been distilled down, however, in order to make for a smartphone experience you can literally hop into for a couple minutes, make some progress, before jumping back out. It doesn’t have quite the same amount of variety as its console and handheld counterparts, but it’s pretty great as a smartphone experience, especially when its microtransactions in the form of Leaf Tickets aren’t too difficult to get through natural play. The Pocket Camp cycle can be simplified down to meeting an animal, completing some requests for them, leveling up your friendship, inviting them to your campsite, and hanging out with them their. All of this contributes towards raising your level, unlocking new items and objects for you to craft and further spruce up your campsite.
With a huge roster of animals, a ton of different bugs and fish to catch, and leveling and crafting systems that keep the experience feeling rewarding, Pocket Camp is the mobile Animal Crossing game that you can easily play for a few minutes or a few hours.