I have a bit of a soft spot for stunning mobile games. Not only are they great for passing time, but with beautiful designs and attention to detail, some are truly works of art
Mobile games are awesome. They’re everywhere your phone is, and great when you have an empty pocket of time. I’ve even built my own endless runner game. But is there such a thing as a stunning mobile game? Can a tiny game in a phone really be as incredible as a AAA game for PC or console? Well, yes. But it’s a little bit different. Mobile games are limited to just that, being mobile. But that hasn’t stopped some developers from making truly beautiful works of art. In no particular order, here are 5 amazingly beautiful and deeply stunning mobile games you’re guaranteed to fall in love with.
1. Monument Valley
Monument Valley is one of the most stunning mobile games to ever be released. This game set the bar for aesthetics in mobile gaming, and pushed the ability of phones. Set in an Escher-esque world, Monument Valley is an exploration and puzzle solving game that can be incredibly mind-bending. You play as the little princess Ida, and roam through the levels trying to unlock the story. Solving each level is immensely satisfying, as often the solution isn’t obvious at all, and involves bending the entire world around you.
Not only are the visuals of this game mind blowing and incredibly beautiful, but the soundtrack and effects are perfectly matched. There are no objectives, just the overarching story and level you’re in. Each level could be a work of art, with the detail in both the minimalist style and complicated architecture complimenting each other. This game invokes the most wonderful sense of magic, and is well worth the hours you’ll lose trying to finish it. Monument Valley is available for $5.99 on the App Store and Google Play.
2. Monument Valley 2
Monument Valley 2 is the follow up to Monument Valley, and every bit as magical as the first. This time you play as a mother/daughter duo, and the game is totally stand alone, you don’t need to have played the original first. The only connection between the two games is the world you explore. But with two characters to control, the levels can take on a whole new twist. The mechanics of exploration are mostly the same, although there are some new interactions that add to the game and make it a worthy sequel.
Like its predecessor, Monument Valley 2 gives the player unlimited time to explore each level, allowing you to become fully immersed in the experience. The visuals are new, but equally beautiful, making this one of a small collection of stunning mobile games to stick in your mind long after you finish the story. It’s available for $4.99 on the App Store, and $7.99 on Google Play.
3. Beyond Gravity
Beyond Gravity is one of the few games on this list that is cross-platform. I first stumbled on this game during Steam sales, and for a very low price, decided to give it a go. And I was hooked. The premise was simple. You, an astronaut, had crashed his ship and must travel from planet to planet in order to collect enough nuts and bolts to repair the ship. There’s really not much to this game, but it’s addictive. The achievements are well balanced too, so I found myself playing longer and longer in order to finish them all.
The game is almost identical on mobile. And nothing is lost by doing this. It’s so simple, but the charm comes from the sounds and the art style. It might seem a little childish, but the character is so endearing, and you feel really sad when you mistime a jump and fall out of the universe. Although there’s not much to the game, and online reviews are mixed, I still believe it’s worth having a look at. The gameplay is simple, the difficulty is balanced and the feel is appealing. It’s available for $0.99 on the App Store, Google Play and $1.99 on Steam.
4. Alto’s Adventure
A simple side platformer, Alto’s Adventure is one of a few beautifully stunning mobile games with excellent game play. You are Alto, a snowboarding dude, just trying to land the best tricks possible as he cruises the slopes. There’s also the added fun of trying to round up llamas as you go. The scenery is breathtaking and the whole feel of this game is very peaceful and relaxing. It’s the attention to detail that really makes this game. The way you interact with obstacles, the weather, and the way the backgrounds and objects shift in perspective as you flip and link tricks.
This game has one of those soundtracks that just gets stuck in your head. Each sound effect fits in perfectly and helps to bring the world to life. There are also a variety of characters to unlock, each with their own specific abilities that helps to create a different run each time you play. Despite being a simple side scroller/endless runner, the team at Snowman have created a totally unique experience. No matter what other games are released this is still one of my go-to’s, a place to unwind and relax. Alto’s Adventure is free on Google Play and available for $7.99 on the App Store.
5. Alto’s Odyssey
Another sequel to make this list, Alto’s Odyssey, and is every bit as amazing as the original. Like Adventure, Odyssey follows Alto (and his many friends) as they complete tricks down the slopes. However, instead of being set amongst snowy mountains, Alto’s Odyssey has a desert background, with the addition of smaller areas with their own feels. The backgrounds change to reflect the area you are within, and the specific challenges differ too. It introduces new obstacles too, like hot air balloons and whirlwinds, giving original Adventure players something new to discover in this sequel.
With the same clean visuals as Alto’s Adventure, Odyssey’s attention to detail is what makes it a remarkable game. The new elements are well thought out, and fit with the world you explore. With so many interactive elements, each run feels different, with new challenges and ways to link combos. This is the type of game that keeps you coming back, even after finishing the achievements. Alto’s Odyssey is coming soon to Google Play and is out now on the App Store for $7.99.
6. Lumino City
Lumino City is the follow up game to Lume, by creators State of Play. The unique style was developed by animating a character over a real world image, constructed entirely from cardboard. It’s this totally new style that cements Lumino City as one of the most visually stunning mobile games. Lumino City is story driven, with clues to each levels solution within the laws of the world itself. Even the soundtrack of this game is well designed, and helps to create the feeling that this cardboard city might be a real place.
Because everything in this game is hand-crafted, you can’t help but feel the dedication and artistry of the development team. Lumino city is one of those stunning mobile games that evokes a childlike sense of wonder and discovery in its players. Available for $7.99 on the App Store and Google Play, or $14.99 on Steam.