Given I do the majority of my gaming on the PC, with a smattering of console sessions, I tend to look for something different in my mobile and touch gaming. I'm usually looking for something that takes full advantage of the format and forges a unique experience.
I also have a penchant for the eccentric so the first mention goes to Simogis lasted The Sailors Dream. You could argue it's not a game, and might even be right, but for me it was another unique and interesting experience.
Monument Valley was a superb, if short, puzzler with a wonderful art style that will see it appear on most end of year award lists.
Framed arrived late in the year and provided some great logic puzzles wrapped in a well crafted jazzy noir cartoon style.
80 Days is part roguelike, part choose your own adventure, and totally fun. Part game, part book, it's one of those examples of using the format to full effect. Taking it's inspiration from the classic Jules Verne tale, you embark on your own journey around the world in 80 days, trying to find the best strategy. What items to bring and how to spend your valuable time all play a part alongside the text of your story and that of the characters you meet along the way.
It's the greatest credit to the folks at Stoic that I happily played through the Banner Saga for a second time when it appeared on ios. True, the mechanics inherently lend themselves to the touch format, but it's a fine conversion never the less. The game itself is still great, and finds another home on mobile devices.
Now if truth be told the game that has stolen the most of my mobile gaming time is Hearthstone, but I'm obviously a touch biased there, so the last game on this list is the one that I've spent the next most time with.
You don't need to take a 'different' approach to make a great touch based game, but you do need to ensure you controls work intuitively on the format. Some more traditional games can be translated well without the need for the 'fake' thumbstick controls that holds back many mobile ports. Bastion proved this last year, and this year a game from a genre up until now only at home on the PC grabbed me and refused to let go.
Vainglory is a mobile Moba, with great controls, and some really smart design choices that allow the matches to genuinely ebb and flow, and comebacks are actually possible. It is also benefits, Hearthstone style, from the lack of chat, so sidesteps some of the obnoxious parts of moba communities.
I have had a ton of fun with it so far, and look forward to playing more as I start to learn more of the heroes on offer.
Lastly, as an addendum to one of the earlier entries on this end of year wrap up. If you prefer the iPad etc for your adventure games. The Tell-tale games are still amazing on Tablets, I have some minor gripes with some of the control translations, but by and large they are still fantastic games!
All in all, a pretty stellar year for mobile gaming.