When you think of the BAFTAs, you probably think of a glitzy awards ceremony full of actors, directors, producers and the like, hoping to gain recognition for their moment on the screen. And whilst that’s true, few people realise that the BAFTAs actually extend into the world of gaming. With categories such as Music, Story, Family and Game Design - amongst many others - there are plenty of opportunities for your favourite game to pick up an award.
So, since this is Mobile Choice, I thought it would be apt to have a special article, looking at the nominations for the Mobile and Handheld category. They are as follows:
Available on Android and iOS, this very cute and peaceful word game is perfect as a pick-up-and-play. Whilst it does have the potential to become extremely addictive, it makes a nice little addition to your collection of apps for you to have a play with when waiting for a train, on your lunch break or as a little brain teaser before bed. My only snags are the amount of requirements for micro-payments. Once you’ve used one of your bears in a round, they ‘nap’ and you have to use coins to use them again - or wait, sometimes for hours. Overall, it’s beautifully designed and very relaxing, so definitely a fair contender.
It does what it says on the tin. This game lets you know how premium it is by the fact that you have to pay £2.99 straight away for it - and in the mobile gaming world that is quite a lot! You definitely get the quality that you pay for as the subtle and minimalistic graphics are smooth and fluent. Whilst being a puzzle game and having a simple objective to literally prune a tree from level to level, it’s really a metaphor for the important things in life, especially with the tagline: “Cultivate what matters. Cut away the rest”. There’s something very moving about watching the tree grow and blossom and considering that this is simply a mobile video game, it definitely deserves the recognition it’s received. Including winning Time’s Game of the Year for 2015.
This is unlike any mobile game I’ve ever played. If you can even call it a game! There’s probably not much I can say about this without giving it all away, but the gist of it is that you are a detective watching a collection of police interviews with a woman. You can enter keywords to unlock clues and uncover more of the crime but it isn’t something that you ‘play’. Written by Sam Barlow, a big name behind the horror series Silent Hill, I knew it wasn’t going to be without its psychology. Her Story is definitely worth playing, but allow yourself plenty of time to really get your thinking cap on and pay real attention to it. This is not a game to chill out with whilst watching a movie!
This intricate puzzle series gave me the same chilling rush when I first played it as I got when I first tried Myst in the nineties. You won’t believe that you’re playing a mobile game as you look around a haunting train carriage and interact with ornate objects such as eyepieces and keys. It’s extremely hard to put down once you’ve started as you’re pulled in to this frighteningly beautiful world of mystery, magic and puzzles. If you can get over the stunning graphics, you’ll quickly find yourself totally absorbed by this game. But don’t forget the first two - this game is just one piece of a wonderful and bewitching trilogy.
Whilst this isn’t directly part of the Tomb Raider franchise, it’s still headed by Square Enix - so you know to have high expectations from the start. Graphically, it is far better suited to the mobile platform than any other Tomb Raider game has been, with a minimalistic and zen-like design. The gameplay itself is also adapted for mobile with set routes and basic controls. What I immediately loved was the fact that the sound effects are taken from Tomb Raider games and being a massive fan of the series, I recognised them straight away and felt at home straight away. Despite the fact that Lara Croft GO is a much more simplified version of Tomb Raider, it still contains the elements of combat, puzzles and logic without being too taxing as a ‘pick up and play’.
To me, it’s kind of a bizarre concept to have a franchise such as Fallout - currently a next gen graphical masterpiece that’s probably taken over your life since the fourth episode came out - as a cartoon-style simulation game on mobile. But don’t get me wrong, it does work. It’s got the same addictive juices as Clash of Clans whilst maintaining the quirky and dark humour that Bethesda are so good at.
So who will win? In my opinion I think there are a few standouts in The Room Three, Her Story and Alphabear but all for very different reasons. Her Story and writer Sam Barlow are actually nominated for several awards aside from the Mobile category, including Game Design and Game Story - as well as Debut Game, which Prune is also nominated for.
The awards ceremony will take place on April 7th so why not download these games yourself and see which one you want to win?