Kotaku Awards: The Best Mobile/Handheld Game Of The Year

Kotaku Awards: The Best Mobile/Handheld Game Of The Year

Kotaku Awards: The Best Mobile/Handheld Game Of The YearAlright folks, the results for indie game of the year and console game of the year are in – now it’s the turn of Mobile/Handheld games. So which did you vote in as the best of 2010? [Rustles yet another imaginary envelope.]

And the winner is…

Angry Birds

This category was a bit of a blow out, with Angry Birds receiving 29% of the vote. Pokemon HeartGold/SoulSilver came in second with 13%. There were a bunch of stragglers coming in with 8% including Cut the Rope and Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker.

Editor’s Choice

This year has been an interesting one for mobile gaming, with the iPhone overtaking the Nintendo DS as my format of choice when it comes to gaming on the move. Still, I enjoyed a handful of DS games this year, my favourite being Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth. The PSP had a handful of awesome games this year as well – Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker is probably the most accomplished PSP game ever made.

But ultimately, given the amount of time I’ve spent playing on my iPhone, it was inevitable that my mobile/handheld game of the year would be one from the App store. Angry Birds was good, but felt like a game I had played before, Cut the Rope had interesting mechanics, but felt short and a little undercooked.

Game Dev Story, however, was the most compulsive, engaging, hilarious experience I’ve had on a mobile platform this year. It’s a slow burn – the game doesn’t necessarily reward you in the beginning – but once you get a feel for the mechanics and how they entertwine, it’s becomes the most addictive game on the planet. I started playing during one of my good friend’s wedding. I missed the entire ceremony, and ignored all of the speeches during the reception to continue playing. I’m ashamed to say that I only stopped because my iPhone battery went dead.

In a sense, Game Dev Story is nothing more than a glorified poker machine, but the set up, the parody, and the rewarding manner in which you progress makes it my favourite mobile/handheld game of 2010.


  • I really want Game Dev Story after playing it for a couple of hours here and there on a friend’s iphone. I’m considering shelling out $150 for a cheap ipod touch just to buy this $5 game.

  • Yeah, the shittest, most overhyped, and most bought game won. In a year of great mobile games (even if handheld was slowing down), Angry Birds won. A game about as deep as the average browser flash game.

  • Cut The Rope felt like a fairly fresh experience, whereas Angry Birds felt to me like Crush The Castle Full Of Pigs By Launching Birds. That’s not to say that it didn’t do that well, mind you, and I can see why it’s been so successful. I do agree that Cut The Rope launched without a whole lot of longevity, especially given the general ease of the original levels, though I suppose it shows how spoiled for choice we are that we’ll scoff at the length of a $1.19 game that, by the nature of the platform, is likely to offer much more content at no extra charge in time. Angry Birds is a prime example of that, packing a lot of value for your measly $1.19… but for me, personally, it speaks volumes that I want more Cut The Rope but haven’t bothered finishing Angry Birds.

    Putting the big sellers aside for a moment (Angry Birds is technically a 2009 release anyway) I think my personal pick for the year would be the iOS version of Mirror’s Edge. It’s a little short if you’re not the high-score-chasing type, but it looks and plays fantastic, and if you are the aforementioned type of gamer there’s a great feature set just for you including the option to race ghost data from anyone on the leader boards. It’s a great example of adapting control to the platform rather than mimicking a traditional controller; what could have potentially been a mess of virtual buttons is instead a superb example of gesture controls that flows with the game.

    I’m sure that last paragraph would have been about Pokemon Black & White if I’d had more time to sink into it, but I reserve the right to include it next year based on the local release date, even though I have the Japanese version. :p

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