I am so glad to see this topic being discussed here. I really think mobile games have come into their own over the last couple years.
@donrumata seems to have played a lot of Apple Arcade stuff, which I too have been really pouring through since getting a free subscription. I can only truly second Fantasian from their list.
What the Golf? (Apple Arcade) Fantastic, surreal, works super well on a touch screen.
Holedown (not Apple Arcade) I LOVE A BRICK BREAKER and this feels like the perfect modern version of one. The planet system is really cool, the music is great, and again it feels fantastic on a touch screen. Definitely not a full blown gaming experience, but a good time waster on the phone.
Downwell (not Apple Arcade) - I know this game has been ported to just about everything, but when it released on iOS a few years back, that’s where I started playing it. I make sure this is always installed on my phone. The movement, weapons, and upgrade system all feel so good. I normally don’t care for the whole roguelike experience, but this game sucked me in.
Donut County (not Apple Arcade)- A bizarre experience about opening up a hole in the ground and sucking everything in it’s path up. The gameplay is a little shallow, there’s an interesting story happening here. I wound up finishing this game in like 2 sittings. I know it’s been released elsewhere now too, but the simple controls and art style work perfect on a phone.
Mutazione (Apple Arcade) - I’ve only put about 2 hours into this. It’s a point and click style adventure game about a young woman going to meet her extended mutant family on a remote island. The art style really stuck out to me, and the story has been engaging enough to keep me interested. I think this is on Steam tho too.
Hyper Light Drifter (not Apple Arcade) - I saw this on sale for $2.99 or something and decided it was finally time to try this. Boy OH boy, this is absolutely terrible with touch screen controls. I’m sure there’s some 14yr old out there who’s played this without a controller but I could not. With a controller, this game feels just like it does on PC.
Now I’d like to mention something that was really garbage. South of the Circle (Apple Arcade) is a point and click “game” that I finished in maybe 3 hours. It’s essentially a visual novel that requires you to click on the characters emotion to craft a “response” during conversations. The response system is the only thing that progresses the games story. The player’s choices actually don’t have any affect on the story or narrative outcome, other than sometimes an emoji type symbol is displayed to indicate how a character felt about that response. I don’t mind a heavy, narrative focused game, but this “game” felt like it was lying to me. Why allow the player to have choice when it really, truly means nothing in influencing the experience?
I briefly mentioned this in the Fantasian thread, but I think in the last year or so (at least from my experience) Apple has really managed to out do Nintendo on the whole hybrid console thing. Any iPhone that’s capable of running Apple Arcade games has a better screen than the Switch. Couple that with a cloud save system that works seamlessly in the background, you can continue your games on the Apple TV by syncing up a controller. You can use a Dualshock 4 or an Xbox controller seamlessly with your phone too. It’s a little goofy looking, but a full sized controller feels a heck of a lot better than the joycons. I know there’s some fancy phone grip controller attachments but I’ve never used one. PLUS most likely, you always have your phone with you…I don’t always carry my Switch with me. Not to mention, lots of indie games are real cheap on the App Store too…
I won’t continue too much more on this, but my recent exposure to JRPGs has been entirely on my phone. I played through Chrono Trigger and am now playing Fantasian. For me it feels like the perfect platform to experience these kinds of games, but I am new to the genre. I did notice recently that it appears that Square Enix has updated a lot of their iOS games to work on the Apple TV too, which is kind of huge for me. I’m thinking of playing Dragon Quest V this way now.