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VG247's The Best Games Ever Podcast – Ep.20: The best game you played on your phone

Good mobile games come in all shapes and forms.

Do you ever think about the time before mobile phones? The era of calling your the landline in your mate's house, only for their mum to answer.

"Can I talk to Jimmy, please?"
"Is that Tom? OK, I'll get Jimmy."
"Hello. Do you want to come round my house?"
"Mum says am I having tea there?"
"... YES."

We had such wonderful conversations on phones, before everything became texts and WhatsApp messages.

My granddad didn't even talk to his friends using a landline. He used a CB radio.

"Mike, this is Tom. Over (note: everyone in my family is called Tom!)"
"Mike, this is Tom. Over."
"Tom, this is Mike. Over."
"Hello, Mike. Over."
"Did you watch the football? Over."
"Yes. Over."
"Ian Rush is a C**T! Over."
"C**T! Over"

My granddad had such wonderful conversations on his CB radio, before everything became texts and WhatsApp messages. His mind would have blown had he realised what future lay ahead for phones.

Anyway. Welcome to VG247's The Best Games Ever Podcast: Ep.20 - The best game you played on your phone.

Please do let us know what you think of the show – and if this is your first time listening, do go back to listen to the previous episodes. If you’ve got suggestions for topics, we’d love to hear them. If you're a Billcliffe fan (I've heard there are some), he'll be back on soon, so stop messaging me about him.

“What is VG247’s Best Games Ever Podcast?” you ask while wondering how I remembered, verbatim, those conversations from 30 years ago. I'll level with you. Those conversations came out of my brain about five minutes ago. But they are accurate in tone, feel, and language. Anyway, this podcast, which is why you're on this page, is essentially a 30-minute panel show where people (me and some others on VG247) decide on the best game in a specific category. That's it. It's good. Listen to it.

We’ve got some details on the show’s content below (if you want to get a refresher before heading to the comments to make a wonderful, considered post or don’t want to listen but do want to know what games we picked), so if you want to avoid spoilers, don’t scroll past this fan-made creation of what Chris Bratt would look like if he was a phone background. (Support friends of VG247, People Make Games, on Patreon).

Chris Bratt on a phone

The best game you played on your phone

This is the topic of Episode twenty of VG247’s Best Games Ever Podcast. Here’s a rundown of who picked what.

Tom - New Star Soccer

Watch on YouTube

Before mobile phone games became all fancy pants, New Star Soccer blazed the way with simple, but perfect touchscreen gameplay, tidy management simulation mechanics, and that hard to pin-down moreishness. It was simply brilliant, and the game I've put more hours into on a phone than any other.

Alex – Retro Bowl

Watch on YouTube

Retro Bowl is an astonishingly good game, a great expression of what made the classic 8-bit arcade-era sports games great, compressed down to a mobile game that ultimately feels surprisingly deep despite its simple presentation and budget price. I'd heartily recommend it to anyone - fan of American Football or not.

But better still, honestly, is my personal connection to this game, where it was directly responsible for keeping me sane during an enormously stressful 48 hours. It's brilliant, but if keeping your head screwed on while you're trapped away from home as the world crumbles around you isn't a great demonstration of mobile gaming, I don't know what is.

Connor – Pokemon Go

Watch on YouTube

I know it was the obvious pick, but Pokemon Go stood out to me as the best phone game I've ever played, and the only one that actually got me out and, well, mobile. As opposed to sitting away at home tapping away. It really was in its early days an explosive entity in the gaming space. Everyone was playing — everyone! You, me, your work mates, your boss, my boss (probably).

Everyone has their own stories of seeing crowds of people walking around, face in phones, searching for pokemon. In those early days, before Niantic figured out people were walking Looney Toons style into pits and across construction sites, there was a real wild energy about the bloody thing.

Factional rivalries were real: not online weak sauce cosmetic beef, I'm talking the real deal! You could see those suckers on the other team, you could spot them walk up and claim a spot, and you could stair them down as you took it back. Glorious, social gaming. The mobile platform at its best.

Come back in a week for another episode of VG247’s Best Games Ever Podcast.

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