Pocket Gamer is a video game website that focuses on mobile, portable and handheld games. The site launched in 2005 and is published and owned by UK company Steel Media Ltd. The website covers all major portable and mobile gaming formats, including iPhone, iPad, Android, Nintendo Switch and others. It was one of the first to cover the iPhone gaming market. As well as the website, the publication hands out awards for handheld games to recognize them in several categories. The British newspaper The Guardian at one time syndicated a list of recommended mobile games from Pocket Gamer, especially the list of recommended games for each month. In the years since launch, Steel Media Ltd has created many brand spin-offs, including the industry-facing PocketGamer.biz site and a series of conferences called Pocket Gamer Connects.
The March 2009 issue of Your guide to... mobile games by Pocket Gamer
|Publisher||Steel Media Ltd|
|Year founded||April 2005|
Launched in April 2005 with the subtitle 'play as you go', Pocket Gamer set out to provide professional editorial coverage of mobile and handheld gaming formats which they saw as the future of gaming. At launch the site focused on mobile phones (java and brew), the Nokia N-Gage, Nintendo's Game Boy series as well as the then newly launched Nintendo DS. They also mentioned PDAs and handheld console pretenders such as Gizmondo and the Tapwave Zodiac. The Sony PSP was added to the site soon after and as traffic grew Pocket Gamer became a barometer for the portable games industry, tracing the rise and fall of various platforms. When the Apple iPhone arrived in June 2007, followed by the subsequent launches of the iPod Touch in September 2007 and the App Store in July 2008, it grew to increasingly dominate the editorial agenda. The site subsequently added Nintendo 3DS, PlayStation Vita, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Phone 7, MeeGo and Palm to the roster of covered formats, although latterly it's concentrated just on iOS and Android, plus the Nintendo Switch in its portable mode.
In October 2007, Pocket Gamer launched the Pocket Gamer Guide to Mobile Games magazine, which was first featured by T-Mobile, where it is published bi-monthly in all of their stores in the United Kingdom. It was expected to have a circulation of 150,000 copies. A digital version of Pocket Gamer was also available on the websites of Vodafone and 3 UK. In May 2008, British company Steel Media (founders of the Pocket Gamer website http://www.pocketgamer.co.uk) announced that it partnered with O2 to produce the Pocket Gamer Guide to Mobile Games magazine, which had an initial print run of 500,000 copies and was made available in all O2 UK stores, making O2 the 4th UK mobile network to feature the Pocket Gamer magazine. In May 2008, the magazine's circulation reached 700,000 copies, with a total audience of 1.5 million when including web and WAP readership, and syndication reviews to Vodafone live! and the Samsung Fun Club. The website rumored in April 2009 that Sony would release the PlayStation Portable 2 later that year, although ultimately it was the PSPgo which was launched
In May 2008, Steel Media Ltd expanded the Pocket Gamer stable with the launch of a b2b-based sister site. PocketGamer.Biz  focuses on covering the business of mobile games. Steel Media Ltd also launched Quality Index  which tracks review scores of leading mobile games and publishers. PocketGamer.Biz produces quarterly industry reports.. Ten years later in May 2018, Steel Media Ltd expanded the international reach of PocketGamer.Biz by partnering with Maysalward in Jordan to launch a b2b Arabic-language mobile gaming site, PocketGamer.me.
In October 2008, Pocket Gamer launched its first foreign edition aimed at consumers, PocketGamer.Fr, providing news and reviews on mobile and iPhone apps to a French language audience. The site grew steadily and launched its own iPhone app as well as providing syndicated content to several third party magazines. In August 2010 the site merged with number two in the market, JMobil  and relaunched with a new design, new features and coverage of a wider number of platforms including Android.
In October 2018, Steel Media Ltd undertook a major redesign of Pocket Gamer and unveiled a new look for the site, its first refresh in many years. At this point the site changed to a .com domain, to reflect the site's growing international appeal, from its previous .co.uk homepage.
Past Guest Authors on Pocket Gamer
Since 2010, the Pocket Gamer Awards are handed out every year in March to video games for iPhone, mobile, and handheld devices in eleven categories each. The website also publishes regular features showcasing the 10 best games for each type of device, by genre.
For 2010, on the iPhone, Firemint won "Best Developer", Gameloft won "Best Publisher", and Flight Control won "Game of the Year". For other mobile devices, Digital Chocolate won "Best Developer", Electronic Arts won "Best Publisher", and Mystery Mania won "Game of the Year". Among handhelds, Rockstar Leeds won "Best Developer", Nintendo won "Best Publisher", and Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars won "Game of the Year". Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars also won the overall "Game of the Year" award.
The People's Choice category of Steel Media Ltd's annual Mobile Game Awards is voted for by readers of Pocket Gamer.
Pocket Gamer launched the weekly Pocket Gamer Podcast on 1 December 2008, featuring a round-up of the biggest news stories from the world of iOS and Android gaming, plus information on the latest releases. Though initially a video podcast, the format changed to audio only on 18 May 2009. The show has seen multiple hosts and is currently helmed by James Gilmour with regular input from other members of the team, including Ric Cowley and Emily Sowden.
Alto's Adventure is a 2015 endless runner snowboarding video game by Snowman. The player-character automatically moves to the right of the screen through procedurally generated landscapes. The player taps the screen to jump and perform tricks (backflips), and works towards goals, competitive high scores, and upgrades. Snowman, a Toronto-based, three-person indie development team, previously worked on productivity apps before Alto's Adventure. The game was made to emulate the ethereal atmosphere of snowboarding, and was inspired by Journey (2012), Monument Valley (2014), Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2 (2000), and Windosill (2009).
The game was released on February 19, 2015, initially for iOS devices. In September that year, Snowman announced that Alto's Adventure would launch on Android and Kindle Fire. The game was released for Android on February 11, 2016. On July 8, 2016, the game was released for the Windows platform.According to review score aggregator Metacritic, the game received universal acclaim from critics. Reviewers praised its art style and sense of atmosphere but criticized its gameplay as unoriginal. Pocket Gamer awarded the game their Gold Award.Backflip Studios
Backflip Studios is a mobile game developer and publisher based in Boulder, Colorado, United States. It was founded by Julian Farrior, Dale Thoms and Tom Blind in April 2009. In August 2009, it was announced that the company had raised US$145,000 in funding to continue developing for the iPhone OS. Backflip Studios is best known for their free iOS game Paper Toss, which has been downloaded over 50 million times. They are also widely known for Dragonvale, with over 10 million downloads. In 2013, Backflip Studios sold a 70% stake in the company to Hasbro for $112 million in cash.Broken Sword
Broken Sword is a franchise centered on a series of adventure games. The first game in the series, Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templars, was released in 1996 by English video game company Revolution Software. The first sequel, Broken Sword II: The Smoking Mirror, was released a year later, and was followed by three more sequels: Broken Sword: The Sleeping Dragon in 2003, Broken Sword: The Angel of Death in 2006, and Broken Sword 5: The Serpent's Curse in 2013. A remake of the first game in the series, known as Broken Sword: Shadow of the Templars – The Director's Cut, was released in 2009, and a remake of the second game in the series, Broken Sword: The Smoking Mirror – Remastered, in 2010 (for iOS devices; other platforms followed in 2011).
The main protagonists of the series are George Stobbart, an American patent lawyer, and Nicole "Nico" Collard, a French freelance journalist, Nico does not appear as a playable character in the original game The Shadow of the Templars, she would become one in the Director's Cut.
The Broken Sword series was originally conceived in 1994 by Charles Cecil, Noirin Carmody and Sean Brennan, while talking about the mythology of the Knights Templar. The first three games in the series were all developed by Revolution Software, while the fourth game was co-developed by Revolution and Sumo Digital. The Shadow of the Templars and The Smoking Mirror were critical and commercial successes, selling millions. However, The Sleeping Dragon and The Angel of Death received mixed reviews and were not as popular as the first two games. This was mainly due to the switch to 3D graphics and that the third game left the "point and click" interface to a more action oriented gameplay. The series appeared on several top adventure game lists. A comic book was produced for each remake of the first two Broken Sword games.
In 2007, it was revealed that a Broken Sword film was in the works and would be produced by CastleBright studios, although there has been no sign of development for many years, which may indicate that the project has been abandoned. However, in 2015, Matt Smalley of Cheltenham, UK, started fund raising on a new planned Broken Sword film. According to Matt Smalley "Fund Raising is going well, I send out at least 50 emails and Facebook posts a week and hope to reach my target amount shortly. But not before sending out some more emails and recurring Facebook posts."In 2016, the Guinness World Records announced that the Broken Sword franchise now holds the Record for the “Longest running graphic adventure protagonist”. The achievement will be recognised in the next edition of the Guinness World Records Gamer’s Edition 2017.Chop Chop (series)
Chop Chop is a series of iOS video games developed by Gamerizon since 2009. The games in the series cover a wide variety of game types, primarily action and sports games, though they generally share a common art style. According to Gamerizon, 15 million "Chop Chop" games were downloaded by 2011 on the App Store and six of those have been downloaded a million times each.Edge (video game)
Edge (also known as Edgy or Edge by Mobigame) is a puzzle platformer game developed by Mobigame for the iOS devices. Originally released on the iTunes App Store in December 2008, it has been removed and re-added to the store multiple times due to a trademark dispute with Tim Langdell of Edge Games, concerning the use of the word "Edge" in the title. The game was released on multiple platforms including PlayStation Network, PC on Steam, Android, Wii U, and Nintendo 3DS.
Edge had obtain a positive reception and received multiple awards including the Milthon Award for Best Mobile Game, two categories for the 5th International Gaming Award, and nominated for three categories for Independent Games Festival. An expansion titled Edge Extended was released with new levels, new music, and a new 3D engine. This expansion was released separately as an independent app for smartphones, and included in most ports of the original game.Junk Jack
Junk Jack is an action-adventure sandbox video game by Italian developer Pixbits, originally released on iOS in 2011. A sequel entitled Junk Jack X was released on August 29, 2013. Junk Jack X has recently been renamed to Junk Jack, and the original game has been renamed to Junk Jack Retro.Kill the Plumber
Kill the Plumber is a platform game developed by Filipino independent game developer Keybol. The game is a parody of Super Mario Bros. Players control the inhabitants of a kingdom invaded by a plumber and must stop him before he can reach a princess. It was released in 2016 for Windows and Android, but Apple rejected it for violating Nintendo's copyright. After the graphics were changed, Apple accepted it.List of Crash Bandicoot mobile games
There are a number of mobile games in the Crash Bandicoot series.Paris Nights
Paris Nights is a game developed and released by Gameloft for the J2ME Platform (which was released in 2008). This game is part of the Night series by Gameloft.Reset Generation
Reset Generation (formerly known under the code name Project White Rock) is a cross-platform action-puzzle video game by RedLynx for Windows and N-Gage 2.0 compatible devices. Soundtrack for the game was composed by 8 Bit Weapon. The Windows version of the game is available free whereas the N-Gage version costs £8/€10 for the full game - with limited-time licenses available at lower prices and a free trial version. The game was developed - in part - by Ben 'Yahtzee' Croshaw, a well known author and game critic.
The single-player PC version of the game was made available to FilePlanet subscribers on July 25, 2008 in the form of a browser game. It was made available to non-subscribers on August 1, 2008. The full N-Gage and Windows version of the game with included online capability was released on August 4, 2008.Revolution Software
Revolution Software Limited, a British video-game developer based in York (England), dates from 1989. Charles Cecil, Tony Warriner, David Sykes and Noirin Carmody founded the company.Simogo
Simogo (formally known as Simogo AB) is a Swedish video game developer based in Malmö. The company was founded in 2010 and is best known for creating games for mobile devices, including Year Walk and Device 6. Its name comes from the name of its founders Simon (SIM), and Gordon (GO); the 'O' from the Swedish word "och" meaning "and".Prior to Simogo, founders Simon Flesser and Magnus "Gordon" Gardebäck worked at Southend Interactive, creating ilomilo (Xbox 360) amongst other games.Slither.io
Slither.io is a massively multiplayer video game available for iOS, Android, and web browsers, developed by Steve Howse. Players control an avatar resembling a worm, which consumes multicolored pellets, both from other players and ones that naturally spawn on the map in the game, to grow in size. The objective of the game is to grow the longest worm in the server. Slither.io is similar in concept to the popular 2015 web game Agar.io and is reminiscent of the classic arcade game Snake.
The game grew in popularity following its promotion among several prominent YouTube users such as PewDiePie, and topped the App Store shortly after its release. Slither.io's browser version was ranked by Alexa as one of the 1,000 most visited sites by July 2016, while the iOS version ranked first in the most downloaded apps on the App Store. A mobile version of the game for Android was released on March 27, 2016. The reception of the game was positive, with reviewers praising its appearance and customization but criticizing it for its low replay value and the high price users must pay to remove advertisements.The Colour of Magic (video game)
The Colour of Magic is a text adventure game developed by Delta 4 and published by Piranha Games, released in 1986. It was released for the ZX Spectrum, Amstrad CPC, and Commodore 64 computers. It is the first Discworld computer game and so far the only one adapted directly from one of the novels, and follows the plot of the book closely.
In 2006, another video game based on The Colour of Magic was released on mobile phones titled Discworld: The Colour of Magic. It is an isometric action game.Vampire Rush
Vampire Rush is a Tower Defense/Survival Horror video game developed by Lithuania-based A-Steroids.Worms 3
Worms 3 is an artillery turn-based tactics video game, in the Worms series developed and published by Team17 for iOS on August 8, 2013, and released for Android devices via the Play Store and Mac OS X computers in 2014 .