When it comes to animation and visual design in video games, the bigger the budget, the cleaner the final product. In other words, big-name video game developers will spend top dollar to make their titles even more realistic, dynamic and visually immersive than the competition. In some cases, the grade of the design will greatly influence the game’s success.
Overwhelmingly, this attention has been on consoles and PC games. However, mobile technology has improved greatly in the last decade. And thanks to handheld consoles like the Nintendo Switch, developers are shifting toward new design techniques and standards that cater to a smaller screen.
Mobile games are no longer side projects or simple ports for successful console and PC games. Nor are they the domain of simplified match-three and word puzzle games. Instead, mobile games are becoming a fully-fledged gaming industry all on their own. One key component of this evolution is the advancement of visual design in games. Keep reading for some of the best high-concept projects available on the market now.
9 Masks of Fire Slot
When it comes to casino gaming, slots are a close cousin to video games. While some people might think that online slots offer little compared to traditional games, that’s not always the case. For example, the 9 Masks of Fire slot is one of the world’s most popular slots thanks to its bonus rounds—and especially its visual design.
It includes a bright and fiery theme, along with ornate and beautifully crafted gold idols. Its bonus rounds unlock new and immersive scenes, which call back to an Indiana-Jones-esque jungle adventure.
Need for Speed: No Limits
This mobile game is where speed meets precision—even in terms of graphics. Need for Speed: No Limits included a lineup of incredibly realistic cars, which were designed down to even the most minute detail—from tires to tailpipes.
But in a game that moves so quickly, it’s often hard to appreciate the developer’s visual design. That’s not the case with Need for Speed, which means that players are able to enjoy a high level of visual design even while speeding through a mountain pass at high speeds.
This project comes from an indie developer. As is common with indie developers, the emphasis is on visual impact more than storytelling and gameplay mechanics. In Journey, players are treated to unforgettable and iconic visuals of a dusky desert landscape.
The game’s mission is simple: reach the looming mountain in the distance. Along with stunning visuals, players are also treated to stellar audio production—which is a good thing, because the only way they can interact with other players is through a wind chime feature.
This role-playing game is one of the most popular in mobile gaming thanks to its casual take on RPGs… and its unforgettable and immersive world. Genshin Impact draws on anime-style visuals, which add a more dynamic nature to its expansive landscapes and characters.
And that’s a good thing for this game, which includes an open-world setup and a meandering storyline that can take over 200 hours to complete. But if you’re interested in colorful and bright graphics, then it’s a great option to feast your eyes on.
The Wolf Among Us
The Wolf Among Us bridges comic style (specifically derived from the Fables comic series) and adapts it for gaming. The storyline covers a mystery, which they’ll need to chip away at as they advance through five ‘episodes’.
The fact that the game plays out over episodes is yet another callback to its comic roots. In fact, the game’s artistic style and captivating visuals have helped instill The Wolf Among Us as one of 2023’s standout mobile games.
ARK: Survival Evolved
This mobile game included a massive budget—and you’ll be able to tell based on its incredible degree of visual detail. In fact, even though it was down-scaled for a mobile screen, the game retains much of its original visual appeal. Though it’s only a good fit for those who like survival games, it’s a quality title to study if you’re interested in the intersection of digital animation and big-budget gaming.