Smartphone games have come a long way since the Nokia days of Snake. Improved graphics and storylines make them a viable alternative to handheld consoles, and their portability (plus the fact they’re always to hand) makes them perfect for playing on the move.

Whether you’re just venturing out into the world of smartphone games, or you’ve outgrown Candy Crush and are looking to try something new, here are what we think are the best releases of 2018 so far.

Retro inspired smartphone games

Nineties kids will be happy to know that their beloved Tamagotchis are now available to care for via smartphone, thanks to new augmented reality game, My Tamagotchi Forever. Keep your Tamagotchi fed, watered and happy, and explore the world of Tamatown through AR. Like the original, there’s not much else to the game; however, it’s still surprisingly addictive.

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If you prefer an app that doesn’t require strong parenting skills, why not try the latest in the Pokémon series, Pokémon Quest? Your favourite pocket monsters have turned into cubes and are out to explore Tumblecube Island. It wouldn’t be a Pokémon game without some battles, so be prepared to tackle some wild Pokémon in a bid to level up. The game perfectly capitalises on your need for nostalgia, while bringing something new to the table – and, it’s free to play on both Android and iOS.

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Although more of a homage to retro inspired games, rather than a new lease on an old title, Oddmar is a must try for retro game fans. This 24-level adventure follows Oddmar, a lazy and selfish Viking, as he attempts to burn down a forest - or risk being kicked out of his Viking tribe. Not unlike a certain red-clothed plumber brother, Oddmar turns to magic mushrooms for powers which help him to overcome challenges. It’s not just the mushrooms that have taken inspiration from Super Mario – you’ll be jumping over Venus fly traps and bounding over and under obstacles just like the retro game.

The game will set Apple users back £4.99 - Android fans will unfortunately have to wait to try this one as it’s not yet available on Google Play.

Combat inspired games

Battlelands Royale is perfect for those who want their combat fix, without committing to a lengthy game – each run tends to last ten minutes or less, making it ideal for commuters or those with some time to pass. Simply parachute in to your chosen drop point, find your weapons, and lay in wait for enemies to come through. It’s free for both iOS and Android users, with the option of in-app purchases if you should fancy.

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If you’re looking for something a little heartier, Shadowgun Legends is a first-person shooter game with an impressive storyline. You play a young Shadowgun who is fighting to save humanity from a deadly alien invasion. With over 200 missions, and multiplayer options, this is not a game to take lightly - well worth the investment, though. Again, this one is free for iOS and Android users, with in-app purchases if you want to.

Racing Games

Despite its incredibly simple interface, Finger Driver is the racing game you’ll keep going back to whenever you’re bored or have a few minutes spare. Each time you play, you’ll be faced with a randomly selected racing track – just use the steering wheel at the bottom of the screen, completing mini missions to unlock coins. The more coins you collect, the more car styles you open. It’s free for Android users and a reasonable £1 for iOS users.

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For a more involved game, try Asphalt 9: Legends - the latest of the Asphalt racing series featuring real hypercars from renowned car manufacturers like Ferrari and Lamborghini. The aim of the game is to race across more than 60 seasons in a bid to become the world’s best street racer. You can play solo in Career Mode, or battle against friends in Multiplayer Mode.

Best puzzle games

If you fancy a fuss-free puzzle, look no further than minimalist game, Up Left Out. There are no time limits, or even text – just nice design and clever puzzles to unlock your way through. A great time killer.

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Those looking for more of a challenge should try It’s Full of Sparks. This puzzle game follows a firecracker’s journey to The Old One, to stop her fuse from burning out and causing her explosive death. There are 80 levels of quick fire puzzles which get increasingly more complex as you progress through the game. It’s clever, fun, and just on the right side of frustrating – and available across both iOS and Android systems.

Thinking of getting a new smartphone to download and play some of the latest games? Why not check out the amazing deals available today on Mobiles.co.uk.