Sometimes it’s tough being a mobile gamer. For one, iOS games are seen as a casual counterweight to what’s happening on consoles, despite major funding and lengthy development processes. It’s also tough to recommend someone whip our their phone to play a video game instead of doom scrolling social media feeds. But the biggest bummer? Never knowing when anything is releasing.
It’s hard to keep track of upcoming iOS games if a title isn’t listed on Apple Arcade. Worse: most major mobile games are shrouded in rumors, vague tweets, leaks, and trailers that refuse to even list a targeted release year. After a game like, say, Skate 4 gets announced for mobile devices, publishers often go quiet as it continues testing, tinkering, and development, while fans end up waiting months for a follow-up announcement before it fades into memory. Just look to Tomb Raider Reloaded, Metal Slug: Awakening, Warframe Mobile, and the recently announced The Division Resurgence for a few examples of this phenomenon.
But hey, this isn’t to say that iOS hasn’t had a slew of great games arrive in 2022 (with a lot being some amazing titles on Apple Arcade). It just means that we’re not totally sure what the rest of 2022 will hold. And for that reason, we’ve assembled a fairly short, straightforward list of games we either know are arriving this year, or have been announced to arrive this year. We’re not looking to add more fodder to the rumor mill — there are plenty of subreddits and Twitter accounts for that — but rather provide some sort of roadmap for what to expect for the rest of the year. So behold, we’ll play it safe and discuss seven games we’re pretty sure will arrive by 2022’s end. Here’s to hoping!
Into the Breach
Netflix has been quietly invading the mobile game space via its Netflix Games branch, and July 19 saw another title release under its belt. A mobile port of Into the Breach, a critical indie darling of 2018, released on iOS with some exciting new additions. The mech-based roguelike puzzler got an Advanced Edition Update that added more mechs, weapons, enemies, pilots, and abilities, as well as an additional difficulty mode and new music from Ben Prunty. The game also features a revised touch interface, reconfiguring the game for mobile screens.
Into the Breach’s Advanced Edition Update released as free DLC for all platforms on which the title is currently available, though the mobile version won’t require additional downloading. This is a great way for those unfamiliar with the game to finally play it — given you have a Netflix subscription, of course — and enjoy the addictive, thoughtful, and strategic time-traveling mayhem that comes with saving humanity from invaders.
Netflix aims to have a total of 50 games (!) available to its subscribers by the end of the year. The company also intends on releasing three other games in July, including a port of GoodbyeWorld Games’ Before Your Eyes, a game originally released on Steam that tells a story based on your real-life blinks recognized via camera; and an original game by Sam Barlow (Her Story, Telling Lies) called Immortality, which is a full-motion video horror title.
Desta: The Memories Between
Ustwo, the developers behind perhaps the most groundbreaking iOS game of all time, Monument Valley, are in full cahoots with Netflix for their next title. Desta: The Memories Between will be exclusive to Netflix and will release later this year. Unlike the former game’s optical illusion puzzle platforming, Desta looks to be focusing on a turn-based, sportsy roguelike experience.
Desta: The Memories Between will follow the titular character as they relive forgotten memories and past relationships uncovered by an endless dream. The game looks to combine tactics gameplay with what the developers describe as “a metaphorical ball-game.” Surreal and stylistic, we’re stoked to see Desta when it finally releases on iOS later this year for Netflix subscribers.
The longtime Call of Duty rival franchise, Battlefield, is finally entering the mobile space this year with the aptly named Battlefield Mobile, and we couldn’t be more excited. Unlike other mobile shooters on this very list, things seem to be moving along swimmingly. Beta testing has already begun, a Google Play listing exists, and EA actually has a page dedicated to answering Battlefield Mobile’s most frequently asked questions. Soon we’ll all be headed to battle with the vehicles, weapons, and large-scale chaos we all know and love from the series.
Early buzz around play testing has been mixed, but positives include impressive environmental damage, several exciting vehicles, and classic maps from past entries in the series. Battlefield Mobile is being developed by Industrial Toys, led by Alex Seropian, an original co-founder of Bungie, and will hopefully release sometime in 2022. It’ll be free to play and purchases will exist only for cosmetic items. The game will not support cross-platform play, however.
Riot Games’ 5v5 tactical FPS game VALORANT has taken the world by storm since it released in 2020, and honestly, the hype has far from settled. The game takes direct inspiration from Counter-Strike, the free-to-play eSports-happy shooter that has reigned supreme on Microsoft Windows since its debut. During VALORANT’s special Year One celebration, Riot Games announced the title would see a mobile port in 2022. We just don’t know what day that’ll happen.
A beta of the title is expected to release sometime this summer, though Riot Games has been quiet on mobile updates since its initial announcement. Because of the silence, it may be a good bet that VALORANT could miss its proposed 2022 release date and be pushed into 2023, but like most popular mobile ports, only time will tell.
Final Fantasy VII: Ever Crisis
Final Fantasy VII: Ever Crisis is yet another re-imagining of one of the millennial generation’s most formative PlayStation 1 games, but this time, it’s mobile. Final Fantasy VII: Ever Crisis will deliver a free-to-play single-player experience that retells the stories of the canon FFVII games: Before Crisis, Crisis Core, and Dirge of Cerberus, as well as the 2005 film, Advent Children. The game will release in monthly episodic installments, and players will be able to play across the Final Fantasy VII timelines, jumping between entires.
Writer Kazushige Nojima told Famitsu that he’ll be including scenarios from last year’s iOS battle royale game, Final Fantasy VII: The First Soldier, in the title, as well as childhood backstories for some FFVII characters. The game is said to include lootboxes to unlock random weapons and costumes, and will be a chibi-like take on the FFVII series. No word yet on the game’s official worldwide release.
Octopath Traveler: Champions of the Continent
Fans of Square-Enix and JRPGs will be excited to hear that a mobile-exclusive prequel to Octopath Traveler is set to arrive later this year. And guess what? It has an official release date.
Octopath Traveler: Champions of the Continent will be free to play for all Google Play and Apple users using their best iPhone, with in-app purchases available as the game’s story unfolds. The game is set before the events of the original Nintendo Switch and PC game, and unlike the first title, Champions of the Continent will allow up to eight characters to participate in battles at a time. Touchscreen controls have been added to allow players to swipe and tap commands, while the original title’s field commands will make a return.
Champions of the Continent originally released in Japan in October of 2020. It’s set to drop on Android and iOS on July 27 and is available for preorder now.
Dutch studio RageSquid originally released its cycling game Descenders for Microsoft Windows and Xbox One in 2019, ported it over to PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch the following year, and Xbox Series X and Series S after that. Now it’s set to present its wild mountain biking antics to mobile devices this August, and we couldn’t be more excited.
For the uninitiated: Descenders is a downhill mountain biking game that takes direct physics inspiration from Skate, and introduces procedurally generated levels for players to conquer. Players must balance and pedal their way downhill at stomach-churning speeds, nailing tricks and challenges along the way. The game features a wide array of objectives, and just like Skate, a rewarding way of hurling your body off of obstacles.
The game arrives on mobile devices on August 4 and it’s available for preorder now.
So many exciting iOS games to look forward to
And that’s all we know right now regarding the best upcoming iOS games. As previously mentioned, mobile games tend to have ever-changing release dates and a slew of misinformation around them, but we’ve rounded up the ones that are either certain to arrive this year or most likely to. When these games debut, time will tell whether they will join the ranks of some of the best iPhone games out there.
Until then, keep your eyes peeled for preorder availability and new information regarding release dates, which we will be sure to keep updated here.