Mashable- As Xbox One and PS4 battle it out in the next round of console wars, mobile gaming continues to mature as a platform. The iPhone 5S‘s 64-bit graphics ensure that new games will look stunning when you’re gaming on the go.
Amazing graphics aren’t the make-or-break factor in a beautiful game, however — especially on mobile devices. While so many developers focus on making games look real, others create beautiful, unique and even alien worlds through striking silhouettes and illustrations.
As indie games become more and more popular, some game designers are favoring a more artistic approach when creating a game world. Whether it’s for their minimalist designs or beautifully illustrated details, we couldn’t take our eyes off these beautiful mobile games for Android and iOS.
1. Dead Runner
You know that nightmare where you’re running through the woods, being chased by some unseen terror? That’s pretty much Dead Runner. The hauntingly beautiful landscape provides the perfect backdrop.
Meet Quozzle, an incredipede — basically an eyeball that can grow various forms of limbs — who’s on a quest to save her sisters. While the premise is bizarre, the illustrations are beautiful. Inspired by medieval woodcuts and 1700s botany texts from the Age of Discovery, the game is so beautiful it’ll be hard to tear your eyes away.
Another console game-turned-mobile, Limbo has long been hailed as a gaming work of art, and pioneered the popular style of black silhouettes with light or colored backgrounds. The game is at the same time creepy and beautiful, with unexpected enemies lurking around every corner, waiting to bring about gruesome deaths.
Price: $4.99 for iOS.
Machinarium is a point-and-click adventure game that follows an exiled robot named Josef, who is attempting to return to the city of Machinarium to rescue his robot beloved (who was kidnapped by a mafia-esque organization called the Black Cap Brotherhood). To do so, Josef has to solve a series of puzzles. But the real beauty of the game is the detail in the hand-drawn illustrations.
5. Night Sky
Reminiscent of Limbo, this physics-based game shows the landscape as a black silhouette against a stunning panorama of the night sky.
The premise of Osmos is simple: You’re a galactic mote. Eat smaller organisms to grow and thrive, and watch out for larger organisms that are trying to eat you. What makes this game special is the beautiful colors.
7. Superbrothers’ Sword and Sorcery
A pixelated world sounds like a gaming nightmare, but Sword and Sorcery masterfully sets this heroic fantasy in a beautifully antiquated world.
8. The Walking Dead
Based on the graphic novels that inspired the record-breaking television series, The Walking Dead surrounds a new group of characters in the same zombie-infested world. While the game is already unique for its focus on story and characterization rather than puzzles and shooting, the comic-like illustrations pay homage to the series’ roots in a gorgeous way.
Price: Free to download for iOS; each episode is $4.99.
9. World of Goo
This physics-based construction game is as addictive as it is beautifully simple. Create structures by connecting balls of goo to get you from point A to point B.
10. Year Walk
This Swedish game, which is based on an old man’s walk though the woods to search for omens for the coming year, is one of the most creatively original games we’ve played on mobile. Year Walk may be a little trippy, and it may freak us out just a tad, and we may not even fully understand it, but boy, is it friggin’ pretty.
Price: $3 for iOS.