Mobile Gaming: The Future of Our Community?

-Calvin Tomlinson

As most of you are probably aware, mobile gaming is getting pretty big these days, the various app stores and marketplaces for our mobile devices are exploding with games almost every day, and rightly so, modern phones have more power than consoles from the last generation. To put that into perspective, the Xbox console had a 733MHz processor and my current phone, the Google Nexus S, has a processor that packs 1GHz, and the Xbox had a 233MHz graphics chip, and my phone has a 200MHz. Technologically we’ve come leaps and bounds, and that it always good news for gaming.

But let’s be honest, mobile gaming gets a pretty bad rep from most people and to a certain extent, rightly so. Many of the games on the market are just edits of more popular games, or in some instances outright clones. But it almost seems to me like it’s becoming cool to hate on mobile gaming and people miss out on the little gems that pop up in the marketplace every now and then. I fear that some people forget that mobile gaming is targeted to the casual gamer and that’s the beauty of it. I love a game that I can switch on when I’ve got a few spare moments while I’m waiting around and then switch it off when I’m done and come back to it later.

Another absolute wonder of mobile gaming is the cost, it’s perfect for Empty Wallet Gamers like us, for example, the top sellers on Google Play right now are all under £5, and most of those go lower than £1. Let’s be honest, that’s not cheap as chips, it’s even cheaper. One of the games I picked up when I had an iPhone was Doodle Jump and that was a few years ago for about 60p. I played that game for hours. Whenever I was waiting for a bus or in between classes, I’d pull out my phone and try and beat my score. I must have racked up hours and hours on that game and in terms of value for money, I doubt I’ll ever get as good as that with a PC or Console game. 

On the other hand, there are some real classics being ported to mobile that are a little less “casual”, but are still great to play on mobile devices. A couple of examples are Grand Theft Auto 3, which is £2.99 right now on Google Play. With updated graphics and modification for touch controls, this is a great port, reminiscent of the original with all the portability of mobile gaming and my personal favourite, the multitude of emulators that are flooding the marketplace right now. You can play SNES, GBA, GBC, N64, and even PS1 games on your mobile device. I’ve taken to sitting around; wasting those slow minutes away with a Pokemon Blue ROM, now can you really get much better than that? (Without carrying your old GBC around that is!).

My final thought on the matter is this, if you have the opportunity, give mobile gaming a go. Don’t be ashamed to pull out Angry Birds every now and then, it can really be great fun, especially if you’ve got a few friends to compete with for high scores! Just writing this little piece has really made me remember some classics from the past couple of years that I’ll be revisiting soon.

What’s your take on mobile gaming? If you’re a fan, what do you play? And if not, why?