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Worthwhile mobile games?

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A couple weeks ago I was stuck on a boat for a few days with nothing but my phone, no wifi and no games. It prompted me to reconsider some of my less important life choices, which in turn led me to investigate the Google play store a bit. It was an... odd experience. Interesting, but odd. I don't think I've ever felt more out of touch with a gaming subculture as this.

 

I've played PC games most of my life, but the selection I see in the Google Play store just sort of makes me wonder if this is what it feels like for a non-gamer to be suddenly confronted with a lot of games. I don't even feel a sliver of interest to almost anything I see there. It'll be some weird anime or barbie thing, sometimes not even a game at all but a guide book or something, or some freaky puzzle game with odd colours, or -god forbid- yet another tower defense game. I don't mean to sound like the old guy here, but the assortment by large doesn't really feel like it was made with gamers in mind at all. Most of the PC games I played in the '90s look more interesting than this and I don't really understand why that should be the case at all. This mobile hardware should be more comparable to a Pentium 3 machine than a 368 in terms of what it can do, so why isn't that potential put to use better?

 

I ended up getting a few games off the bat, but I'm not quite happy about my selection and could use a little more advice on what to get. I did get Minecraft, because hey, Minecraft on a phone, then FreeCiv, because hey, Civilization on a phone (although it certainly seems to have trimmed down on features). I wanted to get Baldur's Gate, but everybody kept saying the interface wasn't optimized for a 5.11 inch screen. I also got King of Dragonpass because an older friend of mine has been raving about that game for years. I'm regretting that last purchase a little, because its menu systems either are some of the most unintuitive I have ever seen for a game, or just aren't fit for the mobile platform. Lastly I thought about getting the android port of KOTOR 1, but it's a pretty linear game that I kinda played enough as it is. Pretty and remarkably like the PC version I remember, but it doesn't offer much in the way of varied content and replayability.

 

There might be some hidden gems in the Google Play library, but I can't seem to spot them through the limited game categories Google Play offers (and frankly most developers don't really seem adhere to). So this is a call to any decent, worthwile mobile games. What have you played, why did you like it, etc. Imagine suggesting it to Ross, because he and I seem have largely similar tastes when it comes to games. It must be an age thing.

 

Ross, I'd be interested to hear if you personally know of any interesting mobile games, but I'd totally get it if you do not have time for that sort of thing.

Edited by Guest (see edit history)

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I enjoyed Plague quite a lot. Its free with in app purchases. Although at first it may seem - oh you need to buy stuff to beat the hardest difficulties etc. but actually its not that bad, I have won on hard difficulty with all types w/o any purchases (you can use some of the bonuses with watching ad videos before you start the game, this doesn't work in offline mode). The title says it all - you make your own plague to kill everyone on earth. You spend points you get on way to improve infection rates, mortality rates and defense mechanisms.

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Another thing that bothers me about most of these mobile games is the huge implied importance of free or FTP games. They comprise a large if not the majority of Google Play's library. Now, in itself free games is not a bad thing. But whenever you come across reviews or roundups of android games, whether or not a game is free tends to be a huge factor in how the game is rated. That in turn makes it harder to figure out which games are worth my time. Again something where I feel a bit of a gamer generation gap, because I couldn't care less if a good game cost me a couple of dollars. I can see how kids might have issues there, but I will gladly pay if the game is worth it.

 

I'm not at all a mobile gamer these days. Used to be back in the java days (loved DOOM RPG etc.) but nowadays the touch screen controls just put me off and I'd rather play on my PS Vita or 3DS on the go.

I remember reading about that Doom clone. I'd install it if I could, but for some reason it's a real bitch installing apps outside of Google Play, even if I enable all the permissions and such.

 

I enjoyed Plague quite a lot. Its free with in app purchases. Although at first it may seem - oh you need to buy stuff to beat the hardest difficulties etc. but actually its not that bad, I have won on hard difficulty with all types w/o any purchases (you can use some of the bonuses with watching ad videos before you start the game, this doesn't work in offline mode). The title says it all - you make your own plague to kill everyone on earth. You spend points you get on way to improve infection rates, mortality rates and defense mechanisms.

I don't know. Plague reminds me a lot of those menu driven games. It might be decent, but it's just not up my alley. Also another example of a game that could at least utilize the available resources of a modern mobile phone a little better.

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Another thing that bothers me about most of these mobile games is the huge implied importance of free or FTP games. They comprise a large if not the majority of Google Play's library. Now, in itself free games is not a bad thing. But whenever you come across reviews or roundups of android games, whether or not a game is free tends to be a huge factor in how the game is rated. That in turn makes it harder to figure out which games are worth my time. Again something where I feel a bit of a gamer generation gap, because I couldn't care less if a good game cost me a couple of dollars. I can see how kids might have issues there, but I will gladly pay if the game is worth it.

The Google PlayStore just confuses the crap out of me...

Game developments at http://nukedprotons.blogspot.com
I also write content at http://www.bagogames.com

Check out my music at http://technomancer.bandcamp.com

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I'd say get one of the Gameboy emulators (free, open source, without ads, you'll have to dig for it though) and download some ROMs. You can also do SNES games with an emulator. (Zelda on the phone)

 

Quake 2 has an excellent emulator too, you need only provide the game data files. (like if you have it on Steam, install it on your PC, and copy over the files it tells you to)

 

There are a lot of decent games available from HumbleBundle, (and a lot of crap, but that's just personal opinion for most of them) but you do need to pay a little to get them.

 

I'm just sad there aren't very many decent old-style games like a better version of Ultima. (it would work very well on a mobile)

Don't insult me. I have trained professionals to do that.

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I had a snes emulator before on my old phone, but ultimately the only thing I ever play on that is Chrono Trigger.

 

Some people tried to port OpenMorrowind to the android platform a little while ago, but nothing came of it. Now that's what I'm talking about. Sadly it seems to be in one of those development hell things. It would be good if Bethsoft or Zenimax got behind that instead and pushed it out in a half a year. That's be great, but.. yeah, somehow doubt that will happen.

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It's probably not something you're looking for but Fallout Shelter is a really fun mobile game. It's also one of those games you never really need to buy anything for and it's easy to just pick up, play for awhile then put down.

 

I had a snes emulator before on my old phone, but ultimately the only thing I ever play on that is Chrono Trigger.

 

Some people tried to port OpenMorrowind to the android platform a little while ago, but nothing came of it. Now that's what I'm talking about. Sadly it seems to be in one of those development hell things. It would be good if Bethsoft or Zenimax got behind that instead and pushed it out in a half a year. That's be great, but.. yeah, somehow doubt that will happen.

 

Well Bethesda has been saying they want to do mobile games, they even opened up a studio in Montreal for their mobile game division so while Morrowind might not be ported over we may see stuff like the classic Fallout games (Which I think Bethesda owns now? I'm not entirely sure) and the classic TES games. I kinda want them to make a mobile port of stuff like Battlespire, Redguard and the old TES travels games mostly because Shadowkey was actually suppose to be a really well made game.

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I'd get emulators if I was at all interested in using my phone as a gaming device. Problem is that touchscreen controls just sucks most of the time so I really have little interest in investing money and time into it when I already have a 3DS and PS Vita.

Game developments at http://nukedprotons.blogspot.com
I also write content at http://www.bagogames.com

Check out my music at http://technomancer.bandcamp.com

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The emulators are only good if you can obtain good controls for said emulator. Square Enix's controls for their Chrono Trigger mobile version is *horrible*, as an example.

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The emulators are only good if you can obtain good controls for said emulator. Square Enix's controls for their Chrono Trigger mobile version is *horrible*, as an example.

Yes, good controls are an absolute must.

Don't insult me. I have trained professionals to do that.

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