My name is John. I’m the last one to the party, but it’s nice to be here.
I never really understood the lure of mobile games when I didn’t have a phone capable of playing them. Rocking an immensely unimpressive Blackberry Z10 until earlier this year, my experience of mobile games had mostly been limited to playing Snake in my youth and trying to load roms on underpowered hardware.
Having an incapable handset, there was little I could do as big mobile games were released and passed me by. I heard of the most popular ones – Pokemon Go, Run Mario Run and so on – but many flew under my radar. My impression of mobile games was that they were either watered down experiences of “proper” games, or just crappy Candy Crush-like titles.
Having now picked up an Honor Play smartphone (R.I.P. Z10), I now have access to all of the mobile games that I hadn’t experienced before – many of which I hadn’t even heard of. And I realise that my uninformed assessment of mobile games was wide of the mark.
I understand why mobile gaming is as big as it is. I finally get it. And, more than that, I think that mobile gaming is essential for any adult gamer out there who is short on time but wants to game.
I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve posted on Reddit and Twitter asking for suggestions of games that can be played while doing other things, such as while casually watching TV or waiting to pick somebody up. My main go-to game while sitting on the couch showing a fleeting interest in whatever my wife had put on was Football Manager. It was a good way to pass the time, making changes to my tactics and signing new players then letting matches run until the 60th minute before making tweaks, etc. It was the ideal game, delivering a fantastic experience without demanding my undivided attention for every second that I’d play.
Unfortunately, finding other games with these attributes is a challenge, especially considering that my laptop is older than my Z10 was (yup). I’d basically fallen into a cycle of waiting a few months, asking for more game suggestions, realising that the suggested games needed too much of my attention, then repeating the process.
Mobile games have broken that cycle for me. My assumption that all mobile games are watered-down shells of “proper” video games was very wrong (in most cases, anyway). Yes, there are mindless fodder titles out there, but there are also hundreds of exceptional gaming experiences just waiting to be enjoyed on your phone.
I’ve recently been playing Beat Cop, Football Manager Mobile and Reigns GOT. Now, if I’d had these games on my PC, I’d have played them and had fun, but because they’re on a mobile device, the enjoyment is amplified. Being able to spare 30 seconds to do something and then return to the real world is exactly what I need in my hectic life.
Perhaps even more impressive is the number of mobile games that have a significant amount of depth to them. There are many that are imitating successful titles on PC and consoles rather than being innovative, but that is by no means a bad thing. We also forget how far hardware has come in such a short period of time. There are also several games available on the Play Store that that would have been a flagship title on a console a decade or two ago. Then there are emulators like EPSXE just waiting to blow your mind with games that literally were flagship titles a decade or two ago.
As an adult gamer with limited time on his hands, having access to titles that I can play and immerse myself in for short bursts really fits in with my schedule and lifestyle. I do not feel like I’m receiving a sub-par experience just because it’s on a phone. If anything, the convenience of having games on my phone, outweighs the benefit of my 3DS, which has been gathering dust because it seems like a chore to have to dig it out and hope that it’s charged up.
I now have hundreds of games at my disposal in my pocket at all times. Games I can jump into for a few minutes at a time without feeling guilty. It is exactly what I’ve been looking for.