Video game appreciation always involves a lot of personal taste, but there are also elements in each game that supersede almost everything else. No matter what the genre, platform, or release date, it’s the components of control and visual clarity that make the biggest difference. Lacking one of these things can cause a title to be frustrating, whereas lacking both can make an experience practically unplayable.
This raises some interesting challenges in mobile gaming especially, where a smaller screen and touch controls introduce challenges that other systems don’t have. Sometimes, franchises can be built especially with these limitations in mind, while other times, series that originated on other systems need to be heavily modified to fit on smartphones. Today, we want to look at three illustrations of this idea, to see how different games take this into account, and how they succeed.
Mobile Casino Games
Games that come from mobile casinos exist in an interesting place on smartphones, owing to a coincidental alignment of the right elements. When you enjoy the best slots online on PC, you’re getting games like Wolfkin and Starburst with all the advantages that PCs have to offer. When playing on mobile platforms like an Android phone or tablet, it just so happens that smaller screens and touch controls play no disadvantage at all. Input in online casino games is simple enough that they don’t need to be changed on mobiles. Visuals also aren’t an issue because they’re not cluttered in on PC either, and because slot machines are set up vertically, they fill screen space better on smartphones. In this case, the digital stars aligned, leading to a strong result.
Purpose Built Smartphone Games
When original IPs are built from the ground up for mobiles, the limitations and realities of the hardware are kept in mind from the get-go. Games like Hill Climb Racing and Fruit Ninja worked with an understanding of these concepts, tying the limitations of smartphones into both the horizontal layout and simple button input of their systems. Interestingly, as phone touch accuracy grew alongside screen resolution and the player’s expertise, more buttons have been included in active play, which brings us to the next form.
Games From a Franchise
Since smartphones are ubiquitous and video game companies want to earn as much as they can, moves from complicated PC titles to mobile were inevitable. Herein lies the biggest challenge, as figuring out how to convert such properties to simpler looks and feels requires a huge amount of planning. This was the case for games like PUBG Mobile, which came from a platform where it’s common for players to rely on dozens of key binds and multiple mouse buttons. To meet this challenge, some control and gameplay aspects had to be stripped out, others had to be redesigned, and a few had to be automated. It’s a complicated balancing act, but as the success of the game on mobiles shows, the developer found a solution that worked.
Whether looking at mobile casino games, original IPs, or complex games from existing franchises, addressing the complications of mobiles is rarely easy. When done well, however, the results can be something fantastic no matter your gaming background. Some of us might prefer to use controllers on mobiles anyway, but we don’t need to, and we don’t need bigger screens, and that’s great for everyone.