Smartphone users don’t generally ask for a lot in terms of their games. Or they haven’t historically, since games have traditionally been considered simple built-in functions to play with when you’re not calling people, along the lines of the calculator or calendar.
For instance, Snake, developed by Nokia in 1997 was considered the first mobile game, according to Nokia’s Conversation page. Though addicting, it was far from the intense, colorful, and exciting games smartphone users enjoy today.
The quality of game experience has improved with the additions of color, sound, opportunities to purchase additional content, and ways to compete against or join up with other players. Mobile gamers now also have access to fun add-ons that further enhance the playing experience. Some of these resemble classic portable gaming systems which appeal to older players. And some simply make game play more enjoyable than trying to struggle with a touch screen.
It helps to have a newer phone of course, as the latest devices have larger screen sizes, higher resolution, and more memory to play more immersive titles. T-mobile has the iPhone 5c for instance, which allows automatic upgrades of your favorite iPhone games and other enhancements.
Many other devices, like the following, also make gameplay more enjoyable:
It’s a simple concept from Ion: mounting your iPhone or iPad into what looks like a traditional video game cabinet, right down to a big red joystick and four action buttons. Modojo, a mobile gaming source, said either version includes access to mobile versions of 100 classic arcade games like Battlezone or Centipede, transforming it into a handy gaming station that sometimes doubles as a phone or tablet. Plus your phone can also charge while you’re playing, making it even more useful.
Ten1Design has created a variety of products to improve the smartphone gaming experience, including devices that fit over your phone screen and make it easier to control games. One of the more popular options includes pads for thumbs and fingers which make it much handier to play rather than trying to swipe and move one’s fingers over touchscreens. The controls are also translucent, so the add-on won’t take away from the limited screen on some phone models. The Mini controls are also stabilized, so if you push the controls one direction, they’ll automatically snap back. Kotaku, a gaming blog, said this solves a big problem of users having a hard time playing touch-screen games with their fingers.
If you haven’t been able to duplicate the feel of your PSP or GBA with your smart phone, consider this case that attaches to your Droid and offers a variety of action buttons and controls. The Moga resembles an older handheld game player. You also get built-in classic games like Pac-Man and Sonic, plus access to a library of other titles. PC Mag called it “the nicest Android controller we’ve seen,” which is quite complimentary.
Peripheral maker Logitech has created a way to mount an iPhone in the center of a gaming device that looks similar to an Atari Lynx or Sega Game Gear. Instead of the Moga, which has controls at the bottom and phone on top, this one has pads and buttons on the right and left side. CNET initially gave it mixed reviews – it’s flexible and plays games well, but said that there needs to be more titles available so this controller can really show off.