Mobile gaming has long been the awkward cousin of the gaming world; y'know, the one who everyone avoids at family gatherings. However, recently it has improved quite a bit. So much so that its rosters include more than “Clash Royales of Clansmen”, and feature classics from consoles and PC. The following are some of the more notable entries.
THIS WAR OF MINE
If you've never played this game before, shame on you. This is one of the best war games to exist, because it will take your desensitised self and make you feel things you don't want to feel. This War of Mine is about taking control of a group of civilians and helping them survive a long, bloody war. In this game you won't find the usual black-and-white good versus bad scenario. Here threats include the army, rebels, opportunistic thugs, desperate civilians, hunger, tiredness, even depression. During the day you'll manage your civilians' health, hunger, psyche and repair your shelter. At night you go out to scavenge for supplies while avoiding trouble and keeping yourself alive. Some of the decisions you have to make for the sake of your own survival will break you.
The mobile port works much better than you'd expect. The hand-drawn art-style looks very pretty on the small displays, and the controls are easy to use. Big icons make selecting actions easy, and the movement speeds based on single and double taps are smooth. Enough to ensure night-time fight-or-flight scenarios are manageable. Also, grab a pair of headphones to fully soak in the desolate sounds of this unforgiving war of mine.
Playstation exclusives are pure quality. This game in particular was quite underrated in its exclusives days, but once it was ported to mobile devices it got new life. In Counterspy you are a secret agent during a hypothetical Cold War era, who works to sabotage both the US and Soviet forces to prevent nuclear war.
The gameplay is divided between side-scrolling 3D platformer sections where you sneak and vault around the randomly generated maps, getting secrets and taking out guards stealthily. However, when the экскременты hits the fan, the game shifts to a cover-based third person shooter. The controls basically resemble the twin-analog controls of Playstation controllers. Touch aiming is a joy to handle, with a collection of customisable weapons making murdering grunts oh so fun. In addition to this and the perks, the increasing DEFCON levels ensure the game gets more challenging the less stealthily you play. Striking a balance and finding the perks and weapons which suit your play style is bound to keep you entertained. If that isn't enough, the soundtrack will make you feel like you're in a James Bond movie, and the cartoonish art style is sure to draw a few chuckles of appreciation from you.
GTA: VICE CITY
This game needs no introduction, as it constituted the greater part of our childhoods. Mobile versions feature the same game we fell in love with, just on a smaller screen. The graphics are understandably a little toned-down, as are some of the textures.
However, once you make the transition to the on-screen controls it all feels familiar again. The aiming and locking on system works in a jiffy, and practice will allow you to go racing down those familiar streets again. People with slightly older phones (like mine) might find that your phone doesn't allow more than two buttons to be used in quick succession, but besides this short delay there are next to no problems. For those of us who had Bangla Vice City will unfortunately be disappointed. There are no Hridoy Khan songs in this version, but besides this it is a flawless rendition.
The poster child for indie-gaming masterclass is available on mobile too. Limbo, in case you were unaware, has you guiding a nameless, faceless little boy through various dangers in the hopes of rescuing his sister.
Some of the best parts of Limbo were the art style and the cryptic puzzles. Both of these features have been faithfully rendered, with the dark black-and-grey-and-white colour palette as prominent as ever. The puzzles are no more difficult than before, as thet hree-pronged control scheme of movement, jump/duck and grab work well together. Figuring out these puzzles, of course, is another matter entirely.
Oh, and did I mention it features one of the scariest video game bosses? Arachnophobes, buckle your, um, phone cases? Headphones? You get what I mean.
These were some of the classics that made it, rightfully, to the mobile platforms. Here's to hoping we'll have fewer cookie-cutter mobile clash games and more classics like these in the future.
With a hearth of cash and a PC of topato, Hasique Wasan could use some kelp. Send belp: facebook.com/hasique.wasan