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Default Current state of phonegames

September 22nd, 2014, 15:44
You're all well aware of my hatred on suspicious products on phones called games.
In most cases I installed a "game" there wasn't even g of a game in it.

But I couldn't believe escapist seems to completely agree with me:
http://www.escapistmagazine.com/arti…-Wallet-Reaper

Forget the fact it's (again) EA. EA just joined the milking/scamming train and I don't think CEO of any publishing company wouldn't bless business like this one. EA is still one and only devil in US, but is not the only evil company out there.
Forget it's Dungeon Keeper phonegame, the article can be applied to almost any phonegame.

This is IMO the most important quote from that article and in one short sentence explains exactly what I feel towards phonegames and just couldn't find proper words to say it:
a cancer that is eroding the market and has already destroyed the credibility of the once promising mobile gaming sector.
How many times you played a game and realized this:
A cynically motivated skeleton of a non-game, a scam that will take your cash and offer nothing in return.
On PC? A few times, I admit.
On a phone? Almost for every single game is like this. Sorry, I ment to say a "game".

EDIT:
Sorry for this escapist article is half a year old, it's just I didn't see it before.
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September 22nd, 2014, 22:05
I have very mixed feelings about the state of games on phones and tablets.

- Phone games are IMO the natural evolution of two things:
> Bejeweled, Minesweeper and other desktop 'time wasters'
> Handheld game systems such as Nintendo GameBoy / DS and Sony PSP

I think it is best to look at them in that context, but the difference is that both game time and development resources are being absorbed into games like 'Threes' that would formerly have been distributed across a range of genres.***

(*** it isn't realistic to say 'instead of Plants vs Zombies we could have had Baldur's Gate 3' … that is a simplistic view).

As for tablets, the screen size and power offer greater capacity to emulate a 'real gaming experience' better than any of the small-screen systems. The problem is that there seem to be three main routes:
- Bland games like Aralon
- Upscaled 'phone games'
- Ports of PC games (currently Bioshock)

And as Bioshock demonstrates, the very best possible iPad port of a PC game will ALWAYS be a lesser experience compared to the PC game.
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September 23rd, 2014, 12:28
I have no interest in phone games. The mass appeal of 'hits' such as Fruit Ninja and Angry birds escape me - I'd have more fun just playing on an old fashioned Etch-A-Sketch. Even remakes of old games I once liked on the PC are ruined by money-siphoning gimmicks such as Dungeon Keep as mentioned in the article. If not that, then the tiny screen and poor touch-interface stops any hope of actual fun. Even waiting for a few hours in an airport I can't bring myself to play any phone games… I'd rather just read or sleep.
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September 23rd, 2014, 19:38
It's simply a waste of life.
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September 23rd, 2014, 19:44
Originally Posted by Humanity has risen! View Post
It's simply a waste of life.
Mobile games are … games. Therefore if you consider games for mobile devices a waste of life, you therefore must also believe that all video games are a waste of life. Period.
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September 23rd, 2014, 21:17
Phone games can be fine and fun if you choose the right games. What is the right game depends on you. I like phone games but prefer turn based games on the phone. It also needs to be designed from the start for a small touch based screen. I have found that the best phone games are from small Indie developers and are never in the top games so not easy to find. The rise of in-app-purchases games sucks tho and there are quite a few games that I liked their first one but now version 2 comes out with IAP.
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September 23rd, 2014, 21:22
I actually just got a brand new, up-to-date smartphone (HTC One M8) and considering that the last time I had a real working phone was 2010 (ouch, I know), I started wondering if there were any actual decent games for phones. I'd love to have something on there in case I'm ever away from home for a while and want something to play, but I don't have any interest in the really junky shallow Bejeweled/Zynga crap.

And I'd really rather not pay like $20 for a remake of an early Final Fantasy or something. That seems…excessive.
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September 23rd, 2014, 21:43
I liked the Gurk games for a simple RPG.
Deadly Dungeon is a good game.
World of Goo is great on a phone.
Dungelot is a fun puzzle(ish) game. The 2nd has IAP so blah.
M&M Clash of Heroes I liked.
Sentinel 3 is easily the best tower defense game I have played.
The Bards Tale played better than I expected on a phone.
Chess - theres a great free version among all of them.
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September 24th, 2014, 08:26
The best phone games are:
- retroarch (and chrono trigger)
- scummvm
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September 24th, 2014, 09:22
Problem is that I'm into gaming for other reasons than to exclusively kill time. I'm into gaming to explore, discover and be immersed. If I was into gaming to kill time, then it would implicitly be a waste of time - as the only result would be dead time.

As such, I can't really figure out how to pass the time with a phone. Oh, I've tried the odd Solitaire game or whatever - but it doesn't really do it for me. Frankly, I get more out of simply thinking and reflecting, which is something I've always done a LOT of.

As for tablets, they're better - because certain games are comfortable enough on them, and as long as you're fine going back 10-15 years in time, you can have a decent experience.

I've had fun replaying old adventure classics, for instance. The only reason I'd bother playing them on a tablet is for convenience. People saying they play "better" on a tablet must live in an alternate dimension. The comfort is there, obviously, but that's because you're in bed or on a couch, not because the game itself plays better.

I own two tablets - and I've yet to find a SINGLE game that's truly interesting or immersive in such a way as to justify the platform as a competitive one for gaming. Believe me, I've tried dozens and dozens of RPGs, strategy games, action games and so on. Not a SINGLE game that made me thankful I had a tablet for that.

That said, I know a few of my ex-GFs have enjoyed some of the tablet-exclusives like The Room and a couple of others I forget about. The Room would work fine on a PC - and though the touch-interface is neat, it's not really that different from using a mouse in that particular case.

So, ultimately, I think that whole supposed revolution of these games has been a dismal failure. Even I, who was never into phonegames or tablet games, am surprised just how underwhelming the last few years have been in this area. I honestly expected at least a few creative surprises to come around and bite my prediction in the ass.

Sadly, it just hasn't happened.
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September 24th, 2014, 10:32
Originally Posted by DArtagnan View Post
So, ultimately, I think that whole supposed revolution of these games has been a dismal failure. Even I, who was never into phonegames or tablet games, am surprised just how underwhelming the last few years have been in this area. I honestly expected at least a few creative surprises to come around and bite my prediction in the ass.

Sadly, it just hasn't happened.
THIS * 1,000,000

I remember a few years ago having debates about how this WOULD happen because of capabilities … and it has not.

When the only games my current iPad Air (which is a very powerful piece of hardware, so technology is not the problem) has installed are Bioshock (good but inferior to PC), Civilization Revolution 2 (inferior to any REAL Civ game), Baldur's Gate 2 (better on PC), and Modern Combat 5 (a solid but inferior shooter on an inferior FPS platform) … that is saying something.

Oh, and I would put Civ Rev in the 'time waster' category for me …
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September 24th, 2014, 11:59
Ahh, well, single player games are junk on handheld.

For multiplayer though, I think they are way ahead like some of the augmented reality games ( which would not even be possible on PC ), or a lot of turn-based "classical" board games, just take a turn-against your friends on the bus…
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September 24th, 2014, 18:43
Absolutely phone/tablet games are not as good as PC games. Keyboard and mouse vs a finger or two on a touch screen, theres no contest.

I was hoping for better games also but it hasn't happened yet and it seems to be regressing really. Screen size is a big issue as I have played some PC ports where my middle aged eyes couldn't even read the tiny text. I'm also not a fan at all of first person shooters on a phone. I find the controls to just be horrible.
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September 24th, 2014, 23:21
It's really amazing, actually, when you stop and think about it. I have a laptop from…I think 2011 or 2012 that I take to the coffee shop and write with. It was on sale and a little inferior when I got it, and now my brand new phone is faster than the laptop. Even with all that, Baldur's Gate and Icewind Dale still run better on my laptop? This makes absolutely no sense, given everyone's predictions and really, common sense.

It's a disappointment.
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September 25th, 2014, 09:42
Originally Posted by Aubrielle View Post
It's really amazing, actually, when you stop and think about it. I have a laptop from…I think 2011 or 2012 that I take to the coffee shop and write with. It was on sale and a little inferior when I got it, and now my brand new phone is faster than the laptop. Even with all that, Baldur's Gate and Icewind Dale still run better on my laptop? This makes absolutely no sense, given everyone's predictions and really, common sense.

It's a disappointment.
"Powerful" is a very interesting concept within this context. A lot of people who don't really understand hardware like to claim that tablets and phones are more powerful than PCs but a few years old, but they're likely not looking at the big picture.

It doesn't take a brain surgeon to figure this out, though.

Look at the TOP OF THE LINE laptops. I'm talking about those ridiculously expensive laptops that have the latest GPU and CPU technology.

Look at the prices.

Then look at the top of the line desktops - which are MUCH less expensive and MUCH more powerful.

In fact, if you want the BEST laptop to compete with the BEST desktop, you'd have to look at desktops from several years ago.

Why is that? Because the best hardware STILL takes up physical space, you STILL need sufficient power and you STILL need to keep it cool.

If people are telling themselves that a MUCH cheaper tablet with hardware held within a tiny enclosed space can get ANYWHERE near powerful PCs "a few years" old - then they either believe in magic, they're ignorant, or they're so biased towards tablets they don't even bother to look for evidence of their claims. I won't even get into the joke that is smartphones here.

There's really no way around it.

So, until you see high-end laptops that are as powerful as high-end desktop PCs at affordable and comparable prices, there's not going to be a single affordable tablet that can get anywhere near a PC that's even remotely powerful.

That said, this new hardware is very impressive still - and the fact that a tablet can match a high-end PC from ~10-12 years ago is STILL fantastic. But let's not get carried away
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September 26th, 2014, 16:36
One mobile game I would recommend (with some reservations) for anyone who has a tablet and wants something halfway decent to play is "Joe Dever's Lone Wolf". It's a gamebook / RPG hybrid; e.g., a Choose Your Own Adventure book / Visual Novel, but with an inventory and battles. The combat is active turn-based (unfortunately it does have Quick Time Events which I dislike and imagine would be a huge pain on phones). But it is very well written (the story is written by Joe Dever) so it's worth playing; particularly if you were a fan of LW books or similar gamebooks like Fighting Fantasy, etc. The presentation is really great and the book aspect naturally works really well on tablets.

The Trese Brothers mobile RPGs (Heroes of Steel, Star Traders, etc.) seem pretty decent (and most of their games at least have free demos). There's a decent action RPG called "Ixle of Bxnes" made by the developer of Serpent in the Staglands. It's hard as hell but seems pretty cool if like hack n' slash action RPGs. Most of the other mobile games I could recommend are ports of PC games like Shadowrun Returns, Baldur's Gate: EE, etc. And possibly some of the Square Enix ports if you like JRPGs.

But I agree in general mobile games are just plain awful and would disappoint anyone who is hoping for a game on level with even much older CRPGs on a PC.
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September 28th, 2014, 02:42
Once again Dartagnan tells exactly what I thought and nails it perfectly.

I find them so frustrating to use, also merely using a touch screen is frustrating. It lacks any precision, and your fingers will always make you activate things you don't want to. It's simply much slower and less precise than a real computer. I don't have the patience for these things, especially for experiences that are always shallower or always have other shortcomings.

Give me real controls with buttons, tactile feedback, and precision, or I'm not interested.
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September 28th, 2014, 11:03
I don't see how people can make sweeping generalizations about "phone games" being garbage/a waste of time and at the same time say good things about games like Avernum & Avadon. Those games have been released on phones as well. And has anyone actually tried to play turnbased strategy games on phones? The excellent Panzer Corps has been released on phones, and the touch screen interface works really well for games like these. I've also spent quite a few hours with Populus Romanus, a turnbased tactics game that I've found perfect for those 45min-1h trips that I'm forced to take (twice) on a daily basis.
And anyone who complains about touch screens lacking the precision needed for these games, well, the problem is probably with your phone or you not having adapted to the new control layout, and not with touch screens in general. I would not want to play something like Deus Ex or The Witcher on a phone, but I would not mind playing something like Jagged Alliance. Or Broken Sword.

What I'm mainly trying to say is that you can't judge the games a device has to offer by what's most popular on it, you need to look at the entire spectrum of games. The same is true both on phones & other platforms (if you want something cerebral, you don't want to play Call of Duty or Battlefield, yet if you refuse to look beyond what's the most popular, that is all you'll find. Are PC games worthless because Call of Duty & Battlefield are very popular?)
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September 28th, 2014, 16:51
Originally Posted by Fnord View Post
I don't see how people can make sweeping generalizations about "phone games" being garbage/a waste of time and at the same time say good things about games like Avernum & Avadon.
The funny thing is having a young person read some of these statements and have them laugh.

Because some of you guys simply REEK of 'get off my lawn' syndrome.

You are not adept at new technology so you berate it as inferior. You seek things to satisfy your confirmation bias that 'the good old days' were superior, and will seek out that one nugget of data that 'proves' you correct.

Actually, it is more than a bit sad.
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September 29th, 2014, 12:21
Well, no reason to feel sad.

We obviously don't know what we're missing, and we seem to be able to have fun with other platforms when it comes to gaming - so we can probably do without this amazing phone/tablet experience with a minimal amount of tears involved.
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