Posts Tagged Game Boy

Guest Post: What makes a mobile game mobile?

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I’ve been playing a lot of mobile games recently. When writing a quick Marketplace review for Dungeon Defenders I noted that it didn’t feel like a “mobile” game. It is a fun game, and its mix of tower defense and Diablo-style hack-and-slash is intriguing. Using Unreal Engine 3 even makes it look like a console game. Unfortunately the 20 minute levels with no way to save also felt too much like a console game, and not something I’d be able to play often on my phone.

One of the biggest factors affecting mobile games is that their users are, well, mobile. The games are targeted to an audience that might not be sitting down for a dedicated multi-hour gaming session. The player could be on a subway, in a doctor’s office, or waiting for their World of Warcraft raid to fill up. The problem isn’t really even that they’re on the move, it’s that they can be interrupted at any moment. The game needs to be able to be paused and saved on the fly. You don’t want to be 15 minutes into a level, have your number called, and lose all your progress.

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