The mobile game market has long harbored a bad reputation, and for a good reason. What was once a promising gaming frontier has been infested with derivative and repetitive games filled with micro-transactions. But just because the front page of your phone’s app store doesn’t look promising, that doesn’t mean you should give up on turning your phone into an exciting gaming platform. Here are some alternative methods you can use to get excellent games on your phone.
1 – Emulators
Most modern phones can emulate games up to the Super Nintendo era with no problem, with more powerful phones being able to emulate games released for the PlayStation 1 and 2, and the first two versions of the Xbox.
Emulated games can be played on a touchscreen, or you can get your phone a gamepad to make playing more comfortable. This allows you to replay classics of your childhood and have access to thousands of games you’ve never played before, all of them made before microtransactions were even a thing.
There are moral concerns when it comes to downloading and emulating games. But if you own original copies of old games and some old consoles, you can get everything you need to emulate games on your phone without breaking a single law. All you’ll need is a good YouTube tutorial, a few specialized tools, and a good amount of patience.
Emulators also come with a variety of tools that can help take the edge off the difficulty curve of some of those old classics, including the ability to create save states and make the game run slower or faster.
2 – Browser games
Early smartphones struggled with running flash games on their browsers, so many gamers got used to not being able to run browser games on their phones. But that has long stopped being a problem, and many specialized sites have popped up allowing you to play various games through your phone’s browser.
Games at offer include timeless classics like klondike solitaire and various other fun arcade experiences. And while some mobile browser games do include micro-transactions, you’ll find just as many that are just short arcade experiences. Including many flash game classics of decades ago that have been adapted to run on phones.
Browser games are a good way to have some quick fun when you don’t want to download anything, and they’re easy to run even on budget phones.
3 – Mobile ports
While much of the mobile market seems to target casual gamers, there are still some great PC and console games that got complete or partial ports onto mobile platforms. Some of these may have flown under your radar, as gaming news sites often don’t bother reporting on them.
For example, 2017’s rogue-like sensation Dead Cells is available on Android. 2012’s XCOM: Enemy Unknown is also available on mobile platforms, with an iOS and an Android port both available for sale. Other notable ports include early games in the Grand Theft Auto series, several classic Sonic games, Max Payne Mobile, and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic.
If you feel in love with an indie darling released in the last 10 years, or there’s a classic game you can’t get enough of, there’s a small chance that a mobile port of it exists. It’s worth a look if you’re looking for something good to play on the go
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