Part of the problem with converting mainstream console games into mobile games is the vastly different control schemes, but not with the 10 Best Games That Would Work Well on Mobile Platforms. No matter how good your virtual joystick is, you will never get the input fidelity in Street Fighter IV mobile edition that you would if you were using an actual arcade stick. Instead of simply trying to program touchscreen buttons to control games normally, mobile conversions should focus on games that would work well with touch screen controls in the first place. Here are the 10 Best Games That Would Work Well on Mobile Platforms, not just because they are popular, but because they might actually work better with a touch screen interface.
Most of Pokemon is really just navigation through menus. You choose what attack you want to use from a menu, you tweak your Pokemon’s items from a menus, and you manage your Pokemon boxes from a menu. Menu driven games are perfect candidates for touch screen conversion which is what gets Pokemon on our list of 10 Games That Would Work Well on Mobile Platforms. The ability to trade and battle your Pokemon no matter where you are over a 3G/4G network would also be pretty cool.
Touch screen interfaces are perfect fits for real time strategy games. Instead of needing keyboard short cuts and fancy mousework, you can let your fingers do the talking. Draw a circle around the units you want to group and then tap on an icon to choose their action. Micromanage your units by tapping and dragging them out of the battle. Focus fire by tapping on an enemy you want to kill. Your actions per minute are only limited by the sensitivity of your touch screen and the speed of your fingers.
Of course, the fast and frantic world of real time strategies may not appeal to people who just want a distraction on a long train ride. For these people, we recommend turn based strategy games like Civilization V. Civilization: Revolution is already one of the most popular iOS games out there. There’s no real reason why Firaxis shouldn’t go whole hog and release this opus to mobile platforms. Heck, if you are a dedicated Civ player, you might go through several phones before you ever actually finish a large enough game.
Rez was a rail shooter that was all about synesthesia. You moved around a targeting reticle in order to lock on your homing shots and then fired them to the beat of the background music. You evolved from a small sprite into a space baby, all while defending the internet. The swipe to lock, release to fire style gameplay would be a perfect fit for a phone or tablet touch screen. Simply drag your finger around the screen to lock on to the enemies you want to shoot, and then lift it to fire away.
FTL is a starship simulator that is really all about dying. OK, that’s an exaggeration. It’s really just incredibly complex and asks you to juggle your crew and your ships systems in order to not die out in the vacuum of space. There’s no “continue” in FTL, just a chance to start from the beginning with another ship and another crew. Not only would a touch screen make your crew easier to control, but the rapid start-and-die gameplay of FTL would be a great simple diversion for long trips.
WarioWare would be a perfect game for mobile devices. The goal of WarioWare is to figure out how to play a series of microgames, and beat them, all within three seconds. They are usually simple affairs like, “roll a ball into a cup” or, “give this guy a high five.” But think about all the cool microgames that could be programmed into a phone. Some could be won via the touch screen, others by the accelerometer, still others by shouting something into the microphone. If there is a 10 Best Games That Would Work Well on Mobile Platforms entry, it’s this one.
One thing that you have to consider when converting a game for cell phone and tablet use is pacing. Unlike console games in which people sit down and devote all their energy toward the gaming experience, iOS and Droid games are more of a diversion that is better served by games that are easy to pick up and put down. Thus, Harvest Moon is a perfect fit for mobile platforms. Simply boot up the game, water your plants, and put it down again.
Rhythm Heaven burst on to the scene in America on the DS. The game tasks you with tapping and swimming the touch screen to the beat of several different songs while weird cutscenes play out in the background. Maybe you are tapping to play badminton between a cat and a dog flying a plane. Maybe you are smacking spiders away from a bread box. Maybe you are in a factory making ambiguous things. Either way, all you have to do is tap the touch screen to the beat making this a great candidate for iOS conversion.
To be fair, fire Emblem isn’t necessarily the best game to be converted to iOS. Frankly, any turn based strategy would do. Touch based controls just make sense when controlling troops across a grid. Fire Emblem is simply the turn based strategy that did it once before with Shadow Dragon on the DS. Since it’s a turn based strategy, you could also play long games back and forth with your Facebook buddies, with a notification being sent to your phone whenever it is your turn.
Finally, we have the one game that would be absolutely perfect on touch screen platforms: Mario Paint! Yes, it’s an SNES game, and yes, it was just a Nintendo colored version of a basic MS Paint utility, but it was awesome. Whether you were coloring in Yoshi, making music with Mario sounds, or swatting flies, Mario Paint was one of the coolest games of the SNES era and would only be made better on mobile platforms. Imagine being actually able to export your images, songs, and animations. Imagine how many renditions of popular songs will be redone in the Mario music editor. Yes, this is #1 on our list of the 10 Best Games That Would Work Well on Mobile Platforms.
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