IMO - Underestimating Mobile Gaming

Published: January 13, 2015 9:00 AM /



I never really got into the whole gaming on my phone thing. My phone was barely able to run the internet on its own let alone anything that can effectively be considered a game. But over the holidays it had finally given up it's last legs and I was left without a phone, something that some people might consider the worst thing imaginable. I didn't mind personally, but I still got myself an upgrade. The LG G3, which I found to be a billion times superior to that old HTC phone I had, was a present and I am eternally grateful to my parents for getting it for me. But neither they nor myself expected that it would open a gateway to the most addictive games I've ever played. And that's coming from a former WoW player.

Most people would try out a single mobile game and find that it's not quite as addicting as the expansive and engaging MMO king. This is true, mobile games will never be able to compete against the quality and quantity of games available on PC. It's like comparing the TOG II and the Leichttraktor - there's no contest there.

Tank Comparison
One of them is nicknamed the "Loltractor." The other is a battleship.


But this isn't about the differences between two markets of gaming, this is about how I never believed I would ever come to the point where I found tapping on the screen on a phone at 2 a.m. to be the hardest thing to put down since Wrath of the Lich King. In fact, I've only been able to write maybe a paragraph of this piece before checking up on one of the numerous free games to see how many gold, gems, diamonds, honeydew, bits, and all sorts of other forms of currencies or resources I've collected. Seriously, I don't know what the appeal is of all these shallow and simple games. OK, they aren't that bad. They have beautiful aesthetics. Well, most of them.

Every minute there's another monster to catch in a Pokemon-esque fashion, another round of a Match 3 game that's nearly impossible to beat without spending some money, another scan of the growing city for any payouts and wondering which buildings to improve and/or add. There's no story that goes deeper than just the bare minimum. Any characters have little to no personality to serve as a presenter for the most basic of basic games.

This collection of platformers, infinite runners, city management, side-scrollers is nothing short of the bottom of the barrel. They cannot stand up to a single game from modern-day PCs and consoles. This begs me to ask this one question every night for the past month:

Why do I find these games so enthralling?

Clash of Clans
I will admit, some of the more popular ones have some interesting tactics and strategies not unlike something out of StarCraft.


For the first time in my life, I can't answer this. I knew exactly why I found games like WoW to be my addiction. I knew exactly why I found the switch from consoles to PC to be the most logical. I knew exactly why I think mobile games can't even stand in the same ring as console and PC games. I even know exactly why I enjoyed the fourth generation My Little Pony series (Yes, former brony here, yuck it up).

World-building is my bread and butter. I love everything considered lore. I even bought the Witcher series by Andrzej Sapkowski the moment I beat the first Witcher game almost a year ago and it became one of my favorite fantasy series alongside the likes of Discworld and Redwall - the two series I grew up with throughout elementary and middle school.

Just about every game I've played on mobile has constructed the story out of cardboard, but to me I find them compelling despite the lack of anything resembling a tale of conflict or resolution. One of the best I've played is one about butterflies. Butterflies - I tell you!


But I still, for the life of me, can't wrap my head around why I find something like tapping butterflies for honeydew and trying to decide which set to complete to be the most enjoyable thing to do for half an hour before switching to a Final Fantasy-esque RPG mixed with Pokemon.

Is it the constant rewards that I get every day when I start the game? Is it the challenge of juggling around seven games at the same time in order to accomplish the most I can do? Am I just turning into a filthy casual? I don't want to leave the PC master race! I still haven't completed the ever-growing backlog of Steam games or even gotten out of Silver in League!

I'll be talking about each of these games in more detail in a review, or a collection of similar games that I'll compare and contrast. I just cannot stand not knowing why I love playing these mobile games. Do you guys have any idea why I find these games attractive? Would you play games on your mobile device as you would any other game console? Why? Tell me in the comments below! (seriously please send help)

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I'm a PC player. I tend to spend all my time doing things I enjoy, games, Netflix, anime/manga, browse interweb, what-have-you. When those things pique… More about Steven