There’s an obvious difference between gaming on a PC / Console, and the miniature computer you’ve got in your pocket. No one will ever be able to convince you otherwise. But, plenty of major developers are attempting to make the line a little bit blurrier.
Over the years, we’ve seen multiple studios bring simplified versions of popular franchises to the small screen. Many to great success. However, they’ve always been only a portion of the experience fans are clamoring for.
Recently, there’s been a surge of big-budget expansions to mobile devices, and we’re seeing popular franchises come to the largest market on the planet. Here are four recently launched mobile games that come amazingly close to their major system counterparts.
Bandai Namco Ent.
Why Play? Fighting games have seen a resurgence of late, with quality console titles like Injustice 2, the highly anticipated return of Soul Caliber, and the follow-up to 2015’s Tekken 7. This, Bandai Namco’s nearly 30-year-old franchise, is Tekken’s first admirable port to mobile. Following closely to Kabam’s monstrous hit Contest of Champions, Tekken on mobile has fantastic controls, upgradable and collectible fighters, and a robust set of game modes. After all of this time, Tekken fans have finally been blessed with a brilliant pocket adaptation of one of the highest-selling fighting franchises of all time.
RollerCoaster Tycoon Touch
Why Play? We’ve all “accidentally” left a rollercoaster unfinished, sat back, and watch digital hilarity ensue. But regardless of the popularity, the desktop version of RollerCoaster Tycoon saw any attempt at mobile or small-screen ports fall flat. They were all missing something. Recently, Atari launched Tycoon Touch, and it does a magnificent job of simplifying the control scheme of a park simulator, rather than that of the simulation like other ports have. RCT Touch is near perfection and includes all the flavors that the originals had.
Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp
Why Play? Collectibles? Cute things? Animals? This sly and hilariously meta franchise has made Nintendo fans bonkers for decades. Finally – during the surprisingly intriguing Nintendo mobile renaissance – Animal Crossing fans get a mobile port that does the original franchise enough justice to pull you in but has more than its fair share of F2P designs to keep you coming back. Though Pocket Camp might be the one game on this list that is the least like it’s original franchise, there’s so much here to unpack. Collect all the things, and have an adorable time doing it!
The Sims Mobile
Why Play? Arguably Maxis’ and EA’s greatest time-sync, The Sims franchise has attempted to come to smaller platforms on multiple occasions. This mobile port is going to be the most successful though. It has the polish (and let us say, it’s one of the smoothest mobile experiences we’ve EVER had), and it has the features. This isn’t a dumbed-down Sims game, it’s a full suite of the classic building and life-sim mechanics we’re used to in the PC / Console versions. New to this version of the game is a slew of interesting pay-walls that don’t come across as absurd, and a more “freemium” based currency earning system that keeps the player re-engaging constantly.
CompulsionLoop is AC+A’s (adriancrook.com) weekly pursuit of providing a Featured List for those in the games industry. A look at the latest must-play apps, along with short, useful takeaways from our team of game design and product experts. If you have a game that you think your industry colleagues should try, we’d love to hear about it at email@example.com. Don’t forget to tell us why industry insiders should be compelled to try out the game (see what we did there?).
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Thank you for reading and we look forward to helping you discover more games that you can glean learnings from. Feel free to reply to this email or contact firstname.lastname@example.org — we’re always happy to hear from you.
Have a great week!- Adrian Crook www.adriancrook.com