Gaming on the Go

Mobile gaming is on the rise, there is no doubt about that. Companies like Halfbrick, Pop Cap, and Infinity Ward have been so successful on mobile devices, like iPhone and Android, that they have decided to take their games and recreate them for consoles, like Xbox and PS3.

One of the newer game companies to expand is Halfbrick, has have taken their iPhone success Fruit Ninja and recreated it for the Xbox Kinect. There have been subtle improvements to the graphics and the way it’s played, but the overall game-play has been unaffected. Players still slice fruit to get points, and attempt to beat your friends’ scores, only now you use our entire body instead of just your fingers.

“I prefer the Kinect version because it is has more to do,” says Aviation High School gamer Max Rose, who has played both versions of the game, “In Fruit Ninja for the phone your hand blocked the screen when you’re trying to play, so that is a downside to it. On Kinect, you get a lot more freedom of movement and they [the Xbox] have a shadow in the background so it is easier to see where you are cutting. Overall I like it a lot better than the mobile version.”

One game that made it big on the iPhone and is now on the Android OS (operating system) is Plants vs Zombies. After its PC and Mac release it was made for mobile devices and then later released onto consoles due to its success. Game play has stayed similar throughout the game, without any significant changes. Players still fight off waves of zombies using plants of various types that have different abilities. The only big difference between renditions is the controls. With iPhone and Android players use their fingers, on the console they use the controller to select what they want to do, and on computer they use a point-and-click method.

The Nintendo DS is considered a mobile gaming platform, but many gamers don’t enjoy carrying it around because of its weight. This is one of the many reasons that console games haven’t made a DS rendition. Also, many of the games on the DS require use of the touch screen, and unlike the iPhone, the DS touch screen is separated from the other controls. The touch screen isn’t easy to access on the device, unlike mainly touch screen based devices.

The PSP (PlayStation portable) is another mobile gaming platform that is liked among gamers, but like the DS, it is slightly clunky and hard to take with you. It’s wider than the DS, and the analogue stick sticks out and makes it a tough fit within your pocket.

Big console games have done the opposite, making a mobile counterpart. One game that hit it big on consoles was Dead Space, a survival horror game whose game play closely mimicked that of the fourth Resident Evil game. The publisher, EA, decided that it would be an interesting venture to create a version of the game play for iPhone. The plot of the game is a spin off of the console game’s plot however, so the game provides something new for fans of the series.

“I feel that if done properly, an iOS game can be even more immersive than something you play on console or PC,” said the game’s producer Nikhil Dighe to, “This comes from the advantages of a touchscreen held only inches from your face, but since you’re playing on a touchscreen, you are almost directly interacting with the game environment. So if a Necromorph [enemies in the game] grabs you, you have to swipe and tap on it in order to save yourself. This can be a lot more intense than watching events unfold on a big screen while pressing buttons on the controller in your hand.”

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