Are mobile games simplified for touch screen controls; and as long as they’re fun to play, does it even matter?
Due to mobile devices sacrificing physical buttons in favour of larger screens and increased portability, titles like Angry Birds, specifically designed with touch controls in mind have flourished. However, while many consider tapping and swiping to be an effective means of interacting with games, others maintain it comes at the cost of reduced player control, leading to casual, more simplified experiences. The question is, is there anything wrong with that?
While some may yearn for AAA quality on their mobile devices, most undoubtedly prefer bite-sized chunks of gameplay. For those individuals, more immediate titles tend to be favoured, and isn’t it better to have a simple game that plays well than an intricate one that handles poorly?
Adding further control components to a device allows for increased interaction; opening up the possibility for more complex gameplay. While this can be achieved to an extent through the use of virtual buttons, it isn’t nearly as effective as tangible hardware. Established titles that have been ported to mobile platforms often suffer in this regard, and despite some enhanced visuals and the convenience of playing on-the-go, control inconsistencies render them largely inferior to their console counterparts.
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Rob Gisbey is a games journalist and music production graduate from Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk. To listen to his acoustic demo, read his articles and listen to the VxM Videogames Podcast head to his blog.