A mobile game is a video game played on a feature phone, smartphone, smartwatch, PDA, tablet computer, portable media player or calculator. The first game on a mobile phone was a Tetris game on the Hagenuk MT-2000 device from 1994.
Towards the end of the 20th century, mobile phones began to modernize. With the introduction of the candy bar cell phone, mobile phones’ capabilities significantly improved. With these technological advances, mobile phone games also became increasingly sophisticated. Older cell phone games were not as expansive or popular as games for consoles since the hardware for the early mobile phone was not suited for high-color screening or sounds beyond differently pitched beeps. These games were also usually animated with shaded squares due to their limited graphical quality. Unlike today’s cell phone games, which usually have to be purchased, these games came pre-installed and could not be copied or removed.
Nokia tried to create its own mobile gaming platform with the N-Gage in 2003 but this effort failed mainly because, at the time, the convergence of a cell phone and a handheld gaming platform did not mix. Many users complained of having to talk on the phone ‘taco-style’ by tilting it sideways in order to speak and hear. There were hardware issues as well, and though some quality games came out, support for the platform was anaemic.
Calculator gaming is a form of gaming in which games are played on programmable calculators, especially graphing calculators. They were quite popular at the 1980s.
Games played on a mobile device using localization technology like GPS are called location-based games or Location-based mobile games. These are not only played on mobile hardware but also integrate the player’s position into the game concept. In other words: while it does not matter for a normal mobile game where exactly you are, the player’s coordinate and movement are main elements in a Location-based mobile game. A well known example is the treasure hunt game Geocaching, which can be played on any mobile device with integrated or external GPS receiver. External GPS receivers are usually connected via Bluetooth. More and more mobile phones with integrated GPS are expected to come. Besides Geocaching, there exist several other Location-based mobile games, such as BotFighters, which are rather in the stage of research prototypes than a commercial success.
A multiplayer mobile game is often a re-branding of a multiplayer game for the PC or console. Most mobile games are single player mobile games perhaps with artificially intelligent opponents. Multiplayer functionality is achieved through Infrared, Bluetooth, GPRS, 3G, Wi-Fi, AI, MMS, or Wireless LAN connection.
In today’s society, it’s hard to imagine going a day without our phones. While we have the world virtually at our fingertips, our smartphones are no longer just a means of communication — they are also a means of entertainment. And what better way to kill time than to play games on the go? According to annual research conducted by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) released this April, approximately 35 percent of gamers play video games on their smartphones. Smartphones and tablets have transformed the way in which we game. No longer do people need to be in front of their PC or gaming consoles. They don’t even need to buy – or carry around – a Nintendo DS, PSP or (if you’re feeling nostalgic) a Game Boy.
Though we are not sure whether mobile version is the future of mobile gaming in the world but gaming is not going to end and will be slowly become one of the biggest industries in the modern world and the statistics point towards that.