10 things I hate about you – Mobile Games

It is not always fun and games, sometimes there are things in game land that irritate the living shit out of me. Welcome to the first rant of 10 things i hate about you : mobile games.

Mobile games… Sigh.

Mobile games feels so disappointing to me now. I am talking about the “games” on your smart phone. I feel like obi-wan being let down in the revenge of the sith… by…well the trilogy itself but more important by Anakin.

Oh Mobile apps/game you were meant to be the chosen one.

If I may take you back in time to a world pre-Facebook, pre- app-store. A larger world with seemingly simpler games, almost a simpler time.
Imagine a Nokia 3310, robust like rock. The Samuel L. Jackson of phones. Motherfucker lasted seven days on one battery charge, could be thrown out of a moving car, and you wouldn’t be surprised if you found it in bed with your mother.  Speaking of the giver of life, it came with the mother of all mobile games.

Snake, and he wasn’t even solid. The snake in this game was no more than a couple of blocks, moving in a line resembling a snake. The snake moved around your screen eating “prey” made out of other blocks. Therefor enlarging its own body, and speeding up his own movement, and it was just as intense as wrestling an anaconda with your bare hands.
We held Snake competitions in the holidays, shoving together behind the small screen seeing how others would prevail where you failed.

Where the phone improved, the games on them would as well,
and remember we are still in the pre-app-store era. The game that came with your phone, was the only bloody game you would ever play on that device. Or you could program your own game on it. But only if your nerd level was over 9000!!

Behold, the communication device of the god!
Behold, the communication device of the gods!

Nokia was holding the monopoly of the mobile world. It was mere logic that they came with, in what should have been the next step in mobile gaming evolution, or so many believed at the time.

They announced the N-gage in 2003
The mobile/handheld hybrid. They tried to cash in on the fact that a lot of people were walking around with a handheld gaming device and a phone. The games could be bought on separately sold cartridges (remember pre-app-store era).
Apart of being a handheld and a phone, Nokia went all out and also made it a PDA, a market in the hands of blackberry at the time.
Also a fun note, they introduced wireless multi player. Just find a play mate (ugh.. terrible word) Bluetooth that bastard, and play, play, play.

So many good ideas, so much promise, so badly executed.
Well maybe they did execute themselves perfectly. The device came on the market for a whopping 299 dollars. And with no earned game reputation. Gamers couldn’t see why they should risk buying a N-Gage while they could instead purchase a Game Boy Advance for 149 dollars.

And so they did, the first year the GBA outsold the N-gage by 100 to 1. The N-Gage proofed the world it wasn’t ready for seeing the phone as a game platform.. at least not for that kind of money. and 2 years later in 2005 the N-Gage. The chosen one, was discontinued.

And I saw a beast coming out of the sea. It had ten horns and seven heads, with ten crowns on its horns, and on each head a blasphemous name.
And I saw a beast coming out of the sea. It had ten horns and seven heads, with ten crowns on its horns, and on each head a blasphemous name.

It then took the world another 2 years to see the founding father of the “mobile gaming” platform we all learn to hate.
The apple Iphone, and a year after its release the dreaded app store.
A platform where you could download or buy apps/games. I for one was excited by this development. Easier access to an online platform. The mobile version of steam. What not to love about that.
And the offer of software was expanding quick. For example when the app store saw the light of day there where 500 apps available.
Now 6 years later that number is over 1.3 Million. So where could this go wrong.

Well where everything else goes wrong in this world.
Money & greed.

What you see nowadays are the watered down versions of successful and popular games of the past. Games like Candy crush and City builders. Candy crush ripped off Bejeweled a game from pop-cap where you make combinations of similar colored gems. Even the power ups in the game were stolen. The more surprised I was that King tried to sue anyone who used the word saga in titles of other games. City builder is a shameless copy of Sim city games.
Then again the current version of sim city is a shameless copy of itself, and not in a good way.

Somehow the developers for mobile games figured out that whatever they make people will play them anyway.
It’s because of the ease of access to those games. You don’t play candy crush because it is your favorite game. This game works because it uses some very clever psychological tricks. Yeah i know these tricks are used by many other games these days.
But candy crush is the prime evil.
First CCS looks extremely well polished, bright bubbly colors will fill your screen, animations are just as fresh and feels just like the first day of spring. You are encouraged in making combos, because a voice is commenting your moves in what i can only describe as candy porn voice. the “Oh yeah” and “Tasty” will be sprayed all over you.

So that is one, it’s a looker.

Second it is the life system, you will have 5 lives preventing you to play it as long as you want. Just about the time you are “feeling it” you failed the board to many times and your lives are depleted. Making you wait a half hour, or it makes you harass your friends in giving you more lives. And maybe join you in this digital drug-fest.
This system can be compared to the wait till you crop grows system in farm games like Farmville, Hayday or Township.

Just to assure, that weird old guys with monocles having way to much candy or not to be trusted.
Just to assure, that weird old guys with monocles having way to much candy or not to be trusted.

This is were the pay 2 win system comes in, you can bypass the tedious wait to continue system by spending a couple of dollars, not a big amount of money, but little amounts to encourage and assure your brain that it isn’t a big deal. And they damn well make sure that at every halt in the game they remind you can pay to win.
A perfect explanation of this system is found in the “Freemium” episode of South park. If you haven’t seen this go watch it, after it you feel dirty and used.
Apart from pop-culture actively dissociate themselves from this thievery. There have been actual psychological studies on the Candy crash effect.

But at least these kind of games are games, yeah they are programmed to get you addicted and spending WAY to much money.
But nothing infuriates me more than the madness of click or tap games.
These “games”, I cannot believe i am calling these abominations games. These things, just let you tap your screen for hours on end, and then stuff happens, its like having a giant controller with just one button. That is the entire game… tapping that button. like you are constantly pause and resume a movie. And it works.. people are apparently downloading this junk. I am looking at you RPG clicker.

This is the actual description on the apps information page in google app store:

RPG Clicker is a fantasy RPG simplified to one finger touch.

No more getting lost in boring dungeon, just tap your way through diverse terrain and menacing monsters.
Find loot and rack up gold to buy the ultimate weapon.
Research powerful spells and set the pixels on fire.
Then, when your hero is ready, engage in epic boss fights where your hero’s strength and skill will be put to the test.

We developed a unique inflation system to allow for exponentially powerful enemies as well as exponentially valuable loot for heroes to find. That means you can upgrade weapons and spells to do billions of damage with our crazy inflation system! And since this is RPG Clicker, you can tap as fast as you can to do even more damage!

RPG Clicker is the next evolution in clicker games. Join thousands of heroes in the ultimate clickers adventure!

Look at that, let that be imprinted onto your very soul, this is what has become of mobile games…

And with this last craze.. I watch the mobile game old mug straight in the eyes and as I watch him slowly deteriorate from bad ass snake monster to head bashing one button sullied shade of a being.

I can say. Mobile gaming is as good as dead now.
It is time to raze it to the ground and try to pretend this never happened….

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