Friday, December 2, 2011

Wouldn't it be Cool if...? Mobiles Games and Creativity

I have a friend who plays Words with Friends. This is not a metaphor for me being addicted to this game, I'm too busy trying to catch up with everybody who is playing Skyrim. I'll get there eventually guys.

No, I'm more interested in how its online connectivity works. Your board is saved, and you can essentially play a game over the course of a few days or a week casually.

You know what I wish I could play like that? Final Fantasy Tactics. Or any turn based strategy game. Hell, put Chess on that sucker, that'd be awesome. Fact of the matter is, we don't have enough turn-based strategy games around and the mobile platform is a perfect field to get in on this.

Competitive or versus the computer, the foundation is already in place: Short, meaningful and fun turns that have a larger effect on a battle that can take place over a larger period of time. Fun in short bursts, and in longer play sessions. And with the ability to store saved games either on your phone or iPod or on an online server that you can share with friends, you can play anything from Advance Wars to Civilization on your phone.

Of course, tweaks would have to be made to the system to suit it towards the casual gaming crowd. RPG's would have simplified stats and (in the case of FFT or Ogre Battle style games) very clear job trees. Same goes for civilization trees, though I'm sure a full game of Civilization with enough players could go on for a month or more.As cool as that sounds, perhaps ripping a page from the Civilization Revolution title and shortening the game length would be wise.

Regardless, the groundwork is laid for some potentially entertaining and big name titles. It is at this point in writing the article where I tried to go Google Civilization on Facebook in an attempt to find an example of a company branching out into new mediums with established titles. Instead, I found this. Damn you Civilization, for taking my idea 3 months before I wrote it. And bravo for taking the idea, because I like it a lot and (if I owned a smart phone) I would buy this in a heartbeat. I am disappointed in the lack of multiplayer support, but without any way of not making the games last weeks, I can't really blame them for it.

I'd love to see an Advanced Wars or Ogre Battle style game for the iPad or iPhone though. With my choices for turn-based strategy games wittled down to the Might and Magic series, I'm looking for some company to pull through for the genre.

1 comment:

  1. I work in the mobile industry and I've been banging on for the same thing - turn based combat, more intuitive controls and swift suspend/resume. You can read more about it here if you're interested: