With rumors that the 2014 iPhone 6 will come in two sizes, sporting a 4.7-inch model and 5.2-inch “phablet,” one would think that complex strategy games would fit the new dimensions. Read how the prevailing trend for the iPhone and Android phones still seems to be simple, short attention span games.
When you look back into the history of digital gaming, you’ll note that it didn’t take long for video games to become increasingly complex and non-linear in their formats. While the old-school arcade games were designed to be the type tat required players to feed them with quarters in order to continue to play, home game consoles alla Atari and Nintendo quickly developed games that the user could invest in over the long haul. Anyone old enough to remember the first Legend of Zelda will recall the expansive map that the gas came with, and how you really needed it to traverse the world that the game offered.
Fast forward a couple of decades, and now mobile devices such as the iPhone offers considerably more processing and graphics power for gaming than anything from the distant past. And yet, even as the rumors for a larger-screened iPhone 6 would suggest that gamers will now have a much larger screen to play increasingly more complex games on the go, mobile gaming seems to be going in quite the opposite direction.
When Angry Birds first debuted, it was heralded as the new “Super Mario Brothers” franchise for the video game world. However, the Super Mario Games have always been immersive ages that deeply involve the gamer. Angry Birds bears little resemblance: you can play it while waiting for a bus or train, and turn it off in an instant, thanks to its short gaming “set pieces.” In point of fact, the most a person will ever have to spend on Angry Birds in one setting will be the Angry Birds movie, once it is released.
It seems that, instead of more complex games becoming popular, the extra dimension being added into the mobile gaming experience has to do with the addition of a social networking piece. For example, games like the Slotomania free video slots games are in themselves simple games that can be played at virtually any time on an iPhone. However, what makes a game like this more interesting to gamers isn’t so much the game itself, but the social network that surrounds it. In this way, social media has become a kind of “meta game” unto itself.