Mobile options have largely taken over the gaming industry in the last few years, or at least have carved out a market to rival consoles. There are thousands of smartphone gaming options covering every possible genre and satisfying all different kinds of players. But some big changes might pull attention away from smartphone gaming in the traditional sense.
The obvious one is virtual reality, which is already compatible with most high-end smartphones, and is introducing an entire new way to play video games. And VR isn’t alone. Apple is making some big hints that its imminent foray into augmented reality is going to be a big deal—so much so that CEO Tim Cook can barely contain his excitement. Apple’s AR isn’t just aimed at the gaming industry, but it’s sure to have a huge affects on gaming if it’s such a big part of Apple’s mobile plan moving forward.
VR and AR are very exciting, and should bring about some really great gaming experiences. But fans of traditional smartphone games might be concerned that their favorite medium is going to suffer in the face of new tech. To reassure everyone here are a few predictions regarding genres that should keep producing new, fun games for smartphones.
There will be plenty of strategy games released for VR and AR, and some of them are undoubtedly going to be brilliant. We can already imagine board games from Scrabble to Stratego played out on tables through AR, and there have also been demonstrations of AR tower defense games. But there’s a certain quality to this genre in simple, touchscreen 2D that makes them particularly fun to play. It already seems like the genre isn’t ready to migrate away from standard mobile formats. Case in point, the legendary tower defense series Plants vs. Zombies is getting a new edition later this year in the form of “Plants vs. Zombies Heroes.”
Fighting games have been popular throughout pretty much the entire history of gaming, from standalone arcade machines to the latest and greatest consoles. They’ve also proven to be adaptable on mobile platforms. Marvel, DC, Capcom, and other companies have all had success using tapping and swiping controls to make fighting games intuitive for smartphones and tablets. Though someone will surely try to pull the genre into VR and/or AR, this is one type of game that just seems as if it will always be best on a screen.
Online casino games will be tried in AR and VR, but mobile casinos have also come a long way. Even more, they’ve already undergone their own transitions to become more immersive. In particular, live casinos that now use high quality HD cameras to stream professional dealers have become popular, not just on desktops but on mobile devices, too. With this level of realistic immersion, it’s hard to see what poker and blackjack gamers would really want with VR. This is a genre that seems ready to grow even more popular on mobile, with or without new VR devices.
Adventure games are going to be spectacular in VR, and some already are. But point-and-click adventures, from slow-moving mysteries to beautiful, expansive experiences have become ideal games for mobile platforms. The interesting thing is that a lot of them come from smaller studios and indie developers. The games could probably be made more impressive on VR, but this is a genre that may just stay put because it’s more feasible for developers to work within the traditional smartphone and tablet space.