There once was a time, much like any teenage boy, when I played as many video games as I had hot meals. It’s hard to look back now and imagine having that much time to devote purely to games but it really did happen.
Now I’m (much) older and I have developed a wealth of interests beyond the box under the TV, such as writing this blog for example or going on a long walk or even better, winding down the end of the day with a glass of wine and an episode of EastEnders. All this means I have very little time left to play games so I have to be a little more selective with what I do play.
This isn’t so difficult really, as I’ve grown up very few games tend to actually peak my interest. No longer will I play something simply because I can decapitate an innocent bystander with a chainsaw, in my maturity I now only want to play something that has a vast and fascinating world to explore or a deep and rich story to get engrossed in. There are a few franchises that I will always continue to play much for those reasons like Halo and Tomb Raider, anything else would normally pass me by unless it managed to wow me at E3 or several friends have recommended it.
Beyond this though, I am very lucky to live in an era where we all have games consoles in our pockets. Gone are the days when gaming on the go was limited to a chunky wad of plastic, four AA batteries and a tiny monochrome display. Now our mobile phones can provide us with on the go entertainment and I for one spend much more time playing games this way than through my console.
I have three main types of games that I stick to on this format too. Firstly, I quite like infinite runner style games like Temple Run and Jetpack Joyride. They are quick and easy to pick up and can be played without too much thought, whiling away the the bus ride to work or waiting in the queue at the Post Office quite nicely.
The second thing I play on my phone are old games from my childhood, games that I loved so much that I enjoy playing them over and over. These are mainly PlayStation One games and then a few Master System and Mega Drive titles. The Google Play store has an abundance of emulators that will play ROM’s (essentially a file with all the information from the original cartridge or CD) of old console systems and sometimes they can even improve them slightly by up-scaling the graphics and sound. The experience is made even better with the Moga Pro controller accessory that is basically a bluetooth enabled game pad with an extendible clip to attach your phone to. This gives you real buttons and analogue sticks to play with so you don’t have to use cumbersome touch screen overlays. The Moga also works with most new mobile games from the Play Store so anyone that likes to play on their phone should have a look at getting one, I cant recommend it enough.
Lastly, I really enjoy puzzle games on my phone, my favourite of which is Monument Valley. This game had me glued to my phone for many hours and is easily one of the greatest games I have ever played, phone or otherwise. The game itself is set in a beautifully simple looking world where you have to manipulate parts of the scenery in order to move the character to the doors that lead to the next level. The twist is that you can only see the levels in a fixed birds eye view and moving the character from place to place is often a mater of perspective than reality, almost like an Escher drawing.
The only negative is that the game isn’t very long but an expansion pack has since been released making it slightly longer. It’s available on Android, iOS and Windows Phone so if you’re looking for something new and interesting to entertain yourself with then look no further!