If you’ve been around this site for long–or follow me on Twitter–you know that I write for Geek & Sundry, which means I spend a lot of time talking about one of the staples of that site, gaming. I loooove gaming, both tabletop and video games, and I love writing about it, too. It’s the best! So it’s been a bit hard for me to fully accept this reality about myself. I’ll talk about gaming all day long, but whenever the conversation gets to mobile gaming…
You guys, I cannot stand most mobile games. If you were to grab my phone from me right now (please don’t do that), you’d find that I have loads of apps on my phone. Twitter, Insta, Facebook, credit card apps, IMDB, Duolingo…but I hardly have any games on my phone. Here are the games I have downloaded:
- Magic: The Gathering life counter (this doesn’t really count as a game, I know)
- Call of Duty: Zombies
- Zombies, Run (this is really more of a fitness app, but putting it with the games helps me trick myself)
- Plague, Inc
- Fallout Shelter
That’s all I’ve got, game-wise–and my “games” aren’t actually all games!!! Before you get judgey, let me say that my lack of mobile app gaming doesn’t come from a lack of trying. I’ve played Minecraft on my phone, I’ve tried Clash of Clans, I played the Walking Dead game with Daryl in it, I’ve tried puzzlers, I’ve tried it all. I just can’t get into it. At all.
Take Fallout Shelter, for instance. That’s the latest game that I’ve added to my phone (and, if I’m honest, I might take it off my phone soon). What makes Fallout 4 awesome is what an expansive, intricate world it is. Sure, I’m well aware that when I play Fallout I’m going to lose hours–maybe even the better part of a day–exploring the Wasteland. It’s inevitable.
I love it, and I’m fully in control (mostly anyway) of how long I spend in-game. But so many mobile games that are popular are such a constant time commitment. Clash of Clans felt like a stupid, part-time job that I’d have to pay to get good at, and Fallout Shelter is slowly driving me insane as I try to figure out how the hell I’m supposed to build a viable vault when I don’t have enough power and my dwellers keep boinking and getting pregnant in the living quarters. Then, to top it all off, sometimes Radroaches or Raiders attack and I have to drop whatever I’m doing to try to protect my dweller babies. I got a notification at midnight last night that I forgot about one of my dwellers as he was exploring the Wasteland, and I felt like I had to start up the app to get him back to the vault. It’s turning me into that horrible millennial cliche of being that chick who’s just glued to her phone 24/7.
That’s the reason games like COD: Zombies, Plaugue, Inc, and Cow have stuck around on my phone. They’re games that stop when I close the app. They don’t ping me in the middle of the night, they don’t require care, feeding, and protection in the wee hours of the morning, and I don’t have to worry about forgetting them in a cruel, post-apocalyptic wilderness. It also doesn’t force me to solve some brain-bending puzzler when all I’m trying to do is calm myself down in the waiting room of a doctor or forget how hungry I am when I’m waiting for a table to open up at a restaurant. I like mobile games that are easy–FPS zombie game, a game where you find an invisible cow, or a game where you can infect the world with a killer virus, bacteria, or fungus as you have time. If I want to play an actual game that requires my full attention, I’m going to play it where I’m comfy on my couch, at home, looking at a big screen, where I can pour as long as I want into the game without zapping my iPhone 5c’s feeble little battery or worrying about getting interrupted when I’m smack in the middle of trying to save my vault from Raiders when I still don’t have any weapons or a firm grasp on how the game works…hypothetically, of course.
Maybe it’s because I’m getting old, but I prefer my gaming on a table or console–heck, even a tablet is better than a phone. I like using my phone for stuff that I can use when I want and leave it when I’m over it without having worry about the well being of some animated humans in a fictitious vault. Ultimately, I think that’s why most mobile games aren’t for me. It’s too small of a playing area, I hate wasting my battery on a game, and ultimately it requires that I be far more invested in the game than I’m capable of being. Just let me find a damn invisible cow. That’s more my mobile gaming speed.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go because another group of raiders attacked my vault as I was writing this. I’m not even kidding.
What do you think of mobile gaming? Do you think it’s fun or too much? If you like it, what are some of your favorite games? Tell me about them in the comments!