Hey there, how are we all? This week I wanted to talk to you all about gaming on Android. I normally reserve game related stuff for Droidgamers, but I felt like a change, so here we go.
Handsets these days are becoming so powerful that they can run just about any task you can throw at it, from office work, navigation and more importantly…. Games.
The games on Android range from the obvious casual games such as Angry Birds and Temple Run, to the more in depth games like Dungeon Defenders and Shadowgun.
The amount of games increases daily, but many of them are hardly worth the time spent to code them, so finding the best games is a tough challenge. When you’ve found a good game, you can quite easily spend hours playing without noticing. As an example i’m writing this at 7:30 am in my pyjamas in a little rush to meet my self imposed deadline because I’ve been too busy playing a game all week to write about it…. I know, i’m naughty :)
So how is gaming on Android better than any other platform? As most games available on Android are also available on our rival fruity devices, what really sets them apart?
In a word… Emulation.
With Android being open source and having less restrictions than those fruit filled slabs of glass, it means developers can quite easily emulate a number of other consoles making it possible to play all those classic games we used to play as a kid. Anybody remember the original Altered Beast? Starfox? Pokemon?….. Zelda! The list of emulated consoles is HUGE and ranges from the ZX spectrum (for the really hardcore retro gamer) up the the PS1. Let me tell you, playing Ridge Racer Type 4 or Abe’s Oddysee on the way to work is like a dream come true… Admittedly a 10 year old dream, but a dream nonetheless.
Better yet, with the right bit of kit, you can connect your Android device to your tv via HDMI and play all those classics on your TV…. ever seen Sonic the Hedgehog in 42″ widescreen? only if you were stupidly rich when it was released, or still have the original MegaDrive… or Genesis for those of you across the pond. Pair up with a Gametel controller and you have yourself a whole catalogue of classic consoles, in your pocket, ready to plug into a tv and chill out on the sofa. Also if you have an account with Onlive, you can even play the latest PC games in full HD both on your phone, and TV. Being able to play Assassins Creed heading to work is amazing, as the handset is nowhere near the minimum specs the PC version would need, but because onlive does all the hard work for you, it takes portable gaming to places it shouldn’t be able to go. Again, plugging your device into your tv and pairing with a Gametel controller and you effectively have the Onlive MicroConsole… which ironicly is about the same size as a typical android phone anyway. Of course i wouldn’t recommend gaming with onlive using your phone data unless you’re on an unlimited tarriff, as streaming HD games uses ALOT of bandwidth. If i remember correctly, somebody calculated Batman Arkham City on 1080p to use up to 3GB per hour! thats my entire fair use policy with Tmobile!
While emulating other consoles is great fun and absolutely amazing at times, you also have to respect other developers contributions to the gaming world in your pocket. Developers such as Madfinger have pushed the boundaries of the devices. Simply take a look at Shadow Gun. It runs perfect on my xperia play, which is already a 12 month old handset, yet it looks like it came straight out of a Xbox 360. About 18 months ago, Trendy Entertainment took the Unreal Engine 3 and gave us Dungeon Defenders First Wave, which at the time was the most graphically advanced game possible, and there’s still not much that compares to it. As time went by, First Wave is now Second Wave, and is available on Xbox Live, PSN and Steam. Going up in the world seems quite appropriate, as they’ve gone from pocket party, to full scale global console and PC awesomeness.
So there you have it. With the right android device, and a few additional peripherals, you quite literally have a gameboy, gamegear, mastersystem, megadrive, NES, SNES, ZX spectrum, PS1 and N64 (to name a few) in your pocket ready to plug into your TV and enjoy while sitting back on the sofa with a glass of Rola Cola and Pop Tarts. Heaven!
See you all next week with Getting Slimmer For Summer, The ANDROID Workout.