The smartphone has revolutionized virtually every facet of modern life. It is, without a doubt, the most successful invention and product in human history, and at the time of writing, no less than 86% of the entire global population is in possession of at least one of these pocket supercomputers.
From communications to photography, smartphones have added unparalleled flexibility and utility to our everyday experience. They’re also an incredible all-in-one entertainment device, with social media apps, OTT services like Netflix, and audiobooks all available at the touch of a button.
They’re also incredible gaming devices – so much so that in many parts of the world they’re a person’s sole or primary gaming platform, outperforming PCs and consoles like the Xbox Series X|S. Yet it has taken some time for people to begin to really take smartphones seriously as a gaming medium.
This is down to, in no small part, the widespread diffusion of freemium and shovel-ware games in the app stores. These titles, of middling to low quality, have flooded the official gaming libraries of both Apple and Android’s app ecosystems in recent years.
This can cause people, understandably, to be somewhat disenchanted with the latent potential of the smartphone as a next-generation gaming console. But fortunately, there are many compelling alternatives to trudging through the Google Play Store trying to identify a game truly worth your time and money.
Just take a look below at these impressive alternatives, each of which is a gateway into stunning gameplay experiences people still fail to recognize their trusty device can provide them with!
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There is something of a trend taking hold in the mobile gaming space, with analysts suggesting it is a direct response to the issue of app store saturation discussed above. This trend is towards greater curation, with specialized selections of games being offered by different providers – from Apple to Netflix – in a bid to put quality ahead of quantity.
Without a doubt, Apple’s example, known as Apple Arcade, is to date the most compelling. For a small monthly fee, you are granted access to a bustling and growing roster of the very best games on iOS – all available on-demand and at your leisure.
What’s more, Apple Arcade is increasingly offering exclusive titles from some of the biggest names in the industry, from Final Fantasy creator Hironobu Sakaguchi, to the masterminds behind Sonic the Hedgehog, namely Sega.
Among the gameplay sectors that find themselves historically underrepresented in the official app stores, you will find the wide and wonderful world of iGaming and online casinos.
In truth, there are many long-lived and reputable gameplay platforms offering digital variants of brick-and-mortar classics, such as roulette, through mobile-optimized sites and apps.
What’s more, with the added flexibility and accessibility afforded by on-the-go gaming, the smartphone is arguably the best way to enjoy such titles today.
What if we said that you could play the very latest, top-tier console games, whenever you wanted and right from your smartphone? If you were unfamiliar with cloud gaming technology, you’d probably call us crazy. But this pipeline is now fast becoming a reality. Cloud gaming is a little different from other forms of streaming, such as when you watch a YouTube video.
Except, inputs travel both ways. What this means is that you can play triple-A games on any device with a stable internet connection, and your inputs will be sent to a server-side gaming PC capable of running even the most demanding titles.
The best example of this technology available today has got to be Xbox Cloud Gaming, which comes as part of Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription. It offers a rotating selection of 200 of the very best Xbox and PC games from past and present, including day-one releases of flagship Xbox Series X|S titles like Halo Infinite and the new Forza Motorsport.