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5 great games that have made the transition from console to mobile

While these might all act against recreating the console experience, there are some notable examples of games that have transferred very effectively, as these five examples prove.


the walking dead mobile game
The Walking Dead game for Android

There’s no question about it, we’ve come a very long way indeed since the early days of games on mobile phones. Back then the most excitement you could hope for was the chance to chase a coiling snake around the screen. But now you’d struggle to find time in a whole lifetime to try out all the games available to play on the go.

The size of the industry is massive – estimated to be worth $50 billion a year and rising.

And while most games have been designed specifically for play on the mobile, there are a good number which have been adapted from some of the best-selling console games.

Obviously, there are some issues to be overcome, as Chris Mahoney, director of emerging platforms for Sony Computer Entertainment pointed out as long ago as 2013. The big three are screen size, battery power and the fact that games are played in often noisy or bright environments. But while these might all act against recreating the console experience, there are some notable examples of games that have transferred very effectively, as these five examples prove. It’s also a trend that seems sure to become more prevalent as mobile gaming power continues to grow and grow.

Grand Theft Auto

Who’d have thought that daddy of the driving games, GTA, would be able to make such an effortless transfer from the big screen to the mobile? But its developers, Rockstar Games, have shown just why they’re leaders in the field. The most detailed and involving of all of the GTA games you can play is the legendary San Andreas - but it’s by no means the only one you can choose from. There’s that other big favourite Vice City as well as GTA 3 – the game’s very first foray into the totally involving 3D experience.

Admittedly some of the controls on the more complex games like San Andreas can present quite a challenge. But by sticking to versions like Chinatown Wars and Liberty City Stories you’ll get all the adrenalin-filled action that you crave – all held in the palm of your hand.

Online poker

Even though it’s only a couple of decades since the first online poker rooms started to appear, it’s a game that has moved on beyond all recognition. When it first started to be played online it was by devotees hunched over their PCs. But with the advance of wireless technology it’s a game that has also made an effortless transition into the mobile world.

Today’s mobile poker is a smooth and slick playing experience, whether it’s a cash game or a tournament. It helps that the actions needed to play poker are reasonably simple, unlike some games. And the fact that winnings can be transferred automatically to the player’s account almost instantly makes the mobile version of the game an even more satisfying experience. So it’s no surprise that this is one of the faster-growing forms of mobile gaming.

Sonic the Hedgehog

For many people the plucky little hedgehog was their first experience of computer games and proved to be a worthy competitor to his arch rival, Super Mario. The latter might have won out in the end but when it comes to play on the mobile, it’s Sonic all the way.

That’s because there’s the choice of SEGA’s original game as well as Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and Sonic CD too. In common with all of the most successful mobile games, the fact that action is linear and simple makes it translate perfectly onto the smaller mobile screen. But, of course, the images are that much clearer and sharper than the old, pixelated version of the game making for an altogether more exciting experience. Best of all, even the old controls from the gamepad version work especially well when it’s on the mobile platform.

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

There have been plenty of Star Wars RPGs over the years – and they’ve been as variable in quality as the film’s themselves. But one that has always received almost universal applause is Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic.

To really do it justice you need a phone that’s especially good for gaming. But if you’re armed with one it goes a long way towards reaching the intensity that it achieves on the Xbox. Within the game you navigate through the complex and involved story that takes place a full 4,000 years before the creation of the Galactic Empire, let alone before it had its chance to fight back.

You play a Jedi knight who has to visit many planets to overcome the evil Sith, Darth Malak with the conclusion to the game coming when you are judged to have aligned with the light or dark side of The Force.

The Walking Dead

Last, but by no means least, there’s this classic zombie thriller brought to you by Telltale Games. Experts in the “gamification” of titles ranging from Back to the Future to Wallace and Gromit, they’ve really worked their magic on TWD.

Split into seasons, each one consisting of a number of chapters, the combination of amazing graphics, a bloodcurdling soundtrack and nasty surprise after nasty surprise make it a game that you just won’t want to put down – at least until the zombie apocalypse has been safely overcome.