Tighe: On-the-go gamers find entertainment in all genres

Columnist Samantha Tighe asks, ‘What’s your favorite mobile game?’

Samantha Tighe

Samantha TigheYou’d be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t occasionally partake in an odd game or two on their mobile device.

Even looking back to childhoods, with clunky Nokia phones, games like “Snake” or “Tetris” were actually the very beginnings of mobile gaming. The games of today, however, bear no resemblance to their older counterparts. Improved graphics, multiplayer and the occasional storyline – it’s no surprise to see mobile gaming quickly becoming a massive market for developers.

Every other week, there seems to be a new craze or game that is taking the world, and especially your family members, by storm. It’s a fickle venture to develop games like these. Games explode in popularity but typically have a short shelf life, their recognition lasting only a few weeks before they fade from memory.

I’ve played them all – Zynga games, “Temple Run,” “Mr. Dreamer” and “Logo Quiz,” to name a few. I’ve gotten messages from people who want me to start playing a game as well. It’s becoming borderline “Farmville” spam, but occasionally a good game comes out of it.

My favorite mobile game so far is “Angry Birds Space.” Now the gameplay in “Angry Birds” doesn’t usually stray from game to game – you fling a bird in attempts to destroy the bases of the enemy pigs. It’s gotten so popular, that there’s even a “Star Wars” spinoff. The thing I like most about “Angry Birds Space” is the fact that there are outside factors that come into effect. The gravity of the planet, the distance to the enemy pigs, you may even have to break out of one planet’s atmosphere to reach another one. It’s a frustrating element of course, but you actually have to sit and plan out a strategy and develop some sense of physics.

I went out and spoke to some students on Main Campus to get their takes on some of their favorite games. Most reiterated common titles, like “Angry Birds,” but some also broke the mold.

For junior marketing major Patrick Kneass, his new game to play is “Clay Jam.” You control a clay figure by the name of Fat Pebble. In order to battle the enemies of the game – Bully Beasts – he has to expand and grow. In order to do this he needs to roll over other smaller clay monsters. Think “Beautiful Katamari” in a world that actually looks like it’s made of clay.

“I like Clay Jam because it’s simple,” Kneass said. “It takes a simple concept and combines it with great graphics to create an immersive world.”

Created by Zynga, “Clay Jam” for Android and iOS devices have maintained a near five-star rating, even after it had more than 5,000 reviews and ratings. But the best part? It’s free.

Christine Sofield, a senior studying human resources, came upon her favorite whilst browsing through games on her tablet. Sofield said she tried them all, including most multiplayer games, but “Jetpack Joyride” was different. As someone who considers herself a non-gamer, she couldn’t get into playing adventure oriented games or games that were overly technical. The boring humdrum word and drawing games weren’t appealing, either.

“I like ‘Jetpack Joyride’…It makes me feel like I’m accomplishing something, even though I’m just wasting time.”

“I like ‘Jetpack Joyride,’ because it has little goals and missions,” Sofield said. “It makes me feel like I’m accomplishing something, even though I’m just wasting time.”

She said gameplay also matches her style.

“It’s cute, and I can either play a short or long game depending on however long I have to play,” Sofield said.

“Jetpack Joyride” is also available for Android and iOS devices and it’s free to play.

I suggest you leave any misconceptions you have about mobile gaming behind, because, as the genre develops, quality games are releasing and a surprising majority are free to play or have free counterparts.

If you’re itching for a new title to add to your mobile library, browse the top charts in your device’s app store or go beyond and search on the Internet. Entire communities have sprouted up in honor of mobile gaming, and they’d be more than happy to share their recommendations with you.

Samantha Tighe can be reached at samantha.tighe@temple.edu.  

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