The art of mobile games

   By Alexei Lundgard – Junior Artist

Mobile games have come a long way since they first were introduced with a mobile version of Tetris in 1994 and Snake in 1997.

Snake

In the early days, mobile games were limited in scope by the hardware they were running on, but since then they have progressed rapidly as more advanced phones have been introduced. Personally I was always fascinated by the advancement of the graphics used in mobile games. Having owned a mobile phone in every hardware generation I was able to experience the rapid evolution first-hand. From Snake to the first JAVA games to the first 3D games to iPhone apps – it’s amazing how far we have come!

Splinter Cell

Hardware limitations meant the first mobile games were simple titles like Snake, Tetris or Solitaire. As the phones became more and more powerful developers were able to create games with full colour visuals and higher resolution graphics. The games became longer, including some platforming games with multiple levels and bosses. I remember playing versions of Prince of Persia and Splinter Cell on my old Sony Ericsson handset. The games were very enjoyable and quite often I would not need a handheld console with me all of the time because you could have as much fun playing these 2D platforming games on your phone. The graphics were almost on par with the 16-bit home consoles too.

It wasn’t until the introduction of iPhone and Android phones arrived that the quality of mobile games really bloomed. With the power of today’s phones developers can create games with a quality very close to the current generation of home consoles. A few titles such as Infinity Blade were released on the iPhone using Unreal Engine. These games look incredible with crystal clear visuals, great looking textures and lighting. Looking at the screenshots below which I took from several games on my iPhone it’s almost hard to believe that these games are running on a mobile device.

I’m really excited about the future of mobile gaming and the possibilities it will bring. With the advancement of Cloud gaming technology developers will be able to breach the gap between home consoles and mobile phones. Large space needed for high-quality games could be out of question when you can stream a PC-quality game onto your tablet or even a mobile phone!

At Kwalee, we have learnt a lot from our first tester project, Gobang Social and I can’t wait to see our new projects come to life!