Games are a big part of the smartphone's functionality, and their popularity continues to soar with the influx of the new generation. In 2017, 50% of the App Store’s revenue in 2017 was from games alone, and this number will likely rise as technology develops and popular games like Fortnite are ported to the smartphone. But for the newcomers and casuals, what are some of the more gratifying games on the market?
We all know that there are endless games on both the App Store and the Google Play Store that serve only to temporarily satiate the void of boredom in the form of click and drag or easy puzzles; perfect for on-the-go, a quick wait at the doctor’s office or boring adults who shun the concept of “gaming,” yet indulge in these senseless apps in lieu of true leisure (Angrybirds, anyone?).
It’s pretty obvious from first glance that these games are flat out terrible. For starters, they fail to provide the level of storytelling that is prevalent in popular media like films, novels and AAA titles, instead replacing this with cheap humor and visuals that are reminiscent of a cross between Dora the Explorer and Caillou. Let’s be real, how is something like this even remotely entertaining? As a wise person once outlined (or I just made this up) —in order to be able to appreciate real gaming, the viewer should be able to immerse themself in a whole new world with a new perspective—making their own decisions and living through the protagonist as they saunter through the interactive story.
Luckily, there are several titles that meet these demands through the role-playing genre, many of which are ports or inspired by older games of the previous century. The 90s was an era of rapid development in games as the industry became more popular with the prominence of new computer chips and graphics that were combined with eccentric writing. The role-playing genre grew predominantly thanks to the influence of Japan and gave birth to some of the most nostalgic games in history. Whether or not you’re a fan of mobile gaming, I strongly suggest that you invest even twenty minutes into trying one, because you’re bound to get hooked and never look back.
1. Chrono Trigger
Originally released for the Super Nintendo released in 1995, this game features the theme of time-travel and the ability to alter the storyline through multiple endings all based on your actions; like most RPG games, the setting is in a fantasy world with monsters and magic. The inciting incident transports the protagonist to the past, prompting the player to travel through both the past and the future to save the world from prophesized destruction. The plot might seem a little cliché on the surface, but I can assure you that there’s much more to the story. You’ve likely heard of the name somewhere in the back of your head if you’ve researched anything about gaming; this game has been regarded as one of the best video games of all time, never mind of only its genre.
Illustrated by Akira Toriyama—known for the gargantuan Dragon Ball franchise—and composed by Nobuo Uematsu and Yasunori Mitsuda, Chrono Trigger was created by a legendary cast and includes tens of hours of gameplay. Speaking of gameplay, the general mechanic of the game revolves around turn-based combat, just any other old-school RPG; or chess, to make an analogy to you filthy casuals. Its structure is composed of different towns and areas that are encompassed by the classic overworld, or world map.
The popularity of the game has led to several remasters and rereleases across different platforms, including Steam, iOS and the Google Play Store for $13.99. There are, of course, alternative methods to get the game if you jailbreak or root your phone, but it’s 2018 and everybody supports the devs now, right? And if you can’t figure that out, there are other platforms that you can play the game on, including your computer. The game has recently received a large update to its controls and tweaks to its graphics, so expect smooth gameplay when playing on your tiny touch screen.
This brief summary isn’t near enough to relay the depth and complexity of Chrono Trigger; its story, characters, vibrant detail and side content were all jam-packed into a tiny cartridge during its time. Now you can experience all of it in the comfort of your own phone, so try it for yourself and make a judgment. In the mean time, stay tuned for the next exciting entry in expanding your smartphone-gaming knowledge and repertoire!