When I first started using a smartphone, I was taken in by the touchscreen concept, keyboards you could ‘swipe’ on to type really quickly, high quality camera and nifty audio and video players, to name a few of the amazing features that completely engaged me. After that, of course, I saw many exciting games featured on the Android app store that I wanted to try out. I’ve played a few of these, including ‘Atomic Bomber’, where you are the pilot of a bomber jet that flies over enemy territory destroying tanks, rocket launchers, ammo warehouses, etc., while trying to avoid being shot down, a thrilling bike racing game called ‘Racing Moto’ involving tilting the screen left or right to allow the rider to make steep turns at high speed or avoid obstacles in a rich variety of landscapes amid heavy traffic, an addictive game called ‘Fruit Ninja’, which allows you to slice falling fruits in half by swiping across them as they fall…the list goes on.
Smartphone games have become more and more sophisticated, with high-definition RPG games like ‘Modern Combat 4: Zero Hour’, multiplayer games like ‘Asphalt 8: Airborne’, major upgrades to old favourites, such as ‘Angry Birds Space’, ‘Temple Run II’, etc., retro-themed games with great music from the period featured in the game, such as ‘Crazy Taxi’, world building games like ‘Minecraft’, and more, completely redefining our idea of gaming and giving us experiences that we thought we would get only on gaming consoles, with flat screen HD TVs acting as game screens.
Here are some game ideas that I’d like to see implemented as smartphone games, purely because I’ve either played the retro versions of these games or the concepts themselves immediately get my attention and interest. There must already be different versions or interpretations of some of these ideas existing in the smartphone gaming world today. Nonetheless, here goes:
This is one of the few games I played years ago on a Windows 98 PC, and which I still remember fondly. If there’s any way to adapt the characters in this epic game to the Android screen and replicate as many of the fight techniques as possible, this could well be a great retro comeback to the Android/iOS smartphone screen.
Shoot the assassin
A game with a twist; you’re not shooting off random targets and becoming a top assassin, you’re chasing and killing off assassins secretively. The game can involve dark corners, night/infrared vision, top storey windows of buildings or even terraces, drive-by shootings and more. As you clear levels, your weapons can be updated. You can plant car bombs in the cars of the assassins and watch them blow up when they try starting their car, you can make their weapons malfunction through remote control (remember the Mark Wahlberg movie ‘Shooter’, showing a remote-controlled gun; now you can sabotage that gun and maybe make it shoot the assassin if you can spot him). Other bonus points include health packs, babes (because they always attract male gamers) who are in fact messengers delivering ammo or the keys to your vehicle or food (health packs) or other essentials to you, and keys to secret passageways to escape into if an assassin has spotted you and is chasing after you or shooting at you.
Once you shoot a certain number of assassins, you win a medal for service to the country. This can be made into a multiplayer game as well, where you can take on the role of either hunter or assassin.
Kill the hunter
Here, you’re in a dense forest, and danger lurks all around you, in the trees, in the air, on the ground, in the ponds or other water bodies across you, in the bushes, you name it. You have to be very quick-witted and kill off these animals (all predators, no Bambi here) using a variety of weapons available to you (hunting rifle, hunting knife, bow and arrow, club, spear), as you make your way through the forest towards getting out of it. As the levels progress, you can have a night mode, which can be pretty scary, where all you can see are glowing eyes or hissing noises or slight movements that indicate where the animal is. Animals can range from lions, tigers, leopards, jaguars, and panthers to snakes, scorpions, poisonous spiders, crocodiles and more. This is jungle hell and you should be a quick killer to get out of it alive.
Hunt for the Red Baron
Another cool vintage-themed PC game adapted to smartphones, here you’re a World War 2 flying ace, on enemy territory. Your enemies are mainly other planes which always seem just out of reach or in the far distance but start shooting at you much before you can get close enough. So again, good reflexes and shooting ability are needed. As you successfully shoot down enemy planes while sustaining minimal damage (nothing that will make you crash and explode in flames), you progress through levels and get better weaponry (your enemies might have better weapons too; you won’t know for sure), including rocket launchers, mortar guns, cockpit machine guns (like Jason Statham in ‘The Expendables’), even shrapnel (a blast of shrapnel can seriously damage enemy planes and make them crash, if not make them explode in mid-air). In the final level, you face the Red Baron himself, and he can be frustratingly difficult to bring down, due to his ability to roll sideways, glide up or down at varying speeds, be in front of you one minute and be shooting at you from your back the next, etc. If you’ve mastered the controls, you can yourself do these motions, but the Red Baron is very fast and you need a combination of tricks to finish him off. You can get sonar equipment so you can try bouncing sonar waves to your left or right, if you’re not sure of his location, and if you get back a ping, you can confidently fire in that direction and try to hit the Baron.
Ground-to-air attacks are not a part of this game, though they’re there in the original PC version.
Multiplayer cricket game
Lots of cricket versions are out there, but here you can try cool gyro effects so you can pan camera angles by tilting the screen right/left, play a great variety of shots and bowling styles, as well as fielding techniques. You can choose different versions (T10, T20, and T30). One unique and interesting characteristic of this game is that you can be nasty if you want (special keys for sledging, for throwing a Yorker and hitting a batsman in the face, for a direct face-smashing shot that retires hurt the bowler or a specific fielder or even the umpire), but be ready to be suspended or face other penalties (your character can be asked to leave in the middle of your innings for any really serious/nasty actions, and this may be an issue if each player is given their own batting/bowling features, like in the case of the Street Fighter game; you won’t get to use these techniques if the player is asked to leave mid-game, so be sparing with the nastiness!). When you become Captain of your team, due to repeated wins for a certain number of times over the opposing teams, and you win a championship trophy, a special prize (inspiration from ‘Road Rash’) is a couple of hot cheerleader babes posing with you as you grin like an idiot. And yes, you can save this image.
So yes, I hope some of these ideas become realities and I’d certainly love to try them out when they do.