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Jul 3, 2012

Mobile Gaming at E3

Over the past few years, mobile gaming has seen a dramatic increase. Nokia Snake is no longer the pinnacle of mobile gaming and as the hardware improves so too do the games. So perhaps it doesn’t come as much of a shock that this year, E3 has seen an influx of mobile gaming companies, clamouring to showcase their wares to the world. So put away your next-gen consoles and your super fast computer – mobile gaming is taking the world by storm. Here are some of the highlights:
GREE: The Facebook of Mobile Gaming
Most ‘hardcore’ gamers simply cringe whenever they hear the world ‘social’ applied to their beloved gaming. So while social games might not have been at the top of the agenda for E3, social-giant GREE were determined to make themselves heard. This Japanese social gaming network led the charge for mobile gaming companies, showcasing 6 snazzy new games while flexing its virtual muscles. These brand new titles include:
  • Resident Evil VS – The classic survival horror arrives on the mobile platform, complete with social integration. Soon, you’ll be able to shoot, stab and attempt to survive the undead apocalypse. All from the comfort of your mobile phone.
  • Gang Domination – A social card game akin to Mafia Wars, albeit with a Texas Hold’em slant. Run your mob and take on other gangsters – even engage in some PVP with your friends.
  • Wacky Motors – Essentially a social version of Mario Kart, this new racing game by GREE has a lot of potential. Race alongside your friends and customize your vehicle, from cool paintjobs to awesome vehicular weaponry.
But that’s not all. GREE will also be teaming up with 2K games to produce social versions of the gaming classics, Civilization and Pirates! If that’s not something to be excited about, I don’t know what is… social integration could be exactly what’s needed to breathe new life into these old, classic formats. So it seems that GREE have pushed out all the stops for E3… could this be a sign that the mobile gaming industry is becoming that little bit more hardcore?
Upcoming Games Announced
Of course, there are plenty of other awesome new titles just around the corner. Whether it’s beat ‘em ups, puzzle games or online RPGs, it seems there’s something for everyone.
  • The Amazing Spiderman – One of the most exciting announcements for mobile gaming, The Amazing Spiderman promises stunning 3D open world gameplay. Take down criminals and swing from building to building in Gamesloft’s action-packed adventure game.
  • Motley Blocks – This inventive new puzzle game by Square Enix puts a brand new spin on the mobile puzzle genre. A strange mixture of Tetris and join the dots, Motley Blocks requires quick wits and dextrous digits if you want to stay ahead.
  • Demons’ Score – A weird and wonderful combination of Guitar Hero and Quake 3, this rhythm-based fighting game is like Parappa the Rapper but with hordes of evil demons. Based on the Unreal 3 engine, Demons’ Score is highly original… if a bit messed up.
  • Project Dragon – Previously known only as ‘The Project’, this amazing concept is a cross-platform MMORPG that will run on Android, iOS and even PC. Project Dragon aims to bring PC-based MMORPG gaming to mobile devices and from what we’ve seen so far, it just might succeed.
Android Gaming Pads
Not content with a massive new range of games, the mobile industry has pushed the boat out even further, in the form of some brand new gaming pads for Android devices.
  • NVidia have taken to the mobile market, helping Nyko to create the PlayPad, a slim-line gaming controller for Android devices. It’s both sleek and portable with all the retro style of an old-school NES controller. But with Bluetooth connectivity and button remapping, it’s a hell of a lot more.
  • The Power-A by MOGA is an awesome new controller that shows real progression in mobile gaming. This controller just screams ‘next-gen console’ and a quick glimpse reveals obvious inspiration from the Xbox 360 – a design which most gamers will be very familiar with.
So as you can see, there have been some real developments in Android gaming this year, but will they lead to mobile gaming being taken more seriously? At this rate, we’ll have to wait until E3 2013 to find out.

Contributed by
Julie-Anne Christie is a freelance writer from England who specialises in technology and business writing for a number of online journals. She doesn't still wish her phone had a copy of the original 'Snake' installed, really she doesn't...