Genres that work well on mobile... and those that don't

Discussion in 'General Game Discussion and Questions' started by Stingman, Feb 3, 2015.

  1. Stingman

    Stingman Well-Known Member
    Patreon Bronze

    Aug 14, 2012
    App / Game Developer
    The Bay Area
    Some games just seem more suited for mobile : puzzle games, match 3s, city builders.

    And some games just don't seem to work well on mobile at all : 3d platformers, 3d shooters etc.

    Now of course there are exceptions to the rule for any genre... but I'm curious to see what people think are among the best gaming genres on iOS in terms of how well they play and the possibilities for the game based on the device hardware and touch screen controls. Thoughts?
  2. Montanx

    Montanx Well-Known Member

    Mar 3, 2012
    San Diego
    Best on mobile with flawless transition is puzzle and RPGs. Tap interface or light floating Dpad interaction makes it easy. Games with complex movements or heavy need for dpad/button precision like fighting games for example, are less optimal.
  3. Exact-Psience

    Exact-Psience Well-Known Member

    Jan 12, 2012
    The Work-At-Home Guy
    I think the best genre transitioning to the touchscreens are strategy/tabletop titles. From card games like Hearthstone and the Playdek titles, to realtime micro-management strategy like Battleheart and Guardians of the Galaxy, to the turn-based ones like FFT and XCOM.

    That said, Tower Defense titles also shine on the touchscreen.

    I think it's because touchscreens offer an experience that kinda lets you "move the pieces around" with your fingers, rather than use a mouse pointer or a cursor to control your units/pieces/cards.

    Other genres well suited to the touchscreen are the touchscreen-designed games like Infinity Blade, Epoch, Fruit Ninja, The Room and Shadowmatic to name a few.

    Those titles that requires additional buttons or control sticks are somewhat "forced" controllers, but if well done can be good as well, just doesnt feel natural like the ones mentioned above.

    When talking about which genres make money, seems like freemium strategy RPGs are the most prominent, from the CoCs to the CCG RPGs, to the match-3 RPGs (take note that match-3 puzzles are strategy games as well in their core).
  4. psj3809

    psj3809 Moderator

    Jan 13, 2011
    Platformers work well (larger buttons, ability to adjust them as well) for 99% of games, theres some which arent great because the devs dont let you move the buttons or have them too close together

    Dual sticks work very well as well

    I cant stand it when devs try something different, eg for a platform game because in their view on screen buttons dont work (when they do as proved by so many classic ios platformers)

    If it aint broke dont fix it !
  5. Primoz

    Primoz Well-Known Member

    Aug 14, 2012
    #5 Primoz, Feb 3, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2015
    All genres work on mobile. The controls just have to be done right. And with "right" I dont mean dumbed down version of the actual thing (like some developers believe mobile FPS games should rely on heavy auto-aim, auto-shoot, or that you cannot move properly and shoot simultaneously, therefore only on-rail shooters are viable on mobile etc...). I have noticed that more and more people believe touchscreen controls are better for FPS than a joystick (but still worse than mouse+keyboard), which I completely agree with.

    Here is a comment on the on-rail shooter Midnight Star article:
    Frankly, if you think a genre cannot work on mobile, I just think that you are just unable or unwilling to adapt to the controls, unless the controls are terrible or so called "intuitive" in the first place.

    Because of the misconception that "some genres do not work on mobile device" we have only a few quality games.

    Popularity or profit of games should be no indicator of whether genres work on mobile or not, as the majority of App consumers are casual players, who are unwilling to try "responsive" games, let alone adapt to their controls.

    Also, here is a youtube video on this topic:

    And while I am subscribed to this channel and watch their videos on a regular basis I think they really screwed the pooch with this video. While the basic idea they wanted to get across is good, statements like:
    are moronic and only apply when targeting the extremely casual audience. I am glad not all developers follow these "tips", otherwise we would only have the casual drivel that is flooding the AppStore more and more lately.
  6. Edmilan

    Edmilan Well-Known Member

    Dec 2, 2011
    Strategy games also work well like XCOM
  7. HarryWarden

    HarryWarden Well-Known Member

    Aug 22, 2012
    Point and click adventure games translate very well to mobile.

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