iOS and Android Apps Don't Deserve PC Ports
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There's an increasing frequency in transitions of games from mobile devices to computers. Call it an appidemic, if you will. Apps, which were created with a mobile mindset, are crossing over to computers. The result isn't good. Frankly, it's a port-a-palooza of undeserving games which shouldn't have made the transition.

The thing is, many of these apps were designed with iOS and Android users in mind. These are people who are only putting aside a very brief period of time to play, on devices with sparce input options, and limited resources. These are people who want a quick fix sort of game--something to enjoy briefly when waiting for friends or family to show up for an event, or to kill some time while traveling.

These apps are designed to be enjoyed in small bursts. They're refreshing nuggets at bargain prices, but once they make that jump, they falter. The transition doesn't go well. A handful exceptions exist. Zen Bound found a place for itself. Fieldrunners is another. Most of these games don't, and shouldn't be given console ports.

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The best reason to shun such releases comes down to money. Somehow, in the app to PC transition, the price increases exponentially. Tiny Thief is one example. It's free on Android and iOS devices, but $4.99 on the PC. Type:Rider is another, as it goes from $0.99 or $2.99, depending on whether you prefer the Android or iOS version, and $6.99 for the honor of having it on your computer. These aren't exceptions. Almost every iOS/Android to PC port will be much more expensive than the original game.

However, the most aggregious example is Plague Inc. I have nothing against the game, personally. I enjoyed it when I played it for free on my Nexus 7. However, I could never see myself paying $14.99 for Plague Inc: Evolved. There wasn't enough to the game to keep me playing for more than a week on my mobile device, and after playing the PC port at a friend's, the experience felt very similar.

Another factor is the gameplay itself. As I mentioned earlier, these apps succeed on mobile devices for many reasons. Sometimes, it's as simple as they couldn't work anywhere else. Part of the fun of a game like Angry Birds comes from the touch controls. It isn't half as much fun when a mouse is doing the clicking. A game like Reaper: Tale of a Pale Swordsman stands out on mobile devices when it's an app, because it's control scheme fits so perfectly. Neither feel the same on the PC.

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However, the biggest reason to rebel against these apps is there is no good reason for them to appear anywhere else. I'm speaking specifically about Choice of Games' choose your adventure titles. These are very basic visual novels that are essentially digital versions of the books we read as children. They're adequate on iOS and Android devices for a few bucks, but I still can't believe they're appearing on Steam for PCs. Everything these games do, standard visual novels do better. In fact, there are free Twine games that provide more appealing stories than, say, Heroes Rise: The Prodigy.

I'm not knocking the apps we enjoy on our smartphones and tablets. Anyone who follows me on Twitter knows I derive such joy from playing these mobile titles and live tweeting the affair. However, developers of these games should keep them where they are. It's okay for PC games to get ported to Android and iOS devices, sometimes it's even awesome, but that should really be a one way street.

Jenni Lada
Jenni Lada
JMariye

Site Editor
Date: 09/17/2014

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