Mobile Games – The 10 Most Innovative Titles of 2008

The most innovative mobile games are rarely the best-selling, and technical innovation often comes at the expense of great gameplay. Yet innovation is what drives gaming forward. So with that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of the 10 most innovative mobile games that were released in 2008, including iPhone, N-Gage, Java and iPod titles.

1. Reset Generation (Nokia)

Platform: N-Gage

Reset Generation scored a perfect 10 when reviewed on Pocket Gamer. The spin-off Facebook version was one aspect, but it was the wider Web 2.0 aspects around that which truly impressed, with players able to embed their profile in blogs and social networking profiles and view replays of any game played online via a widget.

2. Spore Origins (EA Mobile)

Platform: Java / iPhone

Sensibly opting against trying to cram the entire Spore PC game into mobile form, EA Mobile focused on the relatively simple cell stage of the game. The innovation came with the connectivity in the Java version, allowing players to customise their spore throughout the game, then upload it to EA’s server and fight asynchronous battles against those of other players – complete with a website tracking their stats.

3. Super Boom Boom 2: Space Adventure (Gamevil)

Platform: Java

Super Boom Boom 2 let players purchase virtual ‘G-Points’ which could then be spent on extra levels, items and mini-games. It’s not the only Gamevil game to use this feature in Korea, but in the west it’s a marker of what may be to come in 2009.

4. Rally Master Pro (Fishlabs)

Platform: Java

Rally Master Pro is probably the best looking mobile racing game yet. But its innovation was as much about connectivity and some of the distribution models behind it. For example, publisher Fishlabs seeded the game on various pirate websites, allowing people to download and install it for free in an effort to rapidly build a community of players. That went hand-in-hand with the way players paid to download extra tracks for the game, through a system of credits on the myFishlabs community.

5. Chess with Friends (Newtoy)

Platform: iPhone

Chess with Friends is an important game in showing what’s possible with iPhone (and, indeed, connected mobile games on any platform). Gameplay is entirely asynchronous, so you make your move and then wait for your opponent to make theirs at their leisure – which could take seconds, hours or days. But you can have several games going at once, ensuring there’s likely a move to play whenever you fire up the game.

6. Star Wars: The Force Unleashed (THQ Wireless)

Platform: Java / N-Gage

The Force Unleashed makes it into this list for Universomo’s imaginative approach to the controls, based on tracing symbols on the keypad to perform attacks. Not all gamers warmed to the idea, but it’s praiseworthy for seeking a control mechanic that’s not a poor relation to console controls and which fits well with the game’s subject material. In case you’re wondering, yes, the game itself was really good, too.

7. TV Show King Online (Gameloft)

Platform: iPhone

The concept behind TV Show King Online isn’t innovative – it’s essentially PlayStation quiz franchise Buzz!. It’s the connected features that make this so interesting, with the ability to play real-time quizzes over the network, as well as uploading scores.

8. Scene It? (Namco Bandai)

Platform: Java

Here the innovation came in the weekly question packs that players could download to keep their interest up. By September, more than 26 million questions had been downloaded in this way – and since this is the US, the publisher is reaping the rewards of that in longer subscriptions. Namco Bandai launched four new puzzle categories for the game in September, to further freshen up the experience for players.

9. Tap Tap Revenge (Tapulous)

Platform: iPhone

What started as a free music game for jailbroken iPhones has now become the premier iPhone music game brand. The ability to ‘download’ songs from within the game – a clever technical workaround, since Apple doesn’t officially allow it – was one feature. Persuading major labels like EMI to make songs available for the game was another. Plus there’s multiplayer and community features being built around the core game.

10. UEFA Euro 2008 (EA Mobile)

Platform: Java

You could see EA’s licence to make a football game based on the Euro 2008 tournament as an obvious cash-in. Instead, they took the opportunity to enhance the gameplay, introducing skill bars used when players want to shoot, cross, tackle or perform skill moves. The idea was to test a control mechanic that would be more accessible than traditional fiddly button-pressing. It worked well, with some elements making it into the next FIFA game.

Things You Need to Consider When Your Children Play Mobile Games

With the increase in entertainment facilities on mobile devices, including music, video and gaming, it is becoming more common for children to be given mobile devices, either permanently or for a short while to keep them occupied, and usage of these devices can often be unrestricted, unsupervised and unmonitored. With games in particular there are risks you need to consider in order that you can make a more informed decision regarding the online safety of your child.

When you go to the cinema or buy a movie from a shop there is often parental guidance ratings to help you make an informed choice however, whilst it is beginning to emerge, there is still very little found on computer based games and even less so on casual mobile games. With little parental guidance on offer for games you need to thoroughly check the content of an intended application so you can make your own assessment of its suitability, for your child, prior to allowing children to play.

Free casual games in particular, such as those available from mobile vendor application stores, which are often advertising supported should be treated cautiously as the included advertising is often either quite subtle or designed to attract the players attention which means a child could access services that were unexpected and potentially unsafe. Activating a click through service could be a simple action of clicking an icon or, on more recent mobile devices, just touching a specified area of the touch screen.

An increasing number of games, including those found on mobile phones, are being supported by phone dialling advertisements which, when activated, dial a destination number which, again, potentially puts your child into unexpected situations such as direct contact with unknown people.

In-game advertising is big business and helps support the developers and publishers of games – but the developers often have little say, or control, in the advertising materials which appear as a result of including the hooks for the advertisers code – this advertising material can include text phrases, images, sounds and videos and lead to web based links, hidden features, or other actions.The advertising doesn’t just appear at the start of the game either. Interstitial ads can appear between levels of a game whilst leader-boards and ranking tables at the end of a game may also include advertising potential.

To be safe you should check games carefully and seek any developer documentation in order that you can make an informed choice as to the suitability of an application for your child.

Spruce Up Your Cell Phone With Free Mobile Wallpapers

In the fast-paced world that we live in, cell phones are necessities that help us get through the modern days with much ease, enhancing the quality of our lifestyles. Though these gadgets have always been known for their functionality, they could also bring out the fun in everyone through getting creative and entertained with free mobile wallpapers, free mobile tones and even free mobile game downloads. 

Dressing up has always been an ‘in’ thing not only to the younger generations but to the young at heart as well. As these groups make up the majority of cell phone users, customizing each mobile handset has become popular, bringing rise to many accessories in terms of hardware and software. Though some themes, tones, wallpapers, screensavers and other software are already built-in, the variety of tastes and preference that the users posses made way to the arising trend of having more creations in the form of free mobile wallpapers.    

Though not a necessity, more and more people are finding the task of changing current displays and browsing through the many attractive free mobile wallpapers enjoyable. And even if these changes are mostly done for our own, personal pleasure, other people taking notice of how nice our displays look does give us a different kind of delight.         

The possibilities are limitless with free mobile wallpapers that come in still and interactive or moving patterns. Not only do they already come in countless designs, with each emanating a unique aesthetic appeal; but phone manufacturers and other graphics experts are still creating more and more. Whatever your personality is, and even your mood at any moment, you will surely be able to find the perfect representation. To some people, these beautiful sights that you put into display can even boost the spirit and lessen stress.  

Free mobile wallpapers are not just limited to graphical arts but you can also avail of images of your favorite stars, long-time Hollywood crushes, poster of your favorite movie, cute pets, amazing landscapes and a whole lot more. Modern technology has even enabled cell phones to take images from its own integrated cameras or transfer photos from a digital camera to be used as wallpapers.    

Like other cellular phone software such as free games for mobile, free mobile wallpapers can be downloaded from the Internet directly to your handset or through a computer. One important factor to consider when browsing through the available graphic files is your cell phone’s resolution capacity. You should only look into wallpaper files that are within the range of resolution your phone can handle. Otherwise, your time and effort will just be wasted. Transfers can also be made from one cellular phone to another by sending the graphic file via infrared, Bluetooth, SMS and email.