15 Games I’d Love To See Ported To Android
I’ve noticed a trend as of late amongst both my Android gaming habits as well as the games developers are putting out. That is, both contain a lot of ports of games both older and more recent. Anything from Grand Theft Auto, to Magicka to even a game as old as Leisure Suit Larry have or are making their way to our beloved Android phones, tablets or other supported devices. However, my lust for ports is not completely satisfied. No, my friends. I long for more. So like any good game writer would do, I decided to come up with a list of some of the games I’d like to see ported over to Android capable devices, whether it be my tablet, an OUYA, a GameStick, my phone, or whatever device Google overtakes next.
While I could’ve picked any 1,000s of games I’ve played in my 30 years on this planet, I decided to stick with games that I felt would both make a seamless transition onto either a touch screen device or do well on any one of the Android consoles coming out, and were personal favorites of mine. Even from those parameters, this list was a difficult one to come up with; there are a Googleplex of games that I love that are well suited for a tablet, phone, OUYA or anything else with the Android stamp on them. So here is a list of 15 of them, old and new, that I’ve chosen.
So far, Gaijin Games, the master minds behind the Bit.Trip series, only have one game available on the Google Play store, which is BIT.TRIP.BEAT. BTB, in my opinion, is probably the weakest of their lineup that they could’ve put out for Android devices, as it plays like a pong game with a beat. BIT.TRIP.RUNNER, however, plays like a runner game with a synchronous rhythm game going on simultaneously. That style would be perfect for Android gaming considering Temple Run is one of the most successful games on the Google Play store and there are a bazillion games out there that try to emulate it. Plus, games like Beat Hazard Ultra have shown that Android people do like their unique style rhythm games. Anyone who has played BIT.TRIP.RUNNER on Steam knows it’s a really great game and it feels like an absolute waste that Gaijin Games hasn’t put in the time and/or energy to pop out this little gem onto Android and make us Google enthusiasts very happy. If you haven’t had the pleasure of rocking out to this game, do yourself a favor and grab it on Steam pronto.
#14: Super Meat Boy
Much like BIT.TRIP.RUNNER, Super Meat Boy can chalk up its popularity and success to Steam. Since then, this little indie gem has been ported to the console and has made the lads behind Team Meat enough money to splurge on the McDonalds Dollar Menu. Sadly, where this bloody, slightly violent and quirky little platformer hasn’t gotten a chance to shine in yet is on Android tablets. I’ve actually asked Team Meat about this before, as to whether or not they had any plans to bring this to mobile devices. To a point, I can understand why they wouldn’t want to either; the control scheme for a game like this would be a bit tricky. Still, other popular Steam classics have made their way to mobile, such as Shoot Many Robots and now recently, Magicka. Perhaps a bit of modification to the base game to make it better suited for the mobile environment could make it so Super Meat Boy could venture into the world of Android gaming?
Look through the Google Play store and you’ll find lots of board game ports, ranging from Monopoly to Settlers of Catan to even more obscure titles such as Elder Signs: Omens. But sadly, what I haven’t been able to find is the classic world domination board game of Risk. Board game ports actually work quite well on tablets and phones; the mechanic of touch screen, dragging, clicking and the sort simulate the exact same thing you’d do with a physical game board. Funny enough, other Hasbro licensed games exist in the Android marketplace such as Uno. Back in the rampant days of PC shareware and freeware, there was a bounty of games similar to Risk. However, I’ve yet to find even a quality equivalent in my deep dark searches throughout the Google Play store.
#12: Scorched Earth
Speaking of shareware and freeware PC titles, who remembers this little class for the computer? Scorched Earth was one of those games I’d gladly have paid (and still would have) a good chunk of money just to play. I certainly logged enough hours into it to merit a small amount of my wages to the developers. With similar games like Worms 2: Armageddon finally making their way towards the Google Play store, I feel that another turn based military strategy game like a classic such as Scorched Earth would be great. With touch screen controls, Scorched Earth would be perfect for Google devices, such as the weapon selection area, changing the angle of the tanks, dealing with the wind, terrain, movement and other nuances of this PC relic.
#11: Day of the Tentacle
If you were around for PC gaming during the days of Scorched Earth then you certainly remember Day of the Tentacle. The “sequel” to Maniac Mansion, this game is probably one of the favorite point and click adventure games from the original hey dey of PC gaming, that sadly, isn’t legally available anywhere. (Seriously, GOG, Get on this!) Sure, Android gamers can get this game on their tablets or phones through unconventional means, but the controls are still set up for a computer and thus, don’t work exactly as desired. Any point and click adventure game could be easily modified to work on a 7″ or 10″ tablet. Clicking on the screen for character movement along with the selecting of menu options and inventory in the SCUMM classic design can be easily done via touch screen. Plus, if the people who own the license to this game (and many others like it) would like to make Android users happy, giving them this game would certainly do so.
#10: Castle Crashers
Going back to the plethora of PC and Steam classics we’ve been mentioning so far, The Behemoth’s smash hit Castle Crashers would be ideal for the mobile environment. Tower Defense games, like runners, are a popular genre in the Google Play game marketplace. A Tower Defense game mixed with a bit of a continuous side scrolling runner would be the best way to approach this game. If the makers of Castle Crashers needed to look as to how they could implement the game from controler and mouse and keyboard to touch screen, they’d need to look no further than titles such as the Samurai vs. Zombie Defense series. However, the quirky nature of Castle Crashers, along with its multiplayer elements, would make it a much more popular title than others like it. Plus, like some newer mobile titles have done, you could even make it cross play between Android and iOS, thus proving that Android players are better, smarter, and good looking.
#9: Bad News Baseball
Baseball, in my opinion, not only is still the greatest sport played in America, but also the best sports game that can be played on a touch screen. It’s super easy to implement batting, pitching, baserunning, fielding, and everything else going on in what used to be America’s pastime onto the touch controls of a mobile device. It’s certainly been executed well in titles such as Baseball Superstars II. However, the downfall in a lot of mobile baseball games has been both personality and the pay wall. Enter in Tecmo’s terribly underrated and underappreciated game for the NES, Bad News Baseball. This title added stamina to pitchers, stats that actually felt very true to how that player contributed in a game and had rabbits as umpires! If the makers of this title, or whomever by chance owns the license now, cleaned up the graphics, possibly added more teams, myself and many who’ve come to love this game in recent years would probably willing pay $3 – $5 to re-live this 8 bit classic on our Android touch devices or Android consoles.
#8: Marvel Avengers Alliance
What puzzled me with this Facebook game was the fact that the makers of this game chose to put this on Facebook. While I will totally admit this is probably the first facebook game I both spent real life money on as well as played longer than a week, it just felt like this was wasting its potential on just being a Facebook game. Sure, the Avengers Initiative exists for mobile devices, but not this surprisingly fun and well designed Facebook game. Plus, all the elements of a mobile game are already used in Avengers Alliance: pay option for extra tokens, turn based combat, weapon selections, character upgrades and much more. Heck, there are features in this title I’ve even seen used in The Simpson’s Tapped Out. Personally, my love of comic books and my inner Marvel fanboy would love to see this game on Android devices, even possibly with Facebook cross play. I don’t like having to be on Facebook, being bombarded with baby photos and first world problems, just to play an otherwise stellar game.
#7: The Incredible Machine
I’m a huge sucker for puzzle games. I also have a nerdy obsession with Rube Goldberg machines. These two world collided in the 1993 game, The Incredible Machine. This zany title challenged the player in a multitude of levels to complete tasks using quirky and over complicated machines and has seen many versions pop up throughout the years. This game was also produced by the one and only Jeff Tunnell. This game has always held a soft spot in my heart from the days I spent playing it in my childhood. Whether I was playing StarCraft or The Curse of Monkey Island, I’d always come back to the Incredible Machine for a break from the difficult puzzle RPG and could spend hours playing the mission mode or easily get lost in creating my own machines to serve whatever diabolical purposes my young mind would conjure. I’d love to see this game come out for mobile devices, and I’d be willing to bet a shiny silver dollar that other gamers would pick this up in droves. There really isn’t anything like this out there on the Android marketplace currently.
#6: Urban Champion
Sadly, I doubt the world will ever get to see this 1984 game on their mobile devices, but a girl can dream. Originally produced by Nintendo, this game was inspired by early boxing games and easily influenced many fighting games that would come, such as Street Fighter or Mortal Kombat. The current generation of mobile brawlers could also chalk their influence to this game, which is a simple brawler pitting your blue haired fighter against a wave of one on one street battles. However, due to licensing issues, the closest mobile version players will get to enjoy will be on the Nintendo store on the 3DS. Still, I’ve been surprised that even a knock off style of game hasn’t taken up residence in the Google Play store. Think about it; this is a simple game of kick, punch, block and move with a 2D side view. Controls could be easily manufactured for the touch screen of an Android device to suit the mechanics of this game. I’m sure users could probably think of 100′s of Nintendo games they’d like to see on their Galaxy tablet before Urban Champion, but personally, I’d love a good brawler available on my Google device.
#5: Jones In The Fast Lane
I get a lot of blank stares from fellow gamers when I bring up this PC title. “What’s Jones In the Fast Lane?” I get asked. Jones In the Fast Lane was a Life Simulation game developed by Sierra Entertainment in 1990 which shares a lot of similarities to the game Life, but with a lot more complexities and more mature humor going on. The goal of the game is to achieve 1o0% success in 4 different categories; wealth, happiness, education and career. The game plays as a glorified board game, but had impressive graphics for the time (running in 256 colors, versus many games which were still running in 16 colors). Despite its low reception at the time of its release, it has taken on a cult following, unofficially being released as a flash game as of 2006. Since board games are making a presence in the Google Play store, largely due to EA, Jones In The Fast Lane could achieve some success, appeasing to those players looking for a board game experience.
The former highest selling computer game of all time definitely deserves a place in the Android market place. Myst is quite possibly one of the most immersive, intricate and beautiful games out there, even 20 years after its release. This game is a first person RPG, where the player must find clues about the back story of your nameless and voiceless character by traveling to several other locations called “Ages” within the game. Myst has seen its way to the PlayStation 3, Nintendo 3DS and even iOS devices, but not over to Android quite yet, despite the fact that Android tablets possess some serious processing power, such as the Tegra 4 processors. Hopefully one day Android gamers will be able to enjoy the world of Myst, as the Google Play store could use some more amazing adventure games.
#3: Freddy Pharkas: Frontier Pharmacist
Al Lowe’s best known game, Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards, is finally making its way onto Android devices sometime in May. But my favorite game Mr. Lowe ever had his name attached to was a title called Freddy Pharkas: Frontier Pharmacist. This game shares a lot of the same crude and adult humor that the Leisure Suit Larry series was known for, but placed in the Old West setting featuring a Pharmacist whose mission it is to save the town he is residing in. This title was also another one of the many point and click adventure games put out by Sierra Entertainment in the 1990s, and Mr. Lowe considers this the funniest game he ever worked on. Heck, even Game Informer gave it a retro review score of 9.0 and considers it one of the best adventure games of all time. Sadly, there is no legal way to purchase this for modern day devices. Perhaps if the Leisure Suit Larry game takes off on Android, we could see this title also coming our way? Let’s sure hope so. After all, how many other games do you need to collect Horse flatulence to solve a puzzle?
#2: Sim City (any of them)
EA has cranked out a lot of titles onto the Google Play store. Anything from The Sims 3 to Madden to Need For Speed are available on the Google Play store. Perhaps one of EA’s most well known PC titles, for good or for bad, is the Sim City series. If you think about it, it would work out beautifully for tablets; clicking through options through the touch of a finger, dragging road placements, putting a fire station here or there, what wouldn’t be awesome about this game on an Android device? It wouldn’t even have to be the brand new Sim City either! I think a lot of users would be perfectly satisfied with playing Sim City 2000, 3000, 4, or even the original title. Personally, I’d throw lots of money down just to play this game on my Android tablet. If it was good enough to port to SNES, goshdarnit, its good enough for my Nexus 7!
#1: Civilization (any of them)
If I look through my Steam library of games to see how much time I’ve invested in any one game, by far its been Civilization V. That’s probably been the case for every iteration of this series; me investing a considerable amount of time to either become a raging war monger that would make Niccolo Machiavelli proud or win by science like my name was Carl Sagan. I used to be on a video game podcast called Yet Another Gaming Show with a couple friends of mine. In one episode, we discussed, during the release of Portal 2 onto Steam and PS3, the possibilities of other games being crossed with your Steam account and PS3 accounts. I got misty eyed of the possibility of playing Civilization V using the PS Move controls. However, upon further review, I feel the Android tablet would be an even better suited environment for any version of this storied franchise. One could easily do any and all of the controls that are done on the PC in this game swifty on a tablet. I’ve heard numerous rumbling that this is being worked on for Android, but so far, no promises from Sid Meier or Take Two Interactive that this is coming to us Google loyalists anytime soon.