Mobile games on mainstream platforms

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Mobile games are by nature designed to be played on a smartphone/tablet, but many times these games are ported to Steam and/or home consoles like the PS4 or Switch. Almost all of these games are of low quality; featuring either lackluster graphics, gameplay, or pay-to-win aspects.

Examples

Note: This list should only cover games that tried to replicate the mobile gameplay within its console/PC ports, meaning no spinoff games that tried to do something different (but not limited to Puzzle and Dragons Z, Granblue Fantasy ReLink, or Azur Lane Crosswave)

  • One of the first mobile games to get ported to consoles and PC was Dungeon Defenders. While it was pretty good for a console port with no microtransactions and such, the PC version was way ahead in terms of updates.
  • FFXV: Pocket Edition is an inferior port of FFXV based on the mobile game, and has made it in to the Xbox One, PS4, and even the Switch, while this wouldn't be an issue if it was ported only to the Switch (due to it being portable and having weaker hardware),the problem here is that the graphics are around 3DS/mobile standards compared to the mainstream version, not only that, it got ported to PC and other consoles too, all of which already have the original Final Fantasy XV, it was still also called Pocket Edition though.
  • Nintendo partnered with Tencent to make an enhanced version of Arena of Valor for the Switch.
  • Mujo failed miserably on the Switch due to the game having microtransactions.
  • Metal Slug Defense was notable for being a lackluster port from mobile to PC, with unreliable controls and poorly implemented pay-to-win mechanics.
  • While not on either Switch or Steam, Life of Black Tiger is infamous for being one of the worst mobile games to be ported to a console, which in this case is the much more powerful PlayStation 4.
  • Another game notable for microtransactions for more saves is WorldNeverland, which was a full-priced port straight to the Switch. Again, like it's mobile equivalent it's fill of microtransactions, such as costumes and as addressed, extra save slots.
  • Microsoft have discontinued the Xbox One Edition of Minecraft and replaced with the Pocket Edition/Bedrock Edition on the Xbox One in the Better Together update and filled the store with microtransactions. Which this also destroys the experience of the Legacy Console Edition of the game. This was also released for the PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch.
  • Bethesda themselves are bringing Elders Scrolls Blades on the Switch.
  • Clicker Heroes
  • Pixel Worlds
  • Growtopia
  • Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3): It's just the mobile port, but with more bugs and glitches.
  • Super Meat Boy Forever was originally meant to be a mobile-only endless runner sequel to Super Meat Boy. However, development was shifted to other consoles like the PlayStation 4, XBOX One and Nintendo Switch in 2017.
  • Pokémon Café Mix: It is possible that this game was originally a mobile game, since it only uses touch controls. Even the Nintendo Switch version only uses touch controls.

Why Most of Them Suck

  1. Mobile phone/tablet games are (often) not designed for dedicated gaming platforms such as the Nintendo Switch and personal computers. What works on a phone or mobile device may not work well on a dedicated gaming console or PC (see the Ouya for a prime example), especially if you directly port it without changing the controls and mechanics to better fit the use of controllers or a keyboard and mouse. Games such as Spartans VS. Zombies Defense (an unlicensed The 300 ripoff) forgot to change the prompt from "Touch the screen" to something like "Click the mouse", etc.
  2. These ports often don't take advantage of the more powerful hardware present in PCs and consoles. (Many mobile games like Seven Knights and Final Fantasy XV: Pocket Edition tend to use more simplistic graphics to compensate for the often low specs of mobile devices (though higher-end devices do exist). Some games which are more "hardcore when it comes to graphics" like HiT, Implosion, and Mobius Final Fantasy use higher quality graphics, though they tend to drain the battery quicker).
  3. These games are simplified for phone devices and may not be interesting for gamers who are used to more advanced or complicated games. Most mobile games rely on touchscreens which PC and Switch do not favor at all. 
  4. These games are mostly generic and/or rip-off higher quality and/or more unique games, which have been major trends for years.
  5. Those mobile games waste space on the storefronts that other games should be taking.
  6. For the games with timers built-in, when you quit the timer stops, forcing you to leave the game on for a certain amount of hours or so. To play these kinds of games, play it on something like a GPD Win instead so that you don’t waste money on electricity bills for leaving the computer on waiting for several hours!
  7. Almost all mobile games have microtransactions which leads to a risk that kids who have these might use their parents' money inadvertently or purposely in order to pay for microtransactions in these games when they could pay for better games without such microtransactions.
  8. Some of these games are usually free to play on phones, but not on the Switch and PC with no compensation/changes for the premium price tag whatsoever (for example, Mujo cost $10 on the Switch eShop, as opposed to being free to play on iOS and Android). 
  9. Because of the popularity of poorly ported mobile games to consoles, there are fears that Nintendo eShop or even the PlayStation Store could turn into Steam, where they are constantly hoarding with shovelware junk someone could make in hours.

The Only Redeeming Quality

  1. Porting Android games to computers eliminates the need for PC gamers to use BlueStacks, a highly demanding Android emulator for that same platform.

Exception

It should be noted however that a mobile game ported to Steam, PlayStation, or Switch can also play well if it's AAA and done right. If it has the full experience without any pay-to-win experiences for a full-priced game such as Voez, The Pirates: Caribbean Hunt, Bloons Tower Defense 5, and Implosion - Never Lose Hope, then it's passable.

Comments


avatar

LiamTheYoshi

2 months ago
Score 1
I hope that Mario Kart Tour doesn't get added to the Switch.
avatar

Chilly5000

one month ago
Score 1
My Singing Monsters recently received a Steam port. It's pretty good in my opinion.

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