Blog: Top Five Childhood Games I Want To See On Mobile

Alex Walls
February 15, 2013

With the news that Tamagotchi has been resurrected on Android (alas, only for users in the United States and Canada), I got to thinking (it’s been known to happen).

What childhood games do I miss? Which would do well resurrected on mobile and played on a Tube while standing far too close to a questionably odorous stranger?

Sure, our Retro Games Round Up handled what games HAVE been migrated to mobile, and there’s a pretty nifty selection, but there are a couple of gaps I’d like to see filled (Nintendo, anyone?)

So, for your Friday pleasure, here’s our Top Five Childhood Games I Want To See On Mobile:

1) Kirby’s Dreamland, published by Nintendo270px-KDL_Boxart_PAL

Ah, Kirby – the first Gameboy game of my brother’s that I broke in a long list.   As discussed with What Mobile readers, if you like homicidal apple trees and animal friends, this scrolling, collect-em-all game will tick your boxes.

Ostensibly the puffball Kirby is off to reclaim all of Dream Land’s food and sparkling stars, helped by his animal friends, and hindered by various weird enemies like bouncing clowns and obstacles like water, hot air and walls.

I don’t remember a plot, but I do remember those freaking clowns, and the fun of finding hidden levels or spaces wherein dwelt the fabled sparkling stars.

Lots of simple, weird fun and sure burned through the Gameboy batteries, this would translate well to mobile devices in terms of screen size and game play.


2) Fallout published by InterPlay and Edusoft

THE best game out there, still, in terms of plot, humour and realisation of an idea, this RPG birds-eye view involves the player trying to find a water chip for their underground vault in a post-nuclear war world, and a bit later on, trying to save said world.

This game wouldn’t play well on phones due to screen size but I could see a mobile version doing well on tablets and the birds-eye view would help this translation.   A pretty defined pointer would be needed, a la Monkey Island, to get the full joy of the game (descriptions and the like were one of the Easter Egg highlights).   Length could also be a problem, but the conversation screens would play well.     Combat also shouldn’t create too many issues, since it uses a turn-based system and with the targeting option, you get a screen full of choices anyway.

A great game with a die-hard following that could translate well to a new medium.

3) Encarta Mindmaze published by Microsoft

Screen Shot 2013-02-15 at 13.01.19A game that came free with Microsoft’s digital encyclopaedia Encarta, Mindmaze involves the player exploring a castle (I think under a curse?) by answering questions in each room to progress, eventually hoping to free the medieval court held in thrall by…someone…and get sent back to your own time.

As far as I remember, there was also a trick to accessing Mindmaze (Wiki tells me this ‘trick’ was Ctl + Z but there you go) and the game was generally pretty entertaining, thanks to the range and variety of questions, the (vague) humour and the weird tricks – I seem to recall a Jester who sent you back to the start and maybe an owl asking questions?   Various comments on the game since have made note of the odd but intriguing atmosphere, and the eventual slide into hatred when you can’t get any of the %$@! questions right.

One for the pub quiz fiends and anyone who wants to improve their general knowledge (with an update…), this would translate very well to mobile since the game consists of static screens and tap-to-progress game play.


4)   Lemmings published by Psygnosis

A puzzle game built around the myth of lemming mass suicide, where the player must guide a bunch of lemmings through hazardous situations by assigning some of them various skills, such as demolitions expert, climbers and builders.

A lot of people reminisce fondly about the increasingly frantic expression of the bombers as they counted down to explosion or the school teacher-like tap of the blocker’s foot as it denied the lemmings access to a particular area.

Another one that would translate pretty well to mobile given the size of the required screen and how game play works, although potential troubles could emerge with having to assign skills, and for more difficult levels with multi-storey hazards.


5) Final Fantasy VII published by Square

It should be on its way, thanks to the now-Square Enix’s “mobile revolution“, but Final Fantasy VII was one of those games you keep playing just to work out what the heck250px-Final_Fantasy_VII_Box_Art was going on.

Also, there were chocobos.

The adventure game for Playstation followed Cloud Strife,   once in an elite group of the military and who has now joined a group of environmental activists intent on stopping the mining of Mako, the planet’s energy source. However Cloud is not all he seems and neither is his past, his friends nor the government interest in all of the above, and Cloud must face off against the bombtastic super soldier Sephiroth to save the world.

I think.   I had a two hour conversation with someone about the plot of FFVII and I’m still confused.

Given the low rendering of the graphics and again, the eagle eye view and generally contained screen size, this could translate well to mobile – but there are several plot points where there’s a lot of activity and that could get confusing.

Lots of fun, pretty simple to work out how to play (if not plot-wise) and potentially, arriving in the not too distant future.

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