The best part about smartphones are the endless capabilities of their always-on data connection. It changes the way we use phones to communicate and the way we use them to stay entertained. From nearly anywhere in the country, we can download and enjoy new apps that deliver unique content in a unique way. More importantly, a nearly endless supply of games is always at our fingertips.
Recently, mobile gaming has been on a steady rise. It was all kick-started with popular games like Angry Birds and other flash game rip-offs that were made into mobile games, and it has only gone up from there. It was a pretty significant step forward when classic PlayStation game, Grand Theft Auto III was brought to Android and iOS by Rockstar. And with each passing moment, mobile gaming becomes more and more enjoyable and console-like.
But the more prominent push as of late is utilizing the always-connected status of mobile phones to take multiplayer gaming to a new level. Zynga, creator of FarmVille, is essentially the poster child for multiplayer (or social) gaming. What started as games that could be played from your desktop through your Facebook account has quickly turned into a mobile gaming gold mine.
Games like Words With Friends, Hanging With Friends, Scramble With Friends and others have quickly taken off and are played by mountains of people every single day via mobile devices. Zynga has taken classing games like Scrabble and Hangman and turned them into competitive, multiplayer games that can be played against friends or strangers around the world.
Zynga, however, isn't the only software company dabbling in mobile multiplayer gaming. Gameloft is bringing more console-like, multiplayer gaming to handhelds with games like Modern Combat 3: Fallen Nation. Modern Combat 3 is a mobile-optimized first person shooter game not unlike the ever-popular Call of Duty: Modern Warfare franchise, which allows players to compete online in an array of different modes. Aside from Gameloft and Zynga, Google wants developers to create a more one-on-one experience with mobile gaming through Android Beam and a wide range of other mobile game developers are beginning to add multiplayer capabilities to their software.
The point is, whether you're the type of gamer that enjoys multiplayer in the form of turn-based word games, an intense FPS action game or something in between, there's probably a game out there for you. If the game you love isn't available on mobile now, it likely will be in due time. My question to you all is: do you use your phone (or tablet) to play multiplayer games?
Personally, I really didn't care for serious gaming from my phone a couple months ago. In fact, I don't think I ever played games from my phone. I still don't play many. But recently, I keep having cravings for more Words With Friends – so much so that I usually have seven to 10 moves that I need to make at any given time of the day.
I play Words With Friends and Hanging With Friends mainly as a stress reliever during the day and for relaxation at night.
Being a writer, I tend to spend quite a lot of time alone, behind the computer, attached to a keyboard. Playing turn-based games that don't have to be played right away works well with literally any type of schedule and allows me to play when I have the opportunity. While I write, I regularly try to take breaks – every hour or so. During those breaks, I try to catch up on my backlog of moves. It gives me at least some sort of interaction and takes my mind off of work, while keeping my brain in check. (Remember, occasional cell phone breaks during work are good for the brain.) Not to mention, it's fun kicking the snot out of my mother, who is generally awesome at word games.
Tell me, readers. Do you play multiplayer games from your phone? Do you prefer more relaxed games like Words With Friends? Or are you the hardcore gamer playing Modern Combat 3 on your Transformer Prime with a USB controller?