The mobile gaming industry produces billions in global revenue on an annual basis and there’s no signs of the sector slowing down. Popularity is growing thanks to a number of drivers and new technology is all part of the deal.
Mobile tech has carried great influence in recent years with more and more players taking in their gameplay via a handheld device. This leads to the question: which is better for gaming – an app or a regular browser?
Freedom and Flexibility
App developers will have looked to fill in the downtime that eager players would have otherwise spent in idle contemplation. While stuck on the train or waiting for a friend in a bar, what better way to pass the time than get out the phone and play a few games.
The iconic snake game was, in effect, the very first gaming app but things have progressed greatly since this basic, if very addictive, title was released.
Virtually all of the best releases can now be played on smartphones and tablets as well as laptops, PCs and consoles. For those who want flexibility and the freedom to play on the go, an app is the best option but is it always the wisest choice in every situation?
Shrink to Fit
Some games will be better suited to a mobile app than others. Those that require basic graphics with little in the way of stunning backdrops and dramatic soundtracks are a perfect fit. Titles such as solitaire, cribbage and spider are among the perfect examples here.
Casino gameplay can also transfer perfectly to a mobile platform. One of the most popular areas of casino games are slot games which have reached new highs since being accessible on mobile phones.
There are many thousands of online slots providers available, the majority of who have their own mobile-compatible app. A lot of the slot games have been designed with mobile apps in mind, they are set up to fit a smaller screen with no waste of space to be seen.
Results from slot machines are fast and that’s another common theme among games that are better suited to an app. Simple games with instant results fit in with the faster pace of modern life that has seen us switch to mobile play in the first place.
The Bigger Picture
Small may be beautiful but there will always be instances where bigger is better. In gaming terms, there are titles that should only ever be played on a traditional browser.
In MOBA games and those that involve strategy with the view to eliminating the enemy, it’s advisable to go for a big screen. These are immense productions where the action and drama are best replicated on a wider visual platform.
Graphics need to be as sharp as possible in these instances and the same applies to sound quality.
Best for Browser
Other popular gaming titles that are best served by a browser are Fortnite, Grand Theft Auto and FIFA. In fact, any release that is designed to reflect the best aspects of modern-day sport is better on a laptop, desktop or console.
In soccer, golf, cricket, tennis and more, players need that vast expanse of a field, course, or court. Within the confines of a small mobile screen, it just doesn’t work.
The same principle applies to a game such as Grand Theft Auto. There is just so much going on in these mean streets and a smartphone or tablet just can’t do it justice.
There is a limited set of exceptions to this general rule: A game such as Golf Clash is fast, fun and carries very basic graphics. A quick tee shot to the green, a few putts and the gameplay is done.
In the main, however, sport, war, strategy, fantasy and the majority of other games where a modicum of complexity is required, should always be set on a browser.
Driving the Numbers
It’s certain that there is a huge demand for mobile gaming and this sector is grabbing a greater share of the market with each passing year. The increase in play on the go continues to drive the sector but that doesn’t necessarily mean that smartphones and tablets are dominating the way we get online.
It largely depends on the occasion: Mobile play is perfect for gaming on the go and, in most outdoor scenarios, a browser simply isn’t suitable. It’s hard to draw a definitive conclusion as to whether most players prefer apps or browsers, but the flexibility and convenience offered by handheld devices has certainly helped to significantly boost revenue figures.
Room for Both
As a very general rule, simple games that provide instant results are best suited to mobile gameplay. Card games, plus slots, together with crossword puzzles and other problem-solving releases will fit perfectly into a smartphone or tablet.
There will always be exceptions that prove any rule and chess is a perfect illustration in this respect. It’s a game that involves deep thinking and a huge amount of strategy, yet its compact lay out and disregard for flashy gimmicks means that it slots neatly into a smaller screen.
In contrast, complex games such as those which are played in professional eSports environments really need a bigger screen. It’s important to have a wider area for enhanced visuals while this type of release will also be enhanced by the greater sound quality that a desktop or laptop can provide.