Back in the days of early Nokia mobile phones such as the 3210
, there was Snake. And it was good. Snake was the closest thing to a worthwhile game on a mobile in the universe as we knew it. Much like many other early arcade games, Snake’s biggest boon was the bragging rights it gave you over your friends when you got a higher score than them…
Years passed by, several sucky revisions of Snake were made, but nothing ever really came close to being a game that you actually wanted to play when you could be doing other things such as sewing or badger spotting.
A few years later came the iPhone and a year or so after that, came Fieldrunners
. At the time I was introduced to Fieldrunners I had just re-organised my bedroom to accommodate my re-built PC, 5.1 surround and new and very comfortable desk chair. I’d changed my case to a Gigabyte 3D Mars, swapped out my aging Asus P5W DH Deluxe for an Asus P5K Premium and stably overclocked my Core 2 E6850 to 3.8GHz. I’d just download GTA IV on Steam and couldn’t wait to get stuck in.
However, Saturday came and all I did from around 10am to 11pm – aside from a couple of brief interludes to deal with petty nuisances such eating and using the bathroom - was play Fieldrunners on my iPhone. Sunday was a similar story. The messages were building up in my inbox, most of which were the effect of ‘WTF are you?’ and the answer was that I was locked in my room feeding my new addiction.
Several months later and I now look forward to my previously bemoaned 45 minute journey home on the London underground because I can play Fieldrunners the whole way. I fire it up in the lift to travel the five floors between the office and the labs and - if it was remotely sanitary - by god I'd fire it up while sitting on the toilet too.
Now, I’ve been addicted to several games over the years, but never have I played a game remotely worth being addicted to on a mobile device until Fieldrunners. Finally, after years of toiling with brick-sized chunks of plastic with crappy LCD screens, we have a device capable of playing worthwhile games. If you’re a gamer and don’t yet have an iPhone (or an iPod touch), I suggest you join the ranks and go out and remedy this empty hole in your life immediately
because it’s only going to get better and you’re missing out. Sony might be talking about the PSP2
, but it's going to need to be a heck of a device (and have amazing games) to compete with the iPod/iPhone. Even Nintendo should be worried.