What happens to video games after they have been played? Some stay in the archive of their fans forever. Other games are sold or given away to friends. Digital copies are simply deleted and if they were good they have a place in our memory or maybe even in our hearts.
A few chosen ones make it back to us as a ported version, to be played on our smartphones. The US-based company Aspyr Media has some experience in porting and publishing “recycled” games yet again on stores like the iTunes App Store, Google Play Store or Amazon Underground.
Their latest addition to their Android game portfolio is Jade Empire but we like their other games so much that we also wanted to feature them. There’s a good chance you’ll also like them. All of these currently cost about $10.
An epic journey through an ancient China filled with quests and monsters to battle. If you like eastern fantasy themes, RPG elements, real-time combat with weapons and magic, I am certain you will have a lot of fun in the Jade Empire.
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic
Before The Old Republic (TOR) there was Knights of the Old Republic (KOTOR). A sci-fi themed RPG in the Star Wars franchise? Count me in! The gameplay might remind you of Neverwinter Nights. That’s because it was originally also developed by BioWare, who are still working in this area.
Fahrenheit / Indigo Prophecy
An interactive drama – Fahrenheit (a.k.a. Indigo Prophecy) is an excellent, thrilling mystery game in the here and now. You play the story through the eyes of multiple characters in a dynamic storyline and can encounter several different game endings. It’s also one of the first games to make use of quick-time events, next to Die Hard Arcade, Sword of the Berserk: Guts’ Rage and most notably Shenmue.
About smartphone ports
Whether you played the original game version on PC or gaming console or not doesn’t matter so much. Replaying an awesome game after a decade or longer is definitely a worthy activity for both casual gamers and enthusiasts.
We’ve seen bad ports in the past but we’ve also seen a lot of excellent ports in the past. While it’s commonly not challenging to make the game engine run on modern smartphones, transforming the control mechanic, from what was designed to be done by keyboard or controller, to be playable with touchscreen often requires some good ideas.
If the developers fail in this step, the gameplay will feel plain awkward and the play motivation is low. Only a few Android games support controller mode. Jade Empire, for instance, can be also played with a controller but it’s rare.
If you want to check out other well-ported games on Android (or iOS), you should have a look at XCOM: Enemy Within and The Bard’s Tale. Just a small recommendation from me, on top of the already mentioned great games. Have fun!
Photo credit: Aspyr Media