Remember the first time you played a mobile phone game? You probably had to squint at blocky pixels on a tiny screen phone that beeped when you won. How times have changed. Today’s smartphones have gaming capabilities equivalent to a 5th generation gaming console, which is why we’re now spoiled with stunning games like ARMED.
When you think about how it all began, the evolution of mobile gaming in the last nineteen years is incredible. To see just how incredible, we’ve unearthed ten fascinating facts you probably didn’t know.
One. The first mobile phone game was introduced in 1994. It was a pre-installed form of Tetris, which came on a mobile phone called the Hagenuk MT-2000.
Two. Three years later, in 1997, Nokia designed a version of Snake for selected phone models. It first appeared on the Nokia 6110 and has since been embedded on 400 million devices worldwide, making it the most played video game on the planet. Programmed by design engineer Taneli Armanto—it’s also now available on Lumia smartphones! One to play with your nostalgic old dad, perhaps…
Three. The first “multi-player” gaming experience was also on a Nokia 6110. The game was a two-player version of Snake game, which could be played between two Nokia 6110 phones using the infrared port.
Four: In 2003, Nokia launched the world’s first ever dedicated gaming mobile, the Nokia N-Gage. Its top selling game was a fishing sim called “Creatures of the Deep”.
Five: It’s probably no shock to hear that Rovio’s Angry Birds took the Best-Selling Mobile Series in 2012’s special Gamer’s Edition, with more than 250 million downloads.
Six: Nowadays, smartphone owners spend 200 million minutes per day — 16 years every hour — playing Angry Birds. An estimated three trillion pigs have been popped.
Seven. In June 2011, Nokia Malaysia broke the record for the most people in a mobile phone game relay, by getting 2,030 folk to play, yup, Angry Birds, for 10 hours. And we thought basketball courts were crowded…
Eight: According to PopCap’s 2012 Mobile Gaming research, 59% of people in the UK or USA, who own a mobile device (either phone or tablet) have played a game on it in the past year. That’s an increase of 13% on 2011. Guess we’re letting our technological hair down!
Nine: Each year the Academy of Interactive Arts and Science announces their Interactive Achievement Awards, and in 2012 they included for the first time the Mobile Game of the Year Award, which, we think, shows that the world is starting to truly embrace mobile gaming. Kapow!
Ten: A posse of Austrian die-hards currently hold the record for the longest mobile phone gaming marathon; their team clocked in 24 hours and 10 minutes continuous game-time in August 2011. Bet their fingers ached…
Mobile gaming has sure come a long way. But what does the future hold? Will we see more smartphone games getting us more involved with the physical world by making use of augmented reality and NFC? Or will they get even more immersive. As ever, we’d love to hear your thoughts.
Updated October 1, 2015 6:15 am