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Billed as “the most memorable action thriller ever” Modern Combat 4: Hero Hour recently blasted its way onto Windows Phone. The ton of five stars reviews and enthusiastic comments show that it’s already an astounding success with Nokia Lumia gamers. But how did we reach a stage where such an awesome game can be played on your smartphone? Let’s pause for a minute to take a trip down mobile memory lane and check out some iconic games of yesteryear.

Space Impact (2000)

It all started, of course, with the world’s most popular mobile Snake in the late 90s, which created the first mobile gaming craze. First added to the Nokia 6110, it’s on over 400 million mobile phones and is now in its ninth version. But Snake wasn’t the only game out there more addictive than Pringles; Nokia’s Space Impact, available on everybody’s favourite retro handset, the 3310, amongst others, was a side-scrolling space shooter that looks naive now, but was a breakthrough hit back in the good old twentieth century. A spaceship versus aliens? That combo never gets old. We say bring it back!

Tetris (2003)

The beloved training-ground of anybody who’s ever tried to overpack their car—Tetris has been a handheld classic since the heyday of Nintendo’s Game Boy. The Hagenuk MT-2000 was the first mobile phone to bundle it back in 1994, and it was a staple on the Nokia N-Gage in the early 2000s. EA now sell it in the both the Nokia Store and Windows Phone Marketplace and little about the game has changed—but we say, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!


Doom RPG (2005)

Another iconic game, which got gamers cheering in 2005, was Doom RPG, a spin-off of the massively popular sci-fi/horror PC game, redeveloped for mobile platforms. Unimaginatively titled, sure, but this monster-laden first-person shooter role-playing extravaganza took home Best Mobile Game and Best Adventure/Pole-Playing Game at the 2005 Mobile Entertainment Awards. 

Angry Birds (2009)

Is it a bird? Is it a… wait, no, actually, it is a bird! Rovio Entertainment’s Angry Birds, first released in 2009,  might be the most ubiquitous computer game since the Mario Bros first leapt out of their pipes. It’s jumped from the mobile platforms to consoles and desktops; it’s on t-shirts, earrings, and even racing car helmets—Heikki Kovalainen sported an Angry Birds design on his headgear for the 2012 F1 season. Nokia sell an Angry Birds shell for the Asha 311. It’s even set a world record: in 212, in Kuala Lumper, Nokia hosted the world’s largest Mobile Phone Game Relay, with over two thousand participant. Who’d have thought shooting an irate bird into a bunch of pigs would have been so desirable?

Modern Combat 4: Hero Hour (2013)

Taking the present day by storm, we’ve got Modern Combat 4: Hero Hour possibly the best Windows Phone 8 game yet This first-person shooter is a must-have for all combat-lovers, with so much gunplay, snipers, bioweapons and tension that it’s hard to believe it all fits inside a smartphone. The production values are as incredible as you’d expect for a Windows 8 release, and it’s powered by the Havok Engine. This means that the animation is extremely precise, with real-time collision detection, making the graphics mindbogglingly realistic.

It’s truly astounding to see how far mobile gaming has come in just over fifteen years. Question is, how can they get any better? If you’ve got an answer we’d love to hear it in the comments below. 

Image credit: Yinghai