I’m really interested in playing handheld video games because everyone often laughs at how often I use and how much love I have for the PlayStation Vita. Game Boy was the first gaming console that I had and since then I have loved and owned every Sony and Nintendo portable that has been released. I need to commute for a quite long time every day so I often put in my backpack a good gaming console. However, recently, I have spent a lot of time on a mobile phone which I had written off previously.

Actually, it’s not the traditional types of games that are associated with “phone games”. In fact, I have played Marvel Puzzle Quest for numerous times and also some cool stuff appearing in the tailored scene of iOS such as 80 Days, Threes, Reigns, Florence, and other things made by Zach Gage. I love playing them, actually. However, I am recently interested in the video games which I used to like to play with a PC or a home console before.


The Nintendo 3DS has a lot of unique and great first-party titles. However, I promise that the PlayStation Vita is also extremely good if you are fond of 2D platformers, Japanese RPGs and reconsidering the best titles in the library of PlayStation. Additionally, the Nintendo Switch is absolutely an amazing hybrid gaming console which could redefine the types I expected from a portable device.

Now I can play the same games as Switch once again on my mobile phones. In a recent vacation, I brought 3 portable gaming consoles for entertainment during the unpredictable extended downtime periods. I used to have some times when I wanted to play games but did not have a gaming device and finally could not do anything but surfing my phone then staring at other things like the ocean for about 15 minutes.

After getting fed up with what had already been installed, I searched in the App Store for something interesting and then I took a free demo version of Sid Meier's Civilization VI. At first, I had thought of playing Switch again and now I was very curious to know how it worked on a mobile phone. It appears to be pretty well actually. It looked amazing enough to show up on a small screen and also worked smoothly with UI that was properly adjusted. Also, there were not any feature concessions like the version on PC. It was turn-based and slow-paced too and seemed to be the perfect video game on a portable system.

What I had experienced appeared to be a turning point in my life where I knew a lot of new things. Firstly, 30 bucks are very expensive for a Civ VI’s copy version with no expansions. Secondly, mobile phones can also have unexpected technical performances. Thirdly, the gaming console you have is the best one. Finally, games that can be download anywhere is the most convenient.

2Civ VI on a phone

Although I like the focused and short game, I haven’t had opportunities to enjoy a lot of them as I have always thought that I had to spend lots of time sitting with a monitor to finish one. Also, I just want to have some moments with my family or play Tetris 99 as soon as I come back home from the office. However, after getting over myself, I have played and finished a lot of games in 2018. These games include The Gardens Between, Donut County and The Stillness of the Wind, which were worth a week of traveling by public transports. After I figured out that I couldn’t have time to play the game in a PC, I chose Whispers Of A Machine – an adventure game which I could play on my phone – the perfect device for point-and-click games. These titles which are more technically conservative also work virtually like-for-like with the PC versions. This helped me not to be afraid of choosing a “lesser” performance.

I have already had two versions of The Witness, however, I couldn’t find the gut to get through it. After buying the mobile phone version, it amazed me that it looked very decent. Especially, there was a different relationship between the game and me, which hopefully will help me to finish. When getting stuck on a super difficult puzzle, I am able to put it aside, think about it carefully and at the same time do other things. Then, although it seems that I can’t succeed, I will attempt to finish it while waiting for the coffee.

Actually, I am not totally abandoning the other handheld devices, but Cadence of Hyrule and Persona Q2 just appeared after all. I will definitely pursue the game that interests me, however, I am figuring out that the form factor’s convenience is also an indispensable part of what I choose to play. If I am in a standing room on the train or if I feel like lying sideways in my bed, I would not go for a Switch because it’s too big. On the other hand, the phone is much more convenient. Some games including Elder Scrolls Blades, many Dragon Quest ports and The Gardens Between offering the option of playing in portrait mode with only one hand, and I feel extremely thankful for that.

3The Witness

The versions for iOS have a quite lower price and it is fine for me to spend some bucks buying the portable game version of what I liked even though I still want more avenues. Also, the games can be downloaded over a mobile network immediately is also very convenient. Suddenly, I had an impulse for a good game with tactical strategies on my way to the office a few days ago, therefore, I downloaded the iOS version of XCOM: Enemy Within again. Although XCOM 2: War Of The Chosen is better, at the moment I had that hankering, XCOM: Enemy Within was available as well as ready for downloading. Tamoor Hussain of GameSpot used to have a tweet about Pocket Cities, so I decided to give it a try. Besides, I also downloaded Brawl Stars after hearing Giant Bomb mention it on the podcast. The Outer Wilds is a popular game, however, I still cannot have a lot of time downloading and sitting in front of the PC and playing it.

4The outer wilds

When Apple had an announcement of its arcade game subscription, it appeared to be interesting for me. However, I did not think it suited me, except for some games I planned to play on the other platforms. I am not fond of Xbox Game Pass or Origin Access, and I also don’t prefer to pay a fee every month for the games that I won’t play. I subscribe Nintendo Online, however, because I often do not remember to download it, I hardly ever play it or any NES games.

Recently, Strauss Zelnick – CEO of Take-Two also expressed his similar doubt: “People do consume video games differently than they consume linear entertainment”, which targeted at the subscription service of video games.

He said: “In the case of video games, it is possible that the average user in those 45 hours might be playing one, two, maybe three titles; certainly not 70 titles. In that event, if you play one, two, or three titles and you play them for months in a row--which often happens in [the video game world]--then a subscription model may not be such a great deal for the customer”.

5Apple Arcade

Currently, Apple Arcade is ready to include some of my favorite games such as us two's Repair, Klei's Hot Lava, Beyond A Steel Sky, The Pathless and Sayonara Wild Hearts. Besides, if these games will be available on mobile phones, I will consider to actually play them. I have received early access to Overland – a tactical survival game on PC, however, if it doesn’t perfectly suit the portable system, I’ll be so angry. I understand clearly why Apply has such a hard push into the world of video game – because they are competing with Google and Microsoft and they are also investing money on a type of different game.


If you subscribe to Apple Arcade, you can also get access to the games on Apple TV and MacOS, which turns out to be handy for me. Moreover, the company has recently released the feature of connecting PS4 and Xbox One controllers to Apple TV and iOS, suggesting that Apple also has an interest in maintaining the flexibility of their platforms.

It is surprising that I deeply appreciate my mobile in the role of a portable gaming console. I can access conveniently and play my favorite games, especially when using other portable devices is not comfortable.