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The focus of this guide is on games that have been created to be played on a mobile device, such as a smartphone or tablet computer, as opposed to a desktop computer.

In the past decade, a paradigm shift has occurred in computer usage: people are shifting from using desktop computers and laptops to various devices with smaller screens. Rather than sitting behind a desk, some people are practically running their businesses from their mobile phone. More and more, people are spending their leisure time on their phone, as well. Some estimates suggest that as much as eighty percent of web traffic in the United States today comes not from desktop computers, but from mobile devices.

Mobile video gaming is a booming market throughout the world. This is going beyond porting Windows or PlayStation titles to iOS and Android platforms; many games are being created for the mobile market first and, in some cases, for the mobile market only.

Tiny fonts may be readable on a Retinal display, but they aren't necessarily enjoyable. Rather than being impressive, a large amount of detail in graphics can appear noisy on a mobile screen and can distract from the gameplay rather than enhancing it. Plus, massive textures can bloat the size of a game.

While music and sound are expected in a desktop game, people who are playing a game on their phone don't necessarily want that, as they may be in a public place rather than behind their desk. Soundtracks can certainly be added to a mobile game but there needs to be an easy way to dismiss the sound without shutting off the phone's audio. Keep in mind, also, mobile phone speakers don't sound the same as desktop speakers.

Mobile operating systems are not as forgiving of bloated programming code as today's desktops are. The power behind modern desktop computers allows for un-optimized code, usually without the user noticing, but bloated applications are likely to run slowly on a mobile phone, while the phone battery will run down quickly.

There is also the matter of the game interface and game controls. People interact with their desktop computer through their keyboard, mouse, trackpad, or peripheral gaming accessories, while they interact with their phone or tablet computer primarily by touching the screen.

Games that are ported from another platform to a mobile platform often superimpose gamepad controls onto the touch screen. This may work, but it takes up a lot of valuable real estate on the screen.

All of these things do not determine whether one is better than the other, but only that the desktop gaming environment is not the same as the gaming environment on a mobile phone. Because of this fact, there is a market today for video games created specifically for the mobile market. Such games may be known as mobile-first applications or mobile-only apps. These games are the focus of sites listed in this category, as well as websites that concentrate on mobile gaming.



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