Published on December 24th, 2018 | by Biplab Das0
The Fun History of Mobile Gaming in India
Mobile phone gaming has become very addictive these days. According to a survey, 63.1% of users in the USA use their phones as a primary device for gaming and the percentage is increasing each day. So, some manufacturers are focusing on building gaming phones, such as Xiaomi Black Shark, ASUS ROG Phone and Razer Phone. The ASUS ROG Phone is even equipped with external hardware for a professional gaming experience.
There are innumerable kinds of gamers alongwith a million gaming choices. However, at the end, there are a few games which have the bulk of the gamers’ market share.
In this article, I will be taking India as a reference as it is one of those countries with a monstrous number of mobile users. In India, the youth comprise 60% of the population and almost all of them play games on their phones. On the other hand, PC gamers are a rare species here. The history of Indian mobile gaming is not new. It goes all the way back to the Nokia 1100/1280 phones with a black and white screen. The very first game everyone played was the legendary Snake game. Nokia has recently remastered it for the Nokia banana phone.
The Snake game was so straightforward to play and extremely popular and I don’t need to explain it. The next game on that same phone was cricket and carom.
As technology improved, newer phones came with a color display. One game I can remember from that era was Bounce. It turned out to be very popular, addictive and with good graphics for that time. Mobile games during that time were mostly arcade and adventure.
Then came the second generation of mobile gaming. In this generation, you could download your own games from the store or other websites. Almost all games were made on Java and distributed in the JAR format. Nokia had just introduced the S40 OS at that time. Games like Spiderman, Tanks Pro, Tony Hawk’s Downhill Hump was the top picks. These games had different versions according to phone screen resolution and weighed below 1MB in size.
Then Nokia launched S60 powered by Symbian. S60 was the state-of-the-art OS for that time. Lots of developers around the world started developing apps and games for S60. Games like Prince of Persia, FIFA, Brothers of Arms, etc. became popular with better graphics and levels full of challenges.
Android was in development at that time. A couple of years later, Android phones finally hit the market. I remember that Samsung Galaxy Y was one of the budget phones which brought Android to the people in India. From then on, mobile gaming went to the next level and the paradigm changed in two major ways:
- The touchscreen: Android was built with touchscreen-first UX so games needed to be adapted to be touchscreen friendly.
- Reliable internet connectivity: Games on Android phones could now have better graphics and hence were larger in size. Moreover, they also could be multiplayer. So the cellular network infrastructure now had a demand to be expanded to cater to increased data traffic.
Today, the most popular games on the list are:
1. Teen Patti
Teen Patti one of the most played games. It is a card game mostly played online. Just launch the game making sure you have a good Internet connection and you will be automatically taken to a game table. For the first time, you will get ₹20,000 for playing. From then on, your earnings will depend on your skill.
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Moreover, you can get extra money for playing the game by inviting your friends.
2. Candy Crush
Another popular game on my list is Candy Crush. I have played this game regularly for almost 8 months. It is a candy puzzle game which makes you race against time to complete each level. The gameplay is simple: you have to match 3 colors for gain points and some boosters. An interesting observation is that if you run out of lives (you get 5 lives by default), it will refill after a few hours. But there is a hack for getting lives instantly: just change the clock time. For example, if you need to wait 4 hours to refill your lives and the the clock time is 5 PM, just set the clock to 9 PM. You will get your lives, but when you set your clock back to regular time, then you will lose gained lives and you will have to wait longer to get them back.
3. Mini Militia
Mini Militia suddenly went viral for a few years before its growth slowed down. It is an online game with cartoonish graphics but an addictive gameplay. It supports multiplayer.
5. Chess and Ludo
Both are pretty popular board games and need no explanation.
Finally, we come to the top pick that is played over millions of times across millions of devices.
Finally, I want to talk about PUBG. There was a time when some random people created PUBG ransomware to force people to play PUBG to decrypt their files.
This happened just last year. For the technically un-inclined, ransomware is malicious software that works like a computer virus, except that instead of destroying your data, it locks it down until you pay whatever ransom the creators decide to extort. The PUBG ransomware, discovered by Malware Hunter Team (via Bleeping Computer), encrypts all your files, including images, music, and documents, and refuses to release them unless and until you play Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds for an hour.
“Your files are encrypted by PUBG Ransomware! But don’t worry! It is not hard to unlock it,” the virtual hostage note says. “I don’t want money! Just play PUBG 1Hours!”
Even then, until about 6 months ago, very few people showed interest in this game. When Tencent Games finally brought out an Android port, called PUBG Mobile, Indian mobile gamers went crazy. Now, everyone plays this game on their phones, except me.
Gaming on mobile phones has advanced to become a serious pastime. In the future, mobile gaming is only going to improve because people like the portability and convenience over more traditional video game platforms like consoles and PCs.
Thank you for reading. I will write again on the history of a technical topic or something new and trending. Keep reading Techno FAQ.