Arcade games are either based on classic arcade titles such as Asteroids, Pac Man, andSpace
Invaders, or are original titles with the same kind of game play. Since early arcade machines were quite limited in their media display capabilities and processing power, the style is an obvious one to translate to mobile devices.
Puzzle games are solo play games that engage puzzle-solving skills, sometimes with continuous motion as in Tetris, sometimes more turn-based, in the manner of Bejeweled or Snood (popular PC puzzle games). These games tend to appeal more to casual gamers, rather than hardcore, which means that the potential market is enormous, but does’t generally support high price points.
Action game refers to a game in which a player controls a single character who moves through space, often engaging in combat with opponents. Player skill, rather than resource management or another type of challenge, is the focus of the game. Examples include Tomb Raider, Spyro the Dragon, and Sonic the Hedgehog.
Sports games are based on real-world (or sometimes imaginary) sports, and they constitute a large portion of the console and PC market, with titles like John Madden Football and FIFA Soccer. Given the small screen real-estate and limited control of mobile devices, it is hard to recreate team sports, but many early console sports titles faced similar issues, which were resolved by, for instance, offering hockey games with four team members per side. This approach will work for mobile games as well. Sports like golf and bowling are also easy to translate to mobile devices. Successful sports games are often based on licenses from sports personalities or sport associations.
Traditional games include board or card games such as Othello (also known as Reversi), Noughts and Crosses (Tic-tac-toe), Patience (Klondike Solitaire), Poker, and the like. Such games, as well as puzzle games, are generally well understood and easy to design and program. However, they are also in the public domain, meaning competitors can clone them easily, making it difficult to support a high price, particularly as versions of these games are widely available for free on the Web.
There are also many other PC and game styles, such as role-playing games (the Ultima and Final Fantasy series), dancers (e.g., Dance Dance Revolution), and turn-based strategy games (e.g., Heroes of Might & Magic) can also work in the mobile environment.
The high latency of air networks makes shooters (Doom) and real-time strategy (Warcraft) unfeasible, but turn-based games (head-to head dueling games like Magic: The Gathering), games similar to play-by-e-mail titles (like the XCOM series), and virtual pets (like Tamagotchi or Wireless Pets) with a trading or head-to-head fighting aspect should be considered. In other words, the categories for mobile games are still being developed, and it’s worth thinking about the unique characteristics of this medium, as well as looking at a broad range of game styles from other media, when designing mobile games.