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Welcome To Games Aren’t Numbers

We’re in a golden age of gaming.

While the greatest years of entertainment like music and movies are behind us, video games have never been more popular — and they have never been better either. The reason why can be attributed to one invention: the smartphone.

Why is it only the golden age now? Well, I think the industry slowly became more and more complex when arcade games made the move to consoles. If you hadn’t played a game before it was difficult to master, and that’s not to mention the complicated controls and playing systems that you had to navigate to get there in the first place. It made video gaming a niche.

However, in the era of the smartphone, I believe gaming has become a pass-time that anyone can enjoy regardless of age or gender. That’s why we’re in a golden age. Everyone knows how to use their phone and thus everyone knows how to play a game on it. What’s more: because of the advanced technology of these devices, the games are frequently very, very good.

Just a decade ago, as an avid console gamer, I found it difficult to imagine innovative and groundbreaking titles being available on your phone. Yes, I had the likes of Snake and Solitaire on my phone, but games that allowed me to step into fascinating worlds and experience exciting gameplay were only found elsewhere. Phones were primarily just tools for communication – text messaging, calling and e-mailing (if you were really fancy!) Gaming had little or no place on my phone.

Today, phones contain games that are critically acclaimed, award winning and have the potential to become global phenomenons. We have the immensely popular and addictive ‘Angry Birds’ to the multi-award winning masterpiece by Telltale Games ‘The Walking Dead’ (pictured above).

It’s hard to find a phone that doesn’t provide you with the ability to experience these games. No longer are handsets just storing numbers to call; they’re consoles with thousands of puzzles, challenges and missions that you can install from the app store and attempt to complete. Games and numbers are now two very separate entities, but ones that exist on the same device.

I hope to explore many of the best smartphone games, from the biggest blockbusters to the smallest independent releases, on this blog.

Welcome to Games Aren’t Numbers by Number Direct.

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There’s Still Hope For Nintendo, And It Might Be Smartphones

The first console I ever purchased was the Nintendo 64 and it dominated most of my young life. I vividly remember wasting away the days in front of the TV jumping into each magical land of mysteries and challenges in Super Mario 64 and trying to gain enough points to win the Star Cup in Mario Kart.

However, Nintendo is now a dying name. Their Wii console was incredibly successful and introduced gaming to the masses, but since it has seen nothing but failure. They have quite simply been totally eclipsed by the likes of Microsoft and Sony.

However, there is a very simple way for Nintendo to turn around their recent bad luck, and it involves smartphones.

One of the problems with console games is that as technology inevitably develops older generations die out and give way to new ones. So too do the games on them. The aforementioned Nintendo 64, like its competitor the Playstation One,  is all but extinct now. The only place you will find the clunky console or the game cartridges is through websites like eBay. They’re so old, furthermore, that it’s unlikely they will still work — at least for very long.

Yet, there is still a huge demand for this generation of consoles and its games. Since my Nintendo 64 died a few years ago I have resorted to finding an online emulator to play the games through my mac. So too have millions of others. The aforementioned Super Mario 64 has been downloaded 9 million times to play through an emulator. The punch-em-up Super Smash Bros. has been downloaded a whopping 11 million times. Meanwhile, one look at eBay shows that a cartridge of Conker’s Bad Fur Day, for those lucky enough to still have a working Nintendo 64, is going for the staggering price of £65.

Of course, Nintendo don’t make any money from this.

A few years ago, Playstation realised there was a high demand for their previous generation of games and found a way to capitalise on it — they re-released the highlights for smartphones. The fun taxi racing game Crazy Taxi is available on app stores for a cheap £2.99, Crash Bandicoot Nitro Kart 2 can be bought for £1.99, even Grand Theft Auto 3 has its own smartphone version. All three and many more have been resounding successes.

It wouldn’t be hard for Nintendo to follow suit and revive their classic titles as smartphone games. After all, they are simple enough to adapt for smartphones and tablets, and the number of people who have resorted to alternative means to play them surely prove there’s a profit to be made.

People would soon be wasting away the days playing their classic games once again. But instead of plonking yourself in front of the TV, you could be exploring the kingdom of Hyrule from Zelda: Ocarina Of Time during your lunch break, or trying to shoot your way through the bunker of Goldeneye on the train.