Think of any classic mobile game, and chances are that there is a browser-based version of that game available somewhere on the internet. There are versions of the definitive mobile game Snake, although the game does lose some of its charm outside of a mobile device. Similarly, Tetris is another game synonymous with mobile play that isn’t quite as effective when delivered through a browser.
However, there are many games that have migrated from mobile to browser with greater success. While the possibility to play on multiple platforms gives gamers greater flexibility, there should also be distinct benefits from giving a mobile game browser functionality. Here are three examples of mobile games that have made that transition with good reason.
Words with Friends
Words with Friends burst onto the gaming scene in 2009 as an instant success on both iOS and Android devices. The ability to play a Scrabble-esque game with friends while on the move appealed to a diverse audience that spanned generations. In 2011, developers Zynga followed up on that success by bringing Words with Friends to browsers via their first partnership with social media giant Facebook.
Words with Friends arguably wouldn’t have worked as well on a browser if it was placed on its own website. However, its integration on Facebook ensured that the game didn’t lose the community elements that made it so popular as a mobile app. Millions of people were using Facebook via a PC anyway, so it was a masterstroke from Zynga to allow those users to access Words with Friends as part of their existing browsing experience.
Vikings: War of Clans
Vikings: War of Clans is now available on browsers worldwide following a successful initial launch on mobile devices. War of Clans demonstrated that mobile games don’t need to compromise on complexity. With its charming graphics and strategic gameplay, War of Clans brought mobile users a gaming experience more traditionally associated with classic PC games.
This means that War of Clans translates seamlessly to browser play. Accessing the game via a PC browser does the game no harm, as the graphics are given more room to shine and the consequences of strategic decisions somehow feel even grander. It helps that War of Clans is not merely comprised of progression through levels. Instead, its intense PvP battles and its emphasis on strategy allow War of Clans to feel like a classic computer game when played via a browser.
Threes is the antithesis of War of Clans in terms of mobile games. While War of Clans demonstrates the depth that a mobile game can have, Threes shows how simplicity can also be a real strength. Crucially, because both games are so engaging on a mobile platform, it is no surprise to see that they work just as well in a browser.
The aim of the game in Threes is to slide tiles around, squish combinations of numbers together, and look to accumulate the highest possible score before the board is full. Its browser version is completely free of advertisements to provide an incredibly streamlined gaming experience. It may look basic on a browser at first glance, but its engaging gameplay works beautifully on a computer screen and keyboard. Because these games found reasons to justify their migration into browsers (Words with Friends’ integration on Facebook, Vikings: War of Clans’ traditional PC game elements, Threes’ simplistic but moreish gameplay), they became shining examples of how mobile apps can succeed on other platforms.