That's one thing about mobile gaming - the fact that you can go back to your roots. But then, you can do that with your PC and DosBox or whatever emulator you want and do it better.
When I first got an Android phone back in 2011, I was a bit disappointed with the OS. It was very bland but that improved a lot in later versions.
I think that's because I'd come from two Windows Mobile handsets which were not very mainstream but could do pretty-much-whatever-you-wanted.
I think you have a sliding scale with phone OSes:
- You have Windows Mobile at one end, which was very useful, even by today's standards back in 2006 or 7 but not that user-friendly.
- You have iOS at the other end, which is nice to play with but not especially useful.
Then, you have Android somewhere between the two. It's fairly simple to use but not to the extent of iOS and it's a chore to get anything meaningful done with it.
On my first Android handset, I'd play a lot of Tyrian, which is a DOS shoot-em-up from 1995, not too different to my X-Bomber game.
It was a real nostalgia trip but no substitute for playing it on the PC.
On the Android, the screen is only 5". It was a huge phone for back then but it's not immersive like a monitor.
(Everyone would comment on what a big handset it was. It would get reactions ranging from the very positive to the very derogatory but the 5"-size screen that the Dell Streak introduced is the standard size for any top-of-range Sammy, Sony or fApple).
Also, they cropped Tyrian from 4:3 to the phone's 16:9 which makes a gameplay difference in a space-shooter. So the picture was smaller and you got a fair bit cut off it.
The controls were the other problem. You've got no keyboard or real buttons.
On a palm pilot or a Windows Mobile of old, you'd have a D-Pad with a centre button, application launch buttons plus two hot-keys and that was just on the front, never mind the buttons and switches down the sides. *Then* you had the touchscreen.
On my two Windows phones, you could put the phone on its side and use the sliding QWERTY keyboard behind the screen too.
With Android, all you could do was tap the screen which told it to move the ship to that location and to fire. So, it was impossible to move without shooting, which you kinda have to do in the game to conserve ammo.
On Windows Mobile, you could have a fierce game of Doom or Quake as well. I think I played all of Doom and Doom 2 on my original Windows Xperia. Again, though, it wasn't an equivalent to playing it on the PC.
I know that Tyrian was never meant to run on a touchscreen phone when they made it for DOS back in the day. When the fans ported it to Android, there were gonna be issues and they overcame them as well as anyone could.
People ask me though whether I'll port X-Bomber to Android or iOS or whatever but I have no interest in doing that.
I doubt I'd enjoy playing it myself because I'd compare it to the PC version and I don't think the person asking for it would enjoy playing it as much either.
People think: X-Bomber, wouldn't that be cool to have on my mobile so I can take it with me?
No, I don't think it would.
Dream big and bold and daring.