The gaming scene is changing (evolving?). No more is it limited to gamepads and keyboard-mouse configurations. Touch-based games, hate it or love it, is now a big part of gaming, maybe even bigger than your orthodox forms of gaming (consoles, PC). Call it ‘casual’ gaming if you’re a PC/Console nazi, but you’ll have to agree, touch based games are serious business now. Many have come to despise or simply discard touch-gaming altogether, because of reasons such as “its not what gaming is” and “only the thick/shallow enjoy touch”. We’d suggest that if you’re really a true gamer, have an open mind and start accepting touch-gaming as the Next Big Thing, because, IT IS! Here’s why:
1. ITS EASY-PEASY!
Who needs a controller with 10 buttons, 2 triggers and 2 analog sticks! Touch gaming keeps it simple, and achieves almost everything that a controller can. Don’t expect to go on a button mashing rampage though, that’s the only thing we’d surely miss with controllers.
Not only do touch games remove the need to memorize controls, touch games cant be learnt straight out of the box, or should we say, out of your screen! While we’re yet to see any Touch games realised to full potential, we can surely expect to see some soon. Obviously you have Angry Birds and Temple Run but these are just casual games, with pretty basic touch mechanics. We need to see touch games reach the next level, and from the way things are going, we should be in for a touchy treat (!) soon.
Touch gameplay, coupled with buttons have also shown good synergy. PS Vita has illustrated some neat touch + button mechanics with many games. Try the Uncharted PS Vita version and this is the by far the most advanced touch technology I’ve seen, personally.
2. RESULTS IN CLEANER UIs
Clunkier UIs have always been the eternal foes of gamers and developers alike. Many games have been mistakenly loaded without saving just because the buttons were too small and close-by to be distinguished in the heat of the moment.
Touch gaming, with its limited space on the screen and with its ability to minimize the “thinking time” (time a gamer spends searching for something on the game’s UI) works in favour of the games that utilize touch controls. This in turn leads to a more fluid and clean experience.
3. GAVE BIRTH TO NEW GENRES
Nothing dispels the notion of a fad than that trend giving birth to a whole new genre of games. One can’t argue that endless runners (Temple Run, Subway Surf, Agent Dash) are a whole new craze which have been created to utilize the simplicity behind touch controls. Even the rhythm genre and the age-old point-and-click adventures have had a boost thanks to the simplicity of touch gaming. Take for example the iOS port of The Walking Dead, the touch experience is far superior than the mouse-keyboard experience on the PC or the gamepad experience on the PS3 and Xbox 360.
When you have an army of games you’ve propelled into popularity (and touch gaming is awfully capable of doing that) then one can see why this is way more than a fad.
4. THE DEATH OF THE TUTORIAL
Most of us can agree that nothing ruins fun as much as tutorials *especially* when they are intrusive enough to break the entire flow of the game. Instead of having not-so-subtle splash screens being pasted all over your screen, touch gaming essentially removes the need for complex tutorials. Often a single splash tutorial, generally during loading, is enough to explain the controls.
Perhaps, the best example of this is Fight Night Champion on iOS which brought in the level of complexity in controls as its console version without requiring much exposition on the tutorial end.
5. ADVANCEMENT OF MOBILE TECHNOLOGY
Mobile/handheld devices deliver the majority of touch-based game. 4000-5000 mah batteries, 1080p screens, eight core processors, flexible displays, powerful GPUs, gesture controls – all of these parameters are at the peak of their development and are advancing at blitzkrieg pace. The pocket gaming experience is taking a massive leap. A sound comparison would be mobile games of 2007-08 vs 2012-13. Indeed, the Minority Report days are not far away.
6. BEING IN COMPLETE CONTROL
Touch, one your five God-given sense, is being utilized to interact with a game directly. On the contrary, with a gamepad or a mouse-keyboard configuration, you need to press/click a button, which is then registered to a command. How complicated is that! Touch gives a sense of being in control of what you’re doing, and also makes you interact with video games more closely, making them all the more personable and interactive. Its a fuller experience.
7. LOVE IT OR HATE IT, TOUCH JUST LOOKS AND FEELS COOL
This is a no brainer. When Touch technology was first introduced, frankly, it sucked. Touch commands registered only half of the times, and seldom did what they were intended to do. But man, did it felt cool or what! We’re sure that like us, you also had your “Damn I’m already living in the future” moment when you played your first touch game.