What Makes a Great MobileEuroGame?

This Sunday my game company, Skotos Tech, released its third mobile game for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad: Reiner Knizia’s Kingdoms. It follows on the heels of our previous releases, Reiner Knizia’s High Society and Reiner Knizia’s Money. All told, I’ve spent some goodly portion of my last year’s work on these three games (and the MobileEuroGame toolkit I’ve been creating, which is making it easier and easier to create new games as I go along). Along the way I’ve learned some useful lessons about choosing which games to adapt to mobile devices, and I’ve decided to talk about that this week.

For me, it’s a contrast between Reiner Knizia’s Kingdoms and Reiner Knizia’s Money — both of which I play obsessively myself — and Reiner Knizia’s High Society — which I think has as good of Artificial Intelligence and User Interface as any of our games and which I think plays well, but which doesn’t quite generate the same spark for continuous play for myself.

Five Points for Great Mobile Games

Why? Here are my best guesses at five elements that make for great mobile gaming:
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Gaming Evolution: Co-Op Games, Part One: Honored Ancestors

Over the last decade, we’ve seen the evolution of a new genre of gaming: the co-op game. Because we’re still here in the early days of the genre, we’ve had the good fortune over the last decade (and to a smaller extent, since 1987) to really see the genre evolve. It’s something that I find really fascinating, as I see new games show up and introduce new mechanics to the melting pot.

As a result, I’ve decided to talk about that evolution over the course of two or three articles, wherein I’ll be approaching the topic chronologically, looking at the major games which have appeared in a variety of time periods and what they added.

I’m not necessarily saying that each game introduced the element in question, but rather it was the one that was important enough to imprint it on the gaming psyche. I’d love to hear your thoughts, about the games that I missed (though I went through several lists as I wrote this, so if I snubbed something, it was probably purposeful) and the gaming elements that I might not have considered.
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