Let's aim for fewer gimmicks and a better understanding of the platform

Our experts' predictions for 2018 - Harry Slater

Let's aim for fewer gimmicks and a better understanding of the platform

Well, 2017 is winding down. But that doesn't mean it's time to look back with horrified regret at all the time you've wasted and terrible things you've done.

No, not at all. It means it's time to look forward to what wonderful glories await you in the next 12 months.

With that in mind, we got asked to create a hot slice of content about what's exciting us most about mobile and portable gaming in 2018.

So, because I'm a good boy who always does what he's told, I've gone right ahead and done that. You can read it at the end of this paragraph.

Please people, focus

The last couple of years have seen a lot of gimmicks swirling about the mobile sphere. VR, AR, wearables. Now I'm not saying that there haven't been amazing games created using this new tech, but there's also been a lot of dross.

Devs have leapt upon bandwagons, creating experiences that aren't super interesting or exciting just to get in on the latest trend.

If a game needs VR, AR, or anything else, then that's amazing, and the new tech opens up rich possibilities of play. But shoe horning something in to a place it doesn't fit is never going to end well.

If you don't believe me, check out the raft of shovelware that blighted the Wii throughout its lifespan. Sure, it made a whole bunch of money, but how many of those games are going to go down as classics?

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What does that button do?

We're still seeing games coming out on mobile that feel like they've been designed for a completely different system.

Sing it with me now people - touch screen buttons aren't the only way to play a game.

Pokemon GO, The Room series, Monument Valley, everything that Simogo has made. These are the games that we all love, and they let the strengths of mobile shine through.

So if we could have more of that, more conscious understanding of the platform a game is coming out on, I think we'd all be much happier. I know I would.

I did not know that

Some of the best games that have come out in 2017 showed us the world from different perspectives. That sort of experience opens us up to empathy, to understanding, to seeing the world through new eyes.

And quite frankly there's not much more important than that in a world that's blighted by fractious politics and actual nazis.

We live on a big, complex planet, and there are millions of big, complex people on it. My sincerest hope for the year ahead is that more of them get to tell their stories.

Because the world is built of stories, and sometimes we only listen to the ones we tell ourselves.