- 1 Dr. Mario
- 2 Sid Meier's Civilization IV
- 3 The Secret of Monkey Island
- 4 Bomberman '94
- 5 Age of Empires II
- 6 SimCity 2000
- 7 Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo
- 8 Advance Wars
- 9 Ultima 7
- 10 Dungeon Keeper
- 11 Mr. Driller: Drill Till You Drop
- 12 Sam & Max Hit the Road
- 13 Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri
- 14 Bust-a-Move 4
- 15 Heroes of Might and Magic 2
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With the recent announcement of a Red Alert game coming to Android in China, I started thinking about what other classic properties have yet to find a home on Android. Now, I know we have gotten plenty of garbage that uses the branding of popular classics for a quick buck, but that's not what I'm talking about. I mean more ports or HD remakes that stay true to their original roots and pricing models. So I have put together a wishlist of the top titles I would love to see brought to Android with the love and attention they deserve.
Now that Nintendo is creating games for Android, I have to wonder how the company has completely glossed over a series that would be perfect for mobile gaming. That title is Dr. Mario. I know puzzle games often have a very small audience on consoles, which is probably why this series has stagnated. But on mobile, man oh man do puzzle games often sell well. On top of that, Dr. Mario's simple directional controls would lend themselves very well to touchscreen-only gameplay. If Nintendo could create a premium Dr. Mario and sell it for under $5, I could really see the game taking off, especially if it has online multiplayer and no way to pay to win.
Sid Meier's Civilization IV
With the recent release of Civilization VI on iOS, I noticed that the game renders at a very low resolution and can get slower and slower the further you progress. Obviously, Civ VI is too demanding where performance is concerned, even for a top-of-the-line iPad Pro. While the port is serviceable, I have to wonder if a less demanding version would have been more appropriate. That's when it dawned on me that Sid Meier's Civilization IV would make a perfect port for Android. Sure, it would be best played on a tablet thanks to the busy UI, but as the iPad has shown, interacting with Civ works great on touchscreen devices. So why not take what is arguably still considered the best Civ ever made and release it on mobile already?
The Secret of Monkey Island
The Secret of Monkey Island is a classic point and click adventure game. It has inspired countless titles in the genre and is still considered one of the best ever created. Recently it has been re-imagined as a special edition release with cleaned-up graphics and an updated codebase for use on modern hardware. So there is already a definitive version out there that could easily be ported to Android. Even with the updated graphics, it should ideally have very little trouble running on any high-end Android phone or tablet.
Out of all of the Bomberman titles released in the last 35 years, Bomberman '94 is still my favorite. I got my first taste on a friend's Turbografx 16, but it was soon ported over to the Sega Genesis as Mega Bomberman, which is the version you may be more familiar with. If you have never played a Bomberman title before, let me fill you in. You see, at its core, it's a multiplayer game that normally supports up to 4 players on one square map. This map will have obstacles placed around it, and it is your job to try and kill your opponents by dropping bombs that shortly explode in 4 different directions. If someone gets caught in the blast, they are out. So not only is it a simple game with simple controls, but it's also a heck of a lot of fun and would make a great mobile port thanks to its simplicity. Honestly, I'd take any game in the series at this point, or even a new one. All I ask is that it remains a premium release so that there is no way to pay to win.
Age of Empires II
An HD edition of Age of Empires II has been around for the last few years, and it would be great to see it released on Android. The polished pixel graphics are superb. Obviously, the real-time strategy gameplay would work great on touchscreens as long as the UI is tweaked just a bit, which is what really confounds me. There are so many games out there that could transition to mobile easily enough, and yet all we get is clone after clone of Clash of Clans. I need something better than that. I need Age of Empires II.
Yes, I am fully aware that there is a SimCity game for Android, but I am of the opinion that it is pure hot garbage. So for me, it doesn't count. I'm looking for something more traditional, more enjoyable. The problem is that Electronic Arts owns the rights, and they are more than happy to use the name of a once glorious franchise and slap it onto an addictive skinner box to rake in that cold hard cash hand over fist. That may be great for EA, but it sure leaves fans of hardcore simulation city building in the cold. Luckily there is someone out there taking a stab at creating exactly what we want, and their game is called Pocket City. It's not released just yet, but its development so far looks very promising.
Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo
Capcom's failure to create an enticing Puzzle Fighter game for mobile holds no bearing on the fact that I would love to see Super Puzzle Fighter II Turbo ported to Android. There is already an HD remix that exists for consoles, so there would be no need to worry about the title not fitting on a 16:9 screen. Plus the gameplay is perfect for mobile gaming. Simple swipes could control your gem movement, and the online multiplayer found in the HD edition would also be a big draw for this style of falling block game. Sadly Capcom decided to pervert the genuine charm of the series with a halfhearted mobile release stuffed full of in-app purchases and pay-to-win mechanics. No one ever wanted such a thing, which is probably why Capcom is closing the game down so shortly after its release. So now that it has failed, I genuinely worry that the Puzzle Fighter franchise will be shelved indefinitely, which really bums me out.
There are plenty of turn-based strategy games on Android, and that's probably because the genre works so well on touchscreens. But in my opinion, hardly any of them stack up to the original Advance Wars. Sure, there may be a few clones out there that get close, such as Front Wars on Android and Warbits on iOS, but they still don't thoroughly compare. The odd thing is, there are a lot of fans of this series out there, to the point that it has a large cult following, and it hasn't had a new title added to its roster since Days of Ruin on the DS back in 2008. Advance Wars is prime for a new release, even if all we get is a port of the original. I know this will probably never happen, but I also know I'm not the only one who dreams of taking down Blue Moon one more time.
Origin Systems' Ultima 7 is to this day considered one of the best CRPGs ever made. It was also the first Ultima game to use the mouse primarily for its controls instead of the keyboard, which for the time was game-changing. By today's standards, things may seem a little unpolished or small in scope, but you have to understand games like Skyrim would not exist without prior RPGs like this to pull inspiration from. But I'd still argue that despite any shortcomings, Ultima 7 should be experienced by everyone. So what better way to get that done than to port it to mobile? The mouse controls would translate well to touchscreen devices, and the simplistic graphics (by today's standards) would mean that just about anyone could play the game no matter how powerful their device.
Okay okay, I know this is low hanging fruit, but I just had to include the original Dungeon Keeper in the list since Electronic Arts is so insistent on ruining everything they touch. Back in 2014, EA released a free-to-play reimagining of this classic twist on a real-time strategy god game. It was filled to the brim with in-app purchases, and at the time it wasn't yet a common occurrence on the Play Store for publishers to trot out established names just to cash in on their popularity with a lazy IAP-filled grindfests. As you can imagine people lost their minds and many articles were written about EA's greed and stupidity. Of course, this changed nothing, which is precisely why we are all here pining for better days and better games. Undoubtedly we will never play the original Dungeon Keeper on Android, but man oh man wouldn't it be great if we could.
Mr. Driller: Drill Till You Drop
The Mr. Driller franchise dates back to 1999, and the concept first started out as the planned thrd title in the Dig Dug franchise. It eventually morphed into its own thing, and Mr. Driller is what we got. Now skip ahead 10 years, and that is when Mr. Driller: Drill Till You Drop was released for the Nintendo DS, which is, in my opinion, the best game in the series. Like all Mr. Driller titles, you are tasked with digging down as far as you can without dying. This is more difficult than it first seems because you have a limited amount of air. As you dig you have to collect more air capsules, and the further down you go the more difficult they are to obtain. Now the thing is, there have been Mr. Driller games on mobile in the past, but there was never an Android release. So I say it's high time Mr. Driller gets some respect and Bandai Namco releases a new version for Android. The simple directional controls would work great on touchscreens, and you could even stuff in a multiplayer option to keep people playing well past the limited single-player mode.
Sam & Max Hit the Road
Any fan of the point and click genre will tell you that the style of game works very well on touchscreen devices. This is why there are so many solid puzzle adventure games on the Play Store to choose from. But one glaringly absent classic in this genre is the Sam & Max PC games. More specifically, I would love to see the first title come to our platform as a port or new HD release. That game is LucasArt's Sam & Max Hit the Road, and it is the perfect starting point. Like the majority of Lucas Art games, you get to explore a handful of gorgeously prerender backdrops as you collect the items necessary to solve the game's many puzzles. Of course, the real draw is the story, and let me just say, they don't make them like this anymore.
Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri
Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri is another classic 4x strategy game that undoubtedly should come to Android. Like any turn-based game it lends itself well to touchscreen devices, and as the iOS version of Civ VI proves, it may actually be the preferred way to play. If you are familiar with any of Sid Meier's 4X games, then Alpha Centauri isn't going to offer anything new, though it is regarded as one of the best 4x strategy games ever made, so that's something to consider. Basically, you will spend your time building colonies and units, researching an exhaustive tech-tree, and killing alien creatures. And if that doesn't sound enticing enough, the well-written story that weaves in and out of the free-form gameplay should please just about any sci-fi fan out there.
Okay, I already know that a few Bust-a-Move games have released on Android, with the most recent being the premium release of Bust-a-Move Journey. The thing is, this is just a rerelease of an in-app purchase infested free-to-play game that failed and so was reused as the base for a premium version. It still in no way reflects the best the series has to offer, which is probably why the original failed. What I am asking for is a port or HD remix of Bust-a-Move 4. Hands-down the fourth release in the series contains everything that made these games so great. The art was still pixel-based, which is what gave it its charm, and the addition of the pulley system and chain reactions makes for a more strategic game over its prior offerings. Essentially Bust-a-Move 4 is what people think of when they think "Bust-a-Move," which is why it's the perfect candidate for a premium mobile release.
Heroes of Might and Magic 2
New World Computing's classic turn-based strategy game Heroes of Might and Magic 2 focuses on the battles between empires controlled primarily from several large towns and cities. It's your job to secure these towns and use them as fuel for your war machine. Combat is easy to grasp. The way it works is every unit in your army is grouped into stacks, so one character might represent upwards of thousands or as few as one. These characters maneuver past randomized terrain on invisible hexes, trying to attack one another. So obviously this type of system would work well on touchscreens. But even if you look past that, the real draw is that the game is filled with seemingly inexhaustible mechanics and strategies that will keep you entertained for years. Now, who wouldn't want that kind of experience on their Android phone or tablet?
And that is the end of the list. There are plenty more games out there that would work great on Android if they were ported over, but of course, they were not all listed here. So go ahead and jump into the comments below and lets us know which classic games you would love to see on the platform.