10 Big Franchises That Went Mobile

by Joe Juba on Jul 03, 2014 at 01:21 PM

Certain games are practically guaranteed to be fun when they come out on conventional consoles, but dominating that realm isn’t always enough. Some publishers want to make a major splash in the mobile market with their biggest properties, not content to churn out silly companion apps. For instance, we recently saw the release of Civilization Revolution 2. However, these efforts are rarely up to the standards of each series – usually landing in the “awful” to “okay” range – but they give hardcore fans another way to participate in the worlds they love. This list looks at 10 of these mobile offshoots from franchises that are near and dear to gamers’ hearts.

Hitman Go (review)

Translating the concepts of stealth and assassination into a turn-based board game, Hitman Go at least tries for something unique. In this case, experimentation is better than attempting (and failing) to capture the third-person action of its namesake.

Mass Effect: Infiltrator (review)

It may look like Mass Effect, but Infiltrator is focused on combat instead of character interaction. However, it does have an interesting progression system – assuming you don’t mind paying real money for in-game currency.

Borderlands Legends

This isometric strategy/shooter has players returning to Pandora as the characters from the first Borderlands. It may not have the same level of humor and personality, but it does have a lot of different weapons, so 2K got something right here.

Layton Brothers: Mystery Room (review)

Professor Layton is known for solving puzzles, but his son Alfendi solves crimes. This entry is more of a visual novel than a puzzle game; it puts characters in the spotlight, and doesn’t make players work quite as hard for success.

Final Fantasy: Dimensions (review)

Some RPG fans long for a return to the days when 2D sprites ruled the genre. Final Fantasy Dimensions tries to give them what they want with a story full of heroes, airships, and crystals. It’s expensive ($17), but a decent effort from Square Enix.

Heroes of Dragon Age

Less of an RPG and more of a strategy CCG, Heroes of Dragon Age has players building battle squads by collecting characters and creatures from Dragon Age universe. You battle the computer and other players to prove your might.

Rayman: Jungle Run

It’s a runner, but with Rayman! The series’ quirky characters and distinctive art style put a fun twist on this classic formula. That should be enough to sell it, but in case it isn’t, Jungle Run also won Apple’s iPhone Game of the Year in 2012.

Assassin’s Creed: Pirates

Being a pirate, upgrading your ship, and engaging in naval battles aren’t only the key parts of AC IV: Black Flag – they’re also what you do in this mobile title. Just don’t expect all of the climbing, exploration, and assassination of a true AC entry.

Call of Duty: Strike Team (review)

The intensity and spectacle of Call of Duty is difficult to harness on a mobile device. To compensate, Strike Team lets you swap between first-person and top-down views, and the snap-to targeting means you don’t need to be a sharpshooter to win.

Trials Frontier (review)

There’s no reason that the crazy bike-crashing action of Trials needs to be tied to a console. Touch controls get the job done in this mobile incarnation, but the free-to-play structure might turn off players who don’t like grinding tracks over and over.

Have you played any mobile games that splintered off from big-name franchises? Share your experiences in the comments below!