Monday, June 4, 2012

Basic Mobile Gaming Terminology Defined

When it comes to mobile gaming there are some terms that have been created or at least made more common due to the evolution of the ecosystem. As such I feel it necessarily to explain some ideas that would otherwise be confusing to novices to the mobile gaming community. I may add other terms as time goes on, but for now I'll stick with the basics relating to gaming and mobile devices. Feel free to ask for other terms to be defined in the comments.


This stand for directional pad. With touch screen devices these are usually on the left and right sides of the screen. Typical setup of these d-pads is the left controls movement, the right controls view/aiming.


This term is a combination of the words free and premium. Essentially what it means is that the game is free to play but if you want to unlock certain features, abilities, or levels you'll have to drop some money on the game. Sometimes these games don't limit features but rather how much time you can spend on the game without running out of "coins" (like with Scramble with Friends) or out of energy like with all the different Mobster or Farmville clones. The other way they milk money is by forcing time limitations such as when you have to build something and it takes X amount of time. In all cases, these are designed for the impatient or emotionally invested to buy whatever monopoly money like thing that only has value within the game. Many users are severely pissed by Fremium games because of their nature. They are the one armed bandits of the mobile gaming world. I personally don't mind them so long as the Fremium aspect is something you HAVE TO pay for to enjoy the game. Since I am a combination of cheap and patient I am willing to wait or take the time to enjoy the game so long as it is good.

Fremium games are on of the most profitable types of mobile games that exist. So love them or hate them but they are here to stay guys.


This term is unique to Apple devices. It is what is sounds like. It is breaking the device free. What it's being broken free from is the limitations that Apple imposes on it. Once an Apple device is jailbroken it's warranty is voided but it also means the user can do a lot more with it. Example of this include installing games that Apple wouldn't let on the iTunes store and also going to market places other than iTunes. Apple does not allow other stores to sell iOS compatible software; however, as of July 2010 jailbreaking is legal within the United States.


This is a free app or game. It may or may not be monetized or fremium but it is free. There are some Lite versions of games that will work for a limited time or have functions disabled. An example of this is the save function disabled. It's a good way to try an app or game without having to drop money on it.


This is referring to an app or game where there is advertising. Android was, as far as I know, the first to offer this little gem. Because of this players can get games that would otherwise cost for free. Unlike Fremium there is no purchase necessary at a later date. Advertisers get some space in a corner of a screen in the game or on the home screen. The better game developers use less invasive advertisers such as AdMob. There are some advertising companies what are more invasive by putting adds in your phone or tablet's notification system. These are easily gotten rid of by uninstalling the offending app that uses them.


Any mobile device worth its salt is going to be multitouch. The multitouch you want is 10 finger multitouch. This means what the name implies, that you can touch the screen with multiple fingers or input devices such as a stylus & finger and each point of contact will respond.

A common multitouch function is to pinch to zoom-in or zoom-out.


Original Equipment Manufacturer. For example, the OEM for the Droid 3 is Motorola. The OEM for the EVO 4G LTE is HTC. The OEM for the Galexy S 3 is Samsung. The OEM for the iPhone and iPad is Apple. 


Operating System. Android, iOS, Windows and Linux are all examples of an OS.


This means the application is one you pay for up front. No advertisements, no freemium gimmics. You pay for it. It is yours to play or use without obnoxious limitations etc.

Root (for Android OS)

This term is a simplification of the term Root Access or Root User (also know as Super User Permissions) and refers to the practice of gaining administrative control of a device. This is a level of control most OEM's do not trust or allow users to have. Like jailbreaking, rooting a device often voids it's warranties. There are some few OEM's that do not void the hardware warranty if a device is rooted.

No comments:

Post a Comment