Whether you’re going to be a bored passenger on a long journey or you’re going travelling and can’t take your regular console with you, having a portable device is a great way to pass the time. But choosing the right device for you is no easy feat.
To get the most from your play, you need to balance battery life, cost, access to the games you want to play and that certain je ne sais quoi that comes with each console – comfort, look and feel. Equally, different developers favor different devices so if you have a particular game in mind, you need to make sure that the device you choose is compatible.
You’ll also need to make sure that you have a good internet connection to play so it’s definitely worth looking into getting a good deal on your phone so that you can connect any time. SMARTY Mobile is definitely the place to look.
So, which devices are worth your time and could the best device already be in your pocket?
Let’s start with the humble smartphone – after all, most of us already have one! Smartphones are great for game apps and there are plenty to choose from. Smartphone games are often about solving puzzles or more casual gaming but as the popularity of playing on the go increases, smartphone games are catching up with more relaxing and beautifully designed games. Some of the best games on other devices are also appearing as smartphone apps, Journey being a prime example, but there are plenty of games designed specifically for the platform.
If you are going to play on your smartphone, make sure that you have a battery pack or access to a charger on hand. Smartphones might be clever but battery life is still a big problem here – especially since your phone is likely to be running several background apps at the same time. You should also make sure that you have headphones handy – you might be into the music on your game but it’s best not to assume that everyone else is. Actually, this is a good rule for any device that makes a noise!
Nintendo Switch and Switch Lite
The Nintendo Switch is ideal if you like to swap between playing on the large screen and the pocket-sized. It’s also the most flexible for gameplay, allowing you to plug it into the console for a handheld game but have separate controls for a tabletop game. It has to be said that this is a pretty cool device.
Nintendo devices are the only way you can play cool game franchises like Super Mario and The Legend of Zelda but there are plenty to choose from and more games are added every week too. If the Switch is too expensive, the Nintendo Switch Lite is a bit cheaper but is also only available for hand play. On the other hand, if you’re looking for something to take out but you’re not that bothered about linking back to the big screen at home, this won’t be an issue.
Unfortunately, the PS Vita was discontinued in the UK but you can still find second-hand versions and play new games, which are digitally released. The device is still going strong in Japan, which is why new content still pops up, even if it’s not from Sony. The joy of the PS Vita is that its quirky design makes gameplay more diverse. There’s a rear touch pad that encourages players to push, pull, trace and grab – a fairly unique concept in the handheld game world, at least. The console also has front and rear cameras as well as built-in motion sensors that allow players to ‘steer’.
The main issue is that you do need a high-quality internet connection to play so while it is transportable and awesome, it can be a pain to find a place to play. On the plus side, since you will have to buy second hand, the device is reasonably priced – especially considering how weird and wonderful it is.
Playing on the go is a brilliant way to pass the time while travelling or just chill out for a few minutes when you’re having a break. Handheld games devices are increasingly popular and the good news is that games developers are putting more effort into the games they produce for these models. From bite-sized fun to puzzles and relaxation games, there’s plenty to choose from but you might find that you end up with more than one device in your bag!
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