If you look at the really great mobile games littered throughout the iPhone and Android (and WP7) app stores, the key element that runs through all the games is simplicity. Fruit Ninja, Flight Control, Doodle Jump, Cut The Rope, Tiny Wings… all these games are brilliant not for their complicated story lines or detailed controls, but for the sheer simplicity of the gaming controls.
Which makes the idea of porting the games over to Kinect incredibly interesting. Fruit Ninja is the perfect starting example – while details are scarce, you can imagine that the mechanic will involve waving your arms through the air to slice virtual fruit on screen, like a T-1000 with the soul of a ninja.
And now consider other mobile games that could make the transition to Kinect’s controller-less system. Doodle Jump could be converted to follow your jumping left and right to ascend the tower of platforms. Tiny Wings could see you crouching and jumping in time with the bird on screen. Flight Control could create a Minority Report-like experience as you drag planes in on their landing run. Angry Birds – that stalwart of the mobile gaming community – could see you drag back the slingshot with your body, aiming it precisely with your arms.
But the most potential comes from the bigger games that have shown just how powerful mobile gaming has become. Imagine a Kinect port of Infinity Sword, where you slash left and right with your arm, duck and sidestep as your monstrous opponent tries to destroy you with its gigantic weapons.
Even first person shooters like Rage HD could make the translation to Kinect a lot easier than porting a proper console-based FPS game – by having it on rails you would eliminate some of the problems with a controller-less shooter.
It’s not perfect though – not all mobile games would make the translation to Kinect, especially ones that have slightly more complicated control patterns, or games that are ports themselves. But for a six-month-old platform that desperately needs more games to turn it into the awesome peripheral it promises to be, perhaps porting some of mobile gamings best games could plug the gap while we wait for some impressive marquee titles to arrive.