We Help You Decide: You’re A Gamer

As we develop better handset and service technology, cell phones are quickly evolving into multi-purpose devices. Where they were once just a way to call your friends and send them short messages, wireless Internet access is now common. This is moving us toward a time when our mobile devices are our home base. That is, all of our media will be synced to the device, kind of like a BlackBerry. Yes, syncing does occur now, but we're saying that nearly everyone will exploit this feature in the coming years.
One of the big developments recently has been the explosion of mobile gaming. This makes sense to us — we were part of the Gameboy generation, after all. Video games on the go are huge, so it only makes sense to have them available on the one device you always have with you: your cell phone.
Unfortunately, not all cell carriers provide games for their subscribers. So this means that some of our favorite companies are losing out on a $520 million industry. This tells us, though, that they'll soon be on board. As soon as the technology becomes profitable for them to implement, we'll see most carriers offering mobile games.
Until then, though, we're stuck with a select few companies. That doesn't suppress desire, though. If you're into mobile gaming, check out these companies and see if one fits your current needs. They're mostly major carriers, which stinks, but hey, you've got to get your games somewhere, right?
(read the review) We were blown away when we got to the Alltel Axcess game site. Maybe it's just because we play the game religiously, but they actually have Madden 07 available. Seriously. And from the description, it looks like it plays like the actual game.
They also offer more simplistic games like Frogger, but they also have a slew of old Nintendo games. Paperboy?!? Mega Man II ?!? Where do we sign up?
One-time games fees range from $7.99 to $9.99, or you can purchase monthly for about $3.50.
(read the review) If you think Alltel and Amp'd have gaming selections, just look at AT&T's. One the first screen, we noticed a “Live Free or Die Hard” mobile game. It has a running preview, and man, does it look tasty. And by tasty, we mean it looks like old Nintendo games, which make us all nostalgic.
More of an RPG/Strategy person? AT&T has your answer. Age of Empires II is available, as well as freakin' Stratego, the board game we played for about three years straight.
The games will run you $5.99 to $9.99. It seems there's a universal price range.
(read the review) We weren't too impressed with Boost's game site. Maybe it's because they don't offer a lot of old school games. Maybe it's because they offer poor-looking games based on new movies (a Shrek the Third game? Come on!). But all in all, this doesn't look nearly as impressive as the others we've mentioned.
Their prices are slightly lower, so we think it's a decent trade-off. Games start at $4.99, and that covers a lot of them. We didn't see anything up in the $9.99 range.
(read the review) Awww yeah. One of our favorite service providers has some pretty sweet games. Granted, there's not a great selection, but they have the original Mega Man and Doom. Doom! Other than that, though, the selection isn't great. Oh, and they have a Paris Hilton game, which immediately soured us on the service.
They don't advertise prices online — you have to buy the games through your Cricket phone. And only certain phones can use them, though the list is long enough to be satisfactory.
(read the review) It seems that certain games just jump out as us when we're browsing lists. So when we get excited over a certain game with a certain carrier, that doesn't mean that they're the only one with it. We might have missed it on another's list (meaning we might have seen something else first).
But yeah, MetroPCS has Tony Hawk Underground, which makes us want the service right now. Their other game offerings are pretty standard, and the collection is just slightly larger than Cricket's. Oh, and they have Bomberman, too.
As with many of the other services, you have to access the games through your phone, so pricing isn't available.
(read the review) Seriously, it seems like Verizon has a billiondy games. They've even got the new NCAA Football 2008, which has us excited (can you tell we're sports games nerds?). In reality, they have 310 in all, in just about every category imaginable. If you're looking for a game, you'll find it with Verizon. And if you can't, there's definitely something comparable.
As with the rest, these games range from $4.99 to $9.99, with subscriptions at about half that.
(read the review) Virgin's selection is right on par with the rest of the MVNOs and regional carriers. However, we had trouble recognizing most of the titles. There are three distinct categories carried by Virgin: EA Sports, tv/movie games, and games we've never heard of (Bubble Bobble is the lone exception). That's not to say that they're bad. But they certainly don't get us excited like the selections of other carriers.
But hey, $5.99 per game isn't a bad deal.
Games yes, but not on the website
We ran into a few services that didn't make games available directly on their website. So we'll just list them and let you know what we found:
Jump Mobile: Games, yes. Details, no. Since both Cricket and Jump are under the Leap Wireless umbrella, we're figuring the games are along the same lines.
kajeet: They've got games, but they're only available through your kajeet phone. And since this service is marketed to kids, the games are all kinda kiddy. Doom you will not find here.
Simple Freedom: They're on the same network as Alltel, so you have access to the same games as long as you have a compatible phone.
T-Mobile: We're very disappointed in T-Mobile. They're the only major carrier on our list who doesn't have a full games site. They do let you know that prices range from $2.99 to $6.99, but after looking at other games sites, it appears this is a subscription cost. Anyway, you can only access games through your phone.