BlackBerry Gaming - Then and Now

By Adam Zeis on 3 Jun 2013 02:15 pm EDT

It's not secret that gaming on BlackBerry hasn't been the greatest. For years we were limited to games like Brick Breaker and Tetris as the older BlackBerry devices weren't intended for gaming. There was a decent selection of mediocre games, but nothing that could be considered "great" by anyones standards. 

With the arrival of the BlackBerry PlayBook however, that began to change. We saw bigger better games that were more on par with the demanding standards of mobile gamers. Games like Need for Speed, Jetpack Joyride, Angry Birds and Dead Space were instant hits.

As the weeks went by, more and more games started to appear and make for a better gaming experience for BlackBerry users.

When you stop and think about it, it's pretty crazy just how far we've come over the years. Take this gem for example:

Brick Breaker on the BlackBerry Storm. It was good at the time, but it's almost hard to imagine that's where gaming was at for BlackBerry users not so long ago. 

Phones were still left in the dark however, but thanks to the new BlackBerry Z10 and even the BlackBerry Q10 - mobile gaming on BlackBerry became a reality. While the Java-based games of old were a thing of the past, new games were made available for BlackBerry 10 users that truly put them into the gaming market. With both platform-specific games and cross-platform titles, BlackBerry 10 phones are gearing up and making for a great mobile gaming experience. Factor in the ability to hook up to an external display with the microHDMI out and you have great gaming console in the palm of your hand. 

The above video gives us a great look at some of the top games available now for BlackBerry 10 devices. There are so many great titles already and we continue to see them getting better and better. The Z10 (and Q10) are proving to be great little gaming devices. Some of our current favorite titles on BlackBerry 10 include Jetpack Joyride, The Bard's Tale and FlyCraft.

Our Talk Mobile 2013 discussion kicked off this week on the topic of mobile gaming. Can mobile gaming kill the consoles pits our editors on the current state of mobile gaming and what's in store for the future. Be sure to check it out and join in on the discussion.

Talk Mobile 2013: Can mobile gaming kill the consoles?

Adam Zeis Adam Zeis "Mobile Nations Content Strategist" 3740 (articles) 2892 (forum posts)

Reader comments

BlackBerry Gaming - Then and Now


What's to lol about?

Dead Space (same as in iOS), Asphalt (same as in Android), the Bard's Tale (same as in Windows PC)...

Need I go on?

Never is a really, really long time. Look at what's happened in even the last 5 years and the progress mobile computing has made. Give it another 5, 10 at the outside and your mobile device will BE your console

Posted via my Zed (not Zee) 10

I have never bought a console. I can't see my self buying one any time soon. Asphalt 7, The Dark Knight Rises, Modern Combat 4, and Spider-Man on my Z10 are amazing.

I want my brickbreaker back. Best game for those long waiting room periods and airports.

Posted via CB10

I think BlackBerry has built a great gaming platform, with all the right software components.
Too bad they're not competitive yet in terms of hardware. Hopefully they'll have top of the range hardware next year.

Sent from a Q10 with a crappy OLED screen

They don't have the very top hardware, but they are definitely competitive I'd say.

Due to marketshare in GPUs, it will still be a while before most developers will be able to write games that require GPUs like the Adreno 320 etc...

Posted via CB10

I disagree in that I believe the hardware is solid but the software needs improvements. On the software side there are too many things that came with legacy BBOS that is missing from BB10. On the hardware side I think the Z10 beats the iPhone series phones (NFC, HDMI to name a couple of things).

I'm using my Z10 for gaming. I never thought I would be saying that, but it has become a reality.

I mostly play Critical Wave right now because it seems to be the only game I can play using the Steel Series FREE Bluetooth game controller.

I also enjoy playing Modern Combat 4 too, which is actually quite a bit better than Call of Duty: Declassified for PS Vita. Never thought I would be saying that. MC4 is actually a decent shooter, 99 cents!


Posted via CB10 on a Q10 or a Z10, either way it's golden.

No Mobile gaming will not take out console gaming.. not now and not any time soon... but 10 years from now? who knows.

Anyway here is what I want:

Simpsons Tapped out
They need to be Fed 1 and 2
Tank Wars/Worms type of game...

Please :-p

Real Racing 3
Trials: Evolution
Star Command
GTA: Vice City Stories
Super Stickman Golf 2 (Can't believe we just got the first one, its been out since June 2011!)

Just to name a few, can't see most happening though.... If they want to compete in the real world this will be a good start.

brick breaker is the best mobile game I've ever played !!
it was a time killer...a good quality of difficulty level and it doesn't includes controlling a ever running psych !!

With the ability to connect a controller and HDMI to a TV. You have a console of sorts, the only thing lacking is processing power, electrical power and titles.

Posted via CB10

I want to be able to use a X-Box style controller with my Zed hooked up to my TV and then I will be really happy!

Can't you already do that? I'm sure I saw a number of demos using blue tooth controllers and the z10 connected to a bit using hdmi.

Posted via CB10

I have just been so fricking delighted with the gaming on bb10 so far I can't praise enough the work they've done in this area

Posted via CB10

Brick Breaker and Word Mole was awesome. Like the crop of time wasters out there now too. BlackBerry is getting there. Need those business apps though. ;)

I honestly don't give a shit about the games anymore. They are cool.

I want more productivity apps. Tools not toys and all that BS.

Posted via CB10

BrickBreaker and Snake were the first great examples of pick up and play, quick, and addictive mobile games.

Can mobile gaming kill consoles? Not just yet. Right now there are some nice titles available, and I'd say the games are on par with PS2 and such in terms of graphics... The HDMI out is a plus, and Bluetooth support for pads is a good thing, but the hardware needs to evolve a bit to the point where it can produce PS3 quality graphics and higher capacity internal storage is a must. When those things happen, then consoles may have something to worry about.

For now, Mobile phone platforms are more of a threat to the dedicated handheld platforms like the PS Vita and the Nintendo 3DS.

Posted via CB10

Graphics, certainly. Gameplay, not even close...... Mobile gaming will never kill the console and if it does I'll eat my PS3 with a side salad.

Mobile gaming has its place in society. It gives people another way to pass the time while doing boring mundane day to day tasks (traveling on the bus, waiting on line, going to the bathroom whatever it may be). I agree that the quality of games have improved over the years, but....until we have the ability to have multiplayer interfaces within games, whether it be to play someone one on one in basketball, or to get together with a group of friends to kill the aliens in a game of halo, there will always be a place for console games.

I do see mobile gaming evolving to include the types of games above, but it will be at a sacrifice. Gamers would have to sacrafice screen size for mobility. Gaming as a whole would also be a drain on the battery and that last thing you will want is to get cut off mid game (before you had the opportunity to save), because your battery died.

I can see mobile gaming evolving over the next 5 years to something completely different than what we see today. But it will constantly fall behind the experience users can get from picking up their controllers and powering on their favorite console. As the mobile gaming experience gets better, so will the console gaming experience. Consoles have the ability to bring things to the table that you would never be able to dream of doing on a mobile device.

In closing, mobile gaming will get better, and bring a wider selection of game titles, but it will never be able to replace the console games that we have all come to love since the days of Atari.

The thing holding back mobile gaming was size. you just simply could not pack the needed electronics into a device small enough to be considered "mobile". This went for everything from battery size to processors, memory etc etc etc. This is now much less of a problem, and as solid state memory and other tech gets cheaper and smaller, the physical "box" required to house the hardware will be so small there will be no need for a separate console device as your mobile device will include all required hardware.

Consoles will cease to exist as a separate device, your mobile device will provide all processing power, your device will link with a larger screen and a gaming controller and bam that's it. exactly like Thor has been talking about. Time frame unknown but consoles days are numbered.

Posted via my Zed (not Zee) 10

While I agree that the Z10 is very capable of running virtually any mobile game on the market, dev support is still very minimal. I don't agree that BB10 can be called a "great gaming experience" in comparison to its competitors when most of the games promoted for BB10 have been on other platforms for months/years. I do tend to enjoy a select few of the games on BBW as of right now but when I see a recently reviewed "new" mobile game I am always let down when I search BBW for it. It seems BBRY is a year or so behind when it comes to mobile games and I dont see it making any head way soon in regards to matching pace with iOS or Android when devs won't even respond to a question regarding their games ported to BB10 let alone developing it for a more than capable, but ignored platform as BB10 is.....

The inbuilt solitaire on classic devices kept me entertained for hours. It would have been nice to see these revamped for the bb10 devices.

Super hexagon is a rather entertaining game. I think it slipped under a lot of people's radars though. But it's seen a huge success on other platforms. And it's is a bb native app not a Android port.

Posted via CB10

I love people faces when they see me playing 'Angry Birds' 'Funky Smugglers' or 'Beach Buggy Blitz' with such an amazing graphic, sounds and smoothness, like "Oh my god, is that the new BlackBerry????"

Posted via CB10

At Qualcomm's CES keynote in January they demonstrated gaming on the quad core Snap Dragon 800 claiming it brings to mobile the gaming power of desktop game PC's. And they gave some demonstrations.

Only question now is whether one of the new BlackBerrys later this year is built around either of the Snap Dragon 600 or 800 quad core processors.

Jeez I'm the only negative one but. Gaming kills my battery so quickly. Especially the graphic intensive ones like batman etc. I just ordered a battery pack case so I can add more juice. Adds bulk but should give me an extra hour or so.

Jamaican me crazy bout my z10. Respect

I think it could kill the ps vita or Nintendo 3d's but not a console I play a lot of games and when I'm at home I play my PS3 or XBOX 360 but when I'm out and about I play games on my phone I didn't go out and buy a handheld console when my phone can do the same thing

Posted via CB10 on my Z10