The Christmas gaming charts

Let’s face it, the PS4, Xbox and Nintendo Switch are hugely popular. The likes of Fortnite, Fallout 4, Overwatch, Grand Theft Auto, Tomb Raider and the like. Go into a gaming store over this last Christmas shopping weekend and you’ll find it rammed with people buying games and accessories. They’re hugely popular.

However, something is happening.

On the high-street, if you’re looking to buy a game in a traditional box, you’ll find perhaps one solitary store selling it. Buying online and downloading games direct is now the preferred way of getting content. Now, as with smartphones, people are used to buying through an online store and playing a game without having to actually get the bus, head into town and buy the game on a disc.

On smartphones, you merely head to Google Play or the App Store. In the top charts right now there’s a slightly different breed of games. Due to the fact that smartphones are touch-screen and there is a lack of a controller, you’ll find a different category of games riding high in the charts.

Console charts tend to be filled with single-person shooters, football and car-racing games. However, with smartphones you’ll find ball games, puzzles, and games that utilise the g-sensor or tilt-sensor on your phone to control an object through a maze. There’s also building games and fun games such as “Heads Up”, where you use the smartphone on your head to guess the word displayed on the screen.

Today, one of the biggest reasons that more and more people turn to smartphone gaming is simply the wide range of games available. In addition to the large array of games, there’s also some incredibly useful apps, plus you get all the social media, all the on-demand video and TV content and streaming music. Far more than you would get on many consoles and, let’s not forget, it’s all in your pocket, so you can play any time, any where.

This portability – the chance to just play immediately without being shackled to a monitor or TV screen – is something that Nintendo have been eager to reproduce with their Nintendo Switch console. You can get “home console gaming quality” on the go.

However, let’s be honest, smartphones are super-powerful and you can already get console-quality graphics on a lot of games. High-end graphics, excellent sound and internet-connected group gaming is now considered the norm for most flagship smartphones.

Plus, it’s also opened the door to many online casino and gaming companies. They’ve long been shackled as high-street bookmakers or restricted to offering the traditional casino experience only on cruise-liners and in places like Las Vegas. So, the aim for them is to try and replicate this experience, as much as possible, in your pocket. Now, thanks to the smooth graphics and a connection to the internet, there’s the ability to try “risk free” apps where you can play bingo, roulette and slots. In addition, with providers like Stakers Casino, you can also dive into real-money gaming and get a familiar casino experience without having to travel to a physical casino.

Yes, I know we’ve mentioned this before, but if you’ve been to an “offline casino”, you’ll also notice that actually playing on your phone can be a less risky experience. Physical casinos tend to implement lots of little tricks to get you to stay longer. As an example, you’ll get free drinks delivered to you by pretty ladies and many land-based casinos don’t have clocks set up, or if they do, they’re not usually in a place that you can find them easily. You can easily lose track of time, which is why – in places like Las Vegas – people don’t know if it’s midnight or mid-day.

Plus, the truth is that you are actually much safer at home. Your winnings will be securely deposited into your account, there’s less chance of your getting distracted and this is possibly why people are feeling more willing to download casino apps. As a result, they’re now riding high in the gaming charts for smartphone users, and it’s usual to see card and slot machine-type apps alongside all the other categories we mentioned earlier.  Not only that, but a huge amount of these apps have had fantastic feedback, with higher ratings than most other games in the top 30 games.

As we head towards Christmas then, the likes of Coin Master, Word Stacks, Pokemon Go and PUBG Mobile sit alongside slot games and card games. So, whether you’re into brain games, or puzzles, or fishing, pool, racing, shooting or football, there’s something for everyone on your smartphone this festive season.