I want Firefox OS to succeed because I think mobile users need a more free and open alternative to Google’s Android. But where it succeeds —at least for me — took me completely by surprise.
It’s the games. They’re really good!
This is the games panel on Firefox’s “Everything” screen. None of the apps above are local to the device; they’re all written in HTML5 using assets from the web. While you’re not going to be blown away with cutting-edge 3D graphics, for casual gaming Firefox OS delivers.
Today I’ll show you some of my favourite games and see if you agree.
Among the most prolific and talented game devs for Firefox OS is an outfit that calls itself Double Duck. Five of the twelve titles shown on that first screen are theirs, and with good reason.
Seen above are screens from Pizza Panic (left) and Shake It! (right). Yup, game play in both is pretty much identical — this is Diner Dash re-imagined for a takeout counter, and it’s both fun and challenging to play.
Two more Double Duck titles, Gem Adventure (left) and Gem Adventure 2 (right). Are you thinking “Bejeweled knock-off”? Not so fast… To get gems off of these screens you’ll need blocks of at least three rather than lines of four. Both games have unique power-ups to keep things interesting.
Both portrait and landscape-oriented games are available for Firefox OS. Thanks to the ZTE Open‘s built-in accelerometer you’ll always know which way to hold your device.
Here’s Galactians 2 from Space Monster Games. As Firefox is an all-touch OS you slide the defending ship back and forth across the screen with your thumb. It’s a lot more responsive than you’d expect it to be.
And here’s a game called Vector Running Remix, a 2D racing/platformer that’s way faster than it should be for HTML on an underpowered device.
Every mobile OS has its duds, and with Firefox the more screens you scroll through the worse things seem to get. Particularly egregious is the “Scrabble Dictionary” you see above, which is clearly nothing more than a link to Hasbro’s Scrabble page. And it requires Flash.
But overall I’m very impressed with the quantity and quality of gaming titles for this nascent mobile platform. Hopefully one or more of the titles described above will entice you to try a Firefox OS device for yourself!