Mobile games before smart phones

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Install snake

I am not such an avid mobile gamer as some. I occasionally find an app that I love, that dominates my time. But more often than not, I end up using my iPad to read Kindle books and keep my gaming focused on the console and PC/Mac. But back in the day, I played some awesome games on the most unlikely devices.

During a recent discussion in the lazygamer office, we ended up chatting about early mobile phones. Of course, we all had that original brick Nokia. Geez, I was the queen of Snake back in the day – I had strategy and ninja-like reflexes. Also, somehow I was willing to pour far too many hours into the game.

TI Zelda

However, Geoff and I had a far better device at that time. I even managed to play Tetris and BlackJack on the thing, and loved it with all my heart and soul. No, it wasn’t a phone and it wasn’t a GameBoy. The glorious device in question was a Texas Instruments graphing calculator. As the youngling, I had the TI-83, although I suspect Geoff’s was a TI-81. Either way, I still remember the joy of that device – I would sit playing Tetris after maths exams or pretend to be studying while actually playing BlackJack.

I even remember one maths class where our teacher taught us how to program those games ourselves. I almost went full geek that day. Who would have thought a calculator could give so much joy?

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These days, everything can be done on a tablet or smart phone, and kids don’t realize the joy of illicit gaming on “serious” devices. What was your first mobile game? Do you remember gaming on other strange devices, or did you save yourself for console and PC experiences?

Last Updated: May 23, 2014

Zoe Hawkins

Wielding my lasso of truth, I am the combination of nerd passion and grammar nazi. I delve into all things awesome and geek-tastic. You can read more of my words over at www.borngeek.co.za, or just follow me on all the social networks to get the true range of my sarcasm and wit.

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