Young people these days may think smartphones have always existed. They would be surprised to find out otherwise. It’s not even surprising to see their shock when they learn that once upon a time phones could not connect to the internet. That all you could do on your phone was make calls or send text messages.

The game lovers amongst them must wonder: how did gamers get by? Well, in those days, gamers had to content themselves with early mobile games like Snake.

But that was all so long ago. Things are different now. Thanks to smartphones, there are more games, and they are more accessible. Do you want to play a card game? Or would you rather play a car racing game? Just bring out your phone and start downloading.

And what’s more, augmented reality is changing what it means to play games. The game can come alive right out of your screen and into your surroundings. If you think that’s crazy, imagine what gamers from the ‘80s would think. It would have been completely unimaginable to them.

How did this happen? How did we go from the nostalgic Snake game of Nokia and other phones to modern-day AR experiences? Let’s explore this amazing evolution below.

Early Mobile Gaming and Casino Apps

Snake is one of the earliest mobile games that most people remember. It had them glued to their phones for hours! By today’s standards, it was a pretty straightforward game: all you had to do was move a continuously growing snake around the screen. The longer the snake got, the more difficult it got to prevent it from biting on itself.

Regardless of this simple gameplay, many people were fascinated by the game. This is understandable: they had never experienced mobile games before. However, eventually, the advent of live dealer games has taken online gaming to unprecedented heights of immersion and authenticity, making it more immersive.

Imagine being able to sit at a virtual table and interact with a real, professional dealer, just as you would in a brick-and-mortar casino. Live casino games, streamed in real-time from state-of-the-art studios, offer an unparalleled level of realism and excitement, blurring the lines between the digital and physical realms.

With live dealer games, you no longer have to wait until weekends to play your favorite casino game. All it takes is whipping out your phones and loading the apps. Yet, these games certainly had to start somewhere, with the initial prototype being poker apps.

Of course, judging by today’s standards, the graphics and gameplay of the original poker apps were quite simple, but these apps laid the foundation for the future of mobile gambling. You could compete with virtual opponents, bluff, draw up strategies, etc.—features that today’s online casinos only had to improve upon. It is not far-fetched to say that without those early mobile poker apps, there might be no mobile gambling as we know it today. Their success demonstrated the high demand for mobile casinos and showed casino game developers that there was a market opportunity in the live dealer casino space.

Enter Smartphones

Smartphones came like a whirlwind, sweeping out the old and bringing in the new. They completely transformed our lives, revolutionizing almost all industries, including gaming.

For one, game development was democratized, as developers could now create and distribute games directly to users without traditional preloaded software. Of course, this led to innovation and creativity as new genres of mobile games quickly emerged.

Though these games were initially simple and casual, they became more complex with time, developing in terms of graphics and gameplay. So you could get hooked for longer.

Social and Multiplayer Gaming

With the success of mobile gaming, game developers started to conceive of a new dimension for gaming. Being glued to your phone playing a game all alone is great but can quickly get boring. After a while, you’ll want some human interaction. So, game developers thought, why not bring that human interaction into the game? Thus, social and multiplayer gaming was birthed.

Social and multiplayer games allow multiple players to interact, compete, or collaborate on the same game. You can find them on social platforms like Facebook. Games like Word with Friends or Draw Something are great examples. They give you a sense of community and friendly competition.

AR and Gaming

Yes, smartphones transformed the gaming world, but not as much as augmented reality has and potentially will in the coming years. Though it’s still kind of new and developing, it has already taken gaming to a whole different dimension. It blurs the lines between the virtual and the real, immersing you in the game like nothing before it had.

Unlike virtual reality which takes you into the game world, AR brings that world to you, blending it into your real world. So, game characters, objects, and information are mapped into your physical environment, allowing you to experience the game in your immediate surroundings which is why AR is the future of gaming.


Mobile gaming has never been as immersive and enjoyable as it is presently. For this, we have technological breakthroughs to thank. Smartphones were the first to transform the industry, and then AR came and completely upped the bar. The future of gaming is ever more promising.