A mobile game is a video game played on a mobile phone, smartphone, PDA, tablet computer or portable media player. This does not include games played on handheld video game systems such as Nintendo DS or PlayStation Portable.
The first game that was pre-installed onto a mobile phone was a Tetris game in the Hagenuk MT-2000 device from 1994.
Three years later Nokia launched the very successful Snake on selected models in 1997. Snake and its variants have since become the most-played video game on the planet and embedded in more than 350 million devices worldwide.
Mobile games are played using the technologies present on the device itself. For networked games, there are various technologies in common use. Examples include text message (SMS), multimedia message (MMS) or GPS location identification. The first two-player game for mobile phones was a variant of the Snake game for the Nokia 6110, using the infrared port.
However, there are non networked applications, that simply use the device platform to run the game software. The games may be installed over the air, they may be side loaded onto the handset with a cable, or they may be embedded on the handheld devices by the OEM or by the mobile operator.
Mobile games are usually downloaded via the mobile operator’s radio network, but in some cases are also loaded into the mobile handsets when purchased, via infrared connection, Bluetooth, or memory card.