Foldable phones, with their hide-away phablet displays, mean more on-screen space to feast your eyes upon the glorious pixels and polygons that make up some of the best Android games you can play on the go (or from the comfort of your toilet seat, I won’t judge).
This week, I’ve been knee-deep in the Google Play Store’s murky depths, hunting down some excellent titles optimized for foldable devices or tablets and games that simply look and play fantastic on these larger displays by default.
Whether you’re rocking a foldable like the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5, Google Pixel Fold, OnePlus Open, Honor Magic V2, or looking to game with your favorite Android tablet, If you’re looking to make the most of your smartphone’s big-screen gaming potential, then look no further than these 9 games that look great on tablets and foldable phones.
Game in style on your foldable, phablet, or tablet device
Mobile gaming used to be equated with the kind of shovelware you’d find in bargain bins at your local Gamestop, but it has come a long way since then, now sitting pretty with a staggering userbase of roughly 50% of all gamers.
Sure, “Bubble Witch” and “Gardenscapes” players might inflate that number by a considerable amount, but let’s not play the elitism game here — especially when the popularity and profitability of those titles have drawn many big-name publishers to the scene and brought some impressive AAA franchises along with them.
Now a booming behemoth of impressive portable options, mobile gaming is doing better than ever. And, as many tablet users will attest, some mobile titles are even more impressive on larger screens, with more space to flex their graphics and declutter their on-screen controls.
So why not take full advantage of your tablet or foldable phone’s additional screen real estate and give some of the best games on Android the big-screen treatment?
1. PUBG Mobile
Developer: LightSpeed & Quantum Studio | Price: Free @ Google Play Store
Anyone who has ever sunk a few hours into the mobile port of "Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds Mobile" will be more than familiar with the misstaps and missteps of its cluttered UI.
However, pull PUBG onto your tablet or foldable’s internal display and you’ll get a fullscreen gaming experience that affords you a better look at the battlefield, a more spacious UI, and more real estate for your thumbs to maneuver within.
I’m not going to outright say it gives you a tactical advantage (but it does), as I’m absolutely shocking at the game and can’t accurately tell you one way or the other. But at least I get a better view of myself being mowed down by a land buggy when using the larger screen.
2. Space Marshals 3
Developer: Pixelbite | Price: Free @ Google Play Store
"Space Marshals 3" is the third of a trilogy of isometric action games available on the Google Play Store with a focus on stealth and tactics. It's a contemporary Western sci-fi universe, akin to Firefly in many ways, that sees space as the new frontier, with the Marshals serving to uphold the law in outer space.
The game looks and plays great on mobile devices, but it adapts perfectly to larger screen formats, offering a wider field of view, better-spaced (pun not intended) UI, and an overall more immersive experience. It also allows you to soak up the game's impressive visuals, better appreciating the finer details of each chapter's design and layout.
3. DraStic DS Emulator
Developer: Exophase | Price: $4.99 @ Google Play Store
While not technically a game, the DraStic DS emulator is a portal to playing a whole hoard of games from yesteryear. Theoretically, of course. In “Minecraft.”
What better way to emulate Nintendo DS games than by emulating an actual Nintendo DS at the same time? Use the extended screen space and fold to adopt a familiar tilt, apply one of the many custom skins for DraStic freely available online and be rewarded with one of the most immersive DS emulations there is.
Whether you’re looking to “catch ‘em all,” go karting with your plumber brother, or start a gang war in the heart of Chinatown, you can relive fond memories of the DS’ heydays whenever you find yourself. In your imagination. Because much like Nintendo, we here at Laptop Mag also do not condone the use of ROMs. Savvy?
4. Star Command
Developer: Star Command, LLC | Price: $2.99 @ Google Play Store
"Star Command" is a quirky take on the "Star Trek" experience as you explore the universe, build up your crew and ship, meet strange aliens, and then blow them to pieces in real-time space battles. It's a fun little space opera to enjoy and the gameplay underneath it all is entertaining enough to see off more than a few hours at a time.
It's pixel art aesthetic means it looks impressive on smaller screens as it is, though bringing it to bigger panels doesn't distract from its charm. In fact, it makes the experience a little less frustrating as you attempt to position your crew around the ship as you fend off boarding parties, with smaller screens hampering you when it comes to precision.
5. Pocket City 2
Developer: Codebrew Games | Price: $4.99 @ Google Play Store
City builders make for great mobile games as you can treat your virtual town as a Tamagotchi of sorts, occasionally checking in to plonk down a few virtual libraries to keep your digital denizens happy and well-read before going about your day once more. It's a daily dose of deity delusion, though the experience is often hampered by microtransactions and frustrating energy limits.
"Pocket City 2" does away with all of that, granting you the full city-builder experience of a "Sim City" or "Cities: Skylines" (albeit a little more toned down and cutesy). There's no gouging you for extra dollar here, instead there's just a fun and fairly expansive city management sim for you to enjoy.
Bring that onto a larger screen and you can bask in your metropolis in wider glory, not to mention soak up the games cool visuals whether from your god-like throne in the clouds, or while wandering the very streets you crafted in first-person mode.
Developer: 10tons Ltd | Price: $10.99 @ Google Play Store
Dysmantle is a fantastic survival game available for PC, console, and mobile with the impressive gimmick that it lets you break and harvest for resources almost everything in the game. Buildings, old TV sets, trees, rocks, statues, you name it and it can likely be reduces to precious resources as you build up a powerful toolbox as an arsenal against the level designer's magnum opus.
The game takes place across a surprisingly large map, with other equally large environments available through the game's numerous expansions. Here you'll be fighting the monstrous horde back as you craft, farm, hunt, fish, cook, and build your way from coast to coast while uncovering the mysteries of what happened to the world around you.
The game's bright and vivid approach to the apocalypse makes for an interesting change, and it has a great art style that only gets better when transplanted onto larger foldable or tablet devices. Better still, you'll be able to crank up the quality for an experience that comes impressively close to that of consoles and PCs.
7. Diablo Immortal
Developer: Blizzard Entertainment | Price: Free @ Google Play Store
Look, I know it isn’t the mainline entrant to the Diablo franchise we were all looking forward to when it was announced, and I also know it’s an incredibly greedy, microtransaction-heavy mobile game that leans far too heavily into Gacha territory.
Still, it’s not half bad on the eyes, especially when expanded to fill the real estate of a foldable’s larger display. There’s also no arguing that if you can resist the temptation to throw your dosh at Diablo’s digital wares then there’s more than enough content at hand to pass a considerable amount of time on without spending a dime.
It may not be winning over Diablo die-hards any time soon, but its visuals will certainly impress the casual gamers looking for an Action RPG fit to bust with quests, dungeons, and demon slaughter.
8. XCOM 2 Collection
Developer: Feral Interactive | Price: $14.99 @ Google Play Store
Half the fun of XCOM games is the gut-wrenching agony of placing the business end of your boomstick directly into the gaping maw of an alien sectoid and pulling the trigger, only to completely miss because you foolishly assumed a 98% chance to hit meant the odds were in your favor. Rookie mistake. That’s XCOM, baby!
Having the full XCOM 2 experience, including the War of the Chosen expansion pack, on your phone is already something to marvel at. But you’ll enjoy the game in a way that won’t leave you screaming at your phone after a misplaced tap sends your favorite solider darting out of cover and standing helplessly in the middle of the map, ready to be peppered with more plasma shots than a vampire’s 21st birthday party.
Take advantage of your tablet or foldable's (likely) beefier CPU and you can adjust the preferences file of the game to turn off resolution scaling. It gives you even crisper, sharper visuals, true to the larger resolution of your internal display. It looks incredible, trust me.
9. Return to Monkey Island
Developer: Terrible Toybox | Price: $9.99 @ Google Play Store
Little do you know, but the entirety of my journalistic career has been one big smokescreen. All that writing about docking stations and AI was one big ruse as I waited patiently for the moment I finally got to talk about a Monkey Island game.
Sadly, getting to this point took a little longer than expected, and the point-and-click adventure game has long since circled the cultural drain. Most of you wouldn’t have a single clue who the mighty pirate of Meleé Island was, though you may of course have heard of her hapless husband Guybrush Threepwood thanks to the recent release of Return to Monkey Island.
Return to Monkey Island is a fantastic-looking game in any format thanks to its picture book art style, but it looks and plays even better on tablets and foldables. Classic adventure games were often a bit of a pixel hunt, and trying to play Monkey Island on your smartphone’s screen can be equally frustrating at times.
Throw this swashbuckling adventure onto your foldable’s inner screen however and you’re all set to enjoy Guybrush (and Boybrush) Threepwood's latest escapades to their fullest. While it isn’t exactly optimized for foldable panels and will leave you with some black bars above and below the game window, these help to hide any unsightly camera notches and only further the cinematic chuckles and charm of Ron Gilbert and Dave Grossman’s captivating caper.
Now I’ve finally gotten that off my chest I’m a little bit unsure about what to do with the rest of my life. Oh, wait, I have an idea. Go ahead, ask me about “Loom™”…
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Rael Hornby, potentially influenced by far too many LucasArts titles at an early age, once thought he’d grow up to be a mighty pirate. However, after several interventions with close friends and family members, you’re now much more likely to see his name attached to the bylines of tech articles. While not maintaining a double life as an aspiring writer by day and indie game dev by night, you’ll find him sat in a corner somewhere muttering to himself about microtransactions or hunting down promising indie games on Twitter.