Diaries From RuneScape: Old School Mobile Beta

I went into Old School RuneScape’s mobile beta with two questions in mind: How well this game would run on my Google Pixel (original, non XL), how well it would perform in my office which is a lead-wrapped dead zone, and how many seconds it would take my Pixel to be drained of its battery. Sorry, make that three questions.

The answer is surprisingly well on all accounts. I didn’t have much reason to doubt that my Pixel could run RuneScape at a good framerate, although I will never underestimate the ability for phones to mess up running the kind of software that computers of 10 years ago could pull off without a hitch. The game equally performed well in an area where Youtube videos regularly have trouble loading (thank you Cricket), and ultimately it drained by battery only slightly less quickly than I assumed it would.

Mobile Old School answers the demand for when you still want to play RuneScape uninhibited by having to go to work, school, or other obligations. It’s honestly the perfect game to port over to mobile, considering 80% of the leveling in the game is best played while having something else do to and not looking at the screen. Jagex designed the user interface from the ground up, and it makes intuitive use of the touch screen controls in order to present a game that is not horrible to play over a long period of time.

I was afraid that the awkward finger tapping controls of your average phone game would compound the already slightly awkward controls of RuneScape, but Jagex has managed to pull off a rather smooth system. Many actions in the game are notably slower than their PC counterpart, especially anything that would require you to right click (hold your finger on screen), but OSRS compensates making it rather easy to right click NPCs even when they are moving. Clicking anything while your character is running can be a chore, but then again I find it equally a chore to do so in the full version.

The only parts of Old School RuneScape Mobile that I didn’t like were factors that ultimately have nothing to do with the phone itself. Tapping the screen with my fingers is responsive, but everyone’s fingers become fat sausage links when you’re dealing with a game that tiles its buttons on what feels like a 10×10 pixel radius. There’s also the matter of battery, which RuneScape just ate a percentage of in the time it took me to write this previous sentence. I’m sure most of you are familiar with the fact that cell phone batteries these days just suck, and if you’re the kind of person that wants to game on their phone or do anything more taxing than idling, and doesn’t carry around a battery pack, I unfortunately can’t help you.

Thankfully Old School RuneScape Mobile uses the same accounts, same characters, same servers as its desktop version, so when you get home and you’re ready to play on the big screen, you’ll be able to transition without a hitch.

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