Fallout 2, Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri, Heroes of Might and Magic – these great old games, and other classics, would have no trouble running on your Android device, yet it is still not happening. It worked out well for Beamdog, who brought Enhanced Editions of Baldur’s Gate, Icewind Dale and Planescape: Torment, so why not do it with the others?
Luckily, there is a workaround. Thanks to ExaGear Strategies and ExaGear RPG (tailored for strategy games and RPGs respectively), you can play the golden oldies of PC gaming on your Android device.
Note: For this, you’ll need the original game files, and you’ll need to pay a small amount for the control schemes after a three-day trial.
1. First, grab ExaGear Strategies and/or ExaGear RPG from the Play Store (depending on what type of game you want to play), and install the classic PC game you want on your Android device onto your PC. (GOG.com is probably your best bet for legally buying old PC games, especially as everything on the site is DRM-free).
2. Next, connect your Android device to your PC via a USB cable, making sure that you’ve enabled File Transfers on it. (Pull down the notification menu from the top of your Android screen, tap “Use USB for -> File transfers.”)
3. After that, use Windows Explorer to copy your game directory (C:GOG GamesSid Meier’s Alpha Centauri for me) onto the internal storage of your Android device.
4. Once it’s there, download a file manager for your Android device that lets you access the root directory of your internal storage (I used ES File Explorer, but any file manager will do).
5. Open the file explorer, navigate to the location where you copied your game onto your Android device, “Cut” it, then paste it to the ExaGear folder, which should be in the folder “/storage/emulated/sdcard.”
6. The game will now sync with ExaGear. When you open ExaGear Strategies or ExaGear RPG, the Windows executable (.exe) files for your game should appear. As a general rule of thumb, select the one that you’d use to run the game in Windows (terranx.exe for me, which is the Alien Crossfire expansion for Alpha Centauri).
7. You’ll then be asked to select a control scheme. There are only two to choose from in Strategies and one in RPG, and they’re generally well optimised to work with most of the 90s classics. Pick a control scheme, and game away!
You’ll notice that once you pick a control scheme, you have 3 days to try it out before deciding if you want to buy it for $7. It’s a bit of a catch, but a small price to pay to enjoy your favourite vintage games on Android.
To some extent, it’s a case of trial-and-error whether games work or not, but you have three days to do it, so as long as you have the games you want to “Mobilize” ready, you should have enough time to see what works and what doesn’t. I tested out Fallout 2 and Alpha Centauri on my trusty old HTC One M8, and both worked perfectly.