Android Wear smartwatches can (technically) run Half-Life (Wired UK)

Dave Bennett / YouTube

It’s not quite “Half-Life 3 confirmed”, but one inventive tinkerer has managed to get the original Half-Life running on Android. Forget tablets and smartphones though — YouTuber Dave Bennett has managed to ‘port’ Valve’s genre-defining shooter to an Android Wear smartwatch.

It’s far from feature complete, but just getting the classic game operating on such a tiny touchscreen device is a minor miracle. A tap of the finger replaces mouselook, swinging the view around unlikely hero Gordon Freeman’s initial descent into Black Mesa, and overall performance wasn’t too shabby either. Bennett reports frame rates of up to 30fps, too — though also as low as a meagre 2fps. 

He also says that it’s not an ideal gaming situation, just more of a proof of concept. “Things such as the lava graphics and special lightening caused a huge drop in fps,” Bennett writes in his tutorial. “Trying to play a game on Android Wear is a nightmare within itself. The app offers touchscreen controls, but on a 1.65 inch screen, they are almost impossible to use. Also, swiping to the left causes the screen to go back to the previous window.”

Although Bennett uses an LG G Watch, the actual hardware model isn’t too important. Any Android Wear device should theoretically be capable of pulling off the same trick, though to do so will require activating USB and wireless debugging on your device and using the third-party SDLash3D APK. Oh, and having your own legal copy of the game, of course.

Watch Life

Half-Life isn’t the only surprising piece of software people have managed to get working on a smartwatch, whether they were intended to live on that kind of ecosystem or not. Bennett himself is some sort of wizard, having recently gotten a slimmed-down version of Windows XP running on Android Wear.

Bennett was (sort of) beaten to the punch by Corbin Davenport last year though, who showed off the long-lost Windows 95 running on an Android smartwatch. Because nothing says “computer on your wrist, this is the future!” like a 20-year old OS.

Dipping into the murkier (read: mostly illegal) waters of ROMs and emulation, this look at Pokemon running on another LG G Watch is interesting if nothing else. The screen ratio works well, but the layout of the virtual d-pad and control buttons looks an absolute mess.

No more legal, but arguably more impressive (especially if you missed preordering the Pipboy edition of the upcoming Fallout 4) is seeing the original Fallout on your wrist. Another Davenport effort, this supposedly pushed the hardware to its limits and required the use of a new APK, but still worked — just.

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24 July 2015 | 2:34 pm – Source:


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