Android Wear hack makes Half-Life playable on a smartwatch

A PC classic, now on your wrist.

Feb 29, 2020, 10:56 pm*

Tech

 

Mike Wehner

Playing Doom on a printer is one thing, but hacking a sophisticated classic shooter onto a smartwatch? That’s next level.

YouTuber Dave Bennett pulled it off using a sleek little emulator and his LG G Watch running Android Wear. 

The game runs via the SDLash emulator which emulates the GoldSource game engine, and allows a few classic Valve games to be played on Android. The process of getting it to run on Android Wear is a bit more complex, with several more steps that Bennett has outlined in a handy tutorial

As you can see from the video, the game itself is only barely playable, and using touch screen controls to manipulate a character in an open 3D environment is less than ideal, especially on a screen measuring less than two inches. 

LG’s G Watch is able to run the game at a modest frame rate, reaching as high as 30 frames per second at times, but also dipping as low as two frames per second in others. Navigating hallways and engaging in combat would likely be nothing more than an exercise in frustration, but the fact that the game runs on a watch in the first place really ramps up the cool factor here. 

Even before this proof of concept, gaming on Android Wear has been moving along at an impressive clip. You can already play Game Boy Color emulators on the device:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Jd3bVSPJok

Minecraft:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLb-D1kAhyI

And even Grand Theft Auto III:

Screengrab via Dave Bennett/YouTube

Share this article
*First Published: Jul 24, 2015, 2:13 pm