Scrooges, Grinches and everyone else avoiding the season’s cheer will welcome the availability of Grand Theft Auto III: 10 Year Anniversary Edition for Apple and many Android mobile devices. So will all other hardcore gamers, even though Liberty City isn’t known as a place redolent of gingerbread and goodwill to all.

Rockstar Games said it has been very careful about preserving the essence of the world-famous game on the smaller screen. “We wanted to deliver the same sense of freedom that made the original so groundbreaking,” said Sam Houser, founder of Rockstar Games. “This is the entire captivating and addictive experience of Grand Theft Auto III, working beautifully on mobile devices.”

To that end, the user interface is designed to be scalable and intuitive. Additionally, the $4.99 mobile version has gamepad support, upgraded textures, greater draw distance, and new mission replay and autosave features.

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Grand Theft Auto III: 10 Year Anniversary Edition is compatible with Apple iOS Devices: iPad 1 & 2, iPhone 4 & 4S, iPod touch 4th Generation; Android Phones: HTC Rezound, LG Optimus 2x, Motorola Atrix 4G, Motorola Droid X2, Motorola Photon 4G, Samsung Galaxy R, Samsung Galaxy S2, Sony Ericsson Xperia Play, T-Mobile G2x; and Android Tablets: Acer Iconia, Asus Eee Pad Transformer, Dell Streak 7, LG Optimus Pad, Motorola Xoom, Samsung Galaxy Tab 8.9 and 10.1, Sony Tablet S, Toshiba Thrive.