Apple iPhone Games

Apple Inc looks set to be on to another winner with their new iPhone (capable of 3G network connection speeds to ensure you get your data as fast as possible) in the form of the App Store.  Aside from various useful gadgets and widgetry, the store is going to become host to the whole gamut of iPhone games that will shortly be available for download/purchase on your new handset.

Just like iTunes, the App Store will allow users to easily purchase extra content from publishers and developers, who can also add extra content such as trailers.  Meanwhile, users can add reviews and access free demos.  Already, there are 175 games available, some of which are classics such as Bomberman.

The president of iPhone focussed game development studio ngmoco – Neil Young – said that users were spending more than 60% of their time on the device on features that aren’t phone calls or texts.  This shows that people are clearly taking advantage of the new functionality that the likes of the iPhone are offering – such as media playing, use for work, games playing and much more.

Apple isn’t the only one getting in on the game.  EA Mobile has a bunch of casual games out for the iPhone, Tetris EA Sudoku and Scrabble – as well as something that’s sure to be one of the greatest successes of this generation – a mobile version of Spore.  What makes this perhaps even more interesting is the feature that allows the player to control their spore simply by tilting their phone.

Of course, some out there may be concerned about why people would bother to play games on their phone, when PSP’s and DS’s are arguably better.  Well, for starters the iPhone offers perhaps the best of both worlds, with a display that’s high quality (like the PSP) with some of the more funky functionality of the DS.  Another advantage is that games can be a variety of file sizes, without worrying about restrictions (other than reasonable download sizes of course).

Naturally, Gameloft has also arrived on the scene to act as a high quality games provider.  This has lead to the company offering six launch titles, including Block Breaker Deluxe (where you control a paddle and must smash the blocks further up the screen with a ball), Brain Challenge (think Nintendo’s brain Training), Platinum Sudoku, Platinum Solitaire (great fun), Diamond Twister and Chess & Backgammon.  Although these games were developed in 12 weeks, they make use of the touch screen and the accelerometer – meaning that short development time doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t have depth or use the full functionality of the device.

So, which games would I recommend for your device, given the wealth of content out there?  Well unsurprisingly I’m quite keen on some of the games that are more familiar or belong to franchises that you’ll recognise from your home console.  Let’s take a look at five of the best:

Tetris – Electronic Arts
There are 15 levels to the game in a formula that you’ll easily recognise.  Whilst things are now in colour, there’s no missing the fact that this remains almost exactly the same game as the Gameboy original – and that’s just fantastic.  Marathon Mode is a hot tip to be one of the most addictive things you’ll play.

Zen Pinball: Rollercoaster – Zen Studios
Granted, there’s only one single table to be played here.  However, the fact that the graphics, sound and action that goes on is just brilliant.  Flippers are controlled by tapping the screen – luckily this doesn’t bump the table too or things could get confusing.

Spore – Electronic Arts
Granted, there’s sparse information about Spore – but I’m expecting great things.  Drag your single celled organism around using the touch screen and avoid predators.  Given how good the creature editor is then this could be a real highlight.

Etch a Sketch – Freeze Tag

Showing that perhaps the casual market is even more creative than anyone thought, Etch A Sketch comes to your iPhone.  Granted, you can cheat by touching the screen but somehow that really, really misses the point.  Instead, use the little circular knobs and be just as rubbish as you were as a child.  Sure joy.

Crosswords – Stand Alone

If you’re a fan of crosswords (especially if you can’t get enough of the things) then this is definitely something that’s for you.  Puzzles are pulled from a variety of sources such as the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.  You’ll love the simple and clear interface.

Overall, there’s a wealth of content over at the App Store – so if you haven’t ventured on yet make sure you add it to your agenda for the weekend.

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