I have, in the past, argued that the iPhone is more of a games console that happens to make phone calls than the other way around. I admit that I had my tongue in my cheek when I penned that particular piece, but there is no doubting that the iPhone has become something of a portable gaming platform sensation. Often despite the best efforts of Apple, it seems, to prevent good game ideas from reaching the public.
A friend of mine recently suggested that the iPhone was even a return to the golden age of gaming in as far as it brought affordable fun back into the gaming equation. Well, affordable if you remove the hardware from the equation admittedly. The point being, with games coming free of charge at the App Store, and even the paid for ones starting from as little as 59p ($1)it really does hark back to the glory days of Commodore 64 tapes at pocket money prices.
More importantly, because of the limitations of the format, especially with regards to screen size, processor power (even on the 3GS) and input methods there is a renewed focus on that all important, and seemingly sadly oft overlooked when it comes to next generation consoles, little thing called gameplay.
Popularity in terms of the official App Store top paid for and top free games is as follows:
- Moto X Mayhem (a motorbike riding game)
- Paper Toss: World Tour (throwing a screwed up bit of paper into a bin, seriously)
- Civilization Revolution (yes, the Civilization sim on your iPhone)
- 20Q Mind Reader (twenty questions fun)
- Flick Cricket (cricket in your pocket)
- Waterslide Extreme (racing down giant waterpipes)
Of course there are some stinkers out there, and for every 20 games that I have downloaded and played on my iPhone I reckon I have kept only one or two. So what are the games which I would not want to spend a week in a hotel room without? Here's my personal top ten iPhone games, irrespective of whether they cost a handful of change or not, although your mileage will vary according to your particular gaming tastes.
- Worms (classic gaming with the battling worms, now on the iPhone)
- Secret of Monkey Island (another classic, this time the pirate puzzler)
- Bejeweled 2 (gem swapping puzzler that really is totally addictive)
- Spore Origins (Electronic Arts with a totally original evolution sim)
- Tap Tap Revenge (tap and shake your iPhone to the beat of popular tunes)
- Assassin's Creed (yes, that one, but shrunk down to fit the iPhone)
- Minigore (3D survival shooter)
- Flight Control (don't let the planes crash! with peer-to-peer multiplayer action)
- Bookworm (straightforward word puzzler, hugely addictive though)
- Ragdoll Blaster (shoot a ragdoll at targets and avoid the obstacles, crazy fun)