Handheld gaming for years has been strictly only for pure gaming consoles, with a few exceptions. Mobile phones have taken stabs at this huge market, only to fall flat on their faces with poor graphics, and shoddy control capabilities. Then came the Iphone.
Gaming on mobile phones has been a dismal since we were all being wowed by our VGA cameras and various versions of “Snake” on early mobile phones. A quick time waster to pass the time on the bus or during a business meeting, Mobile gaming has never had a strong following or competent store to buy and download games despite its huge global install base. Apple has since introduced the Iphone and IPod touch with their touch screen capability, accelerometer and perhaps the strongest point of the rapidly expanding Application store.
For years the iTunes store has been the go-to place for all music, movie, audio book and podcasts. The application store shares all, if not more of these practical tools to sift through the ever mounting pile of new apps each day. What a pile it is. The best way that I can describe the app store is a bin. A bin which all the rubbish and more often than not good content sinks down to the bottom with an even larger amount of rubbish rising to the top with a few gems hidden in there. The ratings system in theory works well: Review an app out of 5 stars, the best apps rise on the ‘Best paid’ and ’Best free’ lists…Right? Sadly most of the better apps are hampered with ‘’Crashes on my IPod’’ reviews with one star ratings which deprived fantastically innovative games with two and three star ratings. One you have found some interesting apps on the store and have installed them the control scheme of most games is still something developers on Iphone games are still trying to figure out.
When gamers first saw that although the Iphone would have something extra under the hood for gaming the question still echoed ‘Where the hell are the buttons?’ A short notice to all Iphone game developers out there. On screen buttons and joysticks Do. Not. Work. The accelerometer (a device that measures non-gravitational accelerations) is where all your controlling needs are at. For short play sessions such as Scoops the nifty accelerometer physics make it the perfect quick fix. Games like Rolando also show off the IPhone’s accelerometer power. With the announcement of the new Metal Gear coming to Iphone has sparked much speculation about how it will play. Rumors are that it will be an on rails shooter with simple click and shoot mechanics. I personally would love to see a peek cover system by tilting the Iphone to come in and out of cover. With the announcement of a Resident Evil game also coming, innovation can only improve.
You may be reading this asking “Well I’ve got a DS/PSP I don’t exactly need another handheld’’. That is where the Iphone has lots of ground to make up. These two handhelds have been dominating for many years now making it increasingly harder for new competition to even make a mark. The best thing that the Iphone has going for it gaming wise is the constant accessibility to internet. Downloading games, Reading reviews and even playing online can all be accessed with a simple visit to the app store and quick install. With DS and PSP games reaching sometimes into the high $70 (AUD) price range, a quick $1.19 or even $5.99 Iphone game will not only have you saying ‘Why not?’ but ‘Why haven’t I yet?’
I’m not saying ‘’get rid of all your handhelds, this is what you need to game on’’ . The Iphone/IPod Touch is by no means a ground breaking new gadget that all hard core gamers must own. However, with many hardcore titles being announced and it’s already strong lineup of cleaver and addictive casual games, come quarter four of 2009 the Iphone has a pretty solid line up. So don’t throw out your PSP or DS just yet: keep an eye on this new kid on the block.
New to Gamer Limit? Come on in!