The iPhone as a Gaming Device

When I got my iPhone back in 2006 I thought it was the most marvelous device ever. There really were no 'app stores' for phones back then. I remember my previous phone, you could purchase these over-priced Java-based games which were terrible, but other then that you simply got the programs which came with the phone and that was it. That said, it made me a bit puzzled as to why people were up in arms about the fact that there were and at that point would be no 3rd party applications on the iPhone. I mean I did understand it, but I wasn't that upset over it.

However as time went on, I definitely started to see the potential of the iPhone and more and more wanted for there to be 3rd party applications. For one, I really wanted to see my favorite To-Do application, Things to have an iPhone application. I even started to see potential for the phone to be a gaming device. Finally Apple released their SDK and the games and other applications started pouring in.

I think one of the first games I had for my iPhone was Pangea's Cro-Mag Rally which coincidentally was the first game (or maybe it was Bugdom) that I really enjoyed playing on a Mac. The game took advantage of the iPhone's accelerometers which I thought was really awesome and really showed the iPhone's potentials. After that I picked up Pocket God, Plants vs. Zombies, Minigore, Words with Friends, Angry Birds, Doodle Jump, Critter Crunch, Peggle, Tap Tap (and it's multiple versions), Driver, Oregon Trail and more. At some point I saw a a reference which pitted the iPhone against the devices which were solely meant for portable gaming; the Nintendo DS as well as Sony's PSP. While I am not sure I would personally put the Apple iPhone in the same category as those devices it surely can be considered a portable gaming device, however I think there's something that separates the iPhone from those. When I game on the iPhone it's usually a quick round of Plants vs. Zombies, or I'm playing a few quick rounds of Tap Tap. I find the Apple iPhone to be better suited for my life style in that I always have it with me, whereas my Nintendo DS or Sony PSP are extra devices I need to pack to bring around with me. The games for those devices (or at least the ones I take interest in) require me to set aside time to play them (which can be quite difficult with my busy life). With my iPhone I can just whip it out and play a few rounds of Angry Birds or I can play a quick game of Doodle Jump without needing to set aside 30 minutes or a couple hours.

Of course, most of the games for iPhone don't have much of a story-line or go into as much depth as the games for consoles and other popular portable gaming devices have. I doubt I'll be seeing the next Final Fantasy XIII, DiRT2 or Modern Warfare for iPhone. But for general, quick, good, fun pick-up games, iPhone is certainly my device of choice. I am really impressed with the library of games available on the iPhone and am excited to see what developers have in-store for us over the next few years.

What's your favorite iPhone game? I think mine's a toss up between Plants vs. Zombies and Minigore. Both very well put together games which have provided me countless hours of fun!

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Morgan W.

Head over heels for gadgets!