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What iPhone games are lacking.

04-24-2010, 04:14 PM
#1
Joined: Feb 2010
Posts: 286
What iPhone games are lacking.

I've been playing games since the late 80s when I was a child and I started off with this basic PC where all you could see was text. I found it weird that back then I could play text based adventure games for hours and get enjoyment out of them like an interactive book. Obviously gaming has come a long way from there but the main thing still stands for me to what engrosses me into a game. That is story and creating a place that I want to be in. Sure enough there will be games like Doodle Jump and that is great, they serve a purpose for 5 mins. However when I've played RPGs and all them type of games, I've found myself bored.

The problem is that there's lots of developers who may only be two or three people and they seem to forget about the art and the story. This is the most important thing to me because I need to feel like I want to be there. I need to like the characters and I need to have interesting story to keep me playing. I need to love the art style as well so I can explore.

Grand Theft Auto: China Town wars is so far the only game that is that type, which has kept me interested in it from beginning to end. That is obviously because it was a DS game and Rockstar are known for their great story and interesting character's.

Really bothers me that the Art and the lore are the things that are forgotten from Indie developers. I know this is due to time and resources but a bland generic game isn't going to get anyone interested. Angry Birds and Doodle Jump sold for a reason and that is because they have distinctive looks.

I've played many games in my time and so to keep me interested, I need something different, with a different story to tell. Diablo 2 is an amazing game and it got there for having an interesting world and story. All the poor clones that have come out since haven't done well because they're generic bores. The same goes for World of Warcraft and all the MMO clones since which are just souless.

Alot of games on the iPhone so far just feel this way to me. Zenonia may be popular because it was one of the first of it's kind on the iPhone and so it had a gimmick. However the story isn't interesting, the art style is generic and the game is pretty mediocre. Compare it to Zelda on the DS and it's like I'm just gonna play the DS instead. For iPhone gaming to be taken seriously, people need to create something original or with great lore that gets you stuck in.
04-24-2010, 04:21 PM
#2
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 249
I agree with you. I'm also a child of the 80s. Go figure.

I do like what I see out of Space Miner. That's one of the first games on the itouch so far that I really feel like playing continuously, other than Bejweled, Peggle and other games like that. Now, I just wish it would go down to 1.99 or 2.99.

04-24-2010, 07:49 PM
#3
Joined: Jun 2009
Location: Hollywood, CA
Posts: 1,869
These are all very good points you make. However, there's a very simple answer to this question - the iPhone as a platform is being treated as a casual gaming device, the majority of these titles are intending to go for the crowd who need a quick fix of burst-gaming to kill some time in-between whatever they are up to (waiting in line, train on the way to work, etc). Of course you'll see some more fleshed-out game experiences here and there, but it's going to have to be the exception rather than the rule; bigger productions require a lot more time and money to produce, never mind test and market and all of that. And then at the end of the day, what kind of return will they get? You want a Final Fantasy type experience for under $5, are you serious?

If I had a guarantee that I could sell an FF-type game running on a PS1-type system (or SNES even) for (at least) $5 and get sales of a quarter million, I'd definitely spend the year or so required to produce it as an indie developer. But in reality the likelihood of that happening is quite low (since I am a low-profile developer, I haven't enough cash to hire people to help, I am competing with the REAL Final Fantasy or the like, I can't afford that kinda marketing, etc) Economically it just makes so much more sense to make an oldschool, simply accessible arcade-style action or puzzle game which my mom could figure out how to play. It's up to me, as a dev, to figure out how to make that appealing to a wider potential audience, but that's a different story.

And the other really big point to understand here is this - as I was saying above, iPhone is mostly targeting the casuals. We can't compete with the big-budget games, and why should we - there is an extremely established (and markedly successful) market already for this. People who want gorgeous hi-production value games can play them, affordably, on PC, console, or even scaled down on PSP or DS.

The future of all this is, you WILL see fancier productions on iPhone, and more of 'em from the bigger companies (essentially, the same guys who can afford to produce DS and PSP stuff). You'll also have to expect to pay DS ad PSP prices for those experiences. You just won't see them produced by indies, as it's just not feasible.
04-24-2010, 10:25 PM
#4
It's a bit unrealistic to expect GTA quality from indie developers.
04-24-2010, 11:16 PM
#5
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,175
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheDingadergen View Post
It's a bit unrealistic to expect GTA quality from indie developers.
That's a good point.

The iPhone is very much you get what you pay for.

GTA is $10 so realistically it should be 10 times better than a $1 game.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dead Space Girl
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04-24-2010, 11:25 PM
#6
Joined: Feb 2010
Location: USA
Posts: 347
Quote:
Originally Posted by DJCaseyD View Post
I agree with you. I'm also a child of the 80s. Go figure.

I do like what I see out of Space Miner. That's one of the first games on the itouch so far that I really feel like playing continuously, other than Bejweled, Peggle and other games like that. Now, I just wish it would go down to 1.99 or 2.99.
Tilt to Live is a a game like those, you just want to play it!

And I agree on Space Miner going down in price, the App store has made me cheap! and I have wasted good bit of money on games that are good like once and then just suck.

I am also stuck between if I should just get Space Miner because I liked the lite version or Warpgate for the good reviews.
04-27-2010, 01:25 PM
#7
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 14
yeah, 80s gamer here too. Started with a c64, know what you mean.

i remember playing games like Elite (the space trader) for hours. All the ships were geometric primitives but i remember getting a chill when i saw pirates coming. The world and its lore were immersive. Elite did GTA 15 years earlier and it was a much vaster, better designed open world too..

And the Infocom text games? You could spend hours trying to get past a puzzle, completely 'seeing' the locations of the game (and it was all text!! Heck I still see some of those locations! The haunting underground passages in Trinity for example )

And how about the Gold Box rpgs? They just had tiled corridors and static images. The battles were just little icons duking it out, and the art was 16bit color. Yet they did a good job immersing the player and telling great stories.

But I guess its also the veil of nostalgia that makes the games from our past look great. Today, if you try those games, you'll notice many of them break the fourth wall all the time (ie you can see right through it into the mechanics of it). It's a combination of perception and what for us at the time was bleeding edge tech - what we were willing to imagine in the place of what those games couldn't vividly portray.

No doubt that indie game devs today can take some of the good stuff from that era - the focus on stories and innovation and using the limitations of the medium to create an immersive experience - but today's gamers are also used to having seamless AAA game experiences. Many of the games of the earlier era will just not translate directly. Making a quality title today takes tremendous time and effort, which not may indie devs have. Hence the deluge of casual games.

Last edited by AnupTA; 04-27-2010 at 02:37 PM.
04-28-2010, 02:41 PM
#8
Joined: Mar 2010
Posts: 7
well there where a couple of good games in the 80's/90's.
Games I would love to see would be Dime City,Larry, Days of the Tentacle aso..
04-28-2010, 03:02 PM
#9
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 249
Quote:
Originally Posted by sidewinder12s View Post
Tilt to Live is a a game like those, you just want to play it!

And I agree on Space Miner going down in price, the App store has made me cheap! and I have wasted good bit of money on games that are good like once and then just suck.

I am also stuck between if I should just get Space Miner because I liked the lite version or Warpgate for the good reviews.
I was just checking tweets from the dev for Space Miner. They said that the game will be going on sale on May 1st and everyone that doesn't have it will want to take advantage. a .99 or 1.99 price would be outstanding. I've probably had more fun with the lite version of that game than most of the stuff I have. Tilt to Live and Fruit Ninja are similar. It seems like at my age, I either need something to be really engrossing, i.e. Oblivion, or I need it to be a great pick up and play for a few minutes type of game. There doesn't seem to be any middle ground for me.
04-28-2010, 05:04 PM
#10
Joined: Nov 2009
Location: Right. Behind. You.
Posts: 769
Are you kidding? There are tons of really original, beautifully crafted games created only for the iDevice. Such as Spider: Secret of Bryce Manor.