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iPod & iPhone reviews

02-28-2009, 02:57 AM
#1
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 163
iPod & iPhone reviews

I felt it was pretty unfair for Alpine Racer to be soley reviewed on an iPhone 3G. While it was nice to mention that it may be faster on a 2nd Gen iPod the reviewer should have actually tested the game on both devices. As a developer I have to spend countless hours optimizing for the slower devices. Still the framerates are typically half of what they are on the new iPod. You said the game doesn't flow and to a large extent that will be based on frame rate. At the end of the day it would be better for all parties involved if TouchArcade reviews were based on both devices. Perhaps some games aren't worth playing on an iPhone (I actually don't use the iPhone for playing anymore because the experience is so much worse) but you might find the experience to be just fine on the iPod 2G. With reviews based on both devices you can let developers put their best foot forward and you can also forwarn players if something's not worth playing on a particular device or just period.
02-28-2009, 03:10 AM
#2
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 2,438
I don't think I'd call it unfair. They said their game was compatible with the iPhone 3G. If they don't want it played on an iPhone 3G, they can check off the box that says "iPhone compatible". If you, as a developer, don't want your game played on an iPhone, you shouldn't sell it to iPhone customers.

Still, if the framerate was the only problem with the game, then I might agree more... but the game was not that good irrespective of the framerate.

arn

02-28-2009, 02:10 PM
#3
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 163
A game can be compatible with the 3G but it may not be at it's best. Years ago I played Doom3 on a modest PC. The game worked but my personal experience with the game was a far cry from the intended experience although my hardware met the minimum requirements and was compatible. Reviewers played the game on a range of hardware to let their readers know what to expect depending on their particular setup. However when it came down to reporting on the actual gameplay they played the game on the best hardware they had. In a way they compartmentalized the technical review from the gameplay review. Gameplay though was rated based on the best hardware available not the worst. This sort of reporting benefits all parties and is simply more thorough. There's no reason not to do it.
02-28-2009, 06:07 PM
#4
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 6,509
Look, iPhone obviously comes, first, Touch second. If you write a game intended for the appstore, it should run on the iPhone. That's always gonna be your first priority. Besides, game should be optimized (or at least have the options for it) for the system that it's going to be played on the most. In this case, still the iPhone.

There are much heavier games in terms of graphics and computing that run flawless on the iPhone (i.e HoS, BiA, Zen Bound, Sway, Fastlane). The devs were just lazy and didn't port and streamline this title as well as they could've.

Plus, reviewing a game on both an iPhone and Touch is gonna increase the time necessary to play it. Not really worth it.
03-01-2009, 12:15 AM
#5
Joined: Jan 2009
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 5,206
The problem is, not every reviewer has both an iPhone and a 2G Touch. I do, but I'm the exception, not the rule, and I have a purpose for both devices other than reviewing. Not every reviewer here can be expected to have both -- I'd be surprised if more than one or two did. (Unless TA staffers get paid well enough to afford both.)

Mentioning that it may be faster on a 2G Touch was likely just a function of the reviewer not having one to test it on. Besides, if you optimize for the lowest common denominator, isn't it a given that it will likely be faster on a Touch? Personally I've only ever run into one situation where a game that should have run fine on an iPhone didn't, but worked fine on my Touch, and the developer still isn't sure why. (He only has a Touch to test on.)

Moreover, I think, your largest customer base is going to come from the iPhone, the very device you're optimizing for, so it would probably be fair to say that this is what you'd want the bulk of a review to focus on. FWIW, I do the vast majority of my reviews on my iPhone, as the last poll I ran on device ownership indicated that the majority of readers (by a ratio of greater than 3:1) were iPhone owners. This was before the 2G Touch, mind you, but I don't expect that the numbers have changed significantly, especially because the fact that it's faster isn't an advertised feature.

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Currently working on: Music for Spirit Hunter Mineko
03-01-2009, 01:46 AM
#6
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 163
I played BIA (not the others) on both devices and I wouln't call my experience on the iPhone flawless. As compared to playing it on the 2G Touch it was terrible. If I had developed that title I would have preferred its gameplay to be evaluated on the faster device where the intracacies could be fully appreciated. On the same token I would like reviewers to set potental iPhone customer expectations appropriately. I suppose though if the benchmark remains static that it's somewhat moot.

Still, if a title is called out for not "flowing" on the phone perhaps there could be some redemption by letting the other third of the player base know that they're safe.

Excuses like the reviews taking too long or the cost being prohibitive are obviously ridiculous. If anyone is going to professionally review games as they do here then they should pony up a tiny fraction of the developers' responsibility before shredding months of development time with 15 minutes of typing. TouchArcade can significantly alter a game's sales, the least they can do is offer thorough reviews that respect the fact that there are 2 devices and that a game might be worth it on one if not both.
03-01-2009, 11:36 AM
#7
Joined: Apr 2008
Posts: 2,438
Quote:
Originally Posted by Midnight Status View Post
Excuses like the reviews taking too long or the cost being prohibitive are obviously ridiculous. If anyone is going to professionally review games as they do here then they should pony up a tiny fraction of the developers' responsibility before shredding months of development time with 15 minutes of typing. TouchArcade can significantly alter a game's sales, the least they can do is offer thorough reviews that respect the fact that there are 2 devices and that a game might be worth it on one if not both.
I agree cost is a non-issue. We don't review apps on iPod Touch 2Gs, not because of cost, or even time... but felt that the iPhone 3G represented the majority platform and an appropriate "baseline".

And I said before, if your game can't stand up to review on an iPhone 3G, then it should not be listed as iPhone 3G compatible, or you should say in the description that an iPod Touch 2G is strongly recommended. In those cases, you can be sure that we'll review it on an iPod Touch 2G.

You can't have it both ways, though. You can't sell the game equally on the iPod Touch and iPhone and yet only want reviews on the iPod Touch.

arn
03-01-2009, 12:00 PM
#8
Joined: Jan 2009
Location: In a galaxy, far far away...
Posts: 145
Apple is very customer friendly! First they released iPhone 1g at 999$, ipod touch 1g at 299$ (I own one). Now, the iPhone 3g costs like 600-700$ and the ipod touch 2g 200-250 dollars, and, they wanted us( the ipod 1g owners) to buy the january-update for 20$. Now, they want us 1g owners to buy the july update for 7.99$ with the january update included!!!!!! And now, if they would release games which wouldn't be compatible with ipod 1g, we would be screwed up! Apple, you suck!!!!!! Curse you!!!!!

(hope my english isn't that worse!!!)
03-01-2009, 03:53 PM
#9
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 163
I see that you have no interest in improving your product. This isn't about my work, it's about your reviews which carry a lot of weight yet offer a narrow perspective. You are supposed to be the objectve third party offering the full and unbiased story on the games people play. There are differences not only in graphics, but sound and tactile feedback and you offer no perspective on that. Stating that Namco's video looks better is speculative reporting. Is the game actually better on the iPod? Who knows!

I guess according to you developers should be responsible for providing their own unbiased review of their games too. If that was possible then TouchArcade would be unnecessary. Take some responsibility for what you've created. Reporting on games is easy work how about meeting at least the minimum requirements that other game reviewers have set throughout the years, i.e. acknowledging and reporting differences caused by hardware variations.
03-01-2009, 04:24 PM
#10
i must say, alpine had no issues on my ipod......