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What has been the best year for iPhone gaming?

12-01-2010, 09:32 PM
#1
Joined: Oct 2009
Location: Bakersfield, CA
Posts: 285
What has been the best year for iPhone gaming?

Now that 2010 is about to draw to a close, and with most of the December apps already known, I want to ask this question to the TA community. What year has been the best for iOS gaming to date?

In 2008, games first started to appear on iDevices. While some of the early attempts at games were a little underwhelming, we did see a few early favorites such as Tap Tap Revenge, TouchGrind, Rolando, Hero of Sparta, Labyrinth, Dropship, and a few others. There were also some disappointments, as the hardware wasn't quite ready to handle the ways early developers pushed it, so as a result we got disappointments like Super Monkey Ball.

In 2009, the momentum began to pick up. Many of 08's games recieved sequels in 09. Titles such as Rolando 2, Tap Tap Revenge 2, and Labyrinth 2 gave the iPhone it's first true platform-exclusive franchises. Three of the most iconic iDevice games, Doodle Jump, Pocket God, and Angry Birds, were all released in 2009. Angry Birds, the latter of these games, was eventually ported to other major platforms, including consoles. These games are still receiving updates as we speak, which gives the platform a distinct edge compared to other handhelds because the games were updated to include new content. These games also made casual and some hardcore gamers take notice of the platform.

And speaking of hardcore gaming, the industry's AAA publishers, such as Square Enix, Activision, and EA, started to provide installments in their core franchises, such as Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles, Call of Duty Zombies, and Rock Band, to the iPhone. By the end of 2009, the iPhone was now competing head-to-head with the DS and PSP.

Of course, not everything was peachy-keen in 2009. Apple introduced in-app purchases, opening the floodgates for a highly criticized new business model: Freemium games. Early titles such as Eliminate and Touch Pets Dogs made fans purchase upgrades if they wanted to continue playing. The trend continued into 2010, with titles such as We Rule, GodFinger, and Capcom Arcade.

In 2010, a brand new addition to the iDevice family was introduced: the Ipad, essentially a large-screen version of the devices that had come before it. This increased the market for Applications, and developers could charge more for the iPad version if they wanted to, but also add new features that simply weren't possible on the smaller screens. More hardcore franchises, such as Grand Theft Auto, Tony Hawk, and Rayman, also made their way to the iDevices, ported from their respective consoles.

2010 saw some of the biggest original titles hit the iDevices. Chaos Rings, a title from Square Enix, officially broke the $9.99 price barrier and became a critical and commercial hit, proving that a market for premium productions was there as long as the developer brought their A-game along with them (and in the case of Chaos Rings, they did). Many other heavy original titles, such as Warpgate and Infinity Blade, also made their way to the iDevices.

2010 also saw the release of the iPhone 4, with it's signature "Retina Display", allowing for higher resolution graphics than ever before. Many developers were forced to scramble and rebuild their assets so they looked eve better on the display. In addition, Apple released their Game Center, which allowed deveolpers to once-and-for-all use a fully-integrated social networking and achievements system for their games.

2010 also added another new face to its league of Casual Evergreens- Cut the Rope, a simple but addicting physics puzzle game, debuted in October, and with it, it's adorable green alien soon became another mascot for the iDevice platforms.

There were some disappointments in 2010. Riddim Ribbon turned out to be a massive flop, and even it's "reboot" later in the year ultimately couldn't save it. The loss of Riddim Ribbon forced Tapulous, one of the early leading developers for the platform, to be bought out by Disney. Mirror's Edge, while a fun game, suffered an agonizing five-month delay in it's coming to the smaller iDevices compared to it's iPad version. In addition, people were getting even more wary with the continuous separation of iOS capable devices. But overall, 2010 mostly continued where 2009 left off- bigger and better games, pushing the hardware even harder than before.

I have to say, however, that 2009 was a more memorable year, as that was when iOS gaming really grew up and grabbed hold of the marketplace.

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12-01-2010, 09:48 PM
#2
Joined: Dec 2010
Location: Chicago
Posts: 72
2010!

Need for Speed!

12-01-2010, 09:48 PM
#3
i played the crap out of tony hawk and rayman lol
12-02-2010, 07:58 AM
#4
No mention of MC2?

Currently playing Infinity Blade
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12-02-2010, 03:54 PM
#5
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 6,899
2009 was the best year. 2008 was the year of experimentation, and 2010 was about pure polish, but the wow factor of 2009, when a lot of genres first came onto the iPhone, won't be matched again. From quirky indie titles to proof of concept traditional games, every month of 2009 was having our minds blown. The last time I felt that wowed was with the PS2 back in 2001.

Last edited by arta; 12-02-2010 at 05:02 PM.
12-02-2010, 04:03 PM
#6
Joined: Apr 2009
Location: 31.560499, -111.904128
Posts: 7,471
Quote:
Originally Posted by arta View Post
2009 was the best year. 2008 was the year of experimentation, and 2010 was about pure polish, but the wow factor of 2008, when a lot of genres first came onto the iPhone, won't be matched again. From quirky indie titles to proof of concept traditional games, every month of 2009 was having our minds blown. The last time I felt that wowed was with the PS2 back in 2001.
Yeah 2009 was a great year. We had MC: Sandstorm, NOVA, Jet Car Stunts, Real Racing, Ravensword and many more awesome games. 2010 has been pretty good so far, although I think the best games of 2010 still haven't been released yet, we still have a lot to look forward to.


Quote:
Originally Posted by TNT_HEADSHOT View Post
No mention of MC2?
Game of the year IMO, unless NOVA 2 can beat it (or maybe Aralon).

Hakuna Matata
12-02-2010, 04:36 PM
#7
2010

I feel like this is the best year , but also the worst year of consumer complaining. I am worried that alot of developers will leave this platform and move to android and WP7 . All developers want to hold and high reputation , thats how they became big. But if they are getting trashed and bashed every turn , they leave to test thier products where they will recieve better feedback .
I hope developers stay with us , but dont count on it.
12-02-2010, 04:39 PM
#8
Joined: Dec 2009
Posts: 1,068
Quote:
Originally Posted by LBG View Post
Game of the year IMO, unless NOVA 2 can beat it (or maybe Aralon).
Agree, deserves to be GOTY.

Otherwise, I guess 2009 would have been pretty good if I was involved enough on the iPhone gaming scene to notice. At that time I still used my iPod for music only.

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12-02-2010, 05:03 PM
#9
Joined: Feb 2009
Posts: 6,899
Quote:
Originally Posted by LBG View Post
Yeah 2009 was a great year. We had MC: Sandstorm, NOVA, Jet Car Stunts, Real Racing, Ravensword and many more awesome games. 2010 has been pretty good so far, although I think the best games of 2010 still haven't been released yet, we still have a lot to look forward to.
Agreed. There's at least 10 heavy hitters still coming before Dec 31st. Will revise assessment if necessary.
12-02-2010, 05:13 PM
#10
Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 100
Quote:
Originally Posted by iPlayer3000 View Post
I feel like this is the best year , but also the worst year of consumer complaining. I am worried that alot of developers will leave this platform and move to android and WP7 . All developers want to hold and high reputation , thats how they became big. But if they are getting trashed and bashed every turn , they leave to test thier products where they will recieve better feedback .
I hope developers stay with us , but dont count on it.
I highly doubt developers are making decisions on what platform to develop for based on internet forums and blogs. There is just as much, or more, whining on the home console side.

Developers will make games where they have the best chance to be successful. Android has a huge marketshare but hasn't proven to be a great market for games as of yet. WM7 is too new in my opinion, but I feel could very well suffer from the same issues as Android (market fragmentation, inferior central marketplace like the App Store).