I’m stranded in sunny Spain with nothing to do but sun myself, look at views of the sea, drink too much beer and play iPhone games. Rather than just dip in for a 30 second game while waiting in a queue at the bank, iPhone games have become my gaming sustenance. Is that a good thing? The answer is…… Kinda.
The addictive quick games like Angry Birds and Doodle Jump don’t hold up for extended play sessions over several days. Canabalt and Robot Unicorn are the same, great fun in short doses but like eating wine gums to stave off hunger, they’re just not satisfying enough.
Better bets are established games that existed before the iPhone was around. Beneath a steal sky, Peggle and Bookworm adventures are all great time sinks. None of these are perfect on iPhone, but all work well enough within the constraints of the system to be great fun.
I would like to put forward two titles as particularly rewarding; two titles that seem hugely uninspiring at first glance.
The first is Oregon Trail. This smart conversion of the PC classic is all about the decisions you make as you travel the famous trail to find a place to build your home in the old west. It’s gameplay is strange, a combination of rpg item management, mini game and point and click interaction. Most of the challenge come in the form of weighing up the risks of rushing vs the dangers of the environment. It’s visuals are perfectly suited to the iPhones screen and the sometimes cruel humour makes the whole thing a perfect holiday play.
My second recommendation is Doom Rpg 2. This new version of the classic mobile phone game seems like it shouldn’t work. Doom works well today as a retro game based on the fluidity of the movement and the perfect game balance so how can a turn based first person version be fun? The answer is by adding the nostalgia of the franchise with Tongue-in-cheek humour and well balanced difficulty and progression. In this game your always progressing, always being challenged and always gently chuckling. During a holiday where you are cut off from your hobby, Doom rpg 2 exposes you to raw gaming in pure form. Exploration, progression, challenge and pure gameplay in miniature, it’s the perfect holiday game.
On a final note, iPhone gaming is not perfect, bit still seems light years ahead of my co-site author and co-holiday go-er Gnarly Harleys android phone gaming experience. Upon checking the top releases on the android game store he was heard to utter:
“Three dollars for Bubble Defense. BUBBLE DEFENSE!”