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7 Deadly Time-Wasting Sins: iPhone's Most Wanted Games

iPhone gets into the game

Solitaire? Sudoku? Word Spell? Oh please. With touch screens and Wi-Fi, surely we can expect more in the games department – not just ports of popular casual games, but new versions of solid market-tested titles that can take advantage of the iPhone’s sexy new features.

Apple (AAPL) has surely got something interesting up its sleeves, but given that the platform is closed to non-approved and non-official developers, James and I are making our suggestions directly to Steve Jobs. Hey Steve, if you want to compete with the Nintendo DS at all, then you should include these seven gaming gems that would keep us glued to our iPhones.  [digg=]

1. Guitar Hero for iPhone – The iPhone’s already-existing music library is just begging for a port of the groundbreaking PS2 rhythm game. The touch interface can replicate the fret buttons of the original game. Of course, recreating the Playstation’s bulky guitar-shaped control would be tough. So instead, call the iPhone version Ukulele Hero. (When you get to the boss level, you compete against uke Hendrix Jake Shimabukuro.) (WJA)

2. New Brain Age – Exercise that giant muscle in your skull in between Twittering and texting with an update of Nintendo’s runaway best-seller customized for the iPhone, enhanced with a light layer of social networking. Use the touch screen to draw answers to Pictionary-esque puzzles, and compare your scores with those on your friends lists. Time yourself against competitors in solving those simple arithmetic and multiplication problems. (JP)

3. Tringo – Tetris meets Bingo equals excellent iPhone title. I’m not just suggesting it because I’m a Second Life chauvinist (the game originally became so popular with SL residents, it was ported to the Nintendo Gameboy), but because it’s an addicting, single-handed game with easy-to-learn, challenging-to-master fun. The original Tringo succeeded because there was a multiplayer wagering element, with a match’s highest scoring player winning the whole pot. This should be easy enough to implement with SMS, but instead of betting Linden Dollars, how about credits that can be used to buy selected iTunes singles? (WJA)

4. Katamari Damacy – With one of the most engaging soundtracks ever, this off-beat classic appeals to even the most hardened of hardcore gamer hearts. The object of the game is deceptively simple – help the little Prince roll up in-game objects into the biggest ball that he can, using your finger on the touch pad to guide the ever-increasing lump around the world. The game could pull music from your iTunes to use in the soundtrack, and let you compete in time trials with your friends over Wi-Fi, or deploy a co-op mode to collaboratively finish a level. (JP)

5. Phoenix Wright, Ace AttorneyA cult hit series for the Nintendo DS, this wacky and brilliant Japanese import is Boston Legal meets StreetFighter: instead of being a kung fu master, you’re a heroic defense attorney uncovering flaws in corrupt prosecutors’ cases. To do that, you poke around the crime scene and riffle through your evidence folder–easy functionality to implement into the iPhone’s touch interface. (WJA)

6. Facebook Application for the iPhone – Okay, it’s not strictly a “game”, per se, but the sheer variety of things to do on the incredibly expanding social network provides a rich playground for millions of users. An iPhone-specific mini-game would let you place your current location on a map, and invite friends in the vicinity to “attack” you using their Zombie or Vampire characters. If you’re familiar with a friend’s route, you could even set a trap along the way. Gloat by sending the unfortunate victim a sound byte of your maniacal laughter. (JP)

7. Perplex City, or another top ARG – The ideal iPhone game will leverage its multi-functionality. What better way to do that than through an AlternateReality Game, which incorporates the web, e-mail, and other
media to solve an unfolding mystery? (In an ARG, you need to browse the Net and call voice mail inboxes to find the clues– or in Perplex City’s case, to help locate a magical item that was hidden in the real world.)
Free tip: Hire Jane McGonigal, creator of the famous “I Love Bees” ARG for Halo 2 which caused tremendous buzz. Free tip two: Make the iPhone mystery a search for Steve Job’s lost humility. (WJA)

So what’s on your wish list?

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24 Responses to “7 Deadly Time-Wasting Sins: iPhone's Most Wanted Games”

  1. I just want an engineering and financial calculator!
    the kindergartener one on the i-Phone annoys me every time I am forced to use it.
    Treo had a great one. Also, the convert tool they had was great too!
    Simple isn’t always smarter!!

  2. Vans have announced a Tony Hawkes like skate game is in development for the iPhone. Using the touch interface to control the deck it is aptly titles ‘Finger Fracture’ and i read about it recently on a couple of sites.

    Interesting use of the touch control and a good way to spend a few hours i reckon, although in the litigeous US they may end up gettined sued for RSI.

    Anyways, nice piece on trandwatch about it

  3. I most want something that will allow me to play the oriental game of Go from anywhere, as well as record in real life games in progress. I think this is such a killer app for the iPhone due to the number of worldwide people who play the game (millions estimated) and posts by players looking for a handheld computer that can do similar. I have rolled an open source project on google to do just that, iShudan.

    Feel free to come and find out what I’m talking about and join the project if you are interested.

  4. And why wouldn’t I just continue to play my DS instead of playing on an iPhone that has one screen?

    I think that Nokia already proved that phones rarely can compete with a dedicated game system. I don’t want a “jack of all trades, master of none” device, I want the best networking handheld device and I want it separate from my game system.

  5. Umang Chouhan

    How about a DJ application? You already have music on the iPhone. Dont you want to mix it? With the touch screen interface it will be so cool to do stuff like scratching, and cueing … Although these kinds of applications may not be possible using the safari browser and the web 2.0 development model …

  6. I have no doubt that there will be games on the iPhone, but Apple’s fanatical control over everything means they’ll probably be plain and boring. This isn’t going to be anything like the DS.

  7. I have nothing against FB as such, but what one can add on top of current FB? :) yet another application (faint laughter)? of blinking widget with FB URL line icon? :) I mean, it is pretty much limited space for creativity compared to HTML inside web browser , not to say binary applications for Web always behind HTML apps. Care to prove opposite?