I spend quite a bit of time these days playing games on my iPod Touch. Its portability, powerful graphics, and touch interface make it so enticing. Hell, if I didn’t have to drive I’d likely play it while commuting on I-95. As I spend more and more time with the system, I continue to think to myself, “Damn this game is good! Why isn’t on my console?” With that in mind, here is my list of some of the top iOS games that should make the transition to consoles.
Currently my addiction of choice, Jetpack Joyride is a brilliant little game that is the epitome of portable crack. I picked up this side-scroller for free thanks to a Facebook promotion and it receives more face-time than all of my cats combined. Jetpack Joyride is designed to suck you in for long spurts of time, but comes with gaps built in to allow for bathroom breaks. This game has multiple upgrades to keep gameplay moving and would provide hours of entertainment on a console. It would need to add a co-op mode to justify a higher price tag. Nevertheless, Jetpack Joyride is addictive enough to make the big leap.
Cut the Rope
One of the first big blockbusters on the iPhone, Cut the Rope takes the simplest game mechanic and crafts a tremendously addictive puzzle game around it. In case you haven’t played it, Cut the Rope challenges you to a cut a rope with candy on the end into the waiting mouth of a green monster. Sounds simple, right? Throw in an endless array of hoops to jump through and Cut the Rope is better than crack for your index finger. This game wouldn’t do so well with a normal controller but would fit perfectly on the Wii, PlayStation Move, or Kinect.
Like Cut the Rope, Canabalt is designed around the simplest of premises – run! This compact and simplistic game asks you to run and jump until you die. From rooftop to rooftop with some broken glass in-between, Canabalt is the Michael Bay of iOS games. Each normal run will last less than a minute and what a glorious minute that is. Game after game I was battling my last high score (furthest distance run) while bobbing my head to the echo of a glorious soundtrack. To date, despite all of the other games I have on my iPod, Canabalt will always be the first game I play if stuck with one minute of empty time. The one button controls for this game would work well on any console and some form of video recording feature would be a cool add-on.
Games with an eye for physics are always interesting to play and Tiny Wings is no exception. Utilizing a range of factors including momentum and varying degrees of valleys, Tiny Wings provides gameplay challenges similar to that of Canabalt, but with taste of Super Mario as well. And, unlike its brethren Jetpack Joyride and Canabalt, Tiny Wings is plenty cute. This game would be perfect for little kids looking for a simplistic game that they can play over and over again on their Wiis or DS.
Words with Friends
If you’ve never played Words with Friends, I have to ask, “Do you live in Antarctica in a deserted encampment?” Seriously, this Scrabble-based word game is one of the most successful franchises to hit the iPhone and has spread its influence to Facebook and Android. While the game is not complex, it is the go-to social game to play with friends anywhere, everywhere, and any time. If Words with Friends could cross-platform connect with games started on Facebook or on a console, we’d be looking at the second coming of Tetris. This is phenomenal game that deserves to be on every electronic device (including my parents’ long forgotten Rabbit).
To be completely honest, I’ve never played Infinity Blade. The main reason for this admission is the game is too powerful for iPod. With that said, the stellar reviews and pedigree of the developer (Chair), Infinity Blade is universally acclaimed as one of the greatest games on the platform. With that in mind, I expect that at some point this game will make its way to consoles. Either in this iteration or via Infinity Blade II, Epic Games would be foolish not to give it a shot.
Finally, a late entry to this list is addictive tower simulation game, Tiny Tower. This game is simple at its core, but provides months of pixelated joy. With some start-up cash you build a tower with residents and storefronts. As people move in and buy your wares, your wealth grows and your building grows with it. The game is simple on the surface but becomes a challenging task of micromanagement as your tower reaches the heavens. You can compete against your GameCenter friends and the game keeps playing even after your device has been turned off. This game could be ported and would entertain on any console. An expanded version (with multiple towers!) would be a great idea and would justify the typically higher prices of console games.
That’s it for my list. I’ll be on the look out for other great iOS games and welcome any games you think would be a good fit in the comments below!