Okay, okay. We realize that we’re seriously late to the table with this article. Every other iPhone gaming site wrote one weeks ago, so it’s kind of obligatory for a newcomer like us to throw our hat into the ring, too. Luckily, we started thinking about this issue as soon as we had played our first handful of iPhone games. “This Match-3 game is awesome,” we shouted, startling passers-by, “but we can also think of at least ten awesome games that should be ported to the iPhone posthaste!” We hurried home and wrote down this list, which we will now share with you in no particular order.
10. AudioSurf. We’re betting that you have a fair amount of DRM-free music on your computer’s hard drive, right? Maybe even in iTunes? How’d you like to turn all of that music into levels for a really slick futuristic racing game? Yeah, we think it’s a pretty cool idea too! Here’s hoping that AudioSurf makes the jump from the PC to the iPhone forthwith. That means you’re gonna have to open up the iTunes library to App developers, Apple…
9. PaRappa The Rapper. PaRappa the dope doggy rapper blew our minds when he first appeared on the PlayStation all those years ago, handing out sick flows and slapping down fools with alacrity. One might have thought that PaRappa’s bizarre plotting and uber-quirky art direction would have submarined it commercially, but one would have been wrong; it was such a big hit that it created the modern rhythm genre. Apple’s new platform is in need of some star power, and PaRappa’s got it.
8. Rez. This is the game that kicked off visionary game designer Tetsuya Mizuguchi’s career (other credits: Lumines, Meteos, Every Extend Extra Extreme) . Your avatar flies around cyberspace on rails, “hacking” systems by moving a square reticle around to target bad guys; when you release the button, the baddies get blasted by a laser light show that pulses in time to a righteous techno soundtrack. This game would be a great showcase for the iPhone’s audiovisual capabilities.
7. Maniac Mansion: Day of the Tentacle. It strikes us that the iPhone is the perfect platform for point-n’-click adventure games, which experienced a golden age about ten years ago. Space Quest, Gabriel Knight, Indiana Jones and Fate of Atlantis–there’s plenty of classics to choose from–but Maniac Mansion: Day of the Tentacle, one of the most hilarious games ever made, is the one that would make us open up our hearts, and our wallet, to the App Store.
6. Final Fantasy II. We are waiting anxiously for Square Enix to bring the Final Fantasy franchise to the iPhone and start printing its own money (complete with a Chocobo in place of the usual presidential portrait). If it’s going to do so, it should start with Final Fantasy II (also called Final Fantasy IV), which is still our very favorite JRPG of all time, ever. Remakes have already appeared on the GBA and DS, so what’s stopping an iPhone port? Maybe this game will be the first to break the $10 price point threshold.
5. Settlers of Catan. Settlers of Catan is the prototypical “German-style” tabletop game. It’s kind of like Monopoly, except that it’s set in the Dark Ages, stealing resources from other players is legitimate, and it’s far more interesting in every way. If some publisher put this on the App Store with online multiplayer and rankings, the resulting productivity loss might bring Silicon Valley to its knees.
4. PixelJunk Monsters. This is perhaps the best Tower Defense-style game around, and it’s only available on the PlayStation Network at the moment. It would be perfect for the iPhone, if properly resized.
3. Sonny. Not many people know about this superb Flash RPG, but they should. Imagine Final Fantasy-like combat, minus the exploration elements, plus some really crazy voice acting and a sweet story (you play as a zombie!), and you’ve got Sonny. Go give it a try; you won’t be disappointed.
2. Boom Blox. The iPhone’s accelerometer means that it could conceivably host some very faithful Wii ports. Boom Blox, Steven Spielburg’s first foray into the world of video game production, would be a great choice…assuming that the “throw” could be tamed into a simple flick, and someone started making iPhone cases with wrist straps attached.
1. Scavenger Hunt. The gaming possibilities inherent in various combinations of the iPhone’s GPS, 3G and photo-recognition technologies haven’t yet been thoroughly discussed, but we think they will ultimately become very important. “Augmented Reality” games, such as urban scavenger hunts, might be used to bring legions of gamers out of their living rooms; similar designs could be leveraged to apply people power to all kinds of civic issues, such as pollution, crime, and price gouging. It would be fun and socially responsible at the same time!