Friday Slide: Your iOS Pet Peeves

This week, we asked our readers on Twitter to share their biggest iOS gaming pet peeves– the disappointing or frustrating aspects of iPhone gaming that we put up with on a regular basis. Here are your top responses.

Final Fantasy is a good game with some tricky touch controls.

Touch Controls

Part of the magic of iOS devices is the way there’s nothing between you and what’s happening on the screen. When you Cut The Rope or become a Fruit Ninja, it feels like your finger’s doing the slicing. But what about games that aren’t naturally touch-based? Ports of console games like Final Fantasy suffer noticeably when they’ve got digital controls grafted onto the screen, and sometimes your fingers can block the action. We don’t expect Apple to add an Xperia Play-like control scheme to any future iOS device, but hopefully a cottage industry of peripherals like the Fling controller will help fill in the gaps.

Lack of Universal Support

Let’s say you’re a big iOS gamer, so you own both an iPhone and an iPad. You buy a big new game, only to find that it runs natively on one or the other, but not both. Universal support can be costly and difficult for developers to include, but it’s great for consumers. As the iOS device family grows over the years, there will be a bigger demand for universal support, and we hope more developers provide the extra value instead of double-dipping with a regular and HD version.

Rage HD looks great, but has a huge file size.

File Sizes

If you’ve got a 16 GB iPod, iPhone, or iPad, it won’t take too many downloads of huge games like Rage HD, Infinity Blade, or Puzzle Quest 2 to break the data bank. One great thing about iOS gaming is the sheer volume of apps, but our readers hate having to leave games on their PC instead of keeping them on a mobile device. It’s up to developers to be economical with their app file sizes, but Apple could help by offering more storage space for less money.

App Store Economy

Did you ever pay a buck for a game that’s free the next day? These unpredictable swings in the price of an app can confuse and frustrate consumers. The practice of marking games down to free to raise their profile in the iTunes charts is a necessity, because Apple doesn’t give developers a lot of ways to get noticed. Players can snag a free app, which is good, but it also means they can get burned if they’ve just paid the full price. At least you can use our GameFinder app to stay on top of dramatic App Store discounts.

Saved Games

There are two complaints with the iOS standard for saved game progress. One is that few games have multiple profiles, so you’d have to reset the entire game just to play again from the beginning. Why not offer three slots, like most Nintendo DS games? Also, consumers are often frustrated that progress is deleted when you delete the app. If there was a way to save your game in the “cloud”, we’d jump at the opportunity. Maybe in the next version of Game Center?

Do you know the price of a barrel of Smurfberries these days?

Persistent In-App Purchases

It’s one thing when a game is free and allows you the option to pay for more stars, Gro, Smurfberries, etc. But it’s another thing when you pay full price, and then still find the developer with their hand out asking for more. In-app purchases may make games more profitable, resulting in more games on the App Store, but consumers want to feel they’re getting a decent value for their dollars, and not an opportunity to keep paying.

Too Much Fun

This last one’s not really a pet peeve– it’s actually the reason we play iOS games. We suffer from an embarrassment of App Store riches. New games appear every day, and even at a buck apiece, they’ll still add up quickly. The wealth of games on the App Store is fantastic for gamers, but not so great for their families, jobs, and schoolwork. We’d have an easier time managing our videogame habit if we could just go back to a time before July 2008, before the App Store showed us that we can have everything we want for free, or cheap.

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