Saturday, March 10, 2012

Mobile Gaming

1. Why don't you Draw Something?
2. A classic Prince of Persia.
3. Jeng jeng Jenga.
4. Come on, join the Jetpack Joyride.

So over the years, as our desktop of now nearly 10 years declined into obsolescence (actually it was already in that state some 5 years ago) we've replaced it with our Nintendo DS and our iPod Touch for all our gaming needs.

True, there are some games that just can't be replaced by mobile gaming, but then again there were the occasional cybercafe jaunts too. The ageing desktop was relegated to other matters like syncing our iDevices with iTunes, converting our CDs to sync onto our iDevices, blogging, storing our photos, converting movies to sync with our iDevices (which usually is an overnight job for JUST ONE MOVIE)...and perhaps for some gaming. That is, games from the pre-2000 era.

Otherwise, until 2009, our most-used gadget (and best investment) was our Nintendo 3D because we've been gaming on it like crazy. The Mario games, the Zelda games, the Castlevanias, Nintendogs...

Even when we got our iPhone 3GS in Dec 2008, our iDevices wasn't heavily used for gaming as the App Store was still relatively new and we were still careful about buying apps (much has changed then).

Gosh. Come to think of it. When the App Store was still new we could afford to check it weekly and probably go through most of the new apps for something free/worthy. Now there's just too many to bother.

Now our iDevices take up more than half the time while we wait for more 3DS games to appear (and seeing how we can't buy anything from the Nintendo eShop unless it's free).

So let's talk about gaming on the iDevice. Specifically on the iPhone for now.

Just recently everyone's caught the Draw Something bug. And we think it's been done rather well, although we're rather wary of playing this via mobile 3G. You add a friend, choose a word depending on the difficulty, you draw it out in whatever colours are available to you, and send!

The immediate problems? Battery life playing on the 3GS, for one. If you're playing with a lot of people, you may find that as soon as you've played a round starting from person A to person Z, it's time to play with person A again.

And while the game is available as both a free and paid app, we don't think it's worth paying because somehow we have this feeling that by a week's time this game will lose momentum and in under a month quite a lot of people will stop playing.

Just a feeling.

Meanwhile, we're trying to hold out from buying Prince Of Persia Classic that has reappeared on the App Store. Funny. They actually launched the app on the App Store December last year as an universal app at 99¢, which we automatically bought.

Or, would have bought. We couldn't, as a pop-up notified us that the game needed a front-facing camera. It could have probably meant that it was for the iPhone 4 onwards (although we don't see why so), but it was a bummer that we didn't manage to download it then. Then not long after that, it got pulled off from the App Store.

And now it's back, at USD1.99. While the iPad version is at USD2.99. Whatever happened to it being an universal app?!

It's still Prince Of Persia 1, all dressed up in nice fancy graphics (and from what we've seen on YouTube) minus the violence of being sliced in half or impaled on spikes.

We still remember one of our most shocking moments playing Prince Of Persia 2: The Shadow And The Flame was when the Prince was running down a corridor when suddenly out of nowhere he violently split in half with blood splattering everywhere - our introduction to the wall blade trap.

So...not buying Prince Of Persia Classic yet.

Jenga was free recently and we've downloaded it and gave it a quick try. The first impression? I still rather my actual physical Jenga set with friends, and all the crazy rules and setups we come up with. It's worth the trouble of setting up the pieces to play, really!

And prior to Draw Something most of our casual gaming was on Jetpack Joyride. A free endless running game that's gotten the mix of power-ups and objectives just right. Unlike other endless runners, with Jetpack Joyride we're more focused on completing objectives rather than "getting the furthest distance".

We'll probably only stop playing this once we've bought out all the costumes and jetpacks - but there's an update for this game coming and who knows what new content will be available then!

Still, too many games, too little time, and the urge to get more games!