iPhone Revitalizes the Side Scroller

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With a crazy amount of Apps available through the App Store (something like 27,000 – and the majority of those are supposed to be games), the iPhone is quickly becoming a viable game platform.

HeavyMach on the iPhone

HeavyMach on the iPhone

The old school gamer in me is relishing the return of the side scroller.  Some of my favorite games were ‘Contra‘, ‘Gradius‘. ‘R-Type‘, ‘Metroid‘, ‘Castlevania‘, ‘Sonic the Hedgehog‘ and, of course, the juggernaut: ‘Super Mario Brothers‘.  Seeing a slew of new variations on the old themes is pretty cool.  I’ve been playing HeavyMach, a side scroller where you’re the tank and you just have to blow everything to hell.  It’s simple.  It’s fun.  It’s a no brainer.  I’ve no doubt that they are selling copies like mad.

Now, iPhone isn’t the only hand held device to give a home to the venerable side scroller – I know that the PSP and DS have a lot of titles that fall into the genre, it’s just that I don’t own either of those systems – I own an iPhone.  And they make it so easy for me to buy games.  Feel like playing a new game?  Click the App Store button, browse, find something I like and DL it – I’m usually playing within a couple of minutes.  For a culture that is into ‘instant gratification’, that kind of response is just phenomenal.  No stores, no lines, no stupid cashier telling you that you’re entitled to 6 free issues of Sports Illustrated or Entertainment Weekly as part of your purchase today (yes BestBuy – I mean YOU!).  Just DL and have some fun.

I’ve been impressed overall with the games being released through the Ap Store, and I’ve said before that I can see the iPhone and iTouch becoming the next gen game platform.  And with companies like EA Mobile putting out high profile titles (Madden, Tiger Woods, Need for Speed to name just a few), I think the only way for the system to go is up.

The ONLY thing I can see holding the iPhone back as a platform is the cost.  For most of the folks I talk to about Apple products in general, they always mention the prices as a hurdle for them, and one they aren’t willing to jump.  The iTouch is priced lower for doing everything the iPhone does except make phone calls (okay, you also have to be connected to a WiFi network because there’s no cell provider network), and that helps, but I really think Apple needs to look at how they can lower prices across the board (desktops, laptops, phones) to increase their market share – especially with a recession going on and no light at the end of the tunnel just yet.

~P