Back in 2010, I lamented the loss of the seemingly infinite time I had to play games as a child vs. the seemingly nonexistent time I have as an adult (article here). Then, four months ago, I shared the culling of my overgrown collection of games to ease the burden of my backlog (article here). Well, two weeks ago I got an iPod Touch. In that time, I’ve acquired the 52 games represented by the icons above, most of which were free, and I haven’t been this happy as a gamer in a long time. How does that reconcile with vastly reduced gaming time and a desire to avoid a backlog?
The answer is that iOS gaming feels very different than gaming on dedicated handhelds, such as DS and PSP, and gaming on traditional consoles, like Xbox 360 and PS3. Most iOS games are super bite-sized, letting you play for a handful of minutes before auto-saving. They also tend to be simpler in design, since the controls are limited to the screen (tapping, dragging, holding) and tilting the device. This results in games that can be enjoyed in small bursts instead of feeling like you need to play for an hour for it to be worth your while.
Combine the bite-sized style of most iOS games with a resource like AppShopper, which lets you check out the latest games to become free and keep an eye on games via a wishlist, and I have a daily influx of at least one new game. I generally download any free games that sound interesting, play them for a few minutes, and delete the ones I don’t like. What’s left is a hodgepodge of games that I organize by genre:
Then, whenever I have time for iOS gaming, which is definitely more often than for my 3DS and PSP (perceived time increase) or my Xbox 360 and PS3 (actual time increase), I just play whatever sounds like the most fun at the moment. That does lead to jumping around sometimes, but I usually settle on a handful of games that I’m “currently” playing. However, any given game could end up being played at any time, so nothing is really backlogged.
Where I’m at right now as a gamer is someone that’s happily falling down the endless rabbit-hole of the iOS game world. I honestly have no desire to play any of my other game devices at the moment. I know that I’m in a honeymoon phase with my iPod Touch, and yet, my fellow Delta Attackers Mark Brooks and Fade to Slack, who have had iOS devices for much longer than me, report that they also don’t do much non-iOS gaming. Suddenly I have tangible evidence in my hands that our prior discussions about the possibility of iOS gaming getting a larger and larger share of the market as time goes by carry a lot of credence (see Roundtable: The Looming Handheld Gaming War and Podcast: Why iOS gets no respect from gamers).
What the future holds for the gaming market as a whole and for my personal gaming is, like most of the future, definitely unwritten. But what I do know for sure is that my gaming life is very much recluttered, that it will only get even more cluttered on the iOS front, and that I couldn’t be happier.Tweet
About the Author
|Markham Asylum is a founding member of Delta Attack. His tier-1 favorite genres are role-playing, puzzle, and strategy. His tier-2 are adventure, shooter, and platformer. He strives to provide spoiler-free postings whenever possible.
Markham Asylum has written 398 posts on Delta Attack.