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The Top 10 games we'd like to see on iPhone

Publishers, get to it!
Product: Top 10 iPhone charts | Format: iPhone
Top 10 iPhone charts iPhone, thumbnail 1
There's now more than 400 games on the App Store, which should provide enough choice for any iPhone gamer.

However, they're clustering around relatively few genres – notably card games and puzzlers – leaving plenty of room for speculation about what games the iPhone is lacking.

To that end, we've compiled a list of ten games we'd like to see on the iPhone pronto. It's not just ten examples of 'game x from console y' though – some are looser genres that we'd like to see someone nail on Apple's handset.

Read on to see what we've come up with.

1. A decent first-person shooter

We'll kick off with the obvious genre here, not least because we know our wishes are sure to be granted. We're genuinely intrigued to see how an FPS works with iPhone's blend of motion and touch controls.

Judging by IUGO's Re-Volt, tilting to move and tapping to shoot seems to be a sensible way forward, but will it impress the purists who grew up using a mouse 'n' keyboard for this genre?

Meanwhile, id Software has confirmed it's looking at taking the same turn-based approach with iPhone as its mobile games, with Doom II RPG and Wolfenstein RPG possibly heading to Apple's handset. What about those Halo for iPhone rumours? Don't hold your breath.

2. Who Has the Biggest Brain?

This innovative Facebook brain trainer has more than three million monthly active users, and has smashed its way into the Top 10 Facebook apps chart as a result.

Why would it be good for iPhone? It would easily translate to the touchscreen, as Gameloft's Brain Challenge has already shown. And the polished presentation would be ideally suited for iPhone's large screen.

But the real reason we want Who Has the Biggest Brain? on iPhone is its social aspects – comparing your brain size to your real-life friends. Facebook has already said that its Facebook Connect scheme is coming to iPhone, which means WHTBB? And other games like it should be certs for iPhone.

3. Phoenix Wright

Thus far, Capcom's lawyerly games have been restricted to DS and some poorly-received mobile ports, but we think an iPhone conversion would make absolute sense.

Why? Well, the game was originally designed for touchscreen play, so that's no problem. Meanwhile, its episodic structure may fit neatly into the App Store, if Capcom decided to release a new case every month or two.

However, if Phoenix Wright does head to iPhone, we'd like to see Capcom take a different strategy to the mobile version, and actually create some new cases, rather than simply port the old DS ones lock, stock and barrel.

4. A connected football manager game

We're still a bit dubious about whether an actual football sim could work on iPhone, but if someone releases a decent football manager game, we'd be sold straight away. Especially if it's an actual conversion of Football Manager.

Look at how developer Sports Interactive re-engineered the game's interface for PSP – proving that it'd be up to the task of making it usable on the iPhone, too. And think how fun it'd be to create your tactics by fingertip-dragging players and run-arrows around the screen.

The big question is whether the game could be squeezed into 100MB or so. But we'll go out on a limb here, and say that what we'd really like to see is a connected football management game, where you do all your training, tactics and transfers on the iPhone, then upload the data to compete in leagues with other managers.

5. 17 more sudoku games

Only joking. Really.

6. Elite

As geeks, we're duty-bound to wish that venerable space-strategy game Elite be converted for every new gaming platform. But we think it really could work well on the iPhone.

Just think: piloting your ship by tilting the iPhone, while tapping to shoot at passing pirates (or traders, if you're a bad guy). Elite wasn't designed for complex console controllers, so it could easily be rejigged to work well on an iPhone.

Meanwhile, imagine how fun it'd be if some connectivity was added in, not in the form of actual multiplayer (although a massively multiplayer iPhone Elite is some thought) but in terms of trading prices on different planets being affected by what other players are buying and selling there.

Better still, the ability to release App Store updates would ensure no Frontier: First Encounters style bug nightmares. In theory.

7. Reset Generation

Okay, we're into supremely wishful thinking territory here. There's no reason to think Nokia would release its marvellous N-Gage game for a rival mobile platform, or that Apple would let Nokia onto the App Store.

That doesn't stop us thinking that both firms would, though. Not least because by definition the vast majority of iPhone owners aren't going to buy an N-Gage handset any time soon, so Nokia may as well try and make £5 off a few million of them in the meantime.

No, it's not going to happen. But Reset Generation's simple controls could easily be translated for touchscreen, connectivity wouldn't be a problem, and it would boost the community of Reset Generation players online…

8. Hidden object games

Hidden object games are huge on the web. Titles like Little Shop of Treasures, Hidden Expedition: Titanic and Dream Day Wedding have millions of players, sucked in by the apparently simple gameplay involving clicking on onscreen objects from a cast of hundreds.

The last year has seen several converted to mobile, although translating the mouse controls to keypads has tended to be a little clunky, not to mention the small portrait-oriented screen. iPhone solves both those problems (although admittedly so do its high-end handset rivals).

In fact, we're surprised that the likes of RealArcade, Big Fish Games and PopCap haven't already brought the genre to iPhone – something that's sure to be remedied very soon.

9. Scrabulous

Back to Facebook for our next desired iPhone game. Scrabulous is the wildly popular Facebook game that's attracted the ire of the Scrabble rights-holders, and was recently taken down from the social network in North America.

Actually, it's the gameplay mechanic we want to see on iPhone – the idea of asynchronous multiplayer games. So, in Scrabulous, you take a turn, then wait for your opponent to take theirs next time they log in – which could be straight away, or a couple of days later.

This would be perfect for iPhone, whether for iScrabulous or other turn-based games – chess is an obvious one, but there are plenty more. This kind of functionality is exactly what we want to see in the official iPhone Scrabble app, if it ever comes out here in Europe.

10. Civilization and SimCity

Is having two games cheating? Well, it's our list, so no. But we want to see some really meaty strategy games for Apple's handset, and Civilization and SimCity would seem to be two of the most obvious conversions.

Both have been converted to a host of platforms, including mobile phones, so it stands to reason that iPhone editions are in the offing.

Their gameplay could definitely be reformatted for the iPhone's touchscreen, especially if EA Mobile uses the interface learnings it showed off in the recent SimCity Societies on mobile. And while iPhone is clearly more a platform for casual gaming, these two strategy franchises would be ideal.

Oh, and Civilization should be a turn-based asynchronous multiplayer version, too. See the last point for details on that.

That's our wishlist, but what do you think? Post a comment saying why you agree or disagree with any of our choices, or suggest your own!

Reviewer photo
Stuart Dredge 11 August 2008
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