The App Store is the biggest was initially released on 10 July 2008, since then there have been 130,000,000,000 (yes, one hundred and thirty billion) downloads by iPhone and iPad users since. As of July 2016, there are just under two million apps to download and 631,091 games making it by far and away the biggest gaming platform the world has ever seen. But by no means is it the best.
Even nearly a decade into the mobile gaming experience, it’ll be too unfair to compare the iOS gaming to PS4 gaming, but the iPad and iPhone are still incredibly powerful machines.
The list of apps and games I have on my iPad Air 2 are: AdBlock, AirMail, Alto Adventure, Boomhackz, Bournemouth, FC Barcelona, Facebook, Files HD, Flickr, FootMob, Football Manager 2017, Forecast Bar, Forza Football, GTA: SA, Google Maps, Google Photos, IMDb, Happy Chick, Instagram, Keynote, Maps.me, Messenger, MovieBox, Nat Geo Atlas, Netflix, One Football, PL, Parrot Zik, PlayMira, PowerPoint, QuickNotes, Shoebox, Sky Cinema, Sky Go, Sky News, Sky+, Soccer24, Splice, SunFootball, T-Zero, Telegram, Translate, Twitter, Wikipedia, Word, YouTube & Yr. That’s 43 games but only three games. This is what the article is about. It is about my experience of the lack of variety in the games on the App Store.
I treated myself to an upgrade to the brand new iPad Air 2 in early December 2014. I was excited to get rid of the embarrassingly terrible iPad mini (with no Retina display). I remember that with 128GB I was dreaming of a incredible 2015 for iOS gaming.
The apps have been kind to me, I’m writing up this on Microsoft Word, I have the of 2,000+ films between Netflix and Sky Cinema (also have pretty much every film ever made on the ‘non-verified’ app MovieBox – including films that were first out in cinemas around six weeks ago). Other than films, I can search the world in Google Maps or I can get instant goal alerts with the brilliant Soccer24. And much more.
The biggest issue I have is the lack of games I can play. I only have three games on it – Alto’s Adventure, Football Manager 2017 and Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas- not a bad choice of games, but not a great amount. Also with all three games once I’ve failed a mission on GTA, lost a match in Football Manager or died in Alto’s Adventure (without passing a level for ages) I get grumpy with the game and I won’t go back to it for a few hours if not days.
Since its release in December 2013, I’ve completed GTA: SA three times and I’m currently 64% completed the fourth time around. I’ve amassed well over 1,200 hours of GTA gaming time, I would estimate in that near three year period. I’ve killed so many cops, Ballas and bitches in that time if care to know. Football Manager 2017 (I genuinely haven’t had too much time to play with it yet as it came out on 4th November- the first day of assignment week!), but like last years game I’d imagine I’d will manage to play Football Manager for a couple of 30 year periods. Alto’s Adventure I’ve have played it for at least 25 minutes to a couple of hours everyday since it’s release 20 or so months ago. I’ve completed that a couple of times too.
These three games plus my PS1 & PS2 games on the ‘non-verified’ emulator app Happy Chick are not a bad choice to have to choose between when I’m away from my PS4 (and of course the classroom) but now it’s time to pathetically moan about the pathetically pathetic games on the App Store. From decent looking games ruined by in-App purchases to games with big hype that a ruined by terrible graphics, gameplay and controls.
Before going any further, I will say that there were two other games both released in 2014 that were as good as the three I have today. Leo’s Fortune and Hitman Go were amazing but neither have them have been updated with new content for two years at this stage so they’ve been gone for that time and only back once or twice to complete again. The Goat Simulator quadruple of games is also a good series of games – but not for me. The Deer God is also a great game but as the Goat games their age range is three years to eight. As proven in my household and my godsons. Neither of those six games are riddled with in-App purchases, which is good to see for a kids game.
There are thousands of articles on the internet that bemoan the terrible thing that is in-App purchases. Games that are free from the start to download but then in some cases force you to buy coins to progress with your real money. From €0.79 to €99.99. Of real money. That’s just stupid, so I’m not going to delve into that.
Racing games are riddled with in-App purchases like Asphalt 8 and Real Racing 3. Games that every car fanatic should have. But a player can’t play without paying real money to progress.
Each Wednesday afternoon, I visit the TouchArcade website to see what new games are coming out the day after. Thursday evening is the time when the App Store updates itself with a new home screen filled with the newest games and apps.
There are good games that I don’t have currently. GTA have four other renditions of old console games on the App Store with Vice City Stories expected to be next released game in the series in December. Tofu Fury, The Beggar’s Ride and 80 Days are games I would recommend. But each week I’m usually disappointed. With pathetic little 2-D colourful games that wouldn’t have been looked at twice in 2011. What I’ve found out is that the games from the App Store lack variety, initiative, uniqueness and boldness. I never download a game that has IAPs in them (except for Football Manager as they are an option over a necessity to progress). I’m so happy I’ve found what I’ve found so I can download paid apps for free because 99.99% of the games I’ve downloaded are deleted within 15 minutes.
To sum up, I’ve been so disappointed in the first two years of my iPad for games. I actually have time to work on assignments due to my three games being only three. Albeit three epics.