With the ever-increasing power of iOS devices and the ever-present desire of license holders to make money, there’s no time like the present to think about bringing some older (and even some newer) games and franchises over to mobile. There’s also no time like the present to compile a list of 10 games and franchises that would be a great fit for mobile, but are still mysteriously absent. And that’s exactly what we did!
Below is our take on what we think would work well on iPhones, iPads, and iPods, ranked by how inherently “mobile” they might be. Why did we choose what we chose? Well because they’re great games, for one thing. That, and because their inherent nature would make them incredibly easy to interact with using a touch screen, make use of an accelerometer or gyroscope, or otherwise put iOS hardware to interesting use. Of course if there’s another game or franchise that you think would be a particularly good fit, leave a comment and let us know!
10 - Kingdom Hearts
Let’s face it: Square Enix has ported so much already that it’s genuinely surprising to not have an iOS Kingdom Hearts yet. I imagine the console versions would probably run into issues with touch controls, but what about (yet another) spin-off with a more traditional turn-based RPG structure? Or maybe a port of Chain of Memories? Think about it.
9 - Chibi-Robo
Chibi-Robo is one of those games that just sort of fits wherever it goes, which may or may not have something to do with the tiny, always-working protagonist. It’s a criminally overlooked series in general, but the somewhat recent release of Chibi-Robo: Photo Finder on the 3DS gives us a good idea of how well the diminutive hero could do on a mobile device. Just imagine all those portable and augmented reality features on a system with a significantly better built-in camera.
8 - Gitarooman
Sure some interface tweaks would have to be made, but this surreal rhythm game would feel right at home on iOS. It would be easy to use a finger to trace those lines instead of an analog stick, and maybe swiping in specific directions to dodge enemy attacks. Add an option to unlock and listen to the soundtrack on the go and Gitarooman would be incredibly difficult to resist.
7 - Seaman
History’s most bizarre virtual pet had its share of problems, but that’s nothing being on iOS couldn’t fix. The need to constantly check on the little fish-men made it difficult to keep them from going belly-up, but on something like an iPhone it would be much easier to check in on them. The microphone attachment and voice recognition was also an issue more often than not, which is why the much higher quality microphone and voice recognition abilities found in iOS devices would be perfect.
6 - Okami
Amaterasu’s unexpectedly epic adventure is notable for many, many reasons. However it’s the Celestial Brush that makes it such an ideal game for iOS. Drawing a line through enemies to slash them in half was an incredible feeling on the Playstation 2. It was even more incredible on the Wii thanks to the remote. So just imagine how great it would be to trace these shapes on the screen with a finger.
5 - Dwarf Fortress
Dwarf Fortress is hands-down my most favorite work-in-progress, and incidentally my favorite ridiculously complicated simulation. It’s also pretty menu-heavy and can be paused at any time, which would be perfect for the iPad. Chances are the iPhone’s tiny screen wouldn’t be enough for all those ASCII characters, though. That or it would just look like a bunch of noise. Still, being able to grow your own colony of dwarves and watch as they most likely starve to death, die of thirst, or accidentally stumble upon a cavern full of demonic horrors would be an amazing experience to have on a tablet.
4 - Fallout
With all the retro RPGs making their way to iOS I feel like this port is just a matter of time - at least I hope it is. Fallout’s eerie post-apocalyptic world, open-ended gameplay, and turn-based combat made it one of the most highly regarded PC RPGs in its day. Actually the first two games are still extremely highly regarded. Which is exactly why it makes sense to bring one or both over to iOS. I mean it worked for Baldur’s Gate, right?
3 - Elite Beat Agents
Elite Beat Agents (or even better, Osu! Tatakae! Ouendan) already exclusively uses a touch screen interface, so bringing it over to iOS should be a snap. All that tapping, spinning, and tracing would be pretty much the same, only without needing a stylus. However the most exciting prospect would be the potential for updates. Can you picture being able to access new song packs, or maybe even importing your own music? I sure can, and it’s awesome.
2 - Maniac Mansion
Any tuna head can see that point-and-click adventure games are a natural fit for mobile devices, but Maniac Mansion is of particular note because it’s freaking Maniac Mansion. More than a few classic (and excellent) games in the genre have already made it to iOS, which is why it’s about time we got our hands the most classic of the classics. Whether it’s the original Commodore 64 version, the one reworked for the NES, or (dare I dream?) some form of HD remake, it’s a game that really should be on the App Store.
1 - Killer7
I’ve said this on several occasions but I’ll say it again because that’s how much I believe it: Killer7 needs to be on iOS. The simple navigation mechanics coupled with the “lightgun shooter” style combat are about as ideal as gameplay systems developed for a console can get for a touch screen. Plus it’s a fantastically bizarre and compelling game. One that I really, really want to be able to play it on the go.