I'll admit, even when Game Center was just a big high-score collector, like OpenFeint and Plus+ before it, I was happy. I loved that it had its own app, and that it was easy to find directly compare your stats with friends, rather than having to dig through huge lists to find them. The whole thing was great, and then I found Cro-Mag Rally and the rest of the Game Center enhanced apps from Pangea.
Admittedly, I'd never really gotten into Cro-Mag Rally when it was first out. It was always a good game, but with so many other racing games out there, it just got swallowed up. With the 4.1 update though, the game has found a whole new life for me (until the "so many other games" swallows it up again). Instead of being stuck in the world of single player racing, the new version of Cro-Mag lets you race against others, complete with in-game chat, via Game Center. Games are all matched up by either inviting up to three other friends or by auto matching you with others in case, as Steve Jobs put it, you have no friends.
There are no win/loss rankings in Game Center yet, just a total multiplayer score, but hopefully an expanded rankings system will come in the future.
Nanosaur 2, previously only thought of as a single player game, has now added on six levels and three multiplayer modes, including Capture the Eggs, Battle, and Race. "In Capture the Eggs mode players are on teams, and they have to retrieve all of their team’s dinosaur eggs before the other team. Battle mode, on the other hand, is pure excitement as players collect weapons and blast each other out of the sky. The race mode also involves a lot of heat seeking missiles, blasters, and cluster grenades, but your primary goal is to race around a track."
Like the rest of the Pangea online titles, Nanosaur two has in-game voice support so you can do all your trash talking in the game rather than in text messages after the fact. I'm definitely more of an instant gratification skills basher, so this is good for me.
The same Enigmo that won the won an Apple Design Award for best game and has sold well over a million copies now has a multiplayer experience. It's definitely not my first choice of games that should add multiplayer to, but alas, you can now challenge others to see who can solve the puzzles the fastest.
“I have not been this excited about an app release (Game Center) since the App Store first opened,” says Brian Greenstone, President of Pangea Software, “There are several million existing owners of these games, and I can’t wait to start playing against them! iOS 4.1 has changed the gaming landscape on the iPhone, and I predict that most if not all of our upcoming games will be multiplayer capable.”
Hopefully other developers follow suit because I definitely think that Game Center is the key to the future of iPhone gaming.