148 Apps on Facebook 148 Apps on Twitter

Tag: Gem Keeper »

Editorial: Why iOS Needs Better Games

Posted by Rob LeFebvre on April 2nd, 2012

[caption id="attachment_117570" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="This is not a real image - totally 'shopped."]


Seriously, there are a TON of games for the iOS platform. But when I mention the iPad or the iPhone as a true gaming platform, all I get are responses like, "Only good for Angry Birds!" Come on, gamers, open up those minds.

The iPad won't replace home consoles any time soon, of course, but I really think that as portable devices get more and more powerful, those living room devices are going to have to up the ante to continue to be relevant. If I'm able to play a game with the graphics of Infinity Blade II and the deeper gameplay of something like Escape Plan (PlayStation Vita) on the big screen via AirPlay, why would I need a console?

[caption id="attachment_117983" align="alignright" width="300" caption="so pretty."]

[/caption]I firmly believe that the iPad and iOS in general is already well on its way to replacing dedicated handheld gaming devices, at least.

I've owned Sony's handheld gaming devices since the original PSP. I turned in all some dusty handhelds the other day and bought a Vita with the proceeds. Escape Plan, a fantastic launch title is a perfect fit for the iOS platform. While playing it, all I can think about is how a game of its obvious quality would work totally well on an iPhone. Or, better yet, an iPad. 148Apps creator and owner, Jeff Scott, agreed, saying, "But I keep thinking -- hey, you could make a game this good on iOS, why don't you?"

The iPad has the same graphics chip as the PS Vita. Escape Plan is made in Unity. Hey, the iPad supports games made in Unity! Why aren't more developers jumping over to iOS?

[caption id="attachment_117986" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="not the only disgruntled ones"]

[/caption]Could it be the perception out there, shared by many gamers, that iOS is just a platform for Angry Birds? First of all, any developer would be LUCKY to "just" be Angry Birds, with their 10m downloads for Angry Birds Space alone. A developer who might like to be able to charge $15 for the 1.4m PS Vitas out there needs to simply do the math and see that they could do as well on iOS at a much less expensive price point.

But the perception remains that iOS is simply a causal gaming platform, just one step up from the feature phones of the past. I disagree, of course, with titles like Gem Keeper, Trenches II, Hunters 2, Infinity Blade Dungeons (upcoming), and a ton of really good role playing games available for the platform. That's not even to mention the bigger ports of console games, like Dead Space and Mirror's Edge. Just because more casual games are in the media spotlight does NOT by any means that deeper, fully-gamer-approved experiences are not possible.

I think it's time we change this perception. How? By bringing games with the depth and quality of an Escape Plan or Little Deviants or Wipeout to the iOS platform.

So I call out to all you Vita developers - why aren't you on iOS? Is it a licensing issue? A Sony support issue? Why isn't Escape Plan on my iPad? I'm begging, here. So are a ton of other gaming consumers. Why not come and engage the market?

I reached out to the developers of Escape Plan, FunBits, in an email last week, and haven't heard back. If you know anyone at Funbits, or actually work there, drop me a line. I'd love to chat with you. Or anyone else engaged in the handheld/console market that isn't already developing for iOS.

First iOS Release From PC Masters NCsoft: Gem Keeper

Posted by Jennifer Allen on October 14th, 2011
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: A GEM :: Read Review »

The name NCsoft will sound very familiar to many PC gamers. Most famous for its MMORPG creations, Lineage, Guild Wars and Aion, NCsoft has made the move into mobile gaming. Their first release has been released today to the App Store, and it's looking pretty impressive as well as utterly gorgeous.

Gem Keeper is its name and its a Tower Defense game. Players must strategically place towers in order to protect the all important magical Gems from the fearsome horde of monsters. Controls involve a sliding system in which players can move towers up and down rails in order to increase range as well as ensure players can manipulate attacks. This is all laid out to ensure that Gem Keeper isn't like all the other Tower Defense games. Players can't just sit back and watch having placed their defenses down as there's always something that needs doing. Players have to keep a close eye on everything due to the enemies being smarter than the average Tower Defense crony. These monsters can even evolve into lumbering boss monsters once they capture the Gems.

30 levels are offered alongside 3 different difficulty levels and 3 different themes. 14 varied and unique defense towers are possible to use against the 22 different enemy types.

It all sounds pretty intriguing to me and taking a look at the screenshots below clearly demonstrate just how beautiful Gem Keeper is. NCsoft has always been great at creating beautiful scenery in its PC games and it looks like a similar tale with this iOS release. Action looks a little frantic yet detailed, hopefully offering an ideal burst of creativity to a tried and tested formula.

Gem Keeper is out now priced at $2.99 and we'll be sure to offer a full review very soon.

For now, gaze longingly at the delightful screenshots below.