A brief look back at iPhone gaming in 2009

A brief look back at iPhone gaming in 2009
What a year it was...

2010 is well and truly upon us, but what a year for iPhone gaming eh! A year that it was proven beyond all doubt that the iPhone is a valid gaming platform. I expect that 2010 will be the year that pretty much seals the deal but lets take a look back at some of my all time iPhone favourites from 2009.

The game that I was most looking forward to all year would have to be Nova, by Gameloft. A futuristic space first person shooter styled very much so on the Halo universe, sure it is pretty much a Halo clone, but it does it remarkably well in my opinion. The plot may be thin on the ground and the gameplay is rather linear. But, in terms of graphical quality and control it is a real achievment. I am excited to see what Gameloft can do in the future, if they go for deeper storylines and improved voice acting.

They could pull a real masterpiece out of the bag, let's hope so. Other titles worthy of a mention from the Gameloft camp include, Asphalt 5, Sandstorm Modern Combat, Earth Worm Jim, Shrek Kart, HAWX and Skater Nation. It's not hard to see why Gameloft have managed 10 million downloads from the app store so far.

Another publisher that stood out above many last year would have to be Chillingo, as a vast number of quality titles came from the Chillingo stable. The best of which would have to be Ravensword the fallen King. This was another prime example of iPhone gaming at it's best. A fully fledged (or near as dammit) RPG in a 3d universe on a phone! Good work, we can't wait for Ravensword 2.

Also published by Chillingo was awesome survival shooter Minigore. Developed by Mountain Sheep, this title just keeps on giving. I was never a true fan of the survival shooter, but Minigore changed that and I now throughly enjoy chasing those high scores with my old buddy John Gore.

It wasn't just the big boys pushing the boundries however, some truly unique and remarkable games were released by smaller devs for sure. My favourites included Spider: The Secret of Bryce Manor, this wonderfully imaginative game has you spinning webs and munching bugs in what is an amazingly simple but engrossing puzzler. The control system is unlike anything I had played before and made perfect use of the touch screen. A really intuitive and whimsical experience overall. Tower defense games have also been a big hit on the iPhone my favourite would have to be geo Defense, other TD games worthy of a mention include, Sentinel 1&2 and of course the almighty Flieldrunners deserves a mention!

Racing games also feature heavily on the iPhone and who could forget the jaw dropping moment when you first booted Firemint's Real Racing! Wow, is this really running on my iPhone? yup it certainly is! Some absolutely beautiful coding by Firemint to get a game of that calibre running smoothly and effortlessly on iPhone 3G and 2nd gen iPod Touch! My favourite racer has to be Need for Speed Shift,

followed a close tie for second by Real Racing and Asphalt 5. 2XL games ATV offroad also gave me a real buzz, initially for the quality of the visuals, but as I continued to play, a thoroughly enjoyable challenging game emerged to.

Sports fans have also been pretty lucky so far, the amazing Backbreaker Football get's my vote as the best sports game of the last few months. If they could develop this into a true grid iron game, I think that Madden and NFL 2010 would have a real fight on there hands.

Overall it's been a cracking year, the games have just gotten better and better, I think my gaming experience has been improved vastly by the upgrade to 3rd gen hardware, as many games with real polygon pushing requirements do struggle on 2nd gen. Especially on the iPhone 3G which has a real slow processor, even compared to second gen iPod touch. The team here at TiG are all buzzing about the next gen coming soon and upgrades across the board will (fingers crossed) be happening soon!

So here is to 2010! the year that iPhone gaming will most likely break into the actual gaming market for real!