iPhone stamps its authority on portable gaming world

Nintendo has owned the portable video-game market - first with the Game Boy, now with the DS and DSi - for so long that most of us gave up hope of ever seeing a viable competitor.





But it's become impossible to ignore the new kid on the block: Apple's iPhone, whose game library has quickly overwhelmed Nintendo's.



There are now more than 9,000 iPhone games available at Apple's App Store. The quality varies widely, and the market is so flooded that it's hard to sort the good from the bad.



But since the prices are low, you can buy 10 or so games for the price of one Nintendo cartridge. None of them will have the depth of, say, Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars, but they may be better suited for on-the-go action.



My main problem with the iPhone is that its touch-screen controls aren't as precise as those on dedicated game machines. I'm not about to replace my DS (or my PlayStation Portable, for that matter), but I do enjoy wading through the App Store's offerings. Here are some recent standouts.

Zen Bound (Chillingo, £2.99): The best iPhone games are those that seem like they couldn't have worked on any other device. Each level of this gem shows a 3D sculpture with a string attached, and the idea is to rotate the object with your finger until most of its surface is wrapped by the string. Never has a game been more appropriately named; the challenging yet stress-free Zen Bound creates an eerie sense of calm. Four stars out of four.



Flight Control (Firemint, 59p): The most popular game at the App Store is as nerve-racking as Zen Bound is relaxing. You use your finger to guide aircraft safely onto runways, but it isn't long before the skies are filled with planes waiting for you to bring them home. A crash is inevitable - but that only makes you want to try again to get a better score. Three stars.



Magnificent Gizmos & Gadgets (Publisher X, £1.19): This nifty physics-based puzzler will appeal to anyone who ever thought it would be fun to build a Rube Goldberg machine. Two-and-a-half stars.



WordFu (ngmoco, 59p): Roll the lettered dice and find as many words as you can. It's a lighter, faster version of Boggle, and not quite as satisfying. Two stars.



Metal Gear Solid Touch (Konami, £4.99): Konami turns its epic espionage saga into a drab shooting gallery. A blatant case of trying to squeeze a high-profile franchise onto the wrong platform. One star.

Suggested Topics
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
News
Cleopatra the tortoise suffers from a painful disease that causes her shell to disintegrate; her new prosthetic one has been custom-made for her using 3D printing technology
newsCleopatra had been suffering from 'pyramiding'
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Coachella and Lollapalooza festivals have both listed the selfie stick devices as “prohibited items”
music
Voices
Nigel Owens was targeted on Twitter because of his sexuality during the Six Nations finale between England and France earlier this month
rugbyReferee Nigel Owens on coming out, and homophobic Twitter abuse
Life and Style
Gold timing: the Apple Watch Edition
tech
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Recruitment Genius: PHP Web Developer

    £25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This web design and digital age...

    Recruitment Genius: Senior Web Designer / Front End Developer

    £28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This fast expanding web managem...

    Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey / South West London

    £22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

    Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey/ South West London

    £22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

    Day In a Page

    No postcode? No vote

    Floating voters

    How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
    Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

    By Reason of Insanity

    Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
    Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

    Power dressing is back

    But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
    Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

    Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

    Caves were re-opened to the public
    'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

    Vince Cable interview

    'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
    Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

    Promises, promises

    But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
    The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

    The death of a Gaza fisherman

    He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
    Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

    Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

    Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
    Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

    The only direction Zayn could go

    We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
    Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

    Spells like teen spirit

    A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
    Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

    If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

    British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
    Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

    Licence to offend in the land of the free

    Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
    From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

    From farm to fork in Cornwall

    One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
    Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

    Robert Parker interview

    The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
    Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

    Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

    We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor