Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Thinking about iOS: Part 1

Random pictures from my life go here.
Back in the Fall of 2009, I was living in Japan, theoretically to study Japanese but functionally to set my life in order and get some direction. Looking back on the experience, though these 12 months of my life were by all merit the best I've had, I wouldn't say now that I used my full potential in these months. Perhaps it is no mistake that it was at this time that I purchased my first Apple device, my iPod Touch (3rd gen) and was introduced to the biggest time waster of them all: iOS gaming.

Honestly, to me, calling iOS gaming a time waster isn't negative, despite the connotation. When you first get an iPod Touch or iPhone and start downloading games, you start to notice the little places in your life you never knew where there before as game-time possibilities. Not to keep steering my writing topics toward bodily issues, but when it is time to go to the bathroom there is no dearer friend than my iPod Touch. With my iPod Touch, I really started to understand the appeal of mobile gaming: though I have owned every major portable console since the original Game Boy, they have never been things that I have really brought outside of the house, excepting long car/plane rides.

This was my appeal at the time that iOS gaming really took off. Abroad, in another land, with no form of personal transportation and lots of time to waste at a very remote University. I imagine that others in the general population also found the appeal, because the market as grown ridiculously big. And I can understand why. The first game I played for any great length was Doodle Jump, a simple but addictive jumping game (My top score - 60,000). This game seemed right at home when purchased for $1, but the next game I really got into was developer PopCap's Plants vs Zombies, where I simultaneously learned the addictive and rewarding nature of the 'Tower Defense' genre. I believe after blowing about 50 hours into an experience I only paid $3 for, I began to realize the value in gaming on iOS devices.

In the 3 years since those first discoveries, my interest in iOS gaming remained, but my wallet remained mostly closed. I made the occasional purchase, and even found some games that I really love. The Cut the Rope games and Where's My Water? games remain some of my favorite one-screen puzzle genre hits, and are crazy popular for a reason. I downloaded the Angry Birds games like everyone else, but never found them to carry my attention for very long, as I always eventually got frustrated by their extremely vague scoring system. I think Zero Punctuation's Yahtzee said it best, "On some levels I can use just one bird to destroy all the piggies, tear down the building and erect a monument in memory of my fallen comrades with the debris and the game still gives me only one star. What the fuck do I have to do to impress you Angry Birds...?"

So, if you couldn't already tell by the games I mentioned, I really just coasted the top of the App Store charts, taking real notice of the games that really took off because I knew they would have something of some quality to offer me. However, it wasn't until I started listening to the TouchArcade.com podcast that my interest in iOS gaming really started to grow. I think I'll write someday about all of the podcasts I listen to and how they influence my thoughts and what media I've seen, but for now I'll just say that this podcast is one of the best ones out there: the cast is entertaining and insightful, without being annoying. This was my beginnings into iOS gaming, and because of the TouchArcade podcast, I've recently stepped up my interest in it quite a bit. I'll write some more about the next step I've recently taken in this pursuit next time, as well as some great/amazing apps I've found and can recommend you try out.

Story-time over!


Currently Playing: Fez (X360), Skyrim (PC), and iOS stuff I'll tell you about next time~


No comments:

Post a Comment