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Thunderbolt’s Most Wanted iPhone Games

The iPhone shows a lot of promise as a mobile gaming device. Low development costs and 70% returns encourage independent developers and new ideas. Updates to games are easy to make and the digital platform reduces production costs and second-hand sales (a debate for another time). While iPhone games may be in their infancy there is still a wide range of titles available.

To round off our look at iPhone gaming here are the titles we’d most like to play on the move.

Shane Ryan, Staff Writer

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Eye of the Beholder

Eye of the Beholder is a classic RPG title that was incredibly popular on the Amiga. Following on from earlier Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (AD&D) titles like Pool of Radiance, EOTB switched to a first person perspective as you led your party deep into the Beholder’s lair.

Creating your party was a rich, rewarding process and highly customisable. Gender, race, class, name and character portrait could be selected. This provided more freedom in customisation than Dungeon Master, but less unique characters. With AD&D rules you could have joint classes such as fighter-cleric. Character stats were randomly generated or you could add/subject as much as you wished; today this would be ‘hardcore’ and ‘casual’ modes.

The touchscreen could be effectively used. Movement control would be done by tapping the original arrow keys, touching a characters portrait would open their inventory and combat dealt by pressing the weapon or spell.

Rumours have recently started to surface of a fan-made port. By changing some of the wording regarding AD&D, it’s believed any outstanding copyright issues could be averted. Fingers and Beholder’s tentacles crossed.

Army of Darkness

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Very little is known about this title at the moment. Wait, that’s an exaggeration – nothing is known about this title except, well, the title. It’s hard to imagine the game will follow the story of the third Evil Dead film in the series, when previous titles featuring the hero Ash Williams have diverted from the canon and created their own takes on the universe. Backflip Studios are in charged this time and have announced the title for early 2011. A tower defence game or Gauntlet in the mind of Sam Raimi? It doesn’t matter as long as Bruce Campbell himself ends up doing Ash’s voiceover – Gimme some sugar baby!

Anthony Karge, Senior Staff Writer

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Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions

I’ve been waiting years to play this updated version of the PlayStation classic. I loved the original, with its incomprehensible translation, perfect gameplay and stunning music. I never had a PSP (no offense, why would I?), so news of this game’s existence hit me like one of Cidolfus Orlandeau’s too powerful attacks. The stage was set for a September 2010 release…and then nothing. The game was delayed, and should be coming out in late spring/early summer. No price has been announced, but it’s one of the few games I’d consider spending double digits on. Maybe the only game I’d drop 10 bucks on.

Calvin Kemph, Senior Staff Writer

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Game Dev Story 2

Game Dev Story has the user interface typical of flip-phone games. It goes against everything that’s been established as a norm for iPhone titles. There’s a lot of information to digest, numbers assigned to all sorts of variables, and inaccessible menus to wade through. There’s nothing Apple-inspired or minimalistic about the quintessentially Japanese design.

It’s a clear-cut favorite in terms of iPhone Simulation releases, providing an “inside baseball”-esque experience for anyone interested in the seedy development side of the gaming industry. Originally released as a PC Sim in 1999, Game Dev Story received a sequel the following year. While it’s not entirely clear if Game Dev Story 2 will be a direct port, an English translation is said to be underway. That gives you plenty of time to play through the original a few more times. The virtual marketplace is starved for another FPS Golfing franchise, and you wouldn’t want to upset your company’s loyal fan-base, would you?

Sean Kelley, Associate Editor

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Superbrothers: Sword and Sorcery EP

I don’t even own an iPhone, or any other iOS device for that matter, but I want one, solely for Sword and Sorcery EP. Which brings me to my next problem, I don’t even know what Sword and Sorcery EP even really is. Self-described as a ‘psychosocial audiovisual experiment’ and ‘a meandering poetic adventure,’ it is an ambitious, highly collaborative effort featuring the work of the Superbrothers themselves (an audiovisual outfit based in Toronto), the music of Jim Guthrie and the assistance of Capy – known for their own iPhone effort, Critter Crunch. It promises lots of exploration, music inspired puzzles and a light dash of combat, to keep things tense, and it also happens to look gorgeous, having won the IGF Mobile 2010 ‘Achievement in Art’ award. If nothing else, it promises an experience all its own, and that is always a good start.

The author of this fine article

is the Deputy Editor at Thunderbolt, having joined in December 2010. Get in touch on Twitter @shaneryantb.

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