Five apps that might be the future of app gaming

Jun 28, 2011
Games

In life, there are early adopters and then there’s everyone else. Some people didn’t get their first DVR until cable companies began subsidizing the cost into monthly bills, while others rushed out to spend $300 on the original TiVo only to realize a few short years later that it didn’t record HD. But I’m not […]

In life, there are early adopters and then there’s everyone else. Some people didn’t get their first DVR until cable companies began subsidizing the cost into monthly bills, while others rushed out to spend $300 on the original TiVo only to realize a few short years later that it didn’t record HD. But I’m not trying to cast judgment on the early adopters, even if they didn’t really win the DVR wars. I salute the early adopter and I appreciate their efforts as they try to figure out the hot from the not before everyone else.

So today I’m going to try my hand at it and identify five app games that may or may not represent what’s soon to be hot in the future of app gaming. Hopefully in six months I can look back on this article and proclaim myself a true tastemaker. If not, maybe I can just change the byline. Either way, here we go!

Katamari Amore

The yet-to-be-released sequel to the I Love Katamari app promises to be more of the same. If you love quirky gameplay (like rolling a ball around to pick up garbage that makes the ball a gigantic mess) and tilt controls, Katamari could represent a peek at the future of gaming as well. Although it seems like developers have moved away slightly from imprecise tilt controls, Katamari Amore appears to focus on them entirely. If it’s a hit, we could see a more permanent return to strangers twirling their iPhone around in their hands on the bus while onlookers give them odd glances. Win win!

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Galaga 30th Collection

I really hope Galaga 30th Collection (Free) doesn’t represent the future of app gaming. A bait-and-switch free/pay to play lazy arcade collection with no notable bonus features has no place in representing the future of anything at all. But you never know. Retro gaming as an idea certainly isn’t bad. What better way to capture a trend as games get better and better looking than to go the other way and celebrate their ugly, pixelated predecessors? But if they’re feature-heavy and bring something new to the table, I could get behind this.

Related: Plants vs. Zombies, Peggle and other great titles from soon-to-be acquired PopCap Games

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OnLive

Less a game, more a delivery mechanism, OnLive Player (not to be confused with the already-relased OnLive Viewer app) will allow you to project your iPad/iPhone games onto a TV screen, essentially turning your iDevice into a controller for a new game console. It’s a fascinating idea and if it somehow bridges the way people play mobile games with what they desire from console games, it could potentially create a huge change in the way everyone experience video games when it’s finally released in the fall.

Contre Jour

Art games! Frankly I’d love it if the future of app gaming wound up looking like the devilishly inventive Contre Jour. The black and white visuals heavy on shadows make it reminiscent of Xbox 360 arcade title Limbo, but gameplay videos show that it’ll be a bit more self-contained. It comes from the developers of Cut The Rope and the gameplay, where you guide an eyeball into a goal by manipulating the environment and not the character, is reminiscent of that earlier effort. Although I think this looks quite a bit cooler than Cut the Rope, that could just be the art school graduate in me talking.

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Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3

As mobile gaming gets more and more powerful we’ll continue to see some of our old favorites arrive on the mobile scene. Favorites like classic fighter Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 ($0.99). You certainly won’t find a Mortal Kombat title for a cheaper price point but these sorts of games represent a double-edged sword of the app world. I do think we’ll see more and more Super Nintendo/PlayStation style ports now that the technology can deliver, but I’m not sure too many people are in a hurry to revisit games like this. But if they are, it could wind up curtailing the creativity of developers busy creating brand new worlds for gamers to explore.

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Dan Kricke

Dan Kricke has been playing with electronics and writing about them for years. He loved his Sega Dreamcast and now the PlayStation 3. On the iPhone, he's a fan of sports apps and anything that offers new music.

 

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