Infinity Blade II launched last Thursday, and we think it’s a great game as noted in our review. The game isn’t perfect, and it really makes you wonder if this is the best we can hope for in iOS gaming? Infinity Blade II isn’t all that different than the original in terms of gameplay and design, and it feels more like an extension than anything else. It’s still enjoyable, and you will absolutely love slashing away on your iOS device of choice.
Still though, we see the platform expanding all the time, but gaming has begun to stagnate. This can’t be it right? There has to be some more development studios out there that can push the bounds of iOS gaming even further. The lack of dedicated controls is a problem for some, but that just means developers need to be that much more creative when crafting a game for iOS. The unique controls of iOS can more than make up for no fixed joystick or buttons, and may even allow for whole new breeds of games.
It seems the most debilitating factor in iOS game development is the current App Store economy. The most high profile game releases can only garner a $6.99 price point when launched, and will likely go on sale for at least half off within three to six months. Some games cost millions of dollars to make, and it’s tough to get any investment back at such low price points. Honestly though, iOS gaming up to this point can provide multi-hour games with depth and storyline, but the base gameplay is extremely repetitive, and doesn’t offer anything new after the first hour. A true deluxe game that rivals the console versions of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, Skyrim, Uncharted 3, Gears of War 3, Super Mariox Galaxy, Legend of Zelda, Metroid, Batman: Arkham City, Madden 12, etc on iOS could garner $60. Even advanced mobile games for PSP and DS go for $30, and they’re at a higher level than iOS.
The A5 chip is getting us closer, and the upcoming quad core ARM processors can make games on equal footing to PSP and DS titles. The actual depth of the gameplay is the real question, and not the graphics. It takes more than a beautiful game to sell, and that’s what iOS is lacking at the moment. The App Store is full of great quick hitters, but there’s so much more potential, especially on the iPad. Hopefully we will see a new standard of iOS gaming come to light beyond beautiful games with repetitive mechanics like Infinity Blade II, Epoch, Shadowngun, Dark Meadow, etc, etc. Modern Combat 3 has definitely distinguished itself, and is further pushing iOS further with the depth of the gaming variation beyond the great looks.
These are all good games, but none are ground breaking or truly worth more than $10 in terms of actual gameplay depth. All these game take one mechanic, and have you use it over and over again to complete the full storyline. We’re always waiting for the next stage of iOS gaming, but it’s unclear if there truly is a next stage. The App Store economy may limit the initial investment to ever pushing the platform to the next level.