Thursday, September 14, 2006

Ipod Games

As probably most of you are aware - Apple debuted the very lackluster 'new' ipod (although the new shuffle is damn sexy) this week as well as announcing games. Granted they already had one of the best games ever in my opinion - that music one where it would play 4 songs from your library then asked you to name the song. A really great example of a game taking advantage of the hardware that it was meant for.

However with this new announcement they have a bunch of new casual games for moms to download at $5 a piece. Tetris, Pac-man, Zuma, etc.

I decided to download Pac-Man to see how it controls. The first thing they make you do when you start it up is to input your name. I thought this was a nice touch so that you could get comfortable with the interface. The first game I died very quickly as I was fumbling with the controls. I was hoping that they would make it work by pressing up/down or left or right. However 'up' is Menu and that pauses the game. So you have to actually control with the scroll wheel. That took some time to get used to but I was able to actually play the game within a few minutes.

I'm not sure if I'll ever get around to playing it again - much like I really don't watch movies on my ipod either, I simply listen to music but it's exciting to see that there might be a 'new' platform for casual games.

Anyone working on any of these?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think Zuma might be one of the best games dues to innate control of that game and the scroll wheel. I read this in on another forum:

"I hope apple makes iPod development easier now that this project is no longer secret, but i can tell you that developing the first batch of games was very difficult. We had to develop against an emulator, then Apple had another company create the actual iPod build. Fixing bugs involved huddling in a secure room at apple itself.

I do not know of any plans to open development up widely, at least not any time soon. I expect apple will wait to see how these games do first. Certainly their current process and team will not scale. "

Keep up the good work Derek!