10 reasons the iPhone is a shitty game platform

The week of Hate is in full swing, thus it’s high time to turn some much needed attention to the iPhone. “Top X iPhone games” articles are a hit everywhere, but no one seems to notice they say the same thing over and over again, or are patently wrong. Why? Because Apple fanboys link them around, post them on Facebook, and Digg them into the stratosphere. It’s doubtful most of them actually read said articles, but just like any fanboy, they love to see their platform validated and are more than willing to spread bullshit hype purely out of solidarity.

Above: This “killer app” could’ve saved the Sega Saturn 

It’s not your fault you don’t know good games, Apple Nuts. How could you? You’ve never really had any before. And now that you do, you cling to every cruddy morsel like some neglected child living under the stairs who gets a single Oreo on his birthday. The truth is that no console would’ve made it in this business on the strength of Doodle Jump alone. And the primary reason you’re confused about the iPhone phenomenon is:


The iPhone is improving games in the exact same way the invention of television improved films: Not at all. What Apple’s done is eliminated pricy publishers and shipping materials from the equation, allowing developers to make up to 2/3rds of all the revenues, and in the process made (bad) games more visible to housewives, Mac nerds, and other people who’ve never set foot inside a GameStop.

Above: Doesn’t get credit for the taste of the milk 

Good for you, you’ve introduced games to the gaming ignorant at carnival sideshow prices? Pat your marketing team on the back and quit pretending that people who read gaming websites give a shit about a new way to play Monopoly.


POP QUIZ: Name 5 iPhone game you’ve played for longer than an hour. Feel free and use the games we mentioned above, provided you’ve played them longer than it takes to toast a Pop-Tart… Ah. Now we love Tetris, Final Fantasy, Bejeweled, Rock Band, and GTA: CW, but let’s not pretend they weren’t better the first, second and third times we played them on superior platforms.

Above: Thanks iPhone, for making one of the most playable games in the universe virtually unplayable 

And it’s a good thing (for Apple exclusively) that the iPhone doesn’t allow Flash. Otherwise people would realize that you can play 90% of the App Store, free of charge, right in your internet browser. Sure, there’s something to be said for games finding a new audience, but please, say it away from gamers.


Here’s something irksome. Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars was one of our favorite PSP and DS games of the year. Yet, it’s heralded as the greatest iPhone game of all time! Okay, fine. But you gotta wonder how they got through the game without driving or shooting properly… although, that sure as hell would account for why it went on sale at 1/3rd of the price.

Above: Can’t wait for Gears of War on iPad! 

Part of the reasons buttons work is the tactile response. Ask anybody playing Street Fighter IV (on a console!) why they feel the need to drop $200 on an arcade stick… It's because that seemingly thin variable of feedback and precision is the difference between a real player and a casual loser.


Now we know why the stylus works so well; it’s not attached to four fingers and a sweaty, screen obscuring palm. Unless you’re in love with the idea of paying a premium on Tower Defense games or balloon popping sims, why bother? Plants vs Zombies is fantastic, but if we wanted to play a stripped-down version that results in a crime scene’s worth of greasy fingerprints, we’d have downloaded the demo for free and played it with a messy three-year-old.


Anybody out there getting a lot of use out of Nintendo’s racing wheel? Now imagine you had to strap your TV to the moronic peripheral. Makes you wish for a Dramamine power up. There’s just something incredibly disorienting about having to rotate the very thing you need to focus on… sort of like a controller with a button on the back you can only hit with your nose. So, while the accelerometer may work decently in some games, the only way you’ll consider it a preferable, or even suitable, control scheme is if your first console was a cell phone.


iPhone Mobile

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  • kaaos - March 29, 2010 3:32 p.m.

    or maybe even stuck in traffic
  • kaaos - March 29, 2010 3:31 p.m.

    i phone or ipod touch game apps are only cool for like 20 minutes,then it's just no's more like something to do while you wait in a doctor's office,on the subway,or when everyone's just hogging up the ps3 or the wii
  • dunc12 - March 29, 2010 4:49 a.m.

    wow, this is the most accurate article in the week of hate I've read so far
  • Silentcapt2 - March 29, 2010 2:14 a.m.

    iPhone games are horrible. You know it's bad when you have to make sure the game is actually playable.
  • oryandymackie - March 27, 2010 2:57 p.m.

  • - March 27, 2010 4:53 a.m.

    I must agree with this article because it is all fact!
  • Hobojedi - March 27, 2010 4:17 a.m.

    I really do hate having to charge the thing twice a day.
  • Patius - March 26, 2010 11:09 p.m.

    I must say, the Droid and the Android OS are all around better than the apple OS. For one, Google doesn't like violating antitrust laws.
  • sleepy92ismypsn - March 26, 2010 10:05 p.m.

    i want an iphone but i dont have a job yet. im pretty sure you dont have to be 18 to sign a phone contract or buy condoms what are they gonna do let you get a girl prego and get the herps.
  • Xeacons - March 26, 2010 5:20 p.m.

    AMEN! I just got an iPod, and after trying to play a 5-star rated (everyone said they loved it) FPS for, yes, over an hour, I couldn't take it! Why? How did everyone love this? Buggy controls, fingerprints (clean screens make your thumbs stick, no pun intended), and an "if it breaths, kill it" plot. Reminds me why I love my DS.
  • crumbdunky - March 26, 2010 4:33 p.m.

    Agree more with this article than ANYTHING I've read in the past year! I DETEST my iPhone and as my old mum nearly killed herself in getting me one(she had to collect tokens and get people to take free trials with a website!)I REALLY wanted, and tried to, like the damn thing. Having your fingers and thumbs fill half the screen on any half demanding game is pants and 99.99999% of all the apps are overpriced or plain shit. Don't get me started on the friggin App store either! I also think the shame of picking up an obviously pathetic and embarrassing game in person and in the game store helped keep down sales of crappy games but the App store, like all online stores for downloads allows these shame filled purchases to pollute gaming at will! Honestly, the level of gaming on the iPhone is terrible and those crappy controls make even the decent games appalling travesties of what they should and could have been. IF it's indicative of what App,kle would bring to gaming wre they to enter it more seriously then I think we should be VERY afraid. Face it , the worst(opf the decent)MP3 players I've ever owned in terms of sound quality were always bloody iPods-Apple can manage to sell some pretty low quality stuff based on it's design alone and form over funstion will KILL decent gaming faster than anything else I can imagine. I'm talking as someone who actually used to love my Mac when I owned one as the convenience was great but once you realise just how badly they rip you off in money for tech terms it gets really insulting really fast. I've never owned a more soulless bit of electronics than the iPhone. these days it always stays home while I prefer to carry my Sammy phone/MP3/MP4 phone as it's better at what it does and either a PSP OR a DSi because they're BOTH a million times better for gaming. Had the iPhone even done ONE task as well as or better than the less varied but more specialised gadgets manage I would be tempted to still use it for convenience but the fact is carrying more is still MORE of a convenience while the quality of apps, phone and player on the IPhone is lacking. To me the only , really impressive thing about the damn thing is that they managed to make it so sought after and such a big seller when it's basically just a bit pants. They sell the iPad in any great number(ostensibly for those people for whom a laptop or netbook is just begging to have it's best feature removed-i.e a fully functioning effin keyboard!)and I'll REALLY start worrying. YHate the iPhone. I truly never felt anything was such a rip off for it's customers.
  • philipshaw - March 26, 2010 1:51 p.m.

    Great article, have to agree with everything in it
  • Hurricrane - March 26, 2010 11:20 a.m.

    lol, why do you guys have 2 copies of Transformers? is it for the Convert button?
  • kdombaz - March 26, 2010 9:36 a.m.

    Over-hyped overpriced kit for people who like to belong to a fan-boys club. I would buy it if I thought it did something that my existing cell phone couldn't do. it doesn't so no need to pay inflated prices to a protectionist company.
  • phoenix_wings - March 26, 2010 6:07 a.m.

    I had an iPhone for less than a year. Traded it in because it was awful for anything other than browsing the web, even if it was jailbroken. The thing dropped calls where my Blackberry still has signal and sounds clear. When you fail at the key thing that the phone is supposed to do, all else sort of fails with it. I never played a game on the device that lasted longer than five minutes, the quality control just blows. And the best part? If you purchase said game, and suddenly Apple finds it in violation of one of their key principles (i.e.: it's offensive, violent, etc, etc, etc) they'll pull the app, and the next time you update your device it could be lost. Apology not necessary :P
  • CH3BURASHKA - March 26, 2010 5:41 a.m.

    Why the hell is there an apology at the end of this? This is the fuggin' Week of Hate! Hate with a passion!
  • DarkTone - March 26, 2010 3:15 a.m.

    As an Iphone user this article had me stand out in the rain for 15 minutes............
  • TommyG - March 26, 2010 2:46 a.m.

    Lol, classic hate! Loved every below-the-belt word =)
  • number1hitjam - March 26, 2010 2:34 a.m.

    actually have to agree with a lot of this
  • understudybass - March 26, 2010 2:02 a.m.

    Sir Christopher your articles are always quite amazing and this is no exception!

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