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6 shameless iPhone rip-offs of well-known games

Ever noticed a soundalike title shamelessly trying to steal sales from a well-known brand? 'The Professor's Brain Trainer' comes to mind. Professor, doctor... it's all the same thing, right? Wrong. But there's one market that seems to be thriving on exactly this sort of thinking: The App Store. And in particular, Gameloft, whichhas a lookalike of prettymuch every major console franchise.Today brings ateaser for it's latest game. They even sent us a press release with the line'Gameloft presents a new legend'. Get a load of this:

A talking tree spirit. A galloping horse. A lava-filled cavern. Honestly, this couldn't be any more Zelda if it tried. It's surprising the lead character's tunic is blue, really. I always thought green was a nice colour...

Wondering how this can be allowed to happen? Just take a look at the some of the rest of the company's catalogue below. If they've got this far without being told to stop, why should this one be any different? And sure, Capcom may have been called out on the wholeMaxplosion debacle, but Zelda wasn't offered to Gameloft and rejected first. Gameloft has at leastadmittedthey're borrowing ideas to bring similar experiences to iDevices which we've known for a while. But have you ever seen the extent of it? Look!

Shadow Guardian

Above: Shadow Guardian: Drake's Fortune. No, wait... that's not right. Just Shadow Guardian. Yup.

Looks suspiciously like...

Uncharted: Drake's Fortune

Above: It's not the same - look, Drake's trousers are blue, not his shirt. And he holds the gun in his right hand

It's not just the loading screen, either. The guy even looks like Nathan Drake. He makes 'No no no no!' quips as he hangs perilously above a pit full of strange mutants. There's cover-shooting, dropped ammo, hidden relics (sorry, treasures) and a lots of third-person climby action. It's not very convincing, though. Too much hand-holding and too little exploration makes this a pale imitation indeed.

Modern Combat 2: Black Pegasus

Above: Hang on a minute... isn't this Modern Warfare 2? Or Black Ops. Oh, right... we get it

Looks suspiciously like...

CoD Modern Warfare 2 / CoD Black Ops

Above: In the slightly paraphrased words of that Meercat on TV... Even sound same!

This one's the most blatantly soundalike/lookalike of them all, epsecially with this week's news that a version is headed to PSN. Looks pretty decent, actually, but ultimately it's proving more of the point that it's also eerily reminiscent of Medal of Honor. So many shooters, so little to differentiate one from the others.

Let's Golf 2

Above: Big heads? Check. Blue skies? Check. Unlockable haircuts and outfits? Double check

Looks suspiciously like...

Everybody's Golf 2/Hot Shots Golf 2

Above: What a fantastic game this is. Makes us want to get out our PSPs again, right everyone? Er... guys?

Golf is golf, which is fair enough. Cartoon golf is also broad enough to be fair game. But the same trickling elevation grid on the greens, cute anime girls, unlockable haircuts, balls and clothes arevery flattering to Clap Hanz' pocket classic. Even style of music is similar.

Zombie Infection

Above: Some possessed-looking villagers weilding sharp implements in an aggressive manner

Looks suspiciously like...

Resident Evil 5

Above: A group of possessed-looking villagers weilding sharp implements in an aggressive manner

Zombie Infection is exactly like this. Same camera view, same glow from items dropped by dead enemies, same context sensitive action button. So much is similar, we're waiting for Sheva to steal our ammo every time we play it.

Is it any good? Actually, yes. It's commendably detailed and faithful despite the graphical limitations of the platform. In fact, it's arguably better than the official Resident Evil 4 app. Go figure.

Gangstar: West Coast Hustle

Above: That's actually rather impressive for iPhone/iPad - and it's all explorable

Looks suspiciously like...

GTA: Vice City

Helicopters, cars, guns, swearing... it's all there in GangStar. And in proper 3D too, which not even Rockstar attempted on iPhone. It's a little flaky compared to Rockstar's 3D GTAs, but the fact it's doing sandbox criminality on such low-tech hardware at all is pretty amazing. Fantastically cheesy name, too.

N.O.V.A. 2

Above: Not bad for an iPhone game, eh?This is actually really good

Looks suspiciously like...


Above: Master Chief: Perhaps the most generic of all game heroes. Now with an even more generic copycat

Recharging shields, space marines in chunky coloured armour, dual wielding... N.O.V.A.'s even a surprisingly comprehensive online multiplayer mode with rankings and perks. The sequel's better than the first one too, which was already decent. Generic in the extreme, but at the price, you can't really go wrong.

Which is the best thing about the whole collection, really. Sure, they're cheap and cheerful but at least you get a taste of some genuinely premium content at a fraction of the cost. The quality's getting higher with every new release too, so who knows - maybe the new 'legend' shown today will be told for a while yet.

But seriously? Modern Combat 2: Black Pegasus? Jeez...

14 Jan, 2011

Justin Towell
Justin worked on the GamesRadar+ staff for 10 whole years. Imagine that. Now he is a contributor, specialising in racing games, retro, and Sanic.