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The top 5 paid iPhone games: how can something that costs just 99 cents be so huge?

11/14/2011
The top 5 paid iPhone games: how can something that costs just 99 cents be so huge?

What can 99 cents really get you today? A cheap burger at a fast food joint, one song on iTunes, or an entire game on the app store. When you look at these three choices, which one do you think sounds like the best deal? I know I would pick the game that could offer hours of entertainment.

For me this is a no brainer. I’ve been a gamer since I was a very young child. I played MS-DOS games with my Dad for years before the Internet was even available to the public. Games have come a long way since then and for many different systems. However, Apple’s iPhone is a truly unique platform that not only utilizes touch input but also motion using accelerometer technology.

Unlike games that are made for consoles such as the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii or even for computers, iPhone games seem to be addicting yet I can put down my iPhone. My friends who play iPhone games are bored and just wanting something to do for five minutes though some games try to reach the gamer who wants to sit and play for hours at a time. I find that the most successful games are played in many short spurts.

As of today, the top 5 paid games on the app store are:

  1. Scribblenauts Remix
  2. Angry Birds
  3. Fruit Ninja
  4. Flick Home Run
  5. Hardest Game Ever

All of these games have levels that allow for very short play time while also allowing the player to finish something. They also tend to be very addictive and bring the player back often to try to get to the next level.

Scribblenauts is a perfect example of a game with short levels. The game is broken up into levels as well as having multiple puzzles in each level. You have to complete a certain amount of these puzzles to unlock the next level. Each puzzle requires that you help your character (Maxwell) grab a little star that is somewhere in the level. It seems simple, but there is always some obstacle to get passed and to do so you have access to almost any noun you can think of. Just type it in the box and it will spawn on the screen. For example if you type “dinosaur” a dinosaur will appear. The trick is getting an object or objects that will solve your problem.

The original Scribblenauts was released for the Nintendo DS in 2009. It was ported to the iPhone and was given extra levels that are exclusive to iOS. For the iPhone this game only costs 99 cents today(on sale from regular price of $4.99), but when it was released for the DS it started at $34.99. The iPhone price is a bargain of the original game and you get more content. It makes sense that it’s the top paid iPhone game even with competition like Angry Birds.

Even though Angry Birds is now in the number two spot, it still is clearly the most popular iPhone game (based on the fact that I’m the only one I know who has even heard of Scribblenauts and almost everyone I know has heard of as well as played Angry Birds). This game is so popular that not only has it been on the top of the app store list for ages now but it’s also made a huge mark on pop culture. Have you seen the t-shirts and toys in almost any store? They even have Angry Bird toys for your pet (I bought a catnip filled Angry Bird head for my cat the other day)! So not only can you sit on the couch playing Angry Birds on your iPhone all day, but your cat or dog can chase one around the house too.

The goal of each level of Angry Birds is to knock over the building that the green pigs are hiding under by launching Angry Birds at it. It is a very simple game that is basically a physics engine and cute graphics, but in the end simplicity usually wins the game. Angry Birds is proof of that.

The next two games on the list, Fruit Ninja, and Flick Home Run, both use the gesture recognizer for swiping intensive gaming. Then the last game on the list, Hardest Game Ever, is much like Scribblenauts as it features short puzzles that you have to solve. These games are only just a few of the innovative, fun, and interesting apps on the app store today.

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