Posted in News, tagged April Fools' Day, Atari, casual gaming, Doodle Jump, game, GameDock, gaming, iCade, ios, nintendo, USB on July 19, 2012 |
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Casual games were the first big wave of gaming on iOS; there were numerous simple but addictive apps that have made small indie developers a great deal of money. Angry Birds, Doodle Jump, and Fruit Ninja were huge hits. This explosion was soon matched by the second wave: more complex casual PC games like Plants Versus Zombies. Soon thereafter iOS gaming began to show an identity of its own with perennial complex hits like Infinity Blade.
During this cascade of gaming another, quieter movement was spawned by an April Fool’s Joke. The iCade may have been a prank, but consumer interest caught fire and it soon became a reality. This opened the door for one of my favorite categories: classic games. While some like MAME (Multiple Arcade Machine Emulator, a software emulator allowing the user to run the software behind their favorite classic arcade games) were short lived, many more found life in iOS. Many of Atari’s hits have found their way back to the hearts of gamers via the Atari’s Greatest Hits app. Final Fantasy, Street Fighter, and Duke Nukem are just a sampling of the games revived by nostalgic iOS users.
For those that crave something even closer to your old school gaming days I have good news (courtesy of TUAW) in the form of a soon-to-be-funded Kickstarter campaign. The GameDock turns your iOS device into an old-school console game system, but unlike the iCade it goes the full Monty by making your device a defacto cartridge. The GameDock consists of a small docking station for your device with USB ports in front for classic rectangular Nintendo Entertainment System game pads and a video out on the back to connect to your TV. Just drop your iOS device into the dock and enjoy some of your favorites all over again, and this time you can sit as close to the TV as you like. Those without a TV (or those that would rather not tie up their set) can opt to using the screen on your device instead via built-in Bluetooth connectivity. The GameDock is compatible with all iCade games or any other dock-ready game that supports two players and the GameDock’s 1080p video output.
The makers have upped the ante even further by including a dashboard function allowing you to change your game via the controller. Had I been able to do so with my childhood’s game console I might have lost the ability to walk altogether as I wasted away in gaming bliss. While I love the concept of the iCade, the GameDock is a welcome addition to the ranks of gaming accessories.
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This in courtesy of Engadget: iOS gaming enthusiasts are gaining more ground on other platforms thanks to Snakebyte’s upcoming console-style controller. The soon-to-be-released handset will be compatible with both the iPad and Android tablets and will interact with all iCade-compatible apps. The matte black controller is said to have a soft-touch coating and sits comfortably in the hands much like the standard PS3 controller. The unit will interface with your tablet via Bluetooth and will have several ‘modes’ to suit the type of game you are playing (including the iOS-only iCade Mode).
I was suckered in on the original iCade April Fool’s Day joke, only to be overjoyed when the avalanche of interest sparked the accessory’s actual production. Since that time there have been other game controllers released for iOS: the Fling Joystick, the iControlPad, and the 60beat for example. While each is interesting they all have critical flaws that keep my credit card in my BookBook case. The Snakebyte controller will be on sale for a very reasonable $40 at its July release and offers a much more traditional gaming interface that most avid players would be accustomed to. I’m going to be sorely tempted to pick one up to go along with the Atari’s Greatest Hits app.
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I get to see a lot of unusual accessories for iOS devices, some oddly compelling, some delightfully unique, some just downright weird. Here’s a collection of some of the latest I’ve stumbled across:
From my friends at MobileFun.co.UK, the Konnet Talking Tom case for iPad 2/new iPad.While I consider the Talking Tom app to be this generation’s Big Mouth Billy Bass some can’t get enough of his antics. If you’re in the latter category this hard case might be for you- the shell offers full protection for the two latest generations of iPad with access to all ports.
Can’t decide if you love chocolate or your iPhone more? Fret no longer, the Chocolate iPhone case by Moonlake Designs is here to sooth your sweet tooth. This fitted case is compatible with the iPhone 4, 4S, and your diet.
As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a big proponent of multitaskers- devices that perform more than one function (one of the big reasons I became so enamored with iOS devices). TUAW (The Unofficial Apple Weblog) provides a case to both protect your iPhone and your discretion: the Playa case by Opena.
The case isn’t referring to the Spanish word for beach, it’s designed to carry a special accessory for playas of a different sort.
Lastly, while not a case, this accessory deserves mentioning. What started as an April Fools Day prank from ThinkGeek exploded into a tidal wave of consumer demand for an accessory to turn the iPad into the ultimate retro arcade gaming machine. Now Ion, the maker of the iCade, have come up with a new offering for those of us that want the gaming experience without having to park our beloved iOS devices in a cabinet- the iCade Core. The slimmed down Core will be arriving in June for a cool £49.99 (that’s just over $81 at the time of this post).
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