Wednesday, September 22, 2021

The Rise of the Fun Mobile (Casual Multiplayer) Game

July 6, 2009 by · 15 Comments 

Today my brother-in-law (Bil) and I decided to try out the multiplayer features of the iPhone. Having recently bought a iPhone 3GS, Bil decided to download every single game in the app store, minus the ones that could do wifi multiplayer. What’s the chance? Ok, he didn’t actually download all, but pretty much. Anyway, I discovered one thing pretty quickly, Apple App Store game discovery is getting unruly.

I wanted to specifically browse all multiplayer games that supported WiFi. Well, there is no easy way, but thankfully Apple’s search technology is pretty good, and the search string ‘multiplayer wifi’ did the trick.

The first game we tried was the car racing game The Fast and the Furious. I must say that I was disappointed. Sure there was all the logos and big brandedness of it, but you had to go through a campaign of sorts to unlock new cars or new maps. We go bored of it pretty quick. We wanted a quick pickup game that was fun for a short while, not some prolonged campaign. I had my Xbox for that.

I redid my search string and this time I got a game called WiFi Warfare.

My initial reaction after trying it out was that it was crappy. The graphics looked crappy like a 2 year old drew them, and I didn’t quite get it. We stuck with it for like 2 rounds and we soon started discovering more and more things. Fast forward 2 hours. That was the funnest game I’ve played in a long time. Sure, the graphics look like something out of South Park, but all in all it was silly, fast, and responsive. Most importantly, I felt like we could have a pickup game whenever, without it having to be some big ordeal.

I guess the lesson learned here is that it doesn’t take fancy labels or graphics to make a mobile game fun. Focusing on the shorter term pickup game nature of mobile gaming vs trying to apply console rules would probably help other publishers get stuff out there that is as compelling as WiFi Warfare’s multiplayer game.

Now if only Apple would help me find those!

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