Rrrrriiiiiing! That’s the sound of irony calling. Despite ongoing efforts to market the iPhone 3G to business customers, insiders know the handset does its best work moonlighting as an overgrown Nintendo DS.
Clearly, gamers enjoy the phone’s instant-gratification features. There’s the responsive touch-screen, promising intuitive and beginner-friendly controls. Tilt functionality instantly adds a new dimension to racing and action titles, letting you swerve Cro-Mag Rally’s prehistoric jalopies or Super Monkey Ball’s sphere-encased simians with a flick of the wrist. A CPU powerful enough to run even Quake, and a dedicated graphics processor capable of generating 3D visuals, shame the average cellie, if not the PlayStation Portable (PSP). Most importantly still, the always-on App Store lets you buy and download titles any time, anywhere, ensuring that button-mashing addicts can always get their fix.
Instant gratification isn’t all fun and games, however. With 937 digital diversions presently available via official online distribution channels alone (roughly 268 new ones per month since the Store launched in July, and a stunning 91 more today than this time last week), it raises the obvious question: which to spend those precious quarters on? While the list of worthy choices runs the gamut from arcade games (de Blob) to puzzlers (Dizzy Bee), sports sims (Real Soccer 2009) and even MMOs (Aurora Feint), don’t fret. Here are a few of my top picks.