While some may have a higher level of tolerance for virtual joysticks than I do, it’s hard to deny that the responsiveness and solidity of something like the 3DS’s Circle Pad make it far superior to any touchscreen facsimile. But that’s not to say that the iPhone can’t rival Nintendo’s handheld as a portable game console - by tailoring their control schemes to the strengths and weaknesses of Apple’s miniature marvel, the following titles prove otherwise.
1. Kero Blaster - Although this gem’s controls seem traditional at first, the game benefits greatly from one significant innovation: your weapons are mapped to a swipe-based slider instead of a set of buttons, an excellent choice that lets you run-and-gun with ease. Add in pixel graphics and fabulous level design, and you’ve got a winner.
2. Table Tennis Touch - There’s a huge number of tennis and table tennis games on the App Store, but this one stands above its innumerable competitors. With tight and intuitive controls that actually require skill to master, slick graphics, and challenge to spare, Table Tennis Touch will delight fans looking for a deeper experience.
3. Ridiculous Fishing - Vlambeer’s eccentric but glorious fishing simulator seamlessly combines touching and tilting into a title that’s (blessedly, in my opinion) not at all faithful to the actual sport. Just be aware that this one’s pretty accelerometer-intensive, so keep a good grip on your phone. Oh, and don’t skip the Fishopedia - it’s pretty hilarious.
4. World of Goo - Okay, so many of you have probably already played this classic, but it’s worth revisiting nonetheless. After all, World of Goo’s control scheme is utterly ingenious: keep your finger pressed on a blob to drag it to your desired location, then build structures with ease using auto-attachment. Physics-based puzzling at its pinnacle.
5. Toast Time - An arena-based toast-em’-up (what an oversaturated genre, right?), Toast Time’s got the same mechanism for both movement and shooting. The latter is the more obvious of the two - every tap fires a toast-bullet that’ll obliterate your foes - but don’t forget the power of recoil, which can chuck your character across the screen to open up a better firing angle.
6. Boson X - This one’s another endless runner, but it distinguishes itself with platforms that spawn in different patterns depending on the stage. The controls themselves are really cleverly designed, with tapping and releasing controlling the rise and fall of your intrepid scientist; and it’s exactly this kind of brilliant simplicity that facilitates a great run.