With iOS classic Jetpack Joyride gaining 3D Touch compatibility through a recent update, it got us to thinking about the best gaming applications of Apple's pressure sensitive technology.
The iPhone 6S is almost a year old now, so the announcement of the iPhone 7 (or whatever Apple calls it) is more than likely only a couple of weeks away.
One of the things this will mean is that Apple's revolutionary 3D Touch technology will be well established, and most of the company's iPhone range will sport the technology. With added 3D Touch functionality likely to be added to the next version of iOS, we suspect that game developers will be working a little harder to implement 3D Touch controls into their projects.
That's not to say that they haven't already made a start, of course. Here are seven examples of iOS games that have made good use of 3D Touch.
We should mention Freeblade first, not because it was the first game on the App Store to feature 3D Touch controls, nor even that it's the best game on this list. Rather, it's because Apple chose the game to showcase 3D Touch. It's essentially a jazzed up shooting gallery, where you can press harder to zoom in on your targets. Oh, and it looks spectacular, which is another reason why Apple selected the game.
Here's the game that got us thinking about this list. Jetpack Joyride is a true iOS success story, having launched way back in 2011 and still going strong. One of the reasons for that is because Halfbrick continues to support it - as evidenced by the recent addition of 3D Touch support. The ability to gain altitude faster than normal by pressing a little harder can really make the difference to your high scores.
Developer Frogmind managed to make its beautiful casual flier even more pristine by incorporating 3D Touch controls into the sequel. Now, you can keep your thumb pinned to screen, altering your creature's flight path, by pressing a little harder or easing off. The original Badland has also been updated with this system, and it makes for a subtly improved, tactile experience in both instances.
This wonderful little oddball of a game combines endless runner and rhythm action with a moving anime-like plot. Its implementation of 3D Touch isn't massively pronounced, but the ability to jump by press firmly rather than swiping up is a nice option to have, and shows that 3D Touch doesn't need to be made integral to the gameplay. Plus, we simply love the game.
Wonderful Lasers's hard-as-nails endless roller has a fair few fans, but it remains a particularly tricky beast to tame. However, keeping the rolling ball on track is made a smidgen easier with the addition of 3D Touch steering, which lets you lean into tight turns that bit more aggressively.
Grand Theft Auto: Liberty City Stories
The handheld open world classic comes to iOS, and with 3D Touch steering, it's arguably the best suited to mobile play (after Chinatown Wars, anyway). 3D Touch controls make those touchscreen controls a little more wieldy, particularly when it comes to cornering more sharply in vehicles.
ZORG's slick futuristic racer already has analogue steering in through the iPhone's accelerometer, but it uses 3D Touch to make the throttle analogue as well. This means you can modulate your speed through the game's twisting corners without having to feather the accelerator. It's a very nice application of the technology.