iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad Games; We Deserve Better

This morning I awoke to a nightmare.  Surrounded by hundreds of Doodle characters and Scribble objects.  My mistake, not a nightmare, just my inbox which is absolutely full of developers that want me to review their new game that starts with the word Doodle or is some type of Match 3 game.  It’s tiring because there are so many new things developers can bring to this market.  The possibilities are really only limited by the devices screen size.  Very few times in history have developers had a chance to stand out from a crowd with a unique game, yet so many fail to even try.

I have heard that the cost of developing a new iPhone or iPod Touch app costs somewhere between 1000-100,000 dollars.  That is nothing compared to the costs for developing for a console or even the cost of developing for the platform like the Nintendo DS.  The only platform that allows development for those cost ranges until now has been the PC market for software.  The problem with those markets is that until very recently, success required contracts with individual retail locations and publishers in order for your game to be a success.  The rise of Steam and Stardock’s Impulse has changed that landscape a bit but not nearly to the degree as the iPhone and iPod Touch market for one very important reason: hardware.  On the iPhone and iPod Touch, every one of the 80 million plus users has relatively the same hardware.  The market is huge, the entrance fee is cheap and the desire for good gaming is there. Why all the repetition?

I think the answer is fairly simple: laziness.  Developers want to use the App Store to get rich quick so they are extremely willing to copy old ideas instead of coming up with new ones.  It really is a shame.  A game like Doodle Jump has sold millions of copies and has also created a monster of duplication.  Other developers are begging to cash in on that success.  There are literally 50+ games on the App Store that start or include the word Doodle.  There are 10 games on the App Store that include Doodle Jump’s tagline: Be Warned: Extremely Addictive!  Argh!  Seriously?

I run this site because I think the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad gaming market is a substantial force in the gaming landscape.  These copycat developers are killing the buzz for me.  I try to review as many indie games as I can because I am looking for the next Doodle Jump.  I know it’s out there but for the love of God, if you’re a developer, please stop the copycat behavior.  Come to us with new ideas, something fresh and it will be welcomed with open arms.  Come to us with the same old thing and it will be deservedly torn apart.

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iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad Games; We Deserve Better, 3.4 out of 5 based on 5 ratings
Cody likes sports, games and sports games. He has also been known to read about sports, games and sports games.


  1. Cody Sharp

    October 18, 2011 at 1:10 pm

    Thanks for your response. Mobile games are the absolute cheapest way to develop a million dollar game.  18 months after I wrote this, it is still the case.  Sure, big name developers have gotten in on the action and made games with higher quality graphics and sound but big deal – better graphics and sound with generic gameplay are boring.  I want something innovative and fresh. Some of the top games over the last year are Angry Birds and Tiny Wings.  Big name publishers but tiny development studios.  If your game is solid, you can make a killing and you can do it for less than $100k (although Angry Birds apparently cost a bit more than that – about $125k to make).  

    To be perfectly honest, I wrote this over a year ago.  During the last 6 months, I have played 10-15 iOS games-tops.  I just can’t do it anymore.  I’ve lost the faith.  After reviewing 200+ iPhone games, I feel I’ve seen everything that can be seen.  There are still some amazing releases – like the Kairosoft games and every once in a while a single developer will make an outstanding game – like iOOTP Baseball 2011, but otherwise…

    That all being said, this was just an opinion piece but I am not the only editor of an iPhone game review site that feels this way.

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  2. Anonymous

    October 18, 2011 at 12:00 pm

    And app that was made for less than 100,000 was either made by very few people or on a very small time scale.  Mobile development is as expensive as it gets and the industry moves incredibly fast.  Faster devices come out every month and developers want to target multiple devices which exponentially increases the cost of development.  If you found some cheap knock-off app or game, it was probably made by a single person who wanted some mobile dev experience.

    Don’t hate

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  3. Danny Danger

    June 15, 2010 at 7:29 pm

    this is pretty sweeet

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  4. Danny Danger

    June 15, 2010 at 7:28 pm

    Radical Interactive is unveiling the most anticipated iPhone game of 2010, featuring Advanced Dual Stick Shooter. We’re gearing up for a BETA release. Go to http://rememberodessa.com/blog if you want to participate!

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  5. comixgrl

    June 15, 2010 at 7:18 pm

    Radical Interactive will soon be unveiling one of the most anticipated iPhone games of 2010, featuring Advanced Dual Stick Shooter. We’re gearing up for a BETA release. If you want to be a BETA tester go to http://rememberodessa.com/blog/

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  6. Pingback: iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad Games; We Deserve Better | iPhone …

  7. Cody

    June 14, 2010 at 10:18 am

    I have 2 consoles. What does that have to do with iPhone gaming? I can’t take a console on the plane. I can’t take it to the bathroom. The problem is that there are a tremendous number of quality iPhone and iPod Touch games out there. There are far to many that are simply rubbish. i would rather a developer try for something unique and fail than to try for something that has already been done and was mediocre.

    As far as consoles, I rarely play them. I’d much rather play games on my PC. Mods and mice win the day every time for me. The only time I play console games is for sports or racing.

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  8. Mappdev

    June 14, 2010 at 10:03 am

    If you want quality, get a real console.

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