The iTablet – if it’s even called that – hasn’t been confirmed yet. But it has been reported that several established iPhone developers have been approached by Apple to prepare full-screen tablet demos of their apps for a launch event later this month. I’m guessing that several of them will be games developers.
So what iPhone games would most suit an upscaling to the tablet? Bear in mind it’s not just about a bigger screen, but about an entirely different mode of use – more likely to be on your lap rather than held in the air, meaning an emphasis on touch controls rather than tilting accelerometer inputs. Plus, the tablet will suit group viewing – so collaborative games could be winners.
Here’s ten games I’ve picked on that basis, which will hopefully make their way to Apple’s tablet if and when it’s released. Let me know if I’ve missed any obvious choices!
1. Flight Control. As big a no-brainer as you can find, this. Tracing lines to guide planes and helicopters in to land would work just as well – if not better – on a bigger screen. What’s more, you can imagine an excellent collaborative mode where two (or more) players are playing at once from opposite sides of the tablet.
2. Monopoly. Yeah, maybe a boring choice. But plop your tablet on the table, gather a few friends round, and away you go. The key here would be why play this rather than the actual board game – but interactivity, animation and (crucially) an impartial judge to stop cheats would make a tablet version a winner.
3. Star Defense. Like Flight Control and line-drawing games, the tower defence genre would upscale to a tablet just fine, and may well suit collaborative play too. I’ve picked Star Defense over Fieldrunners based more on its visuals – scrolling around 3D planets on a big screen would be fun. But either would suit, really.
4. Chuzzle. Because you’ve got to have a match-three puzzler in here, and Chuzzle is one of the most addictive AND most visually appealing examples on iPhone. Dragging Chuzzles round a 10-inch (or 7-inch – delete according to rumour) screen would be dangerously addictive.
5. Tap Tap Revenge. iPhone’s premier music game now has more than 20 million players, so porting it to the tablet would make sense. However, on the basis that the tablet may also interface with your home music collection, it’s not hard to imagine the ability to play along with your favourite songs too.
6. Civilization Revolution. Armchair generals out there need a big screen to play Civ on – the iPhone version received warm-but-not-overwhelming praise on its release, but upscaling it for the tablet with a decent draggy interface would make it the ultimate sofa wargame.
7. Titanic: Hidden Expedition. Hidden object games have been huge in the casual world, but haven’t really taken off on iPhone – possibly due to the small screen. A bigger display focused around a touch interface? Perfect.
8. Tower Bloxx. The one-touch interface to Digital Chocolate’s blocky action game would translate to a tablet without a hitch, but I’m including it in the hope that the publisher would also bring the even whizzier graphics of the Xbox Live version to any tablet edition.
9. Platinum Sudoku. Sofa, tablet, a bit of time to kill… Sudoku is an obvious genre to benefit. The irony of people buying an $800 tablet then spending much of their time on it playing a game that comes for free with physical newspapers isn’t lost on me, either.
10. Catan. For the same reasons that spurred me to put Monopoly and Civilization on this list. Catan is a deeply addictive strategic boardgame that would suit the big-screen and collaborative play to a tee.