Apple needs to man-up if they’re going after Games

While we wait with bated breath for the release of Game Center which will undoubtedly hurt early AppStore pioneers in social gaming (like OpenFeint or Plus+), I believe that Apple needs to grow up a little more and provide a little more of a sense of ‘game‘ rather than ‘app‘.

This morning I spent a little time trying to track down a clone of Gauntlet on the AppStore that might run on iPad or multiplayer across multiple iPhones. The only one which seemed to come close was “The Relic” by Chillingo which is coming up on a year late. There are other games out there like Dark Raider, Catacombs or Shadow Edge but I can’t tell which of these games are going to be truly multiplayer – at least not in the way I want.

I think Apple need to look at how they present information for games. This, for instance, is simply not enough:

Bad juju

and this is also pitiful:

Mirror's Edge

So we see the icon, the name, price, size, a vague-ish rating for the game content (which, if you remember the dawn of the AppStore, didn’t exist) and basic requirements for the hardware.

Compare this to Nintendo:

Nintendo
Nintendo2

and Sony do even better:
Sony

You can see if this is a multiplayer game on the device, multiplayer over the internet, the specifications, the rating, the size. And they do it in a consistent way across all their games. And the multiplayer icons are the first things I look for in games – considering how irritating it is to have a good game and it not be multiplayer (though some games like Super Mario Galaxy have such a stunted second player option, you have to wonder if it was worthwhile).

Come on Apple, sort it out.

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