What Works Best on iOS

Although hardcore titles are generally most likely to gross the most money on iOS, the games that are most successful on the platform have less to do with genre and more to do with their gameplay.

Games That Leverage iOS’s Touch Interface

Although this may seem like an obvious point, the high number of games that are mere ports of handheld console games (see the section cleverly titled “Gaming Console Ports” later in this chapter) makes it worth stating here: Most top-selling iOS games emphasize use of the iOS unique touch/slide screen interface in gameplay. It is evident, of course, in blockbusters like Angry Birds, but almost all of 2011’s top-grossing games also made central use of the touch/slide feature, including Tap Zoo (see Figure 2-1) and Tap Pet Hotel, which even emphasize the iOS interface in the actual game title.

Related to this, it’s worth noting that the iPad, with its much larger screen, works even better than its smaller cousin for touch-based gameplay. It’s for this reason that missing object games, in which players have to locate and point out items located within a large game environment, do particularly well on the iPad.

Figure 2-1: Tap Zoo, 2011’s top-grossing iOS game

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Short, Discrete Gameplay Sessions

Here’s the thing about the iOS: For the most part, it’s still mainly a mobile phone. Which means an iOS game is often (or usually) played ...

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