Muschamp Rd

More iPhone Gaming

October 22nd, 2010

I ended up spending much of 2010 unemployed. I tried to use my time productively writing a lot of PHP code, but I also spent too much time gaming. I also did a lot of blogging probably too much.

My health was not good in 2010. Now it is 2019 and my health is once again getting worse as I’ve hurt my knee and back too many times and once again despite passing all three CFA® exams have found myself unemployed. If you want some old iPhone game recommendations read on.

My vote for best game on the iPhone is Reiner Knizia’s Samurai. I’d never played the board game, but I’d picked it up several times in Strategies and will be investing in it eventually. I need a better apartment so I can host games. It is a turn based strategy game with the best multi-player implementation. Other good turn based strategy games exist, but either it is tough to find opponents or tough to fit in a game. You play Samurai one turn at a time, so if you join a game with 1 day between turns there is no pressure to be online. It is a bit like playing Barren Realms Elite back in BBS days. You make your move per day and wait and see what others do.

It can of course be played faster and solo. The AI is pretty good I win and I lose. You can play a solo game of Samurai in 15 to 25 minutes. Settlers of Catan takes longer, Neuroshima Hex probably does too. I’ve played Carcassonne online and solo and it has grown on me a bit. But sometimes when I want to play I can’t find an opponent. You also have to play the entire game in one sitting and some opponents seem to take the full 90 seconds they have to make their move, so it can go fairly long.

The other game I’ve spent a lot of time playing in the last 48 hours is Final Fantasy, the original from 1987. I never played the original. I never had a console at that time. I don’t think it is as grand as Ultima or some of the old PC based RPGs. I’m not the only one with this idea. I do think there is a market for releasing or redoing classics on the iPhone and especially the iPad which with the bigger screen is a much better gaming platform.

The game I really wanted to play has not come out yet which is Final Fantasy Tactics. This I have played on a friend’s Play Station. It is fun and doesn’t require fast twitching or fine motor skills. I even tried a game inspired by FF:T as the hipsters call it, Rebirth of Fortune. I paid my money and gave the game a try but it didn’t remind me of Final Fantasy Tactics much. It is grid based, but you don’t really build your characters. You don’t equip them with gear, you don’t train them, or use a variety of spells and attacks. Basically there is a button you push that says “upgrade”. The game is also short on instructions and back story. I’m still not sure how to move members around in my formation, I think the game controls need a little fine tuning. Rebirth of Fortune has timed turns and since you have no instructions you get thrown into the game, it is a bit rough around the edges.

Rebirth of Fortune and Zenonia 2 are the only games I’ve bought that I have buyer’s remorse. The cost is so low though, my medium mocha I’m drinking costs more so I think others may enjoy them and you can try the free or lite version of the game in many cases.

I think a turn based RPG strategy game with a multi-player or even a scoreboard component would work on the iPhone. Part of the popularity of Bejeweled Blitz is showing off your score. The other secret of its success is it only takes a minute. I can make time to play Bejeweled Blitz and Samurai everyday. But Final Fantasy or some of the other strategy games, I need a solid half hour to get in a game.

While looking at the strategy games available in the iTunes Store and reading reviews online the old game that I played on Chris Hooper’s computer that should be brought to the iPhone or cloned is Defender of the Crown. I’d also like to see Ultima or some of the old school TSR or TSR like (AD&D 2nd Edition) turned based RPGs. Again some sort of scoreboard for best monk or best wizard so you can show off your character should be implemented. Diablo II really brought that into the mainstream though people had to do it in chat rooms or with screen shots. I think some games are approaching this, but the revenue stream for maintaining the servers is harder to justify at 2-5 dollars a game license.

I eventually spent a lot of time playing Undercroft. And Final Fantasy Tactics was released on iOS. I bought it and completed it, but no amount of gaming could solve my problems. I spent a lot of time on hobbies in 2010 but eventually I gave them all up to focus on my CFA studies. Now I’ve passed all the exams but have not returned to any of my hobbies in ernest as I’m trying to find a new job. So if you have any new iOS game recommendations or a lead on a job you can leave a comment below.

One Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Posts on Muskblog © Andrew "Muskie" McKay.
CFA Institute does not endorse, promote or warrant the accuracy or quality of Muskblog. CFA® and Chartered Financial Analyst® are registered trademarks owned by CFA Institute.