Best iPhone and iPad Apps: Video Games Win

Best iPhone and iPad Apps: Video Games Win

To celebrate the 10 billionth app download from the App Store, Apple has revealed the top ten iPhone and iPad app downloads since the Store’s conception. Here’s what we’ve learned: iPhone owners sure love their games. What’s more, they’re happy to pay for them.

Apple divided its report into two categories: The top-downloaded paid apps for the iPhone/iPad, and the top-downloaded free apps for the iPhone/iPad. Few games made it into the “Free” category for the iPhone or iPad, but the “Paid” category for the iPhone was composed almost entirely of games, with Doodle Jump taking the top spot. Why are games such an unprecedented hit on the App Store?

Numbers are one big reason. You’ll only download one or two Facebook or Twitter apps before you upgrade your iPhone, or before you inevitably lose it in a taxi cab or drop it down the sewer. But if you want to download a good puzzle game, you have hundreds of thousands to choose from, and you’re going to at least try a few.

Second, not everybody wants to do the social networking thing endlessly. If you’re waiting for a bus, there’s only so many times you can check your email and your Facebook friends before you start to feel a little obsessive. You can, however, open up Flight Control and immerse yourself in a pleasant tangle of lines and smashed-up aircraft. Sooner or later, though, you’re going to need a new game. Then it’s off to the App Store.

Third, the iPhone (and iPod Touch) are snug and portable. You can fit them in your purse or pocket–and you can usually get away with sneaking in a game of Angry Birds before the boss catches on (just turn down the volume). The portability of the iPhone can also explain why games are not nearly as popular on the iPhone’s big brother, the iPad. You can huddle on a bus with the rest of the world and poke at your cell phone, but if you have a tablet splayed across your lap, you look a little more conspicuous, and your gaming session subsequently becomes less private. Moreover, something about a tablet speaks of books, work and business. It’s not the first device you think of when you think about handheld gaming, and it’s definitely not something you’d want a little kid handling and dropping.

The iPhone’s portability combined with the affordability and variety of the App Store’s offerings have made the App Store a tremendous success in a mere couple of years. Let’s not fool ourselves by overlooking another reason why iPhone owners love their games, though: Wasting time is just that much fun.

About Nadia Oxford
Nadia is a freelance writer living in Toronto. She played her first game at four, decided games were awesome, and has maintained her position since. She writes for 1UP.com, Slide to Play, GamePro and other publications, and is About.com’s Guide to the Nintendo DS.

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