Jun 24

There have been some amazing games released for the iPhone and iPod Touch. Many of these rival, or even surpass games for dedicated gaming machines such as the PSP and Nintendo DS, in terms of 3D graphics and sound.

However, some games are crippled by the lack of any physical control buttons on the iPhone. Creative game developers have offered all kinds of virtual controls on the screen, and utilized the accelerometer. But in the heat of battle, these controls can be cumbersome and slow down game play or interfere with a player’s best performance.

Can the iPhone truly compete with a machine that has many physical buttons that give the player tactile feedback while playing?

What are your thoughts?

5 Responses to “Can iPhone games truly compete without any physical buttons?”

  1. Adam says:

    No, the iphone cannot compete with the DS and PSP but it isn’t a gaming platform it’s more of a time killer with cool apps that will help you out on your commute or during a boring class or a slow period at work.

    On the other hand when game developers focus on the strengths of the touch screen and not on the drawbacks of no face buttons some unique titles are born.

    Anyone who has played Flight Control knows what I’m talking about, that game is amazing and impossible on other systems.

  2. Speno says:

    Flight Control is possible on a DS too, bit i agree, like the Wii, games need to be designed for iphone from the start. Not cheap ports of other games with sub-par input systems.

  3. Anthony says:


    There are many elements that go into a game other than the controls. As other here have stated, for iphone to compete, it has to stick to its strengths, which their happen to be many of them. Physical buttons doesn’t happen to be one of them, however convenience and price are 2 ‘hard-hitters’ when it comes to games, not to mention that the iphone does have touch screen and accelerometer support to help the controls out.

    Also, there are many various demographics for videogames, the Wii and 360, for example, generally do not share the same as each other. In the same way, the iphone hits a different general audience than console games and because of that is able to compete.

  4. SvenVandePerre says:


    They will have to approach it in a different way, and some genre’s will never be really good on iPhone (and aren’t meant to be played on that platform, imho). But other stuff can be as great as any other place. Look at Edge, Peggle, Monkey Island, iBlast Moki, Soozis, Infinity Gene, Doodle Jump, Orbital or Flipt.

    Less buttons (or no buttons) is a drawback, but so is only being able to do one or several things, but not everything (iPhone does it all, and you ALWAYS have it with you)

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