2007 was a massive year for Apple. In the same year, they released the first iPod Touch and the first iPhone, ushering in the age of smartphones with touchscreens. Another thing that was revolutionized with this new touchscreen technology was the way that people played handheld games.
Not long after the advent of the iPhone and the iPod Touch, some of the most iconic handheld games of all time hit the Apple Store and completely changed the way that people thought about handheld gaming.
In 2007, when these new Apple products came out, I was around 11 or 12. I remember hearing people constantly talking about the latest sensation to hit the Apple Store. I begged and pleaded for an iPod Touch for either my birthday or Christmas, and I think I eventually got one by using my allowance to buy a secondhand iPod Touch on eBay. Finally, I could talk about high scores, unlockables, and updates with all of my comrades at school.
Indeed, these now-old iPhone and iPod Touch games took up a significant portion of a lot of people’s lives. In the interest of getting a bit nostalgic and remembering our younger years, let’s talk about some of these games that made the biggest splash in our generation. My intention here is to get you to say, “Oh, yeah! I used to love that game!” Let’s see if I can succeed.
Who didn’t spend countless hours playing through the many levels of Angry Birds? Who didn’t curse profusely when they missed that final pig by what seemed like mere inches? This game was frustrating, funny, and extremely addicting.
You had the classic red bird, the heart of the team. There were the blue birds that could somehow magically multiply into three separate birds. You also had the black birds that exploded when they hit stuff, the green bird that you could use as a boomerang, and the yellow bird that got a speed boost when you tapped your screen. This game was just amazing.
Doodle Jump was one of the first games for iPod Touch and iPhone that gained massive amounts of popularity. It was exactly what it sounded like: you were a doodle that jumped. It didn’t need to be anything more.
Alright, to be more specific, you were a doodle that jumped from platform to platform and tried to avoid the evil doodles that would make you fall off. I remember being super impressed by the fact that you could control the doodle by simply tilting your iPhone or iPod Touch. This was a completely new way to control a video game character and, even though it was such a rudimentary game, it was extremely exciting.
Although it came out a little later than some of the other games on this list, Subway Surfers was probably the best game on this list in terms of its playing experience and game dynamics. The graphics were engaging, the gameplay was thrilling and adrenaline-inducing, and everything about it just made you want to play more and more.
I have friends who still play the original version of Subway Surfers today, nearly a full decade after its release. That’s just a testament to how well-made and fun this game was. Few things can really get your heart racing like the imminent threat of running head-first into a train.
Another thing that will get your adrenaline pumping: getting chased by a horde of evil monkey demons, which is exactly what was coming after you in the iconic game Temple Run. I guess that’s what happens when you steal a golden idol from a temple.
Temple Run was probably the predecessor to Subway Surfers because the games had very similar controls and gameplay styles. However, the fact that Temple Run had a sort of Indiana Jones theme made the two games feel unique and equally as fun. They did come out with a Temple Run 2, but it was no replacement for the original.
I was recently gifted a samurai sword for my birthday, and do you know the first thing I did with it? I threw a piece of fruit up in the air and sliced it in half! True story! That’s the extent of the influence that Fruit Ninja has had on my life. This game was all about slicing fruits as they fell out of the air, and that can be a lot more fun than it might sound.
Here’s the thing: you’ve got to slice as many fruit as you possibly can before you let three fruit fall without being sliced, or you accidentally slice a bomb. Who knew that just cutting fruit up could be so intense and so addicting?
Now, here’s another game that is still extremely relevant today. I constantly see people playing Candy Crush on buses, trains, and airplanes. And the person is always on like level 1,000,000,000. That just goes to show how this game beckons you to play more and more and more right from the very start.
It’s amazing to me that some people play this game with an actual strategy, as in they plan out several moves ahead. Personally, every time I’ve ever played this game, I just kind of swipe aimlessly and hope good things happen. I guess that’s why I never made it all that far in the game.
If you want to talk about a game that would leave you feeling unbelievably angry nearly every time you played it, talk about Flappy Bird. How many times have I tried to play this game and couldn’t even get through the first barrier? I don’t want to talk about it. Then, you have some people out there getting scores in the hundreds, and it just makes you feel like a piece of dirt.
In all seriousness, this game was pretty rewarding once you got decent at it. But, nothing was more frustrating than when you were about to beat your friend’s high score and you crashed into those stupid green pipes.
Now that I think about it, a lot of the games on this list were bird-themed. Did someone do a study on how people responded positively to bird-themed games or something? Regardless, I think that Tiny Wings must’ve been my favorite of the three bird games that have been mentioned so far.
Basically, by tapping the screen, you’d get the bird to dive. The point was to time your dives in such a way that you’d slide smoothly into one of the hills, giving your bird momentum and allowing it to fly even further. Alright, enough about birds.
Plants vs. Zombies
Plants vs. Zombies is another game where the concept is spelled out very clearly in the game’s title. You control an army of plants and you’re fighting against an army of zombies. Easy enough to understand, right? Well, there was actually a lot of strategy involved in this game.
By killing zombies, you’d receive sunlight points (I’m not sure if that’s exactly what they’re called). With those sunlight points, you could buy new plants to add to your army. Obviously, more expensive plants were more powerful and more effective zombie killers. But, as your army got stronger, so did the horde of zombies you were fighting against.