iPhone games (and by extension iPad games too of course) have evolved into a slew of casual and hardcore games geared toward men and women. If you recall, back in the day where there where no iPods or PSPs yet, when we were kids, we were conditioned to believe that boys are meant to play with cars and trucks while little girls love Barbie and dressing up.
At the risk of promoting gender-based stereotypes when it comes to games for men and women, it cannot be denied that some games appeal to opposite ends of the gender spectrum. Is it just a coincidence, or will we see the future of iPhone games along the gender divide?
1. Angry Birds vs. Trucks and Skulls
Genre: Physics-based puzzler
Angry Birds: Cute and fluffy Trucks and Skulls: Bad a**
Physics-based puzzles have become the rage for both iPhone games and iPad games. While the wildly popular Angry Birds made hurling a bunch of noisy and expressive birds a purely addictive experience, the blaring and bombastic Trucks and Skulls pits fierce-looking monster trucks against grinning skulls, punctuated by a very load and macho-sounding “Yeaaah!” at every turn. In Trucks and Skulls, you get tons of new content, and you can even make your own levels. While the highly polished Trucks and Skulls offers more bang for the buck, as well as deeper customizability and polish, Angry Birds has attained icon status, judging from the Angry Birds-themed iPad and iPhone cases on the market and shirts in Greenhills.
2. Cooking Dash vs. Garage, Inc.
Genre: Time management
Cooking Dash: Time management perfection Garage, Inc.: Flawed mechanics
Guys may openly scoff at the prospect of cooking, serving tables and waiting on customers (the way Cooking Dash does it), but little do they know, time management games are slowly coming out for the boys. Garage, Inc. may not seem like a time management game, but it actually is. Instead of serving tables and cooking dishes, your job is to service cars. As a relative newcomers, it appears, to time management games, Garage, Inc. has yet to perfect the time management formula and the game mechanics are slightly flawed. There are no upgradeable equipment, and the controls are fairly limited and a bit buggy. However, in terms of storyline, Garage, Inc.’s story of a good man who has to work the garage and deal with the mob is beautifully told, thanks to its tight storyline and lovely cinematic cut scenes. Time management games are a strictly casual affair and many studios have got it down pat for the girls, it won’t be long before the guys catch up.
3. The Creeps vs Field Runners
Genre: Tower defense
The Creeps: Cute tower defense with funny sounds Fieldrunners: Polished and hardcore tower defense
The Creeps is one of the cutest tower defense iPhone games – taking down funny-sounding and odd-looking monsters with UFOs, boomerangs and Elmer’s glue will melt any hardened gamer’s heart. In addition to the game’s overall quirkiness, you get to destroy obstacles in your path to earn money and extra space to build towers.
On the other hand, the classic tower defense game Field Runners offers gorgeously designed, standard issue rifles, lasers and plasma towers – with waves and waves of enemies coming at you. A nice twist here is the freedom to place towers anywhere on the screen and create your own path.
Both are incredibly good tower defense games, and it’s hard to choose between the two. It comes down to whether or not you like working with a fixed path map and destroyable elements in The Creeps or if you want freedom in placing your towers as in Field Runners.
4. Trouble in Tin Town vs Great Little War Game
Genre: Turn-based strategy
Trouble in Tin Town: Cute if a bit repetitive Great Little War Game: More depth
There are a fair number of turn-based strategy games out there. While I feel it’s not a popular genre with girls, there actually are options out there that are more casual than hardcore. Would you rather fight lollipops with Shakespeare by your side in Trouble in Tin Town or would you slug it out in the warzone in Great Little War Game?
Trouble in Tin Town is cute and fairly simple in its approach – you get to do a bit of role playing in trying out different warrior classes – you have the Historicals (famous people and literary characters), the candy people, and more, but the objective is more or less the same: capture the enemy base. On the other hand, Great Little War Game sets itself apart because of its fairly complex strategic gameplay, thanks to lots of available soldiers, tanks and weapons. At the same time, the graphics are cute and the sounds are pretty funny (you can even buy extra voice effects as in-app purchases).
Feel free to add to the list. Let the battle of the sexes begin!
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