If you can't manage to occupy yourself Web surfing, e-mailing or listening to tunes on your iPhone, EA Mobile has just announced a raft of games for the iPod touch and the iPhone. Phone games have become a real phenomenon as more and more mobile devices have enough screen real estate and processing power to become a viable game platform. The EA announcement Friday focused on the release of Spore Origins for the Apple mobile market, but the company also released details of nine other upcoming mobile game titles.
Mobile Spore Origins
It's not the full-blown evolutionary strategy game you'll find on the PC and Mac, but EA's Spore Origins gives iPhone users a taste of "survival of the fittest" by incorporating two modes of play in the mobile version. In evolution mode, players create, edit, tweak and customize their creatures and explore strange worlds. In survival mode, players are prey and predator, advancing through 35 levels of eat-or-be-eaten action.
According to EA Mobile, the game incorporates the motion-sensing capabilities of the iPhone, so gamers can navigate creatures by tilting and moving the handset (as if talking aloud on a wireless headset didn't make you look odd enough). No word on whether the mobile version incorporates any of the more sexually explicit features of the main Spore game.
In a statement released by the company, Travis Boatman, vice president of worldwide studios at EA Mobile, said, "We're really excited to bring Spore Origins to the iPhone and iPod touch. By leveraging the unique capabilities of these devices, players can customize their own creatures and shape their destiny in an exciting evolutionary journey."
In contrast, EA's full-blown Spore allows for nearly total customization of the worlds and creatures that inhabit them, providing ample opportunity to tweak environment and evolutionary features. Supposedly there are millions of worlds to explore and populate. Some reviewers have likened the game to a galactic and evolutionary version of the popular Sims series of games. While the mobile version certainly can't contain all the features of the full version of Spore, EA is hoping it can dominate nearly every game platform with versions of Spore.
In addition to Apple's iPhone and iPod touch, Spore Origins is available for the PC, Mac and Nintendo DS, with versions for other platforms no doubt in the works.
More Mobile Games
EA Mobile already ships Scrabble, Tetris and Sudoku games for the iPhone and iPod touch, and Friday's announcement added nine more to the platform: Yahtzee Adventures, EA Mini Golf, Lemonade Tycoon, Mahjong, Monopoly: Here & Now The World Edition, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 09, Need for Speed Undercover, SimCity and The Sims 3. EA indicates that all the games will be available at Apple's online App Store, and third-generation iPods are not left out either -- those users can pick up a version of Spore at the online store and even give their friends the game using the popular gifting feature on iTunes. EA did not release pricing or availability dates of the various titles.
According to a report by iSuppli, a mobile device analyst group, the market for mobile games is expected to hit $6.1 billion and average 134 million users by 2010. Other reports indicate that, unlike its PC and Mac brethren, the mobile gaming market is made up predominantly of women.