579 App Store Genres

After recently getting a new iPad after about three years without one, I’ve been exposed (again) to Apple’s iOS App Store.

I’m sad to report that not much has changed since I last checked in.

I don’t do a lot of gaming on my phone, mostly because I have dedicated gaming devices for that (3DS, Vita) that provide, in general, a much more satisfying gaming experience. I also like to reserve my phone’s battery for more critical tasks.

In regards to games specifically on the App Store, what I’ve noticed is that there are a collection of sub-genres, separate from the standard genre categories like action, adventure, puzzle, or shooter. These sub-genres are a bit of enigma, a developer may not even be aware that their game is a part of one. Some examples:

  • The puzzley-actiony game with a core mechanic that is exploited across 100’s of levels, each in which your performance gets graded on a 3-star scale.
  • The “endless” game. Endless gameplay! Endless levels! Endless amounts of diminishing fun!
  • The action game that somehow none of the developers realized was impossible to control using the on-screen touch gamepad.
  • Any game with a title that is [verb]+y [animal].
  • The game that doesn’t actually show any gameplay on its App Store page. Beware of these.
  • “Tap.” Anything tap… all games are tap! Any game that qualifies what you’re doing as “tapping” probably points mostly toward your impending future of mindless tapping.
  • The visually-delicious and slick-designed empty vessel game. Don’t be fooled, very little thought was put into those “puzzles.”
  • Clash of Clans.
  • These words: Jump, Farm, Saga, Run, Kingdom, Free, Craft, Dragon, New, Dash, Lite, or Mobile.
  • App Store icons are telling; games with icons that look generic probably belong to games that are generic.
  • (this list has mostly descended into my direct personal feelings on the shovel-ware that has invaded the App Store.)
  • Clones. Angry Birds, Threes, Minecraft… usually the original is popular for a reason. Be aware of the games you’re playing and what they’re based on!

If you boot up a game and can within the first 10 minutes classify it as any of the above, it’s probably not going to be a deep and satisfying experience (although there are always exceptions!, and personal taste, to account for).

Now get out there and play something good!

[ Today I Was Playing: Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End and Borderlands 2 ]

August 1, 2016