Legendary Lost Treasure of Mêlée Island

Gaming on the iPad

Aside from Rovio’s Angry Birds, there is in fact quite a lot of other goodies available in the entertainment ecosystem that Apple has so graciously provided us with. Anyway, some months, maybe half a year ago I realized that there is a bunch of old, quality point-and-click adventure games available on the iPad. Games such as Monkey Island. Needless to say, I bought the full suite. And a few others.

These recent developments have not gone unnoticed in the media. The one and only Finnish gaming magazine, and my all-time favourite called Pelit (i.e. Games) has recently been publishing more and more articles and reviews of games made for the iPad. From what I have read (and also experienced at firsthand) it seems that even the most cynical journalists have approved of iPad’s capabilities in this area. And why would they not? For those of us interested in older PC games (or even console games for that matter) the device kind of feels like an old PC with its 1024 x 768 resolution and simple graphics compared to modern video cards.

The latest revolution has been the adaptation of both old and new board games to the digital world. Titles like Carcassonne and Small World are now in their full glory on the iPad. And judging from the reviews alone, the change of platform has been a successful one. Unfortunately not all games work. Playing first-person shooters such as Doom and Duke Nukem 3D is possible, but moving and aiming at the same time without a physical controller has proven to be a bit frustrating. The same goes for a bunch of driving games and other types of shooters.

Accessories for Gaming

The iPad has Bluetooth connectivity so it would be possible to use gaming controllers for modern consoles (such as the Dualshock 3 made for Playstation 3) with it. In theory, at least. The system being closed I would not hold my breath for anything to happen on this front anytime soon. Perhaps Android-based Playstation-enabled phones (and perhaps tablets in the near future) will have this kind of functionality. I guess the technology enthusiast collective could cook up something similar with jailbroken iOS devices. Then again, it may not be something to attract a large enough audience, as jailbreaking requires some effort and technical knowledge. Ironically, right now the iPad is only as good as Apple allows it to be.

There have been some tries to make the touch interface a bit more suitable for fast-paced action gaming (such as the Fling joystick quickly viewed by Engadget). I have not tested any of these yet, but they could prove fairly useful to those of us wanting to broaden the capabilities of our gadgets and get the most out of the gaming experience. For point-and-click games and the ever-growing genre of games for the iPad such extra gimmicks are of course useless.

Now, if only Baldur’s Gate 1 and 2 (and their excellent expansions) were available on the iPad. Then I would be set for life. At least for the time being. Now where did I leave my Carsomyr +6?

– Joona

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