Social Platform Showdown: OpenFeint vs. Plus+

While there are other including Scoreloop and AGON Online, there’s no question that these two, OpenFeint and Plus+, are the most used and most talked about social platforms out there.  Many people have mixed feelings about both, but which one is truly the best?  With OpenFeint 2.1, the new user interface and features have catapulted it to one of the most sophisticated social platforms on the device.  Plus+, a more recent social platform, came with many features right off the bat including the first use of challenge push notifications and other nifty little features.

That's a lot of points you got there...
That's a lot of points you got there...

First Round: Competition

OpenFeint: OpenFeint features push notifications, the ability to add friends, and achievements.  There are also tons and tons of games that include all these features, but most games don’t seem to implement all these features.  For example, Minigore features absolutely no achievements or the ability to send push notifications, leaving the OpenFeint feature somewhat crippled.

Also, the OpenFeint development team seems to give the developers all the freedom in the world, causing huge imbalances in gamer scores, etc.  For example, MUST. EAT. BIRDS offers 100 points for surprisingly easy achievements, and each achievement can be achieved within a matter of minutes.  Champion Archer is another good example of unbalanced gamer points, offering 300 points for 100% accuracy in one level (an achievement that was accomplished in a matter of minutes also).  On the other side of the spectrum, Finger Physics offers maybe 1 or 2 points for rather difficult achievements.

Plus+: Plus+ features all the features OpenFeint has, including friends, push notifications, and achievements.  What I thought was more sophisticated with Plus+ was push notifications, a feature that is lacking in most OpenFeint games.  Most Plus+ games include this feature, and since a game does have to go through an approval process, the gamer scores are more controlled.  Each game has a specified amount of points, and all the games have a lot more achievements than just five or four.

Winner: Plus+

I'm freakin' L33T! Prepare to be eliminated.

Second Round: Game Selection

OpenFeint: In this sector, clearly OpenFeint is a winner.  OpenFeint has a back catalogue of hundreds upon thousands of games while Plus+ features maybe ten, even less, games to chose from.  Now, this isn’t always a good thing as some OpenFeint games are a total waste (Ow My Balls! anyone?).  Also, it is harder to download every game with OpenFeint to earn achievements since there are just so many.  The user databases for OpenFeint boast millions of users also, but with Plus+ releasing AAA titles like Eliminate, the user databases may be of the same amount.

Plus+: When you really look at it, there are only 10 or so games to chose from when it comes to Plus+.  OpenFeint is clearly a monster when it comes to amount of games, but when it comes to quality, it seems to be that Plus+ wins.  And while Plus+’s games are more quality-oriented, OpenFeint has some big companies like Digital Chocolate backing them up along with Pocket Monkey Games.  Plus+ has the quality when it comes to games, but in this sector, it seems as if OpenFeint wins largely due its wide selection of games along with its support for many individual developers.

Winner: OpenFeint

Aye matey, now o'er there is one heck o' a beauty.
Aye matey, now o'er there is one heck o' a beauty.

Third Round: User Interface

OpenFeint: OpenFeint 2.1 brought about a huge improvement to user interface, and I was more than happy when the update arrived.  The first time I was ever introduced to OpenFeint was Pocket God, and my first thoughts on the social platform was “wow, that’s ugly”.  Of course, back then, I had no clue what OpenFeint was all about, and all it was really good for was chatting with other dorky Pocket God players.  The developers did a great job in improving OpenFeint though, responding much to user feedback and fixing many of the issues I had with it.

Plus+: Right off the bat, Plus+ featured some of the most beautiful user interfaces I have ever seen, and the black/grey/blue color combination worked out really well.  I was overwhelmed at how beautiful Plus+ looked, but even then, OpenFeint seems to be the same except in a tinge of green.  While I absolutely loved Plus+’s user interface, OpenFeint seems to have caught up, and while OpenFeint isn’t better, it sure is hard to tell which one is.

Winner: TIE

Look at all those features!  But where's the achievements I wonder...
Look at all those features! But where's the achievements I wonder...

Fourth Round: The Finale

Of course, this battle cannot end in a tie.  While both social platforms are very evenly matched, it seems as if my personal preference goes with… *drum roll please* the Plus+ network.  The competition felt in the Plus+ network is slightly above that of OpenFeint, and while OpenFeint does have all the necessary features, it’s just way too hard to compete with people who have unfair advantages due to generous points from random games.  The number of games in OpenFeint is also a factor that is difficult for competition as someone can have almost all the OpenFeint games, leading to a large margin in gamer scores.  Social platforms were made to interact with friends and compete, and I just believe that Plus+ did a better job with providing this environment.  It just feels more controlled and a lot easier to compete with others for the top spot.  It was a close battle though, and without a doubt in my mind, OpenFeint has more than enough manpower to overcome the Plus+ monster.



About Daniel

I have been an iPhone game addict ever since the NES emulator came out on the 1.1.4 iPhone 2G. After 2.0 and the App Store came out, my iPhone homescreen has never been the same. Other than writing reviews for App Store games, I play soccer/football, American football, volleyball, and golf. I love going to the beach and fishing on the pier. Some games not available on iPhone/iPod Touch that I truly love are the Call of Duty series, Guitar Hero III, Madden NFL 09, and PGR: Gotham Racing.

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