Thanksgiving 2009: What We’re Truly Thankful For

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and many of us have many things to be thankful for.  This holiday is truly a time to reflect upon all blessings and gifts that you have received, and we at NoDPad aren’t exempt from that.  The team here writes about what we’re thankful for, whether it be games, developers, or maybe even a specific group.

Those times when you feel like rolling?  There's an app for that...
Those times when you feel like rolling? There's an app for that...

Daniel: The App Store, what an innovation.  This technology isn’t very new, we’ve seen the distribution of games throughout cell phones and cellular devices even before the App Store was a twinkle in Steve Job’s eyes.  The difference, though, was hard work and investments.  Indie developers like Imangi Studios and Hand Circus have clearly shown the power of the common people, and without them, the App Store would be quite an empty place.  We’ve seen absolute wonders like Rolando 2 and Modern Combat: Sandstorm, and games like those have shown pure imagination.  Gameloft is another developer I’m quite thankful for, bringing us full 3D experiences to our mobile phones, creating the likes of Gangstar and Hero of Sparta.  And to all those diligent indies, I salute you.

This open-world RPG was created by two people.  Yes that's right, two.
This open-world RPG was created by two people. Yes that's right, two.

Chris: I’d like to thank all the independent game developers who are doing a great job keeping up with big companies like EA and Gameloft. Most of these guys produce their apps in their spare time, and they’ve come up with some great games for the platform. I’m thankful for the fact that they finally have outlet that is rewarding their hard work with exposure and, in some cases, profit. Even though these guys usually pair up with a publisher for marketing purposes, the games they create are independent. Often, these titles are the ones that are pushing the iPhone gaming platform forward. In fact, 11 of the 14 game finalists for 2009 Independent Games Festival Award have been released exclusively on the iPhone. Galcon, Fieldrunners, Ravensword, Ruben and Lullaby, Zen Bound, and Frenzic are just of the few titles produced by indie developers. Not all of these have been stand out successes, but they are adding flavor and diversity to the app store. I have nothing against major developer labels; in fact, I enjoy a lot of their games, but most established companies don’t invest their resources to develop offbeat titles like Zen Bound. So, this Thanksgiving, I’m grateful for indie’s contribution to the iPhone, and I hope it continues throughout the new year. Keep up the good work!

From dream to reality, IUGO has given us titles like Zombie Attack, Star Hogs, and much more.
From dream to reality, IUGO has given us titles like Zombie Attack, Star Hogs, and much more.

Matt: There’s a lot of crap in the App Store. I’m thankful for those developers who have invested the time into their apps to make them stand out from the deluge of crApps, those developers who have pushed and continue to push the envelope for iPhone apps. When the App Store launched, the major game publishers were nowhere to be found; it was independent developers who tested the waters and proved them fruitful, who validated the iPhone as a gaming platform and drew the larger publishers on board. And it’s many of these early developers who continue to release the App Store’s best software, innovating while they entertain. I’m thankful for developers like John Kooistra, Subatomic Studios, Hand Circus, IUGO, Igloo Games, Capybara Games, Critical Thought Games and many, many more.

The PSP is now officially: put to shame.
The PSP is now officially: put to shame.

Jeff: After witnessing the App Store grow from simple, basic apps to the giant that it is now, I realize that there are many things that I’m thankful for. I’m thankful for the people that got things started, and the ones that have pushed the limit of the hardware on the iPhone and iPod Touch. More and more games have tons of content and replayability and are so graphically intense I can barely believe that it’s running on my iPod Touch. For me, notable titles include Ravensword: The Fallen King, Modern Combat: Sandstorm, Real Racing, Battle for Wesnoth, Rogue Planet, and many more diverse, original games. I’m also glad that big name publishers such as Gameloft and EA continue to strive to make iDevice games better, but most of all for active developers that listen to the players’ ideas and allow you to converse with them, voicing your opinions and learning theirs. This Thanksgiving, I give thanks for creative and attentive developers, and companies that have made unbelievable progress with creating fun, memorable, and amazing games for all types of people.

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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