There’s an old adage (not really) that says, “A pool is just like a large bathtub.” This statement is aimed at those saying that the iPad is just a large iPod Touch, and while that may be true, the word “just” doesn’t exactly do it justice. There’s so many more possibilities on a larger screen, and with graphics being one of them, Warpgate HD and Warpgate must be compared.
So what are the differences? Well I’ll give you one: the iPhone version is hard to play while the iPad version is perfect. I don’t want to give it this word or description, but moving from playing on the iPad to the iPhone, Warpgate sucks compared to HD. It doesn’t play well on the iPhone once getting used to playing it on the iPad, and I quit out of the iPhone version after a few minutes.
And here’s one reason: the immersive environment isn’t present in the iPhone version. You’re ship is extremely small, the surrounding universe seems miniscule, and the ship controls just don’t feel as natural as those on the iPad. You have to zoom in and out a lot more, and zooming out doesn’t exactly move as smoothly or look as pretty.
The buttons are also quite cramped on the iPhone screen, while on the iPad, it’s very easy to press and is very spread out. The user interface needs some work for Warpgate on the iPhone, and the one implemented right now is somewhat difficult to use.
So with that all said, what exactly is different? Are looks the only things that are different? And to that question, I answer with a simple yes. Yes, the looks are the only things that are different. But the looks are everything in this case: the ambiance, the smoothness of the controls, the user interface; everything about this game depends on the immersion.
I’m sorry to say, but the iPhone version fails to immerse you in space exploration while the iPad has you staring through the cosmos and reaching for the stars, literally.
For iPhone users, Warpgate may be a fine game and if you’re having a lot of fun with it, that’s great. But for me, I would suggest shelling out $3 more for Warpgate HD (if you have an iPad, that is) for a much better gaming experience. It was just extremely difficult for me to transition from iPad to iPhone for Warpgate, and I was not impressed with the iPhone version at all.
It may just be that I’m comparing a computer game to a handheld game, or it may just be the fact that the iPad is much better for gaming. Maybe it’s just the game itself that doesn’t work well for smaller screens, or maybe Freeverse was too caught up in developing for the iPad version.