Warpgate HD vs. Warpgate for iPhone: What’s the Difference?

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.

But either way, Warpgate HD beats Warpgate for the iPhone by a mile, no contest.  Warpgate HD is available for $7.99, and Warpgate is available for $4.99.

iPad screens:

iPhone screens:


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.

9 thoughts on “Warpgate HD vs. Warpgate for iPhone: What’s the Difference?

  1. 1. Warpgate was not ported to the iPhone, but quite the opposite. The game was designed specifically for the iPhone, then ported to the iPad mid-development when the device was unveiled. And so, statements like, “Maybe it’s just the game itself that doesn’t work well for smaller screens, or maybe Freeverse was just lazy porting over Warpgate to the iPhone,” hold about as much water as a bowl made of air.

    2. Not everyone has or wants an iPad. I for one don’t give a toss about the iPad. If I were going to shell out on a device strictly based on the games it can play, I’d buy a PlayStation 3 and save several hundred dollars in the process, while having a much more impressive library of software at my fingertips.

    3. An article like this is pointless, does no one any good, and undermines the purpose of our site. We should not be comparing Warpgate to Warpgate HD simply for the purpose of bashing it. If you want to discuss the iPhone version of Warpgate, then give it a fair deal. Review the game based upon its own merits and shortcomings, and not solely based upon how it compares to the version on the larger screen.

  2. The question should not be, Is Warpgate better than Warpgate HD? The question should be, is Warpgate a good iPhone game?

    And I believe the answer to that question is Yes.

  3. The reason for this article was to show others that the iPad isn’t “just” a big iPod Touch. It was to show that the iPad has its uses and such, and this game just happened to be the game that I used to show that.

    The maybe statements were just maybes that were far from possible, but could be. Those were just there to bounce around ideas and see why I liked the iPad version much better than the iPhone.

    I have to admit that I loved Warpgate though, and maybe my expectancy was too high after playing around with an HD version of it. But I think this article answers the question of what’s the difference between an iPad game and an iPhone game?

    It was a question that I had before purchasing the device, and I assumed that maybe I wasn’t the only asking this question.

    But all that aside, thanks for your opinions Matt. I’ll change that last “maybe” statement to reflect upon what you stated, but other than that, I think this is a helpful article for those looking to find the difference between a big iPod Touch and an iPod Touch.

  4. A month ago, before playing on the iPad, you would have given Warpgate a Must Have rating on the iPhone. Today, having played the HD version, you’ve decided to bash the iPhone version of the game without having ever given it an objective chance. The above piece reads more like an iPad advertisement than it does a gaming impression.

    The thing to do — I think — would have been to review both versions of the game simultaneously in your original review, and then to have included a paragraph comparing the two versions, something akin to:

    While the games are identical in regard to content on both the iPhone and iPad, iPad players will enjoy enhanced graphics, better positioning of controls, and an overall more immersive experience owing to the large screen and improved performance of the game.

    Rather than taking a fair view of the game in relation to what it has to offer on each respective device, statements such as the following:

    “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.”

    “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.”

    … simply make it sound as if one version of the game is good, and the other quite bad and should be avoided. Maybe that’s not what you intended to say, but that’s the way it reads. And there are games out there that suffer from the problem of being good on one platform and bad on another (Bayonetta XBox360 vs. PS3, for example), so it’s not much of a stretch to take that meaning.

    If you want to focus on iPad reviews since you’re the only person that has one, then go to. But I think you need either to leave the iPhone reviews to the other reviewers, or take extra effort to review iPhone titles fairly, untainted what whatever experiences you might have with your larger device.

    If you want to write pieces such as this one, comparing the iPad and iPhone versions head-to-head, then I think you need to make efforts to be more objective. The iPad and iPhone are very different from the standpoint of underlying hardware, and I think Freeverse did an excellent job tuning each version to its respective device.

    We didn’t go beating on Street Fighter IV for being a watered down version of the PS3 version, and I don’t think Warpgate deserves to be treated any differently.

  5. I think what you stated above would be better for future articles, as going head to head with iPhone and iPad games is something that has interested me ever since the device was released.

    In the future, I will review both games simultaneously, etc. I just felt that the iPad and iPhone versions were huge gaps from each other, so that was the main difference between both games. Thanks for your suggestions Matt, really appreciate them. I’ll take it to mind if I ever decide on writing another article similar to this one.

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