If you've been checking out the most popular list at the iTunes App Store recently, you might have noticed that a new game has reached the top of the charts--even unseating the mega-popular Angry Birds. It's called Cut the Rope and it challenges you to feed candy to a hungry little monster named Om Nom by cutting various ropes to direct the candy to his waiting mouth. It's a little hard to describe here, so check out Rick Broida's coverage of Cut the Rope here.
Beating out Angry Birds at the top of the charts is no small feat (it's been sitting pretty there for months), so it got me thinking about what type of game reaches the top of the iTunes App Store.
It seems you must have polish--both games were obviously painstakingly produced. From the main characters down to the menus and even the design of the buttons, the whole experience captures the ambiance the developers are trying to convey making the game more immersive. Both games have extremely cute characters; each of the different birds are adorable in their anger, and the little green monster Om Nom couldn't be cuter when he opens wide for the candy. Both games have simple controls that can be played by anyone--this seems to be the biggest factor. Just about anyone from any age group can grasp the simple controls, but the games are still plenty challenging.
Finally, you need airtight audio, with little nuanced and silly additions like the muttering birds in Angry Birds, or the sigh of sadness when the candy misses Om Nom's mouth. Judging from these games' success, it seems as though the combination of these ingredients casts the widest net for capturing most iPhone gamers' hearts.
So what will the next big iPhone game be? My bet is \it will include all of these ingredients. You can be sure there are developers working right now to capture that perfect combination that makes a hit at the App Store. The only question is, what's the next big hit?
This week's apps include a cloud-synced to-do list manager and an excellent sequel to one of the best first-person shooters on the iPhone.… Read more