The more iPhones that are purchased (and there have been about 5 million 3G models sold), the fewer owners are early adopters. That means apps will become more mainstream. The trend in desktop gaming appears to be holding true for iPhone: casual games rule.
Though action games, which take advantage of the iPhone accelerometer, are quite popular, so are simple, graphics-light games that can be played in short bursts, but are also incredibly addictive. Bejeweled remains popular for paid apps, and four of the top free apps are games, including my new favorite, Trace.
The game at first appears a lot like Line Rider, a classic Flash game where you draw a course then watch your player move along it. Trace takes it a step further, as you avoid obstacles in order to finish each level.
The controls are way simple: you can move left and right, as well as jump. As for drawing your path, you can create or erase lines with the tip of a finger. With those few commands, much can be done. I’ve spent more time than I would like to admit playing Trace. And unfortunately for me, the app keeps track of the time.
I expect games like these to continue to grow in popularity on the iPhone, as the general public recognizes it’s a device worth the price. The iPhone is capable of graphics less childish than Trace’s crayon look, but mobile devices–and the ever popular casual games–don’t require a pretty face.