AddictingGames on iPhone: A fine collection of quirky time-wasters

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AddictingGames for iOSFor those of you out of the loop: AddictingGames (AG) has been around for a long, long time. How many of you remember toiling away on its litany of Flash-based casual games way back in high school? (You know, when you should have been paying attention in computer class?) Yep, it's been that long. Now, with the advent of those fancy iOS devices, Nickelodeon's AG has released a version of its suite of time-killers hot on the heels of AG's arrival on Facebook this past spring.

Of course, the app and all 18 games within it are absolutely free. Staples like Achoo!, Catopult, Bustin Blocks and Happy Clicks are joined by a game developed exclusively for the AG iOS app, Potty Copter. This next entry in AG Potty franchise takes on the popular if specific "helicopter in a tunnel" sub genre ... only you're guiding an airborne porta-potty. But, according to Nickelodeon Games VP of Product and Marketing John vanSuchtelen, this is just the beginning.

"We're looking at this as sort of a Best of AG app," vanSuchtelen tells us. "We think the sum of [AddictingGames's] parts is greater than any individual piece. Our goal with AddictingGames is to make it a starting point for a multifaceted gaming experience, no matter what platform you're on."

The AG app for iOS (an iPad-optimized version is in the works, we're told) is the next logical step in the company's mission to bring the over 4,000 games on the platform to everywhere casual gamers are getting their fix these days. But simply releasing a collecting of 18 of AG's best games--of those that would work on mobile, of course--wasn't enough for vanSuchtelen. The app had to ... feel right.

"What we're hearing from the audience is, 'There's constantly something new I gotta' see, it's gotta' be easy to use and it's just got to be updated all the time,'" vanSuchtelen explains. "This really plays to AG's core strength, which is that on both AG.com and AG Facebook there is something new to discover, because we're always putting new games up all the time."
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AG decided that, to emulate the feeling of having new games appear all the time, it had to work around Apple's terribly specific process for how an app is updated through the App Store. So, vanSuchtelen tell us that the AG for iOS app will be updated on a near-monthly basis with new games, but those games will release over the course of said month. More specifically, AG plans to add more topical games. For instance, three Halloween-themed games are already slated to hit the app by the end of October.

But what appears to be even more important to AG and Nickelodeon is that AG for iOS becomes a social experience. At the moment, players can log into Facebook through the app to share their high scores with friends. You can also share games that you've found, encouraging your friends to join them and perhaps try to beat your high score. At launch, this doesn't serve much purpose, as new games have yet to be added, but this feature could become more prominent as new games are introduced.
Potty Copter
AG has big plans for the social features within the app like Facebook friend-driven leader boards (including the several achievements found in each game), turn-based games between Facebook friends and new game discovery based on what your friends are into. Regardless of the company's ambitions, the Facebook Connect function is tough to find, and isn't as prominent as you'd imagine given the company's aspirations for it.

Social gamers aren't going to find the level of social features they might in some of Facebook's top casual games like Bejeweled Blitz at launch. But if AG plans on updating the app monthly, then this could certainly change. What's most striking about AG for iOS is how closely it resembles a game platform in and of itself already. Sure, most of AG's games are simple if entertaining physics-based diversions and the like, but isn't that what you're looking for while in line at the grocery store?

Click here to download AddictingGames for iPhone and iPod Touch for Free Now >

What do you think of AddictingGames on Facebook and now iOS? Which AG games do you think should be added to the app next? Sound off in the comments. Add Comment.
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