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Don't Throw Away Your DS Just Yet

With so many titles on offer, I've only been able to sample a few highlights (and lowlights) from the App Store, but these have given me some idea of how the iPhone/iPod touch stands up as a games machine. First, I've yet to be convinced of the system's 3D power. Even Kroll looks slightly primitive and blocky, and I haven't seen anything that stands up to God of War: Chains of Olympus or Wipeout: Pulse on the PSP. Nor do I feel Nintendo should start quaking in its boots quite yet.

We're still a long way from seeing games as expansive as Zelda on the iPhone.

There are some ingenious games on the iPhone/touch, but time and budget limitations mean that the best ideas aren't exploited to their full potential. Will we see games as deep, rich and brilliant as Legend of Zelda: Phantom Hourglass, Mario Kart DS or Hotel Dusk on Apple's hardware? Maybe one day, but I'm not sure when. If you are a keen gamer then there's no need to junk your existing hardware for an iPhone/touch now. Maybe the PSP has seen its finest hours, but the DS still has plenty of mileage in it yet. Were I going away for more than a day, I'd still want to shove one in my baggage.

Duckshoot offers short term fun, but at 59p it's still good value.

That said, the iPhone still succeeds as a games machine in that it hosts games that you genuinely want to play. They're perhaps more basic or more casual games than you'd play on other systems, but they're still enjoyable and they can still occupy the odd spare hour. The quantity and price of games is crucial here. When you pay £25 for a game you have a right to expect hour after hour of quality entertainment. When the charge is less than a pound, a few half-hour sessions is easily good enough, and for 59p the odd ten minutes I've spent blasting at fairground ducks in the amiable Duck Shoot doesn't seem bad value.

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