With nearly 200 free and paid titles available for download on the App Store, Gameloft is quite possibly the most prolific iOS game developer around. Their aim for the majority of their titles is bringing console-like experiences to iOS devices. For better or for worse, the formula that they have arrived at to accomplish this task is to ape the ideas of established console franchises and create their own versions of them. Opinions on this tactic are mostly divided into two different camps, those who like it and those who don't.

Personally, I'm somewhere in the middle. On the one hand, Gameloft provides me the kinds of games that would otherwise not make it onto my preferred mobile gaming platform. But on the other hand it can be hard to swallow just how blatant some of their “inspiration” from other games is, and it's always nicer to see a developer coming up with original ideas for games. Here's a quick rundown of some of Gameloft's most prominent titles from 2010:


Modern Combat 2: Black Pegasus, $6.99 - [Lite / iPad] – Gamelofts' take on Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 is actually one of the best first-person shooters available. A fun (if cliché) campaign is just icing on the cake for one of the most impressive online suites ever seen in a mobile game.

N.O.V.A. 2 - Near Orbit Vanguard Alliance, $6.99 - [iPad] – This homage to Bungie's Halo is also one of the most competent FPS games in the App Store, with a lengthy campaign and a meaty online component. The environments, enemies, and weapons will seem all-to-familiar to fans of the legendary Xbox series, but it's pretty neat to have it all in your pocket.

Shadow Guardian, $5.99 - [iPad] – Fans of Nathan Drake can say hello to Jason Call as Shadow Guardian does its best impression of the Uncharted series. This third-person cover-focused shooter is technically competent, but is missing the unforgettable story and characters that made the original Uncharted games so successful.

Eternal Legacy, $4.99 - [iPad] – Overly dramatic storylines, turn-based battling, and bad haircuts can only mean one thing. No, not the latest Final Fantasy game, but rather Gameloft's version of it. Eternal Legacy borrows heavily from the Final Fantasy series, and is a competent gameplay experience but lacks in quality of story and character development which makes it feel a bit lifeless.

Zombie Infection, $4.99 - [Lite / iPad] – Zombie Infection is the Gameloft equivalent of Resident Evil 5 on consoles. It gets almost all of the gameplay elements right, and is actually a really fun title to play, but again a lack of quality in story and characters makes the overall experience feel hollow.

Gangstar: Miami Vindication, $6.99 - [Lite / iPad] – Clearly a take on GTA: Vice City, Gangstar: Miami Vindication puts you in a gigantic crime-filled sandbox world and lets you do pretty much whatever you want. Unlike the official GTA game on iOS, Miami Vindication emulates the fully 3D third-person perspective of the console titles, but the visuals suffer somewhat because of it.

Let's Golf!® 2, $4.99 - [Lite / iPad] – This is an arcade-style golf game with wacky characters and over-the-top moves just like Sony's Hot Shots Golf series. The unrealistic style of Let's Golf 2 is complemented with an excellent golfing engine, and this sequel to last year's edition is an improvement in just about every way.

Real Golf 2011, $4.99 - [Lite / iPad] – If Let's Golf is Gameloft's take on the Hot Shots series, then Real Golf 2011 is their version of the Tiger Woods PGA Tour franchise. Strangely, there is already a Tiger Woods game on the App Store, but the newest edition hasn't yet seen the light of day. In lieu of this, Real Golf 2011 offers a solid round of realistic golf when the cartoony nature of Let's Golf 2 won't do.


It's not all copycat games, as Gameloft does do some pretty solid work with licensed IP's like Spider Man Total Mayhem [99¢/Lite/HD], Splinter Cell Conviction [99¢/Lite/HD], Prince of Persia Warrior Within [99¢/Lite/HD], and Brothers in Arms 2 [$4.99/Lite/HD]. Regardless of how you feel about their methods, there's no denying that Gameloft has contributed a ton towards pushing the iOS platform into a more serious gaming direction. For the most part their games are pretty fun and feature a lot of content for under ten dollars (not to mention the frequent sales they have).

It would be nice to see Gameloft invest in more of their own original ideas, since they are obviously a very capable studio. At the same time, if it wasn't for them I wouldn't have a facsimile of Halo that I can tote around in my pocket at all times. It will definitely be interesting to see what avenues Gameloft explores in 2011 after such a productive 2010.

  • http://twitter.com/NoSuperMan ImNoSuperMan

    They may be guilty of getting a bit too 'inspired' from other games but I do respect gameloft for trying to push console games (of course watered down versions for a mobile device) to iOS. Spider man was a blast to play and I thoroughly enjoyed MC2 and ZI both. Havent picked up any of their games from dec (too many games this month. Just TOO MANY GAMES) but Shadow Guardian HD and NOVA 2 are in my wishlist already. Definitely gonna pick them up soon.

  • iOSguyOS

    I have been disappointed by every gameloft game I've purchased. They're shiny but lack any real depth and soul. I won't be buying another game from them.

  • http://twitter.com/dusser Rasmus Andersson

    Funnily enough, I wouldn't want to play any of these games even if they were free, except the golf ones. Why? Because I love golf? No, I don't. But they're the only ones of these with at least decent control schemes etc.

    I'd say "2010: Gameloft brings sub-par Console Experience to iOS".

    • http://www.meadiciona.com/charles_anjos Charles Albert

      The best control schemes for FPS on iDevices showed up on N.O.V.A / Modern Combat series.

  • YoureAMessy

    You call ripping off other games as bringing the console experience to iOS?

    • http://www.meadiciona.com/charles_anjos Charles Albert

      As long as without those ripoff's there wouldn't be other games with "console-like" gameplay on iOS, that makes pretty much sense.

  • Samjoyce

    Whether you like it or not, Gameloft are one of the few companies that are making iOS a viable gaming platform for more than just smaller indie/puzzle games. I've bought about half the games on this list, and though some may not be masterpieces, they are fun, cheap and entertaining games with good (sometimes fantastic) graphics and controls that are more than passable. Also, having a 1g device, I'm glad that the majority of their games are still optimized to work on older devices.

    • http://twitter.com/Inaba_kun Phil Baxter

      I totally disagree. Those who legitimise iOS are the likes of id Software, Epic/Chair, Firemint, CAVE, EA, Taito, and IronNOS (Crimson Gem Saga), and to a lesser extent Squrare-Enix. (given the rather mixed quality of their efforts).

      These devs bring established or ORIGINAL franchises, and high levels of technical proficiency to iOS. Look at Infinity Blade for example, - it's not only an original game made for touch screens (no virtual d-pad here), but it also has tech powering it which far outshines anything Gameloft have put out.

      • http://twitter.com/JaredTA Jared Nelson

        The thing is, those big companies didn't want to give the App Store the time of day. But seeing Gameloft make substantial games and be able to sell them for more than a dollar is something that would get them to notice, and maybe then consider taking the platform more seriously.

    • http://twitter.com/JaredTA Jared Nelson

      You summed up what I was trying to say with this post. Some of their games are mediocre, and blatant copies, but they've done more to advance iOS gaming than anybody else this year.

    • http://twitter.com/JaredTA Jared Nelson

      You summed up what I was trying to say with this post. Some of their games are mediocre, and blatant copies, but they've done more to advance iOS gaming than anybody else this year.

    • http://twitter.com/JaredTA Jared Nelson

      You summed up what I was trying to say with this post. Some of their games are mediocre, and blatant copies, but they've done more to advance iOS gaming than anybody else this year.

    • http://twitter.com/JaredTA Jared Nelson

      You summed up what I was trying to say with this post. Some of their games are mediocre, and blatant copies, but they've done more to advance iOS gaming than anybody else this year.

  • http://twitter.com/Inaba_kun Phil Baxter

    To me Gameloft are like those cheap knock-off Chinese clones of iPods and PSPs you see in the markets in Hong Kong and other such places. They may look like the real thing from afar, but up close they don't even deliver 5% of the experience of the real thing.

    Being original is incredibly easy, almost comically so. All you need is an imagination, which sadly Gameloft seem to completely lack. Far from being one of the best developers on iOS I see then as an embarrassment which soils the platform. Apple love to present their efforts as the best of the best, and yet rather than project this image to the likes of Square, Infinity Ward, Bungie and co, all they'll see is a platform full of little more than pirated games.

    I think it needs to change, and perhaps Apple should start leaning on Gameloft to get their act together.

    • Colonel Kurtz

      No, they're not. They are a viable alternative. Gamebox 37-in 1 is 37 cheap knock-offs that make you feel numb when you play them. Terminator Salvation, Spiderman and Nova 1/2 were excellent. And yes I play about everyting on this damn Iphone and yes I've spent hundreds on it, and yes I think you must stop telling Apple what they need to do because their market IS NOT THE SAME AS ANYTHING BEFORE IT. It's a new demographic, of which you're maybe simply not part- love and hugs for the New year, btw.

  • Itouchedawolf

    Hatera gonna hate, but Gameloft makes fun games.

    • http://amazingappstore.blogspot.com/ Владимир Онищенко

      the don't make games. they make one game... and then just copying it in sequels.. adding digit 2 and so on...

      • Samjoyce

        that's not even halfway true

      • http://amazingappstore.blogspot.com/ Владимир Онищенко

        it is more than true.....

      • Itouchedawolf

        What does "more than true" mean?

        Also, please explain how NOVA and Dungeon Hunter are the same game.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Marshall-Pope/100000602530531 Marshall Pope

    While I agree that they tend to lack originality in many areas though it can be argued that making their "clones" work with the medium is rather creative in itself. I would like to see more original stuff from them but it cant be denied that when you really want to show something off...or when someone says "is there a game like such and such" 9 times out of 10 its a gameloft game you point to.

    Honestly though the originality argument is rather silly...there is very little that is truly original in gaming anymore...sometimes you need to go back a few more years than others but most everything has been done before in some fashion. Square, IW and Bungie as examples of originality? Maybe if you go back a decade or so, all of them struck success and have been pushing out the same handful of games with updated graphics ever since.

  • E_Domina

    Yea... Gameloft's pretty good at bringing console quality games to the app store. Imagine them once they get their hands on Unreal Engine. Combined with the Gameloft copying guarantee, we got great games in our hands

    • http://www.meadiciona.com/charles_anjos Charles Albert

      I guess they're prone to develop and use technology internally, using their own engines, i think.

  • VictorRivera

    GAMELOFT is the #1 app maker on the planet. Their like Apple and Steve Jobs. Because Gameloft is #1, alot of people like to hate on them. People hate the best and Gameloft is the best at IOS gaming right now.

    Now l must go back to my N.O.V.A 2 multiplayer that ive been playing for the last 8 hours of the day today. Awesome graphics, awesome environments, awesome gameplay.

    Thanks Gameloft.

  • tsj5j

    Gameloft games may be clones, but the games they are cloning are definitely not the first nor the most original in the genre. I give them props for bringing many successful gameplay concepts to the iOS.

    However, a recurring problem with their games is the lack of (ridiculous, more like) a plot to hold the game together. I cannot fathom why they invest so much into the graphics/technical aspects of the game but cannot bother to hire just one good scriptwriter to weave an engaging storyline.

    • http://twitter.com/JaredTA Jared Nelson

      I agree. Or at least hire halfway decent voice acting.

    • http://twitter.com/JaredTA Jared Nelson

      I agree. Or at least hire halfway decent voice acting.

    • http://twitter.com/JaredTA Jared Nelson

      I agree. Or at least hire halfway decent voice acting.

    • http://twitter.com/JaredTA Jared Nelson

      I agree. Or at least hire halfway decent voice acting.

  • Sebastian

    "This post brought you by the new Ford Focus" is missing.

    Let's look at the comments: 80% negative feedback on Gameloft games, the other 20% are people who can't spell correctly.

    What was the reason for this post? Too many open advertising slots for the coming weeks?

    • Cookiemonster

      lol wut?

    • http://twitter.com/JaredTA Jared Nelson

      Seriously, what? I'm giving props for one aspect of what Gameloft has done, but I basically trash most their games. Yeah, they paid a lot for that I'm sure.

      • Sebastian

        Yes, I see how remarks like "lack of" are absolutely knifing them in the gut.

        Putting the company logo and a couple of their best-selling games on your page between X-Mas and New Year is most likely devastating for them.

        Again, look at the comments. 80% bad, 20% by people who use their brain to stay in an upright position while mouth-breathing.

        I so "get" how this post was necessary.

        If they were putting out utter crap I'd understand the drive behind your post but this is basically a "They do copy a lot, but hey it's better than nothing" post and again, between X-Mas and New Year where people buy games.

        Instead of a writeup like this one any post about the games that are in the top 100, with a stern warning which NOT to buy because they are crap would've been understandable.

        But this is advertising. Nothing else.

      • http://twitter.com/JaredTA Jared Nelson

        You conspiracy theorists are so cute. It wouldn't be the internet without you!

      • Sebastian

        Jeez I don't say you took money for this I said it's advertising. You post doesn't serve any purpose. You don't critique the games, you basically write up a list of their most popular games without seriously going into detail why they would be good or bad.

        And such a lukewarm writeup is basically advertising for a company that is mass-copying other favorite games.

        All I can attack you on is that, if you were a true fan of any of those series they copy, you would be appalled about them copying all those games.

        All I say is that this post is absolutely unnecessary. You most likely have your reasons for writing this post. All I say is that it doesn't serve any purpose for the reader and then we come to the point where you come into conflict between what's good for your reader and what's good for you. This post is useless for the reader. That's all I can say.

      • http://twitter.com/JaredTA Jared Nelson

        Well this reply is much less snarky than I took your first comment as, so I appreciate that. I had you pegged as just a troll.

        The aim of this post was to highlight that Gameloft has brought more console-like games to the platform than any other developer. I think this is significant because they prove that bigger games can work on the iPhone and that there's a market besides just 99¢ casual titles. Yeah it sucks that they largely feel rushed and mediocre, and that they're copies of other games, but if it wasn't for them you just plain wouldn't have these kinds of games on the platform.

        There's no hidden agenda to writing this post as you're implying. Simply a year end roundup to fit in with the rest of our year end posts. I'm sorry that you feel that it is useless to readers, or that you missed the point of the article.

  • ShawnDaDon

    LOL at people wanting a emotional plot and storyline in shoot em up action games. When's the last time a Vin Diesel or Jason Straham movie had a great plot in it??? People go to see action movies for one reason..Special Effects and Action.

    Amazing Graphics and Great Technical design are the only reason I buy Gameloft games.
    If you guys want a great plot and emotional story, go rent a Julia Roberts romance movie and cry yourself to sleep.

    I want my Gameloft games and my Unreal Engine Infinity Blade games to be BIG, BAD AND ACTION FILLED.

  • I Am Racist

    "Overly dramatic storylines, turn-based battling, and bad haircuts can only mean one thing."
    What a typical condescending comment.

    No, I won't say it's typical comment from white people as I know a few who appreciate it, but I can surely imagine Jared being an ugly dork with nerd hairstyle feeling jealous of those cool hairdos.

    • http://twitter.com/JaredTA Jared Nelson

      Omg you totally nailed it! I'm so jealous of spikey hairdos and feminine features. I wish I could look like a girl :(

  • PyroDecimo

    While I do appreciate them bringing "console quality" (graphically speaking only - plot-wise all their games are laughable) the issue I have with Gameloft games is really that they don't even try to cover up their copying, especially evident in their game naming. Starfront indeed...

  • James

    I just think hating on gameloft seems to be an iBandwagon.

    Besides, I can probably count true original games since the beginning of time on one hand.

    I don't really disagree with any of the complaints but it cracks me up that people can be so critical of entertainment that is already so cheap.

    Games are... well games. Little electric bits of entertainment.
    The fact that you can buy these for free - $10 is amazing.

    There are so many counsel titles that are just a s much of a knock off that are 19.99 and up.... and popular!

  • James

    I just think hating on gameloft seems to be an iBandwagon.

    Besides, I can probably count true original games since the beginning of time on one hand.

    I don't really disagree with any of the complaints but it cracks me up that people can be so critical of entertainment that is already so cheap.

    Games are... well games. Little electric bits of entertainment.
    The fact that you can buy these for free - $10 is amazing.

    There are so many counsel titles that are just a s much of a knock off that are 19.99 and up.... and popular!

  • fafner

    I have no problem with Gameloft. I have several of their games and I'll be the first to admit they're not very original... That being said a majority of the games Gameloft is... ummm... paying an homage to.. are NEVER going to be released on a I-device. I LOVE Hot Shots Golf but there is no way Sony is going to put that on a competing platform. Especially if the rumored Playstation phone is coming.

    Again... What it all comes down to is..

    If you don't like 'em no one is going to force you to click the buy button

  • http://www.meadiciona.com/charles_anjos Charles Albert

    LEAVE GAMELOFT ALOOOOONE!!!

  • http://www.meadiciona.com/charles_anjos Charles Albert

    Best text about Gameloft. It's obvious that they're sucessfully bringing console-like gameplay, but what lacks is polishing. They really need some great story-writers and voice actors ASAP, so their plots and characters woudn't stink that much...

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Cat-Astrophy/100000838113704 Cat Astrophy

    The reviews obsesses too much with story. If you want a good story so bad, read a book. Games are for playing. Some of these games deserve better rep, especially Zombie Infection.

  • lolol

    Okay, these haters already got into my nerves.. they post too much hate without even thinking, *sigh*.. You want original/unique games!? click the back button and find some other posts that tells something about a game that has been done by developers that is not Gameloft, don't poo here, it's smelly..

    The logic here is, there is already a "TON" of ios developers who could "SATISFY" your "ORIGINAL IDEA" needs, why always rely on gameloft to make something unique!?

    want an original fps!? - go email archetype developer.. tell them you want a unique FPS with a campaign/story..

    want an original rpg!? - go play Aralon(a great rpg) and don't even bother play DH and EL(you hate gameloft, right?)

    want an original rts!? - go stick to red alert and tons of tower defense games(it's a strategy game, right?) in the app store

    and so on and so forth..