We've been enjoying our iPhone 5 for a little more than a week now, and it feels like I appreciate it more with each new day. The bigger screen is fantastic, and now that I've had some time to grow used to it it feels almost like it was always that size. It just feels normal, now.

Anyway, the bigger screen is pretty nice for games too. Last week we took a comparative look at some games that have been updated for the iPhone 5 screen, with mixed results. The larger play area does make a slight difference in some games, and others it's basically just a wider view with no real benefits. Super Monsters Ate My Condo is one of the games that really feels built for the taller screen, too.

Here we check out another selection of titles that have been given the iPhone 5 update treatment, and it's pretty much the same story. Some games feel much better with a bigger view, and some feel basically the same. Either way, whether it makes a difference in the gameplay or not, I'm anxious to have all my old games updated just so I don't have to deal with the letterboxing effect anymore.



Earn to Die, $0.99 - [TA Plays] - [Forum] - This side-scrolling 2D physics driver expands the viewing area on the iPhone 5's screen, giving you a wee bit more time to see what's coming at you thanks to the extra edge space.


Final Freeway 2R, $0.99 - [Review] - [Forum] - Final Freeway has the soul of Outrun and is one of my favorite retro-style arcade racers. You definitely get to see more of the game world with the wider screen, but I'm not so sure how beneficial it is since all the action is typically right there in front of you.


Galaxy on Fire 2™ HD, Free - [Review] - [Forum] - Fishlab's stunning space action game has always strived for high technical achievements, and it's quite a showpiece on the iPhone 5. As you can see, you get quite a wider view of the galaxy, which can help you identify enemies sooner as they enter your field of vision.


Happy Street, Free - [Forum] - I have a hard time sticking with freemium city-builders, but I'm in no way ashamed to say how much I love playing Happy Street. As a side-view style builder, the extra wide screen of the iPhone 5 definitely lets you see more of your world with less scrolling, which is pretty nice.


Mikey Shorts, $1.99 - [Review] - [Forum] - One of the best platformers on iOS gets stretched for the iPhone 5, and like other games you definitely get to see a larger portion of the world than you would on older devices. This may or may not help you during play, but I think we can all agree it's nice to see more of a game in a more cinematic aspect ratio.


Minecraft – Pocket Edition, $6.99 - [Review] - [Forum] - Mojang's portable world builder is actually starting to come into its own as a viable mobile fix for Minecraft thanks to the last couple of updates, and it feels great enlarged for the new iPhone. Here it can be a real benefit to be able to see more of the world, especially if enemies are around.


Phoenix HD, Free - [Review] - [Forum] - When I first heard about the new iPhone getting a taller screen, I immediately thought of several genres where this could be a real win. One of those is scrolling shooters. Phoenix HD is a solid go-to since it's randomly generated and infinitely replay-able, and it's visually impressive. The extra screen space gives you a bit more room to see what enemies are heading your way, as well as extra room on the bottom of the screen to control your ship.


Pinball Crystal Caliburn II, $3.99 - [Forum] - The other genre I immediately thought of at the thought of a taller iPhone screen was pinball. I wasn't familiar with Crystal Caliburn 2 before, but when I saw it had been updated for the iPhone 5, I dove right in. It's actually a solid little table, and with the bigger screen the developers opted to zoom in a touch more rather than show more of the table at once. It feels really nice on the taller screen, I hope other pinball games follow suit.


Touchgrind, $4.99 - [Review] - [Forum] - Illusion Labs' early App Store hit, the fingerboarding simulation Touchgrind, has been updated for the iPhone 5 too. The extra screen space is nice, and it gives you a teensy bit more time to see the obstacles coming your way, but not by much. Almost more impressive is the inclusion of Retina Display support along with the iPhone 5 update, and it looks fantastic.


Touchgrind BMX, $4.99 - [Review] - [Forum] - This is the other Illusion Labs extreme sport masterpiece, this time on a BMX bike. The perspective here is much easier to play with as opposed to the original Touchgrind, but they've chosen to give us a closer zoom rather than show much more of the environment. It wasn't really necessary anyway, Touchgrind BMX has and still does always play fantastically.

  • http://iqsoup.com/ iqSoup

    Good article!  Ever since I heard the leaked rumors about the iPhone 5 I felt the wider screen was mostly just a gimick.  I mean they gotta change SOMETHING to get millions of people to buy this thing.  But at the very least I supose a wider screen will always give a wider view--which might not effect gameplay very much but at least looks nice.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_MGKMDABPUEAIAYIL5RC6WGE3AY Schuyler

       "I mean they gotta change SOMETHING to get millions of people to buy this thing."

      I do hope you recognize how difficult it is to find any aspect of the iPhone 5 that ISN'T changed from the 4S.

      • http://iqsoup.com/ iqSoup

        Yes
        just about everything has been improved one way or another, but aside
        the screen nothing is dramatically different from the 4s--especially
        as far as the average consumer can tell.  I think the difference
        between the 3g and the 4 (facetime camera, flash for the main camera,
        and double the resolution) is much greater than the difference
        between the 4s and the 5.  Apple has to figure out some tangible
        and obvious change with each new generation of iPhone or people won't
        buy it.  A faster processor, more RAM, more megapixels on the
        camera--these things really don't matter that much to the average
        iPhone user.  But people get really excited about a slightly
        wider screen--even though it changes very little its a tangible
        difference people can wrap their heads around and get excited about.
         Even look at all the Touch Arcade articles (including this one) about the difference
        between gaming on the 5 vs the 4s.  The main difference focused
        on is always the screen size--not the benefits of more powerful
        processor or anything like that.  Next time around, when they roll out  the iPhone 6, no matter what improvements they make
        on the internal hardware they will yet again need to figure out some kind of
        obvious externally visible gimmick in order to get millions of people to buy
        it.  Maybe they will glue a whistle on the thing or give it a
        kazoo.

      • JCat_NY

        I'm coming form the 4 (not S). For me, the difference is amazing - the speed  alone is worth it. 

      • http://www.twitter.com/ipadgamermag Pete Morris

        I had an iPhone 4 and upgraded to the 4S when it came out. I almost didn't because they looked so similar. But once I got my hands on the 4S, I realised that it really did feel a lot different to the 4. It was the iPhone 4 perfected and refined - I used it way more than I ever did the iPhone 4.

        Might be just me, but I'm not really bothered about massive new features. I'm quite happy that they are slowly perfecting a platform that I really like, instead of throwing all the technology that they can at it. 

        In terms of screen size, personally, I think this was about changing the aspect ratio to widescreen, not about squeezing an extra inch onto the screen.

        When it comes to content distribution, games are niche. Movies and TV are where it's at; that's a huge market and they need to support widescreen to play in it. Streaming services are only just becoming more mainstream, and that is where the future is for content consumption. Apple want a piece of that pie, and they need to go widescreen to get it.

      • http://iqsoup.com/ iqSoup

        Most Touch Arcade patrons are obviously going to be more impressed by the internals.  As am I.  I'd personally wouldn't mind if the iPhone always looked the same externally and just got better and better insides.  I just think most people don't really care or even understand most of the technical specs and need a gimmick to get excited about.  Hence the wider screen.

      • http://www.twitter.com/ipadgamermag Pete Morris

        Yes, I wasn't disagreeing with you. I agree that it is a talking point for consumers. I was just saying that I think the change to widescreen is about a lot more than simply a talking point for iPhone 5. I think it's Apple positioning themselves for a big slice of the digital content distribution pie.

      • Benjamin Rodriguez

        Lol you should watch that one video on youtube, where they showcased the "iphone 5" to a bunch of people on the street. Little did they know it was actually an Iphone 4s and many of them actually had an iphone 4s. 

        And ALL of them thought it was an improvement in some shape or form. Wow much faster, soo much lighter, way more pixels (Lol), I'm in shock by how much has improved.

        Just saying. 

  • ImJPaul

    LOVE PHOENIX HD. Someone TRY and beat my scores. I dare you.

  • http://f1archives.com/ Gregz0r

    Pinball Arcade also accommodates the iPhone 5's screen size.

    • somedumbgamer

      This may push me to get the 5 over the 4S. Love pinball arcade...have all the tables.

  • Steve Wiideman

    Haha.. And what about the iPhone 5 ports? I have some blogs and survey about the new iPhone 5 port. Would you be kind enough to reference our article about the new iPhone 5 and to ask your readers to participate in the survey linked to in the last paragraph?

  • http://twitter.com/RubiconDevelop Rubicon Development

    A Great Big War Game update should also be out by end of this week.

  • ConceptNormal

    Playin on a 4gs and then on my iPhone 5 is a world of difference. I could never switch back and future games will all be going iPhone 5 quality first above all!

  • http://www.gamedevelopmentindia.com/ Marie Weaver

    Yes, you are right!!! The bigger screen is pretty nice for games. I like Pinball Crystal Caliburn II