When Apple released the iPhone 5, they also released a new version of their software development kit so people could begin building their games and apps for the new hardware. However, with this newest SDK Apple has dropped support for their older hardware. Although I hear there are some workarounds, for the most part if you wanted to support the iPhone 5 you'd have to sacrifice support for anything below an iPhone 3GS.

Not the end of the world, as the oldest devices are between 4 and 5 years old now, and the iOS hardware nowadays blows that old stuff out of the water performance-wise, but that still cuts out a significant portion of users. That puts Pixbits, developers of the awesome Minecraft/Terreria inspired 2D world builder Junk Jack [$2.99], in a bit of a predicament.

You see their vision for Junk Jack had always been constrained by the desire to support the older hardware, and because of that many planned features hit the cutting room floor in favor of wider compatibility. But now that the iPhone 5 is out they'd like to support it with Junk Jack, a game that would be fantastic with a wider display, but that means they'd have to drop support for anything less than 3rd generation hardware.

So, they took to their forums and asked their community what they thought about the situation. Ultimately what Pixbits would LIKE to do is take the Junk Jack we know and love as it is today and roll it into a separate project, which would support the new iPhone 5 and nix the older devices, but would be able to evolve and include features that the team had been wanting to implement all along but couldn't because of the less powerful hardware.

Some of these big features include multiplayer, a full-fledged equip system, and multiple worlds with different environments. It sounds like current Junk Jack owners with older hardware would be able to keep the game as it is now and continue enjoying it, though content updates would likely stop in favor of building stuff for the new edition. Then newer hardware owners would have this special edition Junk Jack, which will likely be a separate purchase, that can continue to grow and take advantage of newer features.

Well their forum response has been a resounding "yes" for building this new version of Junk Jack, even if it means dropping support for older hardware and having to purchase the game again. I'd have to agree. Junk Jack on an iPhone 5 with extra bells and whistles would be fantastic, and I've gotten so much enjoyment out of the first game for the price that I don't mind at all forking over for a new version.

Nothing has been confirmed just yet though, but we'll keep our fingers crossed that this Junk Jack redux becomes a reality and we'll bring you any news as we get it. Also, feel free to voice your own opinion on the matter in the Junk Jack forums or in our own forums and let Pixbits know what you'd like to see.

  • Hunter Short

    Just bought the old Junk Jack last night........... Running an iPhone 4, upgrading to 5 soon.

  • Adams Immersive

    Sounds completely reasonable. But even more ideal, what I’d prefer to do if I made a game in that situation:

    • Update the current, paid version for iPhone 5 and new goodies, and sacrifice the older devices. Nobody has to pay twice.

    • But also release a new, lesser/junior version—identical to the current one in other words—that does support older devices. Make it free at first for older users to grab—so they too can keep playing without a second purchase. Maybe keep this free forever as a “lite” version. (Or maybe limit it to ONLY run on older devices—but I’m not sure that can be done. In any case it wouldn’t fully support the iPhone 5, and so there would be incentive for future players to buy the “full” version.)

    • And allow data transfer between the two versions.

  • Nycteris

    Junk Jack is a great, deep game already & one of the reasons I'm thinking of buying actual Minecraft on my PC.

    • switchit

      If you like Junk Jack you should try it's older brother Terraria on the PC. Same deal as JJ but way more stuff to do.

      • http://twitter.com/drelbs drelbs

         Kinda.

        I found Terraria much more fiddly and combat-oriented than Minecraft. Believe it or not, between JJ and Terraria, I prefer Junk Jack. :)

      • Nycteris

        Right. I own Terreria but seem to instantly die.

  • Gamer_Kev

    That's definitely the way to do it. That way older device users can continue to enjoy their version. Though unrelated to this article, this is also the formate developers aught to use when they want to change their products to adware or freemium. Instead of working over the people that bought their game, they should release the new format as a separate app. This is something I wish companies like Gameloft would learn.

    I hope the new game will still support 1gen iPads running iOS 5. Even though I'm getting the new iPod touch, I still like Junk Jack better on the iPad, but I don't plan on getting a new iPad until I know what the deal is going to be with the iPad mini. Still it's nice to know that even if if it doesn't, I'll still be able to enjoy the original game.

  • Kafu

    There are no many options: as soon as Apple will force developers to submit builds done only with the latest version of Xcode, support for all devices will be simply impossible.

  • Kronusdark

    Honestly, I am amazed that they have held on this long. Support for older devices gets harder with every version of Xcode. And some of the new api's are really tempting.

  • Plynx

    I sure would like the option to play as a girl.

    • nicodemus82

      If you head on over to the Junk Jack forums, you'll find a texture mod for playing as a girl :)

  • http://twitter.com/BenParker14 Ben Parker Bparker

    I have been playing this game for a while and I can't wait to see this Junk Jack 2 come out. Although some people might not want to buy it a second time I think its completely worth it. Pixbits is a great developing team and I wish them the best of luck for this project.