041723_largerThe next "big" series of games to see an iPhone 5s graphics update is in. Following on the heels of Infinity Blade III is both Sky Gamblers: Storm Raiders [$4.99] and Sky Gamblers: Cold War [$4.99]. We reviewed Cold War, and like a lot of game series, Storm Raiders seemed pretty similar.

What's curious about these graphics updates so far, is you've really got to get out your jewelers loupe to spot the differences. It's a weird problem, as the screen size of the iPhone 5 combined with its Retina Display resolution makes picking out these tiny details pretty difficult compared to playing a PC game on a 27" monitor where the next tiny step up in antialiasing and anisotropic filtering can make a fairly noticeable shift in visual quality.

iPhone 5:


iPhone 5s:


iPhone 5:


iPhone 5s:


iPhone 5:


iPhone 5s:


As you can sort of see above, there's some minor differences in lighting and the texturing of the plane and minor differences in how far away you can see ripples in the water... But that's about it. But, imagine these screenshots on a much smaller screen and those differences fade away into "I think this looks better?" territory. Framerates seem pretty consistent across the board, maybe a little better on the 5s, but Sky Gamblers has always run good on the iPhone 5.

I'm waiting to see what "next generation" games built with the iPhone 5s in mind from the ground up look like. Between Infinity Blade III and now the two Sky Gamblers games that have been updated we haven't really had our socks knocked off in the differences department yet.

  • __M__

    Can't wait for controller support for the Sky Gamblers games! Between that and the graphics updates, it's gonna be pretty great playing them on my TV. I almost always play SG solely on AirPlay and that is where the graphics updates will really shine πŸ˜‰

  • Mhunt190

    Not a huge difference at all kinda disappointed.. Should of added high res-textures on the land and water. High vegetation detail, bloom, ect

    • Mhunt190

      And better water reflections

  • Rothgarr

    Why do the edges of the wings look so much more jaggi
    er in the iPhone 5S screenshots? They look much more anti-aliased in the iPhone 5 screenshots...

    • SoyGreen

      Yeah... I came here to post the same thing... looks like crap actually!

      Maybe the water looks better.. (I kind of liked the trees better in the iphone 5 version in that last set...)

      But it doesn't look like a step forward to me! Maybe it's because the screenshots are larger and I need to see it on the phone... but these shots don't really encourage me to check it out!

    • http://ask.fm/MidianGTX MidianGTX

      Because the ppi of retina displays is just about high enough to hide jaggies without need for AA. When they're that small, edges look crisp regardless, and whatever extra power you can drag out of the CPU/GPU is much better spent on something else. AA is a hog.

  • Tony Mutti

    Are you sure you looked at the Infinity Blade III graphics AFTER the 64-bit update on 9/20? They are dramatically different then on the 5.

    • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp

      When blown up on your computer screen, sure, on the 4" screen of the device though... The differences aren't so dramatic as you're looking at per-pixel tweaks to antialiasing and things like that.

      • Tony Mutti

        I thought the pixel/polygon smoothing/antialiasing was very obvious. Maybe I hold the screen too close to my face πŸ™‚

  • SimonReidy

    I'd say the screenshots must have been labelled incorrectly, as the shots labelled 'iPhone 5s' are very jagged (look at the aliased wings) where as the 'iPhone 5' screenshots are much smoother and anti-aliased.

    Are you sure these pictures weren't labelled incorrectly when posting the article? It seems like the only logical explanation for the iPhone5s shots looking significantly inferior to the iPhone 5.

    • http://toucharcade.com Eli Hodapp


    • http://ask.fm/MidianGTX MidianGTX

      You can't see the jagged edges on a retina display, anti-aliasing is an unnecessary drain on resources.

  • DunedinEagle

    I wish my 5S would just hurry up and ship already...Im boycotting gaming on my 4S until it arrives. Hurry up Foxconn!! Crack dat whip!!

  • B3nlok

    "I'm waiting to see what "next generation" games built with the iPhone 5s in mind from the ground up look like."
    I thought this notion had been debunked. Unless you know something we dont (do you?), what makes you think developers now will be more likely to develop games with the a7-a7x in mind than they were in the past with the latest generation generation devices? It has never been like this before.

  • drewpoc

    64 bit will not be a standard for a few more years. You might get a couple top developers to gift wrap apps with OpenGL es3 support, but there's far too many 32 bit devices in the pipeline and not nearly enough money right now invested for every developer to switch over. Hence the "backwards compatibility" that we were informed about at iphone 5s announcement.
    Possibly iphone 6 and further until we start seeing the true advantage of 64 bit and OpenGL 3.
    If your putting your hopes and dreams on 5S to give you your ultimate experience, your probably In for a shock..lol...
    My iphone 5 will run every game that 5s will and with excellent optimization, who could complain?...not me πŸ˜‰

  • KevinZOMG

    Has always run well* on the iPhone 5


  • Atypical Games

    i suggest you check out the explosions and other visual effects for comparison. Explosions, smoke trails, damage sparks, that's the place were we pushed the biggest change.


  • mattacuk

    I really love this game on my iPhone 5. I think it already looks great, so im not worried about missing this update, as long as im having lots of fun πŸ™‚