So You Just Got an iPhone 5… Let’s Get Started

Whether you braved the elements standing in line at an Apple, AT&T, Sprint, or Verizon store or you had the foresight to get up in the middle of the night to preorder your iPhone 5, you definitely need some games for that bad boy. If you’re already a TouchArcade regular, chances are you’ll already know (or own) all the games I’m going to mention here and are very familiar with all the other assorted knowledge I’m going to bust out. This post is for the newbies out there to get them caught up on the last four years of TouchArcade.

First off, welcome! TouchArcade is the internet’s largest iOS-specific gaming site, we’ve got a full-time staff of writers that are totally obsessed with the iOS scene and a small army of freelancers dedicated to reviewing every new and/or cool game that crosses their path. At the core of TouchArcade is our community of readers, many of which have taken to our forums to discuss the latest and greatest in iOS stuff. The TouchArcade forums are often sourced on gaming sites all over the internet, and while we try to keep the front page moving fast, the forums are an unstoppable animal of raw iOS game information and discussion. Developers often reveal their games first on our forums, recruit beta testers, and give away promo codes to get free copies. What I’m getting at, is you should register now.

Once you’ve got yourself a forum username and password you can use those credentials in the TouchArcade App (Free). The entire app is fueled by both our front page articles as well as all sorts of community interaction. We basically take all of the available TouchArcade data, throw it in a cauldron, stir it up with some other ingredients and wind up with the “hot games" list in the app. This list updates fast. If something interesting hits the App Store, chances are it’ll appear on that list inside of fifteen minutes, many times much sooner than that. Community aggregation serves as a filter of sorts, so you’ll generally only see things definitely worth checking out.

Another cool function of our app is that it’ll keep your finger on the pulse of iOS gaming, even if you rarely open it. We selectively send out push alerts for featured stories, which usually consist of great freebies and other incredibly noteworthy stuff. I always send out alerts for the weekly Wednesday new games release post, where you’ll be able to find a listing of all the games coming out in a particular week. The way this all works is that games typically appear in the New Zealand App Store first, in the early hours of the morning American time. From there, they slowly propagate across the world until they show up for download in the US App Store at 11:00 PM Eastern.

Anyway, you can use the app to search for all sorts of games, including even searching by specific review scores. Alternatively, in a normal browser you can see our reviews sorted by rating by checking out the categories in the sidebar or by clicking any of these links:

We don’t have any game reviews less than 2 stars since, well, we wouldn’t bother reviewing a game that bad. We think of TouchArcade as a game discovery site at the end of the day. The idea being, you can always come here to find something new and exciting to load on your iPhone (and/or iPad). This typically causes our review scores to be weighted more towards the higher end since we prioritize reviewing games that we enjoy or are otherwise noteworthy in some way.

Another note on how we score games- We don’t use any sort of traditional score matrix including graphics, sound, replay value, and all the other things you might see on a typical game review site. Instead, we just score based on how much we enjoyed a game and how much we’d recommend them to others. Because of this, it can sometimes be a little tricky comparing scores between games. At the end of the day, we encourage you to read our reviews and just check out whatever games interest you instead of getting too worked up over how many stars they got.

I mentioned sending out push alerts via the TouchArcade app before when a particularly awesome sale pops up, but if you want to be proactive about finding great deals there’s tons of great resources out there for doing so. The easiest way has to be just checking in to our Price Drops, Must-Have Freebies, and Deals forum. Forum members maintain a pretty exhaustive list of cool things that can be had on the cheap (or free) there. Alternatively, our sister site AppShopper has a whole boatload of great functionality for finding both new games/apps and up-to-the-minute price drops. Here’s some useful links:

If you want to get more involved than just clicking those links, you’ll notice that each of those pages also has their own associated RSS feed. For instance, if you use something like Google Reader or some other RSS reader, you can subscribe to this feed and have an entry pop up in your RSS reader whenever a game gets kicked in to freebie mode.

There’s also a totally free AppShopper app that you can do all this from as well. You can even create a wish list and the app will send you a push alert when a game you’ve had your eye on goes on sale. It’s incredibly handy.

We’re going to be flooding the front page here with all sorts of roundups and game recommendations, but in the meantime don’t hesitate to send this out to friends of yours who are getting an iPhone for the first time today. Also, if you’ve got any additional tips for brand new iPhone owners, drop ’em off in the comments.