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These iPhone games have the best controls

by David Lister

The lack of any real buttons on the iPhone make game controls interesting, to say the least. On the bright side, it does seems to force developers to be more creative when it comes to iPhone games.

While it’s definitely a change for those who are more familiar with console games, even the most cynical gamer would have to admit some iPhone games have taken advantage of this.

With that said, it’s time to put away your joysticks and remotes. The iTunes App Store already has enough accelerometers and virtual d-pads to get us through this list of iPhone games with the best controls.

Modern Combat: Sandstorm1. Modern Combat: Sandstorm

Modern Combat’s control scheme could easily be a mess, as it’s one of the few iPhone shooter games that lets you to move around an environment. While the $4.99 iPhone game is pretty detailed, there are three different options to choose from, so chances are you’ll find one that works for you.

The Gameloft release has 10 missions in various Middle Eastern-inspired spots and all kinds of weapons, from sniper rifles to grenades. Despite being exclusive to the iPhone, fans of console shooters will feel right at home with this iPhone game.

Spider:  The Secret of Bryce Manor2. Spider: The Secret of Bryce Manor

Another unique-to-the-iPhone game, Spider: The Secret of Bryce Manor ($2.99) makes great use of the device’s touch screen. You take on the role of a spider in an abandoned mansion spinning webs and eating bugs through 38 levels.

The controls are also incredibly simple and this is very much a pick-up-and-play type iPhone game. It also helps that the iPhone game has stylish graphics and a snazzy storyline in what amounts to one of the best games to hit the iTunes App Store.

3. F.A.S.T. – Fleet Air Superiority Training!

F.A.S.T. -- Fleet Air Superiority Training!The control set-up in the F.A.S.T. iPhone game (free) is on the verge of being too complicated for its own good, but most who have played a similar iPhone game would admit its controls are one of the best.

The iPhone game makes great use of the accelerometer and virtual buttons as you fight with others. The iPhone game includes a campaign mode to unlock goodies and compete against the computer, as well as a multi-player mode that uses either a Wi-Fi connection or Bluetooth.

It also doesn’t hurt that the iPhone game is now free, though you do have to pay for the full version. All told, it’s easily one of the more intense experiences on the iPhone.

4. X2 Soccer

X2 Soccer 2009Released in June 2009, the X2 Soccer (99 cents) iPhone game was unfortunately overshadowed by later releases FIFA 2010 and Real Soccer. It was understandable; X2 didn’t have the number of game modes that the other two did, nor a big name publisher attached to it.

But one area in which the iPhone game compares very favorably is in its controls. It is a much simpler scheme, though at the same time, it doesn’t limit the moves you can make or come across as dumbed down.

If nothing else, X2 proves you don’t need control set-ups that require study guides to make a good sports iPhone game.

5. Rolando 2: Quest for the Golden Orchid

ROLANDO 2: Quest for the Golden OrchidThe Rolando 2: Quest for the Golden Orchid tilt iPhone game (99 cents) is part adventure iPhone game and part puzzle iPhone game, but most would agree it’s all fun.

I spent much more time with the sequel than the original, but rolling around Rolandos definitely seems more precise in this latest version of the game. The game also includes touch screen controls, though it stays away from the use of any buttons or virtual d-pads.

Rolando may strike some as a little too cutesy, but it’s easily one of the top iPhone games in no small part due to its great controls.

Touchgrind6. Touchgrind

Touchgrind ($4.99) is the rare iPhone game with very simple controls that will still take some time to master. This skateboarding iPhone game has you place your fingers on the board in place of your feet and make similar movements to Ollie, flipping and grinding your way around a skate park.

While that may sound easy enough, there’s quite a learning curve involved – especially if you’ve never skated before. The iPhone game is surprisingly realistic and does a fine job of simulating the skating experience.

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