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Five iPhone games coming to a console near you

by Phil Hornshaw

While game developers for years have converted popular console titles like Sonic the Hedgehog, Street Figher IV and Madden NFL into iPhone applications, a new flock of innovative and addictive apps is beginning to turn the tide. Given the universal popularity of iPhone games like Angry Birds and the constantly improving gameplay available on smartphones and tablet devices, it is of no surprise that major mobile developers are bringing hit titles to the larger screen. Here are five games originally developed for iPhones that are coming to (or already available on) a console near you.

Fruit Ninja Kinect

Released today, developer Halfbrick has found the perfect way to enlarge its extremely popular fruit-slicing title. Halfbrick released Fruit Ninja on Microsoft’s Kinect for Xbox 360, the motion-sensing camera rig that allows users to basically dance around in front of their TV screens and control games with their movements. The mobile version of Fruit Ninja has players using finger swipes across their mobile devices’ touchscreens to slice apart fruits flying through the air. In Fruit Ninja Kinect, instead of using a finger, players use their arms as blades, flailing around to slice-up as much fruit as possible. The Kinect also allows players to take on Fruit Ninja with a friend, either cooperatively while combining scores, or competitively.

Angry Birds

The super-popularity of Angry Birds can’t be stopped on mobile platforms, but smartphones and tablets aren’t the only devices on which flinging birds at evil pigs is a huge success. Angry Birds titles are all over the place. Players can already download the game on PCs, Macs, Sony’s PlayStation Network for the PlayStation 3 and the Sony PSP, as well as Microsoft’s Xbox 360. Versions of Rovio Mobile’s powerhouse are also on their way to the Nintendo Wii and handheld 3DS. You can even play Angry Birds in Google’s Chrome browser through its new web store. With mobile games, video games and even a cartoon show on the way, it seems there’s no calming the fury of players who want more Angry Birds.

Backbreaker Football

A popular series on mobile devices, Backbreaker Football is a simulation game that highlights customization and big hits. In moving to the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, Backbreaker added a lot of capabilities that were perhaps too big and time-consuming to put in its mobile version. These include a stronger engine that can dynamically create all the tackles in the game on the spot, and a robust suite of multiplayer options that mobile players never got a chance to experience. Backbreaker on consoles has a two-player exhibition mode as well as a tackle-only points-based mode that allows players to compete against each other. It offers these both as online or offline modes, plus a split-screen version. There’s also a huge amount of customization, from players to teams to even your organization’s logo. Due to Backbreaker’s lack of an official NFL license, you can’t play real teams, but you can create your own from the ground up.

Dungeon Defenders: First Wave

The first game on Apple’s iPhone and iPad to make use of Epic Games’ powerful Unreal Engine 3 (a graphics engine that powers quite a few big-name video game titles both on iOS and PC/consoles), Dungeon Defenders gave mobile players one of their first more console-like experiences in mobile games. Now, Dungeon Defenders: First Wave (also available on Android) is headed to the PlayStation 3 and PC, and we’ve already seen the cool stuff that will happen with it. Not only can console and PC defenders enjoy the game by themselves or online, they can also play cooperatively with mobile players. That means you can potentially take Dungeon Defender with you wherever you go and be able to take on a few waves of goblins with your friends, regardless of whether you’re sitting in front of your computer or sitting at the front of the bus.

Zen Bound 2

The original Zen Bound dropped into the iTunes App Store and became a huge (albeit calm) success. The puzzle game is all about carefully rotating and manipulating objects to wrap them with rope, as the rope spreads paint over all the surfaces it touches. The more completely you can paint the object, the higher your score. Zen Bound was a really well-made touchscreen title and perfect for mobile controls, but when Zen Bound 2 was announced last year, it made its way to PC gamers as well. The game loses its tactile advantage in switching to PC controls, but it maintains all its simple beauty including the calming and haunting soundtrack. Thankfully, it still features the clever puzzle gameplay that iOS players enjoy.