Even if the majority or iPhone owners wouldn't consider themselves video game junkies, iOS devices are a great solution to play on the go. You only need to see the charts in the App Store to realise that everyone likes a quick casual game even if you’ve never touched a traditional games console.
To keep up with the avalanche of new titles launched every day, I read iOS-specific sites that cover both titles from the industry big guns and those little great games from independent studios. As you can imagine, I find inspiring reading about games that I'm also playing, but what I enjoy most is to listen to editors and reviewers discuss about them on podcasts.
Yes, I said podcasts! Do you remember about them. Those radio-shows that anyone can upload and subscribe on iTunes for free? Since the Podcast section in iTunes is as messy as browsing the App Store, I'm sharing a list of my favourite iOS gaming favourites hoping that you like them - and perhaps, get your personal recommendations.
The Touch Arcade Show
The reboot of the Touch Arcade Show with Brad Nicholson and co-hosted by Eli Hodapp and Jared Nelson is one of the best newcomers in the category. After a lengthy pause, the podcast of one of the most respected iOS gaming sites is back full of energy and interesting content. Following the usual format of news and “games we’ve been playing”, the podcast gives a good overview of what happens behind the scenes in the industry, marketing and even running the site and forums.
I particularly like that they keep the podcast very informal and aren't shy criticising something if they don't like it - at times is simply disagreeing with each other. A different thing happens in the weekly bonus episode, where the trio interviews a developer and keep their comments for themselves. The Touch Arcade Show is the baby of the list, but distills character and good humour thanks to sections like “Jared’s Kitty Korner” - dedicated to low-budget games featuring cats - and the “Nintendo Helpline”, with some of the weirdest emails they receive at the site.
The Portable Podcast
The Portable Podcast hosted by Carter Dotson (Listen or regret it!) is the weekly show supported by 148apps and The Portable Gamer. With just over 100 episodes, it focuses on iOS developer interviews, making it a highly interesting resource for fans of a particular studio and devs who want to learn what’s going on in the industry.
I really like Carter’s interviewing style, since he doesn't come across as a fanboy and allows the guests to promote their work without being very critical. Every now and then you also get Brett Nolan from AppAddict.net to discuss Apple news an general App Store releases, which is also an added plus. The Portable Podcast is short and regular and I have discovered many amazing games - and developers - listening every week.
Slide to Play Podcast
The Slide to Play Podcast from the website of the same name is the weekly show with over 100 episodes conducted by Andrew Podolsky, Jeremy Wood and Chris Reed. The podcast follows the usual format of news and game reviews where everyone has something to say, although sometimes it suffers from “the-boss-gets-to-play-the-best-games syndrome” and the odd promotional plug about the site.
Compared with the other podcasts on the list, I like their approach to iOS gaming, making it accessible for everyone and giving enough interesting details to keep serious games and newbies interested. Slide to Play’s podcast might lack the doses of randomness you get in the other entries, but host and guests are extremely knowledgable and make for a fun an well-structured show.
The Pocket Gamer Podcast
From this side of the Atlantic we also get our weekly dose of iPhone and iPad gaming from The Pocket Gamer podcast. Conducted by Will Wilson and with the collaboration of Jon Jordan and Keith Andrew, the show is packed news, reviews and industry speculation - all perfectly dressed with British humour. The trio is quite comic itself, with Wilson making voices, Jon trying to be serious and Keith still trying to find a mobile game he likes.
Coming from a site that doesn't cover iOS games specifically, they contribute with a broader view of the ecosystem, which doesn't mean they haven't met every iOS developer worth knowing. This Brit crew won't interview developers but they include plenty interesting content plus homemade radio commercials.
The TouchGen podcast is another UK based show conducted by Nigel Wood and a bunch of hardcore gamers mainly based in the US. Although it has slowly faded away without any warning, this used to be one of my favourite shows just for it's explicit and casual style.
The podcast has an structure and everyone has a turn to review a game, but very often they interrupt each other and pull silly pranks. My main concern has to be the obvious tendency to feature Gameloft games, although they’ll get slashed just like any other title.
This is just a short list of the most relevant podcasts I regularly listen about iPhone and iPad games. Please give them a go and tell me you what you think. I'm also more than happy to accept recommendations - I need more content for my daily commute.