Games are the most lucrative category of apps on the iPhone (and iPod Touch) and they promise to be just as popular on the iPad. Yesterday, I visited Edo Segal, CEO of Futurity Ventures, to see what a game developed specifically for the iPad looks like and how it is different from iPhone games. One of Futurity Ventures portfolio startups is Vertigore, which developed its first game for the iPad. It is called Pacific Defense ($1.99 on iTunes for the next two days) and it puts you in a WWII destroyer gun turret shooting at enemy planes above and torpedos below.
The game is designed so that you hold it up in front of you and look through it like a window into another world. The bigger size of the screen gives it more of a window-like feel than the peephole view you get on the iPhone. The game is in black and white with scratches to make it look like an old newsreel. You tilt the iPad to aim and tap the guns on either side with your thumbs to shoot. But the game really becomes interesting when you turn on the augmented reality control mode in settings. Then instead of just tilting the iPad, you can turn your whole body and spin around to shoot at the planes 360 degrees around you or at the torpedos below. If you play with headphones, there is also 3D sound, so you can hear the planes coming from your left or right or from behind. A swivel chair is really key to augmenting the augmented game play (see video below).
If the iPad ever gets a camera, the game could be updated so that the planes fly through your room or wherever you are. Maybe the iPhone version will have that feature. In the video below, Segal shows off some of the game play and talks about the opportunities for augmented reality video games on the iPad.