The Apple App Store Needs Some Serious Work

I went to a teacher conference this week, during my time off which is just lovely.  Anyway, I decided that it might be good to have a game on my phone to dip in and out of when I had a few spare minutes between (during?) lectures and such.  So off I popped to the App Store to see what I could find.  What I found prompted this response:

That’s me that is!

So let’s talk about Steam a little.  Since Steam Greenlight and Early Access, the store has turned into an absolute (pardon my language) shit-show.  Every day there are more and more terrible games released onto the storefront due to shady practices.  Since Greenlight has closed down things will hopefully improve, but the number of poor games, asset flips, and shameless trading card cash grabs hasn’t abated.  I don’t see Steam Direct changing this any time soon.

All this one a single day. There were far more games than this too, but the heaps of DLC and random crappy releases are quite telling.  Also, zombie games for days.

Valve have tried to change this but I suspect they are making way too much money to want to make significant improvements.  The Playstation Store has recently shown a similar situation with games like Life of Black Tiger and that stupid trophy hunter game being released so clearly other major companies want in on the gravy train.

Steam Cat Tanks
What in the actual hell is this?

I recently switched back to iPhone after having a while using Windows Phones for a while and I expected the iPhone App Store to still contain a pretty high standard of apps.  How wrong I was.  I went looking for a dice based game (something I could drop into here and there) and came across all manner of unrelated things.  There were heaps of games with no reviews, games that had terrible or non-existent descriptions, and game after game of freemium nonsense.

Apple iPhone App Store
This is apparently a dice game. Who manages the Apple App Store?

The store is in serious need of curation and management.  Quality over quantity and all that.  I would sooner buy a good game that I can manage to find rather than a crap game that happens to appear in a list.  I suspect the answer to this question is “Money”, but why do storefronts insist on opening the floodgates to anyone who can put together any old piece of crap and slap a £0.99 price tag on it.

Apple App Store games
The description of this game was badly written and the sole review of it was pretty damning. Why was this allowed onto a professional storefront?

In the end, I didn’t buy anything and downloaded Carcasonne to play again, a game I purchased a few years back.  You know, back when it was easy to find quality games and not have to sift through the tripe?  The fact that the App Store has turned into a mess of rubbish games has put me off bothering to look for anything to purchase.  I’m more likely to listen to a podcast to find out something worth buying than take a risk on one of the hundreds of potentially poor releases.  I suspect I’m not the only one.  To digital storefront owners:  stop opening the floodgates to any old “developer”.  Hire a team to curate your store and make it something worth visiting rather than a dodgy market full of rubbish that people won’t want to visit.  It’s hard to sell to customers when they don’t want to come to your store.

21 thoughts on “The Apple App Store Needs Some Serious Work

  1. I remember when mobile phone gaming was getting going there was talk of the death of handheld consoles and even home consoles.

    I honestly haven’t gamed on a phone in years the quality is just so low, especially in terms of gameplay.

    I am the proud owner of a Switch and while there aren’t that many games at least there is decent quality control. I’ve only got Disgaea 5, Mariokart and Splatoon 2, but I reckon I’d rather have those three games than all the games on the app store!

    Liked by 3 people

    1. There are a couple of reasonable phone games (even some PC/console ports that have come out well), but it’s mostly getting hidden in amongst the crap.

      Mobile gaming will be the home of ‘quick’ games for a long time to my mind. And that’s fine so long as the quality is there.


      1. Fair enough, I guess part of my problem is I’ve never found a touch control port I liked 🙂 maybe I also subconsciously associate my phone too much with work and annoying calls haha..

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Anything is better than the Windows Phone store, I’ll go that far. It’s a mess of dodgy rom hacks knock offs. I tried using Android in the past and I couldn’t get on with it. Good to hear Google have a better App Store at least!


  2. It’s hard to even tell the difference because even all the big name properties from big name companies are just pumping out the same model of free to play junk all over the place.

    I only really go there if I’ve heard of something specific from an outside source.

    Also I recommend checking out Ascension. It’s an easy to play solo or online card game and the base set is free. There are a bunch of optional expansions you can buy if you want, and they come with every card in the set right off the bat, no grinding or card hunting required.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know Ascension well as it happens, I play it from time to time on Steam. Card/board/dice game conversions work really rather well on touch devices, which is why I’m happy to pay money for them to get rid of any freemium nonsense.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Honestly I never even go into the store unless I already have something in mind. As you said, there’s just way too much shovelware in the store and I don’t want to download a bunch of games only for just 1 to be good. I basically just wait until a bunch of people recommend one and then I take the plunge. I’ve mostly only played the really mainstream ones like Pokemon Go and Fire Emblem Warriors so far as a result

    Liked by 1 person

      1. But what is the standard? I think that is the problem Valve, Apple, Google, Windows Store, PSN, etc… have run in to. When you are getting hundreds of submissions a day, how do you curate it without categorically saying this can’t be on the store because we don’t know who you are and at the same time not hurting the small independent devs that have great apps or are destined to make great apps but maybe start off rough.

        I mean i get it, I generally avoid the storefronts for any and all marketplaces now because browsing is useless and word of mouth generally works best. But I’m not sure what the solution is because with the amount of submissions a day for new apps, these companies can’t keep up.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That is part of the challenge, but there must be a certain standard. Is it playable? Is it full of bugs? Is there a reasonable tutorial? There are too many products on there that aren’t meeting the basic standards. The difficulty is having enough people to play the games/use the product to ensure it meets a level of quality and the fact that quality is quite subjective. But if you are a professional storefront, you can’t just have any old crap there. Would an electronics store stock TVs that have 30% of the pixels failing? Or one that has the surround fall off? If brick and mortar stores have a level of expectation, I would argue that digital store fronts need to as well.


  4. the app store is definetely the worst, you wouldn’t believe the sheer amount of bootlegs and farted-out puzzle games that i’ve come across. angry birds is the only exception because it at its’ core it feels like it has a genuine soul to it. other than that i like to think of it as a dumping grounds of sorts to con some people desperate to kill time

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It went straight to hell once all the 11 year olds started getting iPhones, they didn’t have any money and so the developers realized no one would pay any money for games. Hence, everything is free.

    I remember playing some great games on my iPhone years ago, back on the 3G, they cost actual dollars instead of hours off your life, and had substance. They were handheld games, plain and simple, before “mobile games” became an insulting label!

    I deleted Magikarp Jump recently and have still been playing FreeCell, an app I downloaded 6 years ago for $2 that hasn’t been updated, because there’s nothing else on the store that isn’t trash.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Years ago, I loved going on the App Store and seeing what new games were released. Most of the time now I don’t really bother because like you said, the quality has really diminished. It’s sad! Most of the games I have are games I’ve had for years with the exception of a couple like Pokemon GO and Super Mario Run.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There are some good ones here and there, but I just don’t have the patience to go rooting through the mass of crap to find them. Steam, the App Store, pretty much all digital fronts in fact are all turning into free for alls. Pity really!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. True, I know what you mean. Most of the time I’ll only get something if someone I know recommends it…it is very sad because I’m sure there are some hidden gems in there, but no one wants to look for them!

        Liked by 1 person

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