Friday, 17 May 2024

Apple Game Center: A New Era for iOS Gaming

Apple has recently launched its highly anticipated Game Center platform alongside the iOS 4.1 update for their handheld devices. This move aims to bring order to the vast and diverse world of gaming in the app store. With tens of billions of games available, including popular titles like Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. However, Apple is determined to establish itself as a key player in the gaming industry.

Simplifying the Gaming Landscape

Before Game Center, there were different gaming systems like Open Fient, Plus+, and Crystals, each with their own set of achievements, leaderboards, and buddy lists. This caused fragmentation and made it difficult for players to keep track of their gaming progress. Apple hopes that Game Center will bring all these elements together, similar to Xbox Live, creating a seamless and unified gaming experience.

First Impressions

While Game Center is still in its infancy, we had the opportunity to explore the platform with a few compatible games, such as Ms. Pac-Man, Real Racing, and Flight Control. Ms. Pac-Man, a classic favorite, brought about some mixed emotions. Although it was exciting to have the game on an iOS device, the price tag felt a bit steep considering the game’s availability on various other platforms.

Upon launching Game Center, we were prompted to sign in with our Apple ID and create a profile. The interface is sleek and straightforward, giving users an overview of their friends, games, and achievements. However, one noticeable flaw is the absence of a total achievement points counter. While this wasn’t a significant issue initially, as we hadn’t earned any points, it would be beneficial to see an overall score for future reference.

Gaming Experience and Features

Entering Ms. Pac-Man, we were welcomed by a “Welcome back” message from within the game. After playing a few levels, we checked back with Game Center to review our progress. Surprisingly, we had unlocked four achievements, totaling 120 points out of a possible 1000 for the game. However, locating the total score became a frustrating endeavor. It seemed that the scores were specific to each game, with Game Center only tracking the number of achievements earned, rather than providing an overall score.

Despite this setback, Game Center offers a range of features expected from a robust online gaming service. Developers have the option to notify players of their achievements and can even customize the pop-up notifications to match the game’s style. For instance, Flight Control successfully incorporated its ’50s themed graphics, while Ms. Pac-Man missed the opportunity to inform us of achievements. Additionally, Game Center provides a friends list, although it lacks a messaging system, and the leaderboards update promptly.

Looking Ahead

These are just our initial impressions of Game Center, considering its mere eight-hour existence. We anticipate that Apple will continue to refine and improve the platform as more games are added, and the user base grows. We will be closely monitoring any updates and changes to keep you informed on the latest advancements in iOS gaming.


  • Q: How many games currently support Game Center?

    • A: As of now, there are only a few games that are compatible with Game Center, such as Ms. Pac-Man, Real Racing, and Flight Control. However, we expect more games to be added in the near future.
  • Q: Can I change my Gamertag after creating it in Game Center?

    • A: Yes, you have the flexibility to change your Gamertag at a later time, just like you can with a Twitter username.
  • Q: Will Game Center support messaging between friends?

    • A: Unfortunately, Game Center does not currently offer a messaging system. However, you can send friend requests to connect with others.


Apple’s Game Center has the potential to revolutionize iOS gaming by integrating various gaming systems into a unified platform. While it is still in its early stages, Game Center shows promise and offers an enjoyable gaming experience. As Apple continues to refine and expand the platform, we can expect even more exciting developments for iOS gamers. Stay tuned for updates on as we explore the evolving world of Game Center and its impact on the gaming industry.