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Money games for your iPhone

Last month, I finally joined the ranks of millions of others and became the proud owner of an iPhone. Upon receipt of my phone, I promptly added my email account, Twitter, Facebook, Angry Birds, The Oregon Trail and a game for my daughter (this has come in so handy, particularly in restaurants while waiting for our food and she has gotten bored with coloring). I have also added a task manager and have made substantial use of the Google Maps feature. Needless to say, I love this phone.

I don’t have many financial apps on my phone, even though I know I need them. I know there are many guides and recommendations for which ones I should use and which ones to stay away from. But the whole concept is overwhelming so I do what I normally do when I get overwhelmed–I avoid it and stick with what I know. In this instance, sticking with what I know means downloading games onto my phone rather than practical apps.  But rather than download Ms. PacMan or QBert, I went with some financial games.

I know you’re dying to find out which ones so I’ll stop the suspense and tell you. I purchased The Game of Life, Monopoly, Paper Boy, and Savings Spree.

Overall, I’m pleased with the purchases. Life, Monopoly and Paper Boy are exactly like their traditional predecessors. Life and Monopoly (cost is $.99 per game) are really just electronic versions of the board games, and your opinion of the iPhone game will depend entirely on how much you like playing the board game. For me, I loved Life and hated Monopoly, but that’s generally how I feel about the games. I’m terrible at Monopoly and try to avoid playing it at all costs (this may or may not be related to some very heated games that almost resulted in riots) but I’m pretty good at Life. I typically play the game as safe as possible, and I have fun doing so (which is exactly like my real life). I will most likely not keep Monopoly but Life will definitely stay on my phone for a while.

Paper Boy (cost is $.99) was another story. Anyone familiar with the arcade game will understand how both fun and frustrating this game can be. If you’re not familiar with the arcade game, essentially what you do is use a controller (in this instance, your phone) to ride your bike through a neighborhood, delivering newspapers and avoiding obstacles. The premise is easy but like Monopoly, I’m terrible at it. Unlike with Monopoly, which forces you to have some understanding of strategy and real estate (not my strengths), this game forces you to have some sort of coordination where you can both steer the bike and throw the papers at the same time. I don’t possess this coordination. However, it’s fun to keep trying because after awhile, you get tired of losing because you consistently run into a fence.

The fourth game I downloaded, Savings Spree (cost was $2.99), was as much for me as it was for my daughter. I figured that if she was going to play games on my phone, I should make at least one of the somewhat educational. The premise of this game is to teach kids the concepts of saving and spending, how to make good financial choices, the importance of working to earn money, and saving for emergency expenses. There are 6 different rounds, and the money earned/spent gets tallied at the end to create a “nest egg”. Overall, the games are pretty simple but there are some rounds that definitely require adult assistance, particularly for younger children (and honestly, the last round where you need to match the faces to the dollar bills is HARD). The game accomplishes what it intends to–it definitely teaches kids about basic financial concepts. The only part of the game that I find annoying is the “host”; it’s a talking piggy bank and it’s kind of creepy. It did cost a bit more than the other games but I found the game to be worth the money.

I do also recommend The Oregon Trail. I adored this game as a kid and I love the updates that are available on the iPhone version. Now, not only can you hunt, you can fish and pick berries. You can still die of dysentery but you can also get broken bones and snake bites. There are still the races to different landmarks but now you can pick up hitchhikers! It’s a much more involved, complicated game now but it’s just as fun and definitely is a great way to pass time if you’re stuck in a car, on a plane, during your commute to work, or if you’re bored at night. It’s also $.99 and absolutely worth it.

I’ve never been much of a video game person but some of these games are slowly turning me into an iPhone game addict. They’re way more fun than Angry Birds. Sure, in Angry Birds you get to knock over buildings and blow up helmet wearing pigs but in these games, you can break windows, bankrupt people, get typhoid, save money and choose where you retire. How’s that for entertainment?

Article publié pour la première fois le 07/11/2011

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