Many of the larger developers chose to go alone and set up social networking portals to provide a hub for their own gaming communities to compare achievements, scores, chat and make challenges. Ngmoco set up Plus+ and Gameloft started Live. However the gaming network that stands out and connects the rest is AuroraFeint’s Openfeint network. Openfeint’s only real competitor is Chillingo’s Crystal, which is good but has been slow to be implemented by developers since it’s launch mid-2009.
Openfeint truly connects you while other social gaming networks either ‘dis-connect’ you by virtue of their smaller catalogue or, as in Crystal’s case, were just a bit too late on the scene. Its success is evidenced by the range and quality of games that use it. It connects players of TAITO’s Space Invaders Infinity Gene, the classic Fieldrunners, Origin8′s Sentinel series and, new shining star on the touchscreen gaming scene, Trenches. And if you don’t own at least one of these then where have you been?
In early January Openfeint launched their standalone app. It allows you to manage your Openfeint profile, import friends from Twitter and Facebook, manage your games, check out your and your friends’ scores and achievements, issue challenges, chat and much, much more. If that hasn’t hooked you to downloading it then consider that every day they highlight either an Openfeint connected free game of note or offer a paid game for free (today it’s a great chopper game called Apache Lander, yesterday it was the basic but highly addictive A Christmas Santa). And to boot the Openfeint app is free.
So Gameloft, Chillingo, Ngmoco and other social network providers, get on the bus. Have a quiet word with Openfeint and get your networks linked in with theirs. You know it makes sense. Openfeint tag themselves ‘the coolest thing since sliced awesome’ and the hype stands up. iPtF community gamers who want to hook up with like-minded individuals, can post their Openfeint IDs in the thread here.