I can understand why the default behaviour on most games is to rotate left: it’s probably more natural for right-handed users to quit the game by pressing the home button with their right hands, and the iPhone’s speakers won’t necessarily be blocked by your right hand as you play. However, it can be annoying to […]
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All landscape iPhone games should support 180-degree rotation 

iphone gaming 180

I can understand why the default behaviour on most games is to rotate left: it’s probably more natural for right-handed users to quit the game by pressing the home button with their right hands, and the iPhone’s speakers won’t necessarily be blocked by your right hand as you play. However, it can be annoying to play games in this orientation with earphones on. I have to curve my left hand outward just to make room for the jack, and it’s so much easier to just flip the phone over and change orientation, so that the earphone jack is then behind my right index finger as I hold the device. I think this feature should be part of Landscape Gaming 101 for iPhone developers.

A simple toggle somewhere in the menu á la Minigore, or an accelerometer-based orientation change based on which way you’re holding the iPhone (like in HAWX) shouldn’t be horrifically difficult to include – and yet a surprising number of games are lacking in this department. Good games like Zombieville, Canabalt, or  Blimp – and even big budget games like Ace Combat – lack any kind of orientation switch or “flip screen” button. It’s a shame, since some of those titles feature great soundtracks that are really worth donning a pair of headphones to properly enjoy.
I can press down lightly on the plug of my V-Moda Vibe II’s because the earphone cable is angled, and so I know I won’t damage the wire by adding pressure. However, most earphones that I’ve used feature a straight 3.5mm jack (pictured above) that sticks straight up and out of the iPhone, and you’ll want to keep all the pressure off of these jacks or risk damaging the plug or the wire. You may not hold your iPhone in a vice grip while you game, and this may not even be an issue to some gamers, but I’m definitely surprised that simple 180-degree rotation hasn’t become a standard in iPhone gaming.

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