Steve Demeter has set one of those modest life goals for himself: He wants to be a millionaire by the time he turns 30.
And while this ambitious little alarm clock is rapidly tick-tocking toward the buzzer, it’s starting to look like the 29-year-old game developer just might slide in under the wire. After all, in the last two months alone Demeter has managed to rake in $250,000 – all thanks to his “cash cow.”
This particular heifer is a little something called “Trism,” a smart, stylish and devilishly addictive puzzle game that, for a mere $4.99, can be downloaded through Apple’s new virtual marketplace – a.k.a. the App Store – and played on the iPhone or the iPod touch.
“It’s a unique game,” Demeter says, trying to explain “Trism’s” many charms. “It’s not something you could get on another mobile phone or one of the handheld consoles out there right now.”
Roger that. As we reported last week, Apple CEO Steve Jobs recently made a big show of how the iPod touch and the iPhone have become serious gaming machines – so serious that he seems to fancy them giving Nintendo’s handheld DS game machine and Sony’s PSP a run for their money.
And why not? Apple’s powerful devices boast beautiful, multi-touch enabled touch screens, an accelerometer that senses motion and Internet connectivity. And after its first 60 days in operation, Jobs announced that the App Store already had more than 700 games to offer.
Yes, iPhone and iPod touch owners have quickly found themselves awash in gaming choices – games from big-name publishers as well as lone developers working in their bedrooms, all of them trying to figure out how to spin the Apple devices’ unique assets into gaming gold.
Vivendi Games launched their “Crash Bandicoot Nitro Kart 3D” racing game while Sega brought its “Super Monkey Ball” franchise to the App Store. Earlier this month, Electronic Arts released an iPhone version of its mega-game “Spore,” and THQ delivered “Star Wars: The Force Unleashed” for the iPhone.
And then there are the little guys like Demeter who made “Trism” almost entirely by himself, working late nights while also tending to a day job. Meanwhile, puzzle/role-playing game “Aurora Feint: The Beginning” was created by a two-person development team fueled primarily by caffeinated beverages.
But with all these choices from all these sources, the question remains: Are these App Store games actually any good?