iSwifter is a product that’s undergone some fascinating changes since its inception last year. Designed to allow iPad users to appreciate the wonders of Flash, version 1.0 offered up a successful, if less than stellar proof of concept. 2.0 tightened things up and added much more content for iPad users to consume. But 3.0? 3.0 is the real game changer.
Available for download today, iSwifter 3.0 will now allow players to access all of their favorite Flash-based Facebook games on the iPad. This latest version of iSwifter features an optimized Games Browser that not only allows you to play Facebook games, but also games at Flash portals and free-to-play MMO sites all over the net.
“Playing Flash social games and MMOs on the iPad is something users are clamoring for,” said Rajat Gupta, Co-Founder of iSwifter and former EIR at YouWeb. “But it’s not as simple as building a Flash video browser: we have spent the last year building a cloud based Flash browser technology that lets users play their favorite Flash social games and MMOs on the iPad. Social game and MMO developers benefit greatly from not having to spend months porting their Flash games to tablets.”
Unlike the original version of iSwifter, 3.0 won’t be a completely free experience. Users will be able to try the app for 7 days, after which time they’ll need to purchase a monthly subscription of $4.99 a month.
“iSwifter is doing for social gaming and MMOs what NetFlix and Hulu have done for movies and TV shows: subscription based unlimited access to awesome content,” said Peter Relan, Founder of YouWeb and Chairman of iSwifter. “A few months ago nobody would have anticipated playing Facebook social games or Flash MMORPGs on iPads with a quality user experience!”
YouWeb’s Peter Relan is certainly no stranger to the challenges of bringing Flash games to mobile platforms. The incubator associated with iSwifter was also responsible for the launches of Crowdstar – a major player in Facebook social gaming – and Sibblingz, a cross-platform solution for social developers looking to create games on multiple platforms with ease.
Gamezebo was fortunate enough to have a chance to go hands on with version 3.0 already, and we’re delighted to say that iSwifter more than delivers on its promise. We’ve spent a few hours bouncing around to all of our Facebook favourites – FarmVille, Lost Cities, Deep Realms – and every one of them ran beautifully. There seemed to be a bit of a fuzzy graphical hiccup every once in awhile as it adjusted to what was on screen, but this never lasted for more than a second and was rarely even noticeable. Overall, the experience was jaw dropping – miles away from the disappointed feeling we’d had with v1.0 back in September.
It should probably be noted that not all Facebook games run in Flash. If you’re hoping to fire up a round of the Unity-powered N.O.V.A. Elite or Vorp, you’ll find yourself out of luck. The same goes for any game that might require a keyboard’s directional pad, as iSwifter relies fairly heavily on the notion of replacing a mouse click with a screen tap. (It should be noted, however, that for text-driven games like Lexulous, iSwifter is more than happy to let you bring up Apple’s on-screen keyboard). Still, considering the vast majority of Facebook games are simple mouse-driven clickfests, this shouldn’t prove to be any sort of a problem for iSwifter‘s potential audience.
Great games come and go on the App Store, but it’s been awhile since we’ve seen a real game changer. As of version 3.0, iSwifter is it. Mark Zuckerburg must want to kiss the iSwifter team right about now, since they’ve done what most had thought impossible: they’ve brought the bulk of Facebook gaming to the iPad.