Gamers, rejoice: TouchArcade lands on App Store, we go hands-on

We here at iDB love TouchArchade, one of the first and arguably the most comprehensive websites out there for up-to-date news and reviews concerning gaming on the iOS platform. In case you haven’t heard about it, TouchArcade is a project by our friends over at MacRumors, one of the longest-running Apple rumor publications on the web, run by Arnold Kim.

Born out of AppShopper, another pet project by MacRumors that provides most of the glue which enhances iTunes meta data by tracking app changes, the TouchArcade website has become the go-to source for my iOS gaming needs.

Having tried the app briefly, I’m happy to report that it’s everything you’ve been hoping for – and then some…

I’m sure you know that gaming on the iOS platform is now threatening long-established incumbents like Nintendo and Sony, especially as current-generation iOS devices inch closer to console-quality graphics. According to Newzoo survey, Apple now has 84 percent of mobile gaming revenue in the United States.

Long in the works and produced in co-operation with Flexibits and Bartelme Design, the official TouchArcade app looks business. It should prove indispensable to anyone interested in gaming on their iPhone, iPod touch or iPad. The app lets you check out latest game-related stories, access tips and howtos and browse other content available on the TouchArcade website.

One of my favorite features has to be Hot Games, a real-time updated list of the games that have generated the most interest in their community. I love this section as it lets me stay on top of the latest in iOS gaming without having to keep tabs on the TouchArcade website constantly.

The Hot Games section becomes especially powerful when combined with push notifications for new stories.

Another cool nice-to-have: the Watch list, where you can add upcoming games to your queue and check out related stories later.

Again, the feature really shines when used in conjunction with push notifications, customized for your Watch list. This lets one receive content alerts only for the games that directly concern one. These updates may include reviews, app updates, news stories and articles covering price changes.

My only complain – and it’s not a biggie – is the lack of price change alerts on a per-app basis. While the app delivers price change updates on watch list items, I’d love to be able to cherry-pick tracking price changes for a game without adding it to my Watch list.

The program also allows you to discuss games on the TouchArcade forums, the place where I’ve come to enjoy some of the most active users when it comes to gaming on the iOS platform. Additionally, many game developers are active on the forums, so avid gamers and writers like myself often discover upcoming releases and sales before anyone else does.

You can also check out both the App Store ratings and user ratings as well as assign your own ratings, provided you have registered with the forums.

Here, the full list of features, courtesy of iTunes.

• News and Reviews – Daily news, previews, and reviews on the best iOS games.
• Top Reviews – Search our extensive database for the best games in any genre, paid or free.
• Hot New Games – Find hidden gems and the hottest new games before anyone else.
• Watch List – Track games for reviews, sales, and updates. Even better, get notified when an upcoming game is released.
• Forums – Discuss the latest games with our active community.

TouchArcade is a free download from the App Store.

The 5.1MB binary supports the iPhone and iPod touch running iOS 4.2 or later. Regarding the native iPad interface, Arnold Kim told me on Twitter that they’re “working on that now”.

According to the official blog post, “the universal version looks incredible on the iPad”.

I’m looking forward to this update as I’m sure many of you would love to enjoy gorgeous screenies and game trailers on your iPad’s Retina display.

Are you a fan of the TouchArcade web site?

What other sites do you visit to get your daily dose of iOS-related game news?