After the news last week about Zynga outright copying NimbleBit’s Tiny Tower, a big company with loads of talented people taking a game concept from a small 3-person outfit, I got to thinking…are we REALLY out of original game ideas?

(Time to get on my soap box for a little bit…)

Further fueling my doubts were the number of recent review requests we’ve received for new games which look like they basically lifted the assets (and game play elements) directly from ZeptoLab’s fun puzzle game, Cut The Rope. One look at True Media Games’ Lay the Egg, Curatus Technocorp’s upcoming title The Candy Monster and (to a lesser extent) Sharp Creative Agency’s Drop The Chicken, and you will see (at least in my opinion) FAR TOO MANY similarities with Cut The Rope.

We see this type of thing time and time again whenever there is some breakout hit, everyone wants a piece of the pie. First there were all the Doodle Jump clones followed by the Angry Birds, Canabalt and Tiny Wings clones. Sure, developers can (and should) be inspired by these games, but you need to create something that is unique and fresh, not a mere facsimile which (as is usually the case) is less crisp and polished than the original.

Fortunately, creativity is not definitely dead amongst the iOS development community. For every clone, there seems to be two or three splashes of brilliance from indie development community. Recent releases like Hutch’s Smash Cops, Colaboratory’s Puzzlejuice, Asketic’s Mailboxing show that that independent spirit and spark is still burning strong. These are creative, original ideas that live or die by their own merits (and ironically) create new fodder for the cloners, it’s just the nature of the iOS ecosystem.

Before I step off my soap box, I just want to say one more thing: if you are just going to release a game that’s sole purpose is to try to capitalize on another’s success, why even bother? Releasing an iOS game is hard work, so instead, why not put your time and talent into developing an original idea…that’s just my two cents.

I apologize for the rant, I guess I just got asked to look at one clone too many…back to our regularly scheduled programming.