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The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

Infectious iPhone games ensnare students

As freshman Arjun Ramanathan waits in the halls during break, his hands guide his phone, tilting to control his virtual bike that races across the finish line. 
Since starting the game months earlier, Ramanathan has quickly become addicted to the iPhone game Bike Race. He often plays about two hours a day and enjoys the competition from his friends.
“The game [helps] to pass time quickly and the competitive aspect is a fun add-on to the game,” Ramanathan said.
In Bike Race, a free iPhone game in the App Store, players drive bikes through different tracks and obstacles. The game has a multiplayer option that allows players to play one another, each completing the course, trying to finish faster than the other player. Since so many students participate in this pastime, the list of friends to play can reach more than 100 players.
“It's super distracting and time consuming because you go to your phone to play one game, which takes about 30 seconds to a minute,” said Ramanathan. “Then, you end up playing your whole list, which takes like 30 minutes.” 
Ramanathan was introduced to the game by his older brother and he’s been hooked ever since.
“My favorite part is the multiplayer games because I get to play the same levels but also compete against friends and people I know,” said Arjun Ramanathan. 
Another iPhone game that has gained popularity is Bloons TD5, which allows players to build towers in order to pop invading balloons, called Bloons. The game costs $3 in the App Store and one of the first to discover the game was senior Tyler Tanaka, who began playing over Thanksgiving break.
At first, he played the game for two hours each day, but Tanaka said he has since cut back. 
“[The reason I played so much] was because I was trying to beat all the levels,” said Tanaka. “But now that I beat all the levels, I feel pretty accomplished.”
Recently, a new game has gained popularity among students called Mini Golf MatchUp, another free app, in which competitors compete against each other in different virtual mini-golf courses. Senior Stevie Berman started playing in March and said he “can’t get enough.” 
“I play every day, [but] how often [I play] depends on how good my golf stroke is because when I lose, I just don’t play,” said Berman. 
Berman said he loves the game’s competitive nature.
“It's super distracting. It's addicting and sometimes I can’t function unless I play,” said Berman. “It definitely takes some priority over school sometimes.”
 
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