Sparrow iOS Game Framework Beginner's Guide Review

Last year, I reviewed a mobile game development book written by my friend, Rad. I guess that’s why they keep asking me to review a game-related book even if I am not doing any game development YET. I have no complaints. It’s good to learn something new.

Those few who attended the first Geekcamp Baguio event knew it was a cool event. Rad created a game within a few minutes. Those are the kind of talks we like because beginners do not appreciate people who do a lot of hand-waiving and give “best practices talk”, “do this, not that” are the most boring ones probably. Introductions that are not impressive to those who are starting out makes them stop reading or stop listening. Many are wired to behave this way so every book introduction or talk has to be that good.

Sparrow iOS Game Framework Beginner’s Guide has a good introduction but only to those with some experience in mobile app development. A lot of patience, proficiency and understanding of C and Objective-C is necessary. I spent over a year learning Objective-C and Swift was announced by Apple a few months ago. Currently, Objective-C is still relevant but I am pessimistic about it. Today I can find a Swift version of a dependency I need quite easily. Definitely a swift change. If there’s a reason to use Sparrow despite its Objective-C requirement, it’s probably because there aren’t a lot of other options and it can still be fun for those starting out. They should really start rewriting the framework to Swift as cocos2d has a Swift version.

A few helpful notes

You should know a bit of Git. Unfortunately the book is semi-accurate when it comes to that. It’s best to follow this.

Clone the Sparrow repository.

git clone

Checkout the latest version.

git checkout -b latest v2.1rc

You will have to copy the sparrow folder and extract it to a directory of choice to get started. Regardless of your XCode version, you have to a new source tree with “SPARROW_SRC” as the name, “Sparrow” as the display the name and the path to the sparrow directory as the path.

Have fun reading this. It’s a good time to buy books at Packt as they are offering a discount which would last until October 2, 2014. Take advantage of it!