Do cheaters always prosper on Apple’s Gamecenter?

, | Games

I’ve been playing a lot of iPad games recently that involve getting better scores. That means I spend a fair bit of time poking around the leaderboards, mainly to see how many of my friends’ scores I’ve beaten. But it’s also nice to see where I am on the global leaderboards. Am I in the top 50%? The top 30%? Dare I dream to one day reach the top 10%?

Except that something’s rotten in the state of Apple’s Gamecenter. Or could that guy whose name I keep seeing be that good?

After the jump, 9,999,999,999 points!

There’s a guy on Gamecenter named Finalark. I see his name a lot. For instance, he’s really good at Zombie Gunship.

That’s quite a score. It’s better than exactly 3,272,908 other people who’ve played Zombie Gunship. He must have spent a lot of time working on that score. But the remarkable thing about Finalark is that he’s not one of those guys who’s only good at one game.

Check out the global leaderboard for Jetpack Joyride.

He’s one of the people who’s gotten a perfect score of 30,000, which means he’s reached the end of the game at 30,000 meters from the starting point. But surely his crowning achievement is his score in Defender Chronicles 2, one of my favorite tower defense games.

Look at how much better he is at Defender Chronicles 2 than the guy in second place! But that’s nothing. Look at this score in Zombie HQ, a free-to-play micropayment-based grindfest.

That’s an awfully big number. Maybe he’s just rich and liberal with his micropayment money. Surely he can’t be that much better than player #2 in a game that’s strictly skill-based? But Finalark doens’t cease to amaze. Check out his score on Sugar High, a crappy Tiny Wings rip-off.

Why would someone spend so much time getting so good at such a bad game?

But Finalark also has discriminating taste when it comes to more hardcore games. Check out his score in Bug Princess 2, my recent favorite shmup.

Now you might think that he’s somehow hacked Gamecenter and that these scores weren’t earned fair and square. The same thing occurred to me! Which is why I’ve submitted several complaints to Gamecenter over the last week or so, using the “report a problem” button when you look at someone’s profile on the leaderboards. Obviously, the guys at Gamecenter know what they’re doing. Surely they would promptly close any account that’s egregiously hacked the leaderboards. Since they’ve done no such thing to Finalark’s account, I just have to assume the guy is simply that good!