There are millions of titles on iPad and iPhone but how do you know which ones are worth your time? Read this list and find out.
Some might call mobile gaming a ‘waste of time’, others might call it a ‘flimsy alternative to gaming on consoles or PCs’ but to us, gaming on our smartphones and tablets is a cheaper, smaller scale alternative to other games out there. We can get as much fun out of Angry Birds as we can out of Grand Theft Auto for 1000% less of the price. But there are millions of brilliant apps, both free and paid, but how do we find them? Well, by reading this list that’s how, as we’ve chosen 25 iOS apps (in no particular order) that we think you should download.
1. Flappy Bird
It might have been removed from the App Store some months ago but the addictive, simply title is still a must-have for smartphones. If you missed the hype around it earlier this year, Flappy Bird tasks you with guiding an aerially-challenged bird through a series of variously positioned pipes. Sound easy? Think again as plenty of people struggle to get even a single point in the game. Creator Dong Nguyen says that he’ll soon be bringing Flappy Bird back to iOS and Android but if you can’t wait until then, read our guide to find out how to get it through ‘unofficial’ means.
2. Angry Birds
The Angry Birds franchise may have gone into space, it may have taken on Star Wars and the animated world of Rio too but the original Angry Birds remains the series’ best. Through the act of swiping at a catapult loaded with birds, players have to fire them at the pigs who have built structures and aimed to steal the birds’ eggs. Ridiculous and madcap, Angry Birds also offers tons of replayability.
3. Kim Kardashian: Hollywood
Another big hit from this Summer is Kim Kardashian: Hollywood which sees you embrace the high life and complete photoshoots, ad campaigns and even tabloid scandals, aiming to get that fame. There’s something really fun about knowing you’ve overtaken your friends (or foes) on the leaderboards which is perhaps what makes the free to play title so popular.
4. Disco Zoo
The only thing that could make a cutesy zoo sim better? Funky disco music and strobe lights! While taking animals out of the wild and sticking them into captivity (for profit) might be a bit disheartening, keep in mind that the animals really love it when you make them dance. I don’t really understand the logic in that either but the game offers a great deal of amusement as you aim to unlock collectible status for your conservation efforts.
5. Tiny Tower
Made by the same team as Disco Zoo, Tiny Tower has the same adorable pixel art style as this time to build a multi-storey skyscraper that also functions as a mall. From fashion stores to pet shops to various restaurants and services, the aim is to place your residents (your build their homes too) in their dream jobs. It’s really unclear as to what you get once everyone in your towers gets their favoured employment but you’ll certainly invest a lot of time until you get there.
Trivia! Being smarter than you friends! AKA, the two key components of every board game invented in the last three centuries. QuizUp lets you challenge your friends (or random strangers!) at the topics you know best. Whether you know tons about Korean pop music, global geography or if mathematics is your strong point, you can test it against people in QuizUp, being able to show off your smarts with levels and earned nicknames.
7. High School Story
Most of us would like to leave high school behind, this is true, but in High School Story you get to play through light-hearted storylines that cover friendship, love and anti-bullying campaigns with characters who are incredibly well-written not just for a free to play mobile title but for a video game at all.
8. Disney TsumTsum
Cheaper than Disney Infinity (which also brings Disney characters together in one game), Disney TsumTsum is a match three game that sees you draw line between plushies of iconic Disney characters. There are power ups and bonuses just like you’d expect, making this one of the most addictive and kid friendly games on this list.
It may *technically* be a math game but 2048 is no Mensa level app. Rather, it’s a strategic puzzle game in which you need to move tiles around the board to add up to a certain amount. In any case over 10 million players can’t be wrong.
10. Baldur’s Gate
Think only PC offers series RPGs for serious gamers? Think again as the mobile version of the Baldur’s Gate games are every bit as series as the 90s games that they are based on. Whether you’re fighting dragons or controlling your party, great graphics and gameplay will be on hand here. Shame about the price though.
11. Fruit Ninja
Whether you really, really do not like your fruit and vegetables or if you want to test your furious swiping skills, Fruit Ninja gives you the chance to embrace both as you cut up watermelon, apples and just about every other fruit available from a supermarket. It’s a little repetitive after a while sure, but as it costs absolutely nothing you can’t really go wrong here.
12. Infinity Blade 3
Another game known for its phenomenal mobile graphics, Infinity Blade 3 looks better than a lot of the things on the from the early days of PS3. Also an RPG like Baldur’s Gate, you tap and swipe at the screen to swing your ginormous blade around, with some saying it makes for better immersion than a well timed tap of a console controller’s face button ever could.
13. Asphalt 8
With arcade style races and gameplay Asphalt 8 is as fun in its crashes as it is in its races. Speeding around corners and zooming just a few centimetres ahead of your opponent to get over the finish line will rarely get old and Asphalt 8 only proves that.
14. Real Racing 3
Arcade gaming isn’t for everyone though so as Real Racing 3’s name might imply, hardcore simulation is the meal of the day here. It looks phenomenal too, adding further credence to the ‘real’ in its title.
15. Plants vs Zombies
Also experiencing a huge amount of success on consoles, Plants vs Zombies is at its best on mobile as it successfully saps away all of your free time by tasking you with planting vegetables and other assorted greenery to fend off the undead masses. Addictive if you win, addictive if you lose, this is a million times more fun that your usual gardening antics.
16. Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas
On console, Grand Theft Auto is one of the best franchises around, known for its incredibly gritty storylines and hard hitting tales of gang and criminal warfare. No game does this better than Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas which captures California in a scale that was impressive for the time on PS2. Granted, its shootouts and driving are impressive on mobile too, which is is exactly why it makes it onto this list.
17. Max Payne Mobile
Max Payne is another series from Rockstar that is highly rated on consoles. Focusing on the titular Max Payne as he seeks revenge for the murder of his wife and his newborn daughter, shooting is very much a gameplay feature in this one as Max goes about getting justice.
18. Zombie Gunship
Bored of zombies yet? With so many zombies game out there it’s ok if you are. Zombie Gunship is less than a dollar though, and it although there are some wits to be observed in upgrading your guns and making sure they don’t overheat, the fundamental gameplay of killing zombies and saving humans is as fun and simplistic as it gets.
19. Temple Run 2
While plenty of endless runner games may have tried to take a bite out of Temple Run’s success, Temple Run 2 shows exactly why the original can’t be beat. There are once again several treasure hunters to choose from as you run from a supernatural beast, trying not to fall off the route, get burnt or walk into a tree as you do so. Graphics are also highly upgraded in this one too, making it one that’s not to be missed.
20. Bejeweled Blitz
Another match 3 game, Bejeweled has an unusual premise for a game in which we must eliminate various priceless stones rather than collect them. That’s not to say that this isn’t any less entertaining though as leaderboards and all that jazz offer an incentive for winning. If you can find time in your busy Bejeweled playing schedule to brag about it, that is.
21. Dead Space
While the console version of Dead Space might benefit from boosted gadgets, the iOS version doesn’t necessarily make this game any less spooky. As an engineer, all of your weapons are effectively just modified tools meaning that you’ll need to conserve your bullets when fighting off necromorphs because your life quite literally depends on it.
22. Joe Danger Touch
Yet another console port, Joe Danger did incredibly well on PlayStation before it made the jump to mobile. As the titular character Joe Danger, you have to survive stunts and trick it big to get points. So, it does what it says on the tin, basically.
23. Scrabble for iPad
In the ye olde times when we all found time to play board games rather than squabble over selfie likes and follow backs on Instagram and Twitter, respectively, Scrabble was at the top of the list. Your vocabulary is your best weapon in Scrabble and it’s the only way you’ll manage to win. Unless, of course, you break open a dictionary app when your friends can’t see you.
24. Mirror’s Edge
It might be far from perfect and it might not boast console’s incredible graphics, but Mirror’s Edge is a more acrobatic version of what games like Temple Run 2 offer you. Sprint, slide and jump across buildings as main character Faith as you aim to fight back against an oppressive society.
25. Game Dev Story
In Game Dev Story there are matchings of genres, the organising of staff members and the hiring of the best of the video game business to win awards and make millions of game sales happen. The name is self explanatory but you’ll be surprised at how much fun you have playing pretend at being a video game developer.
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