Over the past few months, we’ve run a regularly weekly series entitled “Game Friday“. Each week, we take a look at five of the best new iPhone game releases, or five particularly great games in a certain category. With so many games available for the iPhone, it can be incredibly difficult to wade through all the sub-par apps. We’re here to help!
Today, we’re offering a one-stop shop for all your iPhone gaming needs. We’ll be looking back at the different games we’ve featured over the past few months, and selecting 100 of our favourites. That should be enough inspiration to keep you playing for weeks to come!
Labyrinth 2 is a sequel to the brilliant maze-game Labyrinth. For those of you who have not played the original, you control a ball-bearing using the accelerometer, steering around a number of obstacles in order to reach your goal.
Cash Cow somehow manages to combine a simple puzzle game with a storyline about farmyard animals and make a rather good game out of it. Add up coins to make a dollar in order to earn money and keep your farm running. There are 5 different game modes to play, varying from a quick game, onto a much longer story mode where you meet a number of weird characters.
Mystic Garden is a “tranquil yet engaging puzzle game” that looks like a great brain teaser. You are given a piece of land with a number of plants to water and you must place the water droplets in the correct place so that each plant receives the correct amount.
Sequel to the hugely popular Ragdoll Blaster, Version 2 brings 150 new levels to the table, enough to keep you occupied for hours on end. Gameplay is simple, you touch the screen to aim and fire your ragdoll at targets, hitting the target to complete the level.
One of my personal favourites in the puzzle genre, iPharaoh combines part action and part strategic puzzle into a challenging game which is great as a quick pick up and play. The objective is to protect your treasure from the many enemies that are trying to steal it by guiding your mummified pharaohs towards the enemy.
Something a little different is this new game from Ivan Starchenkov. Billed as a physics puzzle, the objective behind Bomb Master is to destroy different bridges by strategically placing bombs and detonating them. The more accurate your placement, the better the demolition and the more money you make from it.
One of the most popular apps on the iPhone, I’m going to admit that I never actually got round to downloading the game until today. However I am glad I did! For those of you unfamiliar with Geared, the aim is to place a number of gears in the correct places in order to ensure that all gears are moving at the end of the level.
This app instantly brought back memories of Windows 3.1 and my first ever computer. Pipe Mania for the iPhone is a remake of the original Amiga/PC version of the game that came out in 1989. Gameplay is as simple as ever, you connect the pipe to keep the floozie flowing for as long as possible.
I have the original of this in a box somewhere and was delighted when it was released on the iPhone, because it is one of the most frustrating yet rewarding games I can remember. From the same developers as the original, the aim is to free your car from a traffic jam by moving the cars around till you clear your route.
Surprising many people this week was the announcement that the fantastic Football Manager series was bringing its Handheld version to the iPhone, with the release following less than 48 hours later. For those of you unfamiliar with the series, you take control of your favourite football (soccer) team, controlling everything from tactics to transfers as you try and lead them to glory.
If I’m honest, I picked this one up a month ago when the Formula 1 season started and the app was free, however don’t let that put you off. As driver of a Red Bull car, you can take part in an Quick Race, Time Attack or Season Mode (including practice and qualifying) across 6 circuits.
Skee-Ball is based on the classic game found at carnivals and fairgrounds around the world. Like Doodle Bowling, Skee-Ball has such a simple premise and yet executes it brilliantly, with the NVIDIA PhysX engine providing realistic ball physics.
Deer Hunter 3D is a stunning looking hunting game from developers Glu. Go searching for deers, moose and bears, among many other animals, throughout 30 beautiful locations. The animals emit realistic behaviours, making the game highly enjoyable and challenging.
Golf games can be hard to get right, they can either be too easy or far too fiddly and boring. Let’s Golf gets the perfect balance between the two, with lovely cartoon graphics and enjoyable gameplay. With 4 full courses and plenty of items to unlock for your character, it could take a while to complete and even when done you can challenge your friends in the online mode.
Seemingly as a prelude to their Xbox 360/PS3 game coming out in the Spring, Backbreaker was voted as one of the best games in the App Store in 2009 and its easy to see why. The aim of the game is simple… you run the length of the football field, dodge the defence using the iPhone’s tilt ability and score a touchdown to earn points.
Not the most in depth of games, Tap Jockey won me over with the cute icon. The gameplay is simple, you just tap the screen to get your horse to run, but getting your horse across the finish line in first place takes a bit of skill. There are 6 races in all with the ability to win points to upgrade your horse. You can try Tap Jockey LITE for free before purchasing the main game.
Officially licensed with all the teams, drivers and circuits from the 2009 F1 season (although inexplicably released after the season is over and so almost immediately out of date) F1 2009 has time trial and endurance modes for all 17 circuits used. Choose from any driver and set your fastest time for each lap using the iPhone’s tilt to steer and optional driving aids like suggested race line and brake assist.
Good free sports games are hard to come by as they are generally just demo versions of full games, however Darts is quite a fun and addictive little app. Playing one of the two game modes (X01 and Cricket) is as simple as flicking your finger up the screen in order to throw your dart, but it does get quite addictive trying to beat the computer.
This is the third release in the Virtual Villagers series came out last October and is a port of the Mac/Windows title . You lead your tribe in a real-time environment, developing houses, researching technologies and hunting for food, helping them to grow and explore the ruined city.
This game made me smile, it’s just been released by RealNetworks and I was drawn in by the odd name and lovely isometric graphics. Essentially it is a food service game, whereby you have to serve customers the correct orders to keep them happy. However, there is a storyline as well; you play a young girl who has to help support her boyfriend while he looks for a job.
Developer: RealNetworks APAC
Download: App Store
A classic in the world of computer games, Sim City has been available on the iPhone for the last year and has made the transition to the handheld reasonably well. Build and manage your city, face natural disasters and keep your residents happy.
I’ve included this one at the end just because it’s a game I used to play as a child. For those of you not fortunate enough to have played this classic, the aim is simple; you must guide your family across the US to Oregon, ensuring they all stay healthy, while completing mini-games and facing challenges along the way.
Dragon Slaughter III is a bit of a weird game, not least because there doesn’t seem to be a Dragon Slaughter I or II, but also because it is more of a Tower Defence game. There are 10 different maps available across two game modes and also 3 difficulty levels to complete.
One of the most instantly recognisable PC game titles for anyone who was around in the 1990s, Command and Conquer Red Alert made it to the iPhone last year. Cold War action pits the Soviets against the Allies across 12 levels in campaign mode and there is the ability to buy extra maps and an entire expansion pack from within the app.
Award winning Warfare Incorporated raises the bar when it comes to RTS games. With 41 single and multiplayer missions built into the app, there are over 350 add-on missions that you can download. Unlike C&C, online multiplayer works worldwide on Wi-fi and 3G and you can even create your own maps to battle on using the PC based mission editor.
I know this is another Gameloft app, but I really love The Settlers. Take one look at the fantastic graphics and you will see why; it just looks brilliant. An adaption of the PC Game, you control settlers to a new land, collecting raw materials, building houses and trying to take over territory.
Adventure & Role Playing Games
Square Enix are makes of arguably the best RPG ever in the Final Fantasy series and they have now brought their talents to a brand new game just for the iPhone/iPod. In Chaos Rings you must take part in a fighting tournament called the Ark Arena, controlling both a male and female character against other pairs of fighters.
For those of you who love classic looking RPGs, look no further than Undercroft. You control a group of adventurers who must take on a mysterious evil that has risen from a graveyard. Each character has unique abilities that will help you take on over 60 types of enemies and you head towards the graveyard to confront your fate.
Coming from Gameloft, perhaps the most seasoned of iPhone developers, Dungeon Hunter is almost guaranteed to be a hit and, thankfully, it is. Creating your own character, you take them on an epic quest through a fantasy world, fighting many mythical beasts as you complete quests and missions across the kingdom of Gothicus.
A slightly different RPG is that of Tap Farm, part strategy game, part role playing game. You play a farmer who must decide what to grow in order to harvest, make money and build up your estate.The more you grow, the more you can sell and the more money you can make.
A Japanese adaptation of an English classic is sure to raise eyebrows, especially as all my screenshots below are in Japanese. However, please be assured that this game has been translated to English! So, to the game… You play as Watson who has been accompanying Holmes on a trip to the country.
Self proclaimed as the first Touch Action RPG in the App Store, Legend of Feanor is a colourful little game with an action-packed storyline. Create your own customised character and battle your way through the lengthy adventure, learning new skills and earning gold along the way.
With all the hype surrounding the movie, it is no wonder that the Avatar team got round to releasing an iPhone game. Sporting some of the best graphics on the iPhone, along with a 3rd person camera, you play the first experimental avatar in a story set two decades before the movie.
For those of you here who are old enough, you may remember when Broken Sword: Shadow of the Templars was released on the PC back in 1996. Well this is essentially the same game, albeit with some extra storyline and lovely hand-drawn illustrations and animations.
Kingdom Live is another one of those text based, RPG-style games by Storm8. Boasting over 1.5 million players, the game is entirely text based. You win money from other players for winning fights against them. Use the money to buy weapons, armour and spells in order to fight, or form businesses in order to generate an income.
Card & Word Games
The classic word-game Scrabble came to the iPhone last year and contains all of the features you would expect from one of the most popular games ever made. Play solo or with your mates on Wi-Fi multiplayer or your Facebook account.
Word search apps are one of the most common genres of game on the iPhone and users are spoilt for choice with the different types and styles that are available. My personal favourite is Word Search Ultimate Edition from Renato Pessanha.
The NY Times Crosswords app brings over 4,000 crossword puzzles to your iPhone on a subscription basis. You can answer the questions on the crossword grid or directly on the clues list, bringing a new approach to the crossword puzzle.
Another classic game that has made the move to the iPhone is Boggle. The game is simple – you are given a random grid of 16 letters and must then make as many words as you can within a set time. Drag your finger over the letters to create words or shake your iPhone to reset the board.
Last, but by no means least is Bubbleword, a clever little word puzzle from Vaibhav Electronics. The aim is to find all the words that can possibly be made from 6 letters before the bubbles rise to the surface and the game ends.
McSolitaire Gold contains arguably the most gorgeous graphics and animations ever seen on a card game. Originally developed as an Mac game back in 2001, McSolitaire has been beautifully ported to the iPhone and has lost none of it’s original charm.
The iPhone version of the popular card game could be criticised for its slightly expensive price tag, however, as it is brought to you by Gameloft, you are paying for quality. The animations are great and the gameplay makes for a very enjoyable card game.
Sword & Poker 2 somehow manages to mix Poker and an RPG and come up with a quite brilliant game. Following on from the story in Sword & Poker, this sequel sees the warrior set out on a new quest, exploring a magical world of cards. Battle against enemies by forming poker hands, the better the hand the more damage you do.
Arcade & Racing Games
Mad Car is a colourful top-down driving game where you cause carnage (and gain points) by shooting cars, pedestrians and police officers while avoiding crashing into anything. Cleverly using the iPhone’s motion sensor (shake iPhone to jump) along with the standard D-Pad controls, the game is a non-stop action packed shooter testing your ability to drive and shoot accurately.
Another game in the stunt-bike/racing genre, Uphill Rush combines stunning cartoon environments with the iPhone’s clever control system. Jump through hoops and collect coins to progress through the 8 different cups and both versus and time-trial game modes.
An excellent port of one of the best console driving games, Need for Speed Shift gives you fantastic graphics, licensed cars and Wi-Fi multiplayer. Take control of one of 20 fully licensed cars, across one of 18 tracks in both Quick Play and Career Mode.
To keep things as varied as possible, I thought I would include this waterside racer based on the Barclaycard TV advert. Controls are simple, you tilt the iPhone left and right to steer yourself down the waterside, collecting points along the way while trying to beat your previous time.
DrawRace is a game where you race by drawing (funny that…) your route around the track with your finger. As we are seeing more of lately, the game has beautiful graphics and with 20 beautiful levels, including a multiplayer, there is a lot to like about the game.
One of those game titles that may confuse you, or make you wonder why a rat would be on a scooter, Rat on a Scooter XL is incredibly addictive. With cute graphics and the simple aim of performing stunts across the platform race course, developers Donut Games have made such a basic game one of the most enjoyable pick-up-and-play games on the iPhone.
Waldo, or Wally as he is also known, is the world’s best hider in the game of hide-and-seek. Featuring 12 magical worlds and hundreds of items to find, this game has beautiful graphics and plenty to keep you occupied on a boring day at the office.
Everyone’s favourite bandicoot came to the iPhone almost two years ago at $9.99 which some may have said was a little too expensive for a basic karting game, however, since the price drop to just $2.99, you have to ask yourself what is stopping you.
Harking back to the good old days of Empire Soccer ’94 (anyone else remember this?) Goals! Pro is the epitome of classic top-down soccer games. Even going as far as to feature an arcade style interface with a joystick and red and blue buttons Goals! Pro is a slick, fast-paced game that quickly becomes addictive once you have mastered the, slightly fiddly, control system.
For those of you familiar with Kitten Cannon style games, Hotdog Down a Hallway is just a title stating the obvious. Your aim is to fire a hotdog down a hallway avoiding items which slow you down, like Crabs, while trying to land on items which will extend your flight, such as fans and plant leaves.
40 More iPhone.AppStorm Recommended Games
Here’s a selection of forty more varied games that we’ve tried, tested, and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend! These cover a number of different categories, and will keep you playing for hours and hours.
When all 6 store reviews for a new app rate it five stars, we really do have to include it in our weekly roundup. WordCrasher is a beautifully colourful word game from Kevin Ng. As letters fall and pile up at the bottom of the screen, you must make words in order to remove them.
Battle Blasters is an ingenious little shooting game. Take on enemies in the one-on-one battle campaigns and fire shots by swiping your finger on the screen in the direction you wish to aim. The beautiful retro graphics are a joy to behold and bring the game to life. What makes this game different from other shooting games though, is that you can play two-player using the same phone.
Sailing may not sound that interesting to you, but Sailboat Championship is actually a fun and challenging little app. The graphics are crisp and the gameplay is addictive as you take on the role of steersman, yachtsman or skipper and race against the clock to win races and complete challenges.
Take the role of the lead character and battle your way through gladiatorial fights against enemies from the show. There are numerous characters to unlock and Wi-Fi/Bluetooth multiplayer modes, which should give the game some longevity. Unfortunately the price of TV tie-ins generally fail to reflect the quality of the game and judging by the graphics and some dodgy reviews this could be another poor spin-off.
Generating some favourable reviews in online forums, InfiWorks’ Apache Killer is a solid side scrolling shooter where you play a helicopter attacking a range of enemies, from tanks and cars, to other planes. The game can be controlled by touchpad or the iPhone’s tilt sensors and the challenge of beating your high score will make you keep wanting to come back for more.
Developer: InfiWorks Inc.
Download: App Store
Skydive and Jetpack your way through 16 challenging levels in the new game from dssDigital. The game comes with 4 different modes of gameplay and each mode has 4 levels. Lovely retro graphics give you something to look at but the control system feels a little fiddly.
For those of you who like a little cartoon carnage in your lives, Doodle Army should satisfy your cravings as wave after wave of stick men get mown down with one of your 25 weapons. Controls seem simple enough and there are 4 battlezones to make your way through.
From Sims genius Will Wright comes this DS and iPhone spinoff of Spore. For those of you familiar with the PC Version, Spore is essentially a God Game where you control the evolution of your creature, avoid getting killed and complete 20 colourful levels across 4 different zones.
Although billed as “free”, Anrufen Online is actually an MMORPG and one that does really require paying the subscription if you wish to get the most out of it. Personally I feel there could be more MMORPG games on the iPhone, they’re generally quite easy to play on the move and this one features lovely isometric graphics.
A simple idea (and a reused one from a company who also developed Aussie Rules and Rugby versions of the game) but incredibly well executed. It’s a little bit like Paper Toss but with a football, however you can also curve your kick with a clever flick.
Gameloft seem to be churning out games faster than we can write these posts, and this week brings another new release with GT Racing: Motor Academy. Sort of like a Gran Turismo on the iPhone, GT Racing features more than 100 licensed cars and 14 tracks, with the ability to upgrade and customise your cars.
Valet Hero is another of those line drawing games where you have to move vehicles around without them hitting each other. The graphics are beautiful, the gameplay is challenging but not boring and there is enough to keep you going on a long journey.
An Assassin in Orlandes is the first in a series of interactive fantasy gamebooks from developers Tin Man Games. Make decisions to influence how the game plays out and solve the mystery of the Assassin in Orlandes. A clever concept with a brand new story could make this game a top seller.
For those of you familiar with the ridiculous Japanese game show “Hole in the Wall”, this game from Savy Soda will look instantly recognisable. The aim is to line yourself up with holes in a wall that is moving towards you before the time limit runs out and the wall knocks you into the water.
An iPhone port of the popular online ESPN game, your objective is to defend your end zone by tackling the running back before he makes a touchdown. Dodge blockers, pick up speed boosts and unlock new moves to ensure you take him down before he scores.
I don’t know about you, but I like my games simple and addictive. White Lines from Big Mouse Media fits the bill perfectly, providing an excellent game to test your memory skills. The premise is simple, watch the lines drawn on the screen and then redraw them in the same sequence.
We just missed the boat in our last “New Games” roundup with the release of Final Fantasy coming a day after the deadline, so we have included it this time around. For those of you unfamiliar with the Final Fantasy series, Square Enix have ported their original 1980s Final Fantasy I & II releases to the iPhone.
A tower defence game with a difference, Attack of the Titans is set in Ancient Greece where the Titans have unleashed war against the Gods of Olympus. Using 5 upgradeable Gods you must defend against the Titans’ minions across 15 levels, facing up to a number of different enemies including gorgons and flying harpies.
A sequel to the hugely popular Line Up, Line Up 2 adds a few new features to one of the best block clearing games on the iPhone. Simply click on blocks of three or more identical colours to clear them and try and keep the tower from overflowing the board. It’s a very simple game to pick up and is addictive as well as completely free!
Download: App Store
Sometimes a game comes along that just makes you smile while your playing, Tilt to Live is one such example of this. Using the built in Accelerometer, you tilt the iPhone to steer your arrow away from the red balls that chase you round the screen, while collecting power-ups to blow them up. It’s fast-paced, frenetic and a whole lot of fun.
Eagerly anticipated by any Tony Hawk fan was the release of Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 to the iPhone last week. For those of you who remember playing this console classic, the iPhone version should seem instantly familiar as it uses the same maps as the original.
I speak for all hockey fans when I say that we haven’t had a proper game on the iPhone that is actually remotely comparable to any of the console games around at the moment. Hockey Nations 2010 is the first game that actually tries to tackle the genre and comes away with a pretty enjoyable game.
Something a little different is the Claude Monet Jigsaw Puzzles app, featuring 40 of Monet’s masterpieces in jigsaw form. There are 3 different levels for each puzzle of 28, 54 and 70 pieces along with a gallery and biography of Monet.
I take my hat off to Dan Hassin, creator of one of the most innovative games on the iPhone. Using nothing more than the Wikipedia website, the aim of the game is to find the shortest route between two given articles. You can either have a go at the ones the game suggests, or create your own.
Creepy survival horror game Vampire Origins pits you as Vincent the Vampire Hunter against the legions of the undead. Taking Vincent through one of two different game modes you must take on the vampire hordes in order to get revenge for the murder of your bride.
For those of you unfamiliar with the original MiniSquadron, it’s brilliant. A fantastic little airplane shooter that is fun to play as well as challenging enough to make you keep coming back for more. This special edition features two free levels, along with the ability to purchase 6 extra levels in packs of 2 for 99c each.
Everyone’s favourite blue hedgehog returns in his second iPhone outing, featuring the introduction of Tails as his sidekick. The iPhone version stays faithful to the original and features 19 acts across 11 different zones, of course including the classic Special Stages to obtain the Chaos Emeralds.
Currently on an introductory half-price sale, Fast and Furious Adrenaline is an underground street racing game based upon the movie franchise of the same name. Features 35 cars along with the added ability to upgrade them, you race against other crews in turf wars, winning races in order to conquer their turf.
Brainphant’s first iPhone app is the top-down helicopter shooter Vertigo Rogue. Placing you as an ex-con mercenary, you fly as a hitman through 38 varied missions, causing destruction as you go. There are 8 different weapons to master and strangely a 3D mode for those of you with 3D glasses who want to experience true vertigo.
Bright, colourful and somewhat crazy, Freaking Inkies is a lovely little shooter game from Atakama Labs. Utilising a clever control system combining the iPhone’s Tilt and Multitouch features, you must get rid of the colourful Inkies by shooting them with the correct colour paint.
For those of you who aren’t fans of FIFA, X2 Soccer provides a more arcade-style approach to an iPhone soccer game. There are over 250 club teams and 30 competitions to compete in, along with a fantastic new Dream Team mode where you must build the best team in the world by competing in matches and tournaments to win tokens, which can be exchanged for players.
A new release for children and families this week is “Where’s Panda?”, a game that is essentially Where’s Waldo, but with a panda. Cutesy graphics and simple gameplay make this perfect for distracting young children with while you get some rest in the afternoons.
After the success of the original Crash Bandicoot release, Activision have done the incredibly clever thing and brought us a sequel. Race as one of 10 characters on 12 new tracks, the game features all of the powerups and crazy racing you would expect to see in a Crash Bandicoot game.
Something slightly more innovative is textRace from textPlus Labs. The game challenges you to type sentences quickly as you face 28 different missions, each slightly more challenging than the previous one. Also featuring a training mode and the ability to pit yourself against the current world record, there is certainly a good lifespan to this game.
I say time and time again that I love something a little different and so last this week, but by no means least, is Bowmaster. In the game you take control of a bowman aspiring to become leader of the Merry Five. Take on 5 levels of one-on-one archery by dragging your fingers across the screen to aim and fire the bow.
Likened to a version of Fallout for the iPhone, Xenome is a 3rd person action game, featuring one of the biggest game worlds on the platform. You play a soldier who has been reactivated from cryo-stasis after 250 years, trying to find out who you are as two warring factions battle for your allegiance.
I love puzzle games which have enough levels to keep me occupied for more than 20 minutes before I’m either bored or have completed the game. Thankfully, Mummy Panic is one such game, with over 50 levels providing a lengthy lifespan and also a game that you can pick up and play when you have 5 minutes spare.
For those of you who have played the PC/Mac version of Monkey Island, the iPhone version should look very familiar. Featuring some of the best graphics seen on the iPhone, you once again take control of wannabe pirate, Guybrush Threepwood as you play through one of the classic Monkey Island games, reworked for the iPhone.
Rhythm Spirit, a rhythm based fighting game is one of the more intuitive games I have seen from the App Store in the last few weeks. Sort of like a mixture between TapTap Revenge and Street Fighter, you must tap the attack buttons in time with the music in order to defeat your enemy.