The days where I used to visit arcades over and over again to get my gaming thrills may be long gone, but that doesn’t mean the thrills themselves have left. These iOS apps translate the arcade experience to the palm of your hand and even offer new, potentially more exiting games, too.
In this roundup, I’m going to highlight 11 apps that are arcade essentials. I use that term loosely, but for an arcade lover such as myself, I find these games impossible to be without.
The much-loved avians of the mobile world extend beyond terrestrial boundaries to create one of the most enjoyable games available for any device. Physics is turned on its head when you realise birds aren’t constrained by gravity or any sort of resistance until entering a planet’s orbit, and yet you still are tasked with putting an end to the pigs’ thieving habits. Brand new birds with new abilities have also been added to the game.
The app requires a little more thought now that these new elements have been brought into play. What still remains that was in all of the hits so far is that same loveable Angry Birds gameplay which keeps you rooted in place for an indefinite period of time.
This game takes you on a trip down memory lane and lets you rediscover the arcade-style fighting most of us have experienced at some time or another. A much loved classic, Marvel vs. Capcom 2 contains 56 characters, including all your favourite heroes and villans from each franchise.
The games graphics and audio have something to be desired, as it seems like a straight port from the original. There is, however, a new control method that simplifies gameplay with only four buttons to press as opposed to the classic six. This is a cheap nostalgic journey which will entertain you thoroughly.
Some birds just weren’t meant to fly. In tiny wings, you play the part of a young bird who needs to take off and get the highest score possible by flying well and high using hills to speed yourself up and as ramps. You only have until night falls however, so it’s a race against the clock!
It’s a simple idea and the only control is tapping the screen to add gravity. This is a surprisingly addictive game and I thoroughly recommend it.
Featuring a great collection of well-designed levels, Cut the Rope: Experiments is the latest expansion in the journey of candy-eating monster Om Nom. By simply cutting the rope and manipulating your environment with the tools given, you need to collect stars and make sure Om Nom gets his candy.
This game is a whole bunch of fun to play, mostly because of the brain-teasers that pop up now and then. It can get tough, but not tough enough that you throw your iPhone on the ground screaming.
An iconic app that releases the ninja within everyone, Fruit Ninja is a great way to destroy those items of fruit you’d rather be without.
Being an arcade-style game, it’s only fitting that there’s also an arcade mode for you to cut your way through. The gameplay is simple, fun and intuitive; anyone can pick it up, play and have a good time. There are also lots of added extras such as different backdrops and slice trails, so you’ll be sure to get your money’s worth.
A childish but great game, Whale Trail uses similar mechanics to Tiny Wings to bring about a great gaming experience. You have tons of stages to get through while you collect bubbles along the way.
I’ve found the game to be incredibly addicting like a lot of the games in this roundup. There are two game modes, endurance and challenge, which each offer an enjoyable ride. On first impression, this game seems to be designed for a younger age group, but with progression you’ll come to love the comical nature of the app.
For those of you who can’t get enough of our fine feathered friends, this ever-changing app is a compilation of over 290 levels unique to the game that pose more pig-pummeling fun.
With more golden eggs to collect and seasonal relevance, this is a pleasing set of puzzles that will no doubt captivate you for a while. The levels can get pretty tough at times, so you’ll have to show some resilience if you want to hit that three-star maximum in every stage!
I’m a huge basketball fan, however this app will please just about anyone (unless you REALLY hate basketball). The app is simple fun that lets you fulfil any childhood aspirations you had to win a Sprite Slam Dunk Contest.
Forget layups, because you’ll be slam-dunking all night! The app’s Time Attack, Arcade and Sudden Death game modes are all packed with many moons of fun, not to mention all the tricks and combos you can pull off.
I used to love playing Virtua Tennis in the arcade. Last time I remember, I stood for two hours playing through the whole championship mode because it was so enjoyable. It may not be the same without a joystick and two buttons, but it’s sure worth the money.
This game allows you to escalate up the world rankings while taking on some fabricated big names in tennis. The personalisation of your own character, playing style and other details really involves you in the game. I’m still happily playing through the world tour and have no complaints as of yet.
What could be called the iOS version of Tron, LightBike 2 is a simple game where you need to knock other players off their bikes using streams of solid light that come from behind. It’s a very simple concept, but there are lots of different ways of going about it. With added extras such as power-ups and online multiplayer, there’s some fun to be had here.
What an awesome classic to end on. Tetris is one of those things that was born but never seems to die. Its addictive and challenging gameplay has drawn millions and millions to have a go at cracking this phenomenon. There’s not much to say about the gameplay apart from it’s that same old loveable Tetris. A must-have.
Do you have any favorite arcade-style apps? Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments!