As a keen gamer and tech fan, I love the fact that mobile gaming just keeps getting better. What better way to use up those long hours stuck on the train playing the top iPhone games out there. From waiting in the Doctors surgery, or simply some spare time, than making the most of your mobile’s myriad of magnificent, mystifying, or just plain manic games?
With games continuing to lead the way for most popular apps and the simplicity of downloading fantastic freebies in the app stores mean you can try plenty of different games until you find one (or a few) that you want to see through to the end. As an iPhone owner, I find myself constantly downloading games, holding onto the real gems and simply deleting those that don’t float my boat. However, if you don’t have time to be sifting through all the dross, then maybe this quick guide to my current favourite games for iOS could help…
**This week I have been mostly playing…
Take two words, put them together and see if you can make an addictive game out of it. This might well have been the thought process that went into creating Gamenauts’ Ninja Fishing. Luckily they’ve managed to create a great little game that hits the sweet spot of addictive “level-up” gameplay, while still being simple enough for a quick go on the bus. The premise is simple, cast your line, get as deep as you can while avoiding the fish and then grab as many as possible on the way back up. Once you reach the surface, it’s time to get Ninja-ing. Slice up the fish – in a style much the same as the smash hit game “Fruit Ninja” – and earn coins that can later be transferred into power-ups.
Thankfully the creators have made sure all the fish look really angry, so you can feel less bad about cutting a sea turtle in half.
Addictiveness – 5 out of 5 – good luck reaching the bottom of the ocean
Still a firm favourite of my own and many in the office, Halfbrick’s Jetpack Joyride is mobile gaming simplicity at its finest. You’re a guy called Barry, trying to steal a jetpack; you might imagine escaping in said jetpack would be easy – wrong! Dodging missiles, laser beams and zappers you have but one control – touch anywhere on the screen to activate the jetpack, release to turn it off. Again, you’ll be picking up coins along the way allowing you to trick out and customise Barry and the jetpack to your heart’s content. With a constant stream of challenges to level yourself up and an ever increasing desire to set fire to helpless scientists, this is one game that anyone would find hard to put down.
Addictiveness – 5 out of 5 – simple, pick up and play and put down again… if you can
This is one for the true gamer with time to kill. Grand Theft Auto 3, ported in its full originally glory from PS2 to iOS; it doesn’t disappoint. The controls could well have let it down – translating the complexity of a gaming pad or full keyboard onto the touchscreen of a smartphone can’t be easy. Somehow, Rockstar have managed it, making running around Liberty City, stealing cars and performing heists for the mob a simple, intuitive affair. Add to that fantastic graphics and the full original soundtrack and you’re left with a true gamer’s game. Forget cutting apples and throwing birds at pigs – this is proper gaming on the go. Bear in mind this is one for the older audience and is rated 17+.
Addictiveness – 4 out of 5 – you just won’t always have the time needed!
Wordfeud/Words with Friends
As something of a scrabble player, I was delighted to be asked by a few members of my family to download Bertheussen IT’s Wordfeud app for a few bouts. The game is based on the aforementioned boardgame, and what makes it and other word games such as “Words with Friends” such great fun is their multiplayer approach. What’s great is Wordfeud is operating system agnostic – so those on iOS can play friends on Android or Windows Phone. You can opt to play against a random opponent, or choose a friend to battle your wordy wits against. You then have up to 3 days to make your move… failure to do so will result in forfeiting the match. It’s simple, intelligent gaming.
Plus, being able to beat family members from afar gives you a nice smug sense of satisfaction. Get ready for some arguments about what Qi, Xi, Qat and Baobabs mean.
Addictiveness – 3 out of 5 – great fun but you can be waiting on friends to take their turn
Tiger Woods 2012
I am literally rubbish at golf. I can hold a club, I can see the ball, yet somehow I can’t seem to send the thing flying miles in the direction of the pin. Instead it either wobbles off its tee, or clunks off sideways, spinning wildly like a possessed hummingbird into a tree. EA’s Tiger Woods 2012 allows me to live the dream of being able to accurately hit a golf ball with a club. In fact, if I could only get this to translate into real life, I’d be beating Tiger Woods and all the rest of them hands down and making a pretty packet out of it too. The game has all the usual elements: tournaments, challenges, upgrades, character customization, multiplayer, great graphics and some nice ambient sounds. It’s like you’re really there, but with the added benefit of not having to wear those silly clothes.
Addictiveness 3 out of 5 – fantastic but the challenge can wear thin once you’re upgraded
Not quite my top iPhone games but currently on my phone…
Other games worth a mention that didn’t quite make it this time – Street Fighter IV Volt, Angry Birds (of course), Zombie Smash, iSlash, Toy Balls, Metal Storm, Temple Run, Crazy John (great character name by the way), Zombie Highway, Slam Dunk King (see Tiger Woods, replace golf for basketball), Backbreaker, Star Warfare, Ghost Trick, DoodlePool, Zenonia 4 and Need For Speed Shift 2… phew.
So there you have it, my top iPhone games – a few examples of just how incredible mobile gaming has become. From custom designed mobile games that provide simple, 5-minute, pick up and play gameplay to full-blown, in-depth console game conversions that immerse you in their storyline and quickly whittle away your spare time. As phone hardware continues to improve with bigger memory, larger, crisper screens and faster processors, it’s pretty certain that we’ll continue to see huge advances in games on these super smartphones.
For now, it’s back to work for me… ok, maybe just one more go first.