With the mobile marketplace blowing up, there are more fantastic iPhone games available now than ever before. But, by the same ticket, there are also a lot more games out there there that probably aren’t worth your time or the precious megabytes they consume. So, to help you wade through all the freemium rubbish and candy-swapping knockoffs, we’ve put together this list of 10 games that are sure to up the entertainment value of your iPhone.
10. Cut the Rope
This game is a great choice for both casual and hardcore gamers alike. Cut the Rope makes excellent use of the iPhone’s touch-screen controls to create an insanely fun and addictive puzzle game. Gameplay consists of using your finger to cut various ropes in an attempt to get a piece of candy to fall into the mouth of a little green monster named Om Nom. As you advance to higher levels, more and more elements are added to the levels so the game always has a fresh feel even after playing for days. Gamers of a more casual nature will enjoy the simple pick up and play quality as well as the cute little monster theme, while hardcore gamers will be consumed by the numerous levels (over 200) and skill testing challenges. Overall, Cut the Rope is a charmingly addictive puzzler with unique gameplay and clever level designs.
In Hoplite, players take on the role of a knightly character armed with a sword, a spear, and specific set of chess-like moves to get around each level. Enemies in the game also have particular ways they can move and attack that you will need to remember and adapt to if you want to survive. The game is also virtually void of any real storyline—all you know is that you need to clear the 16th floor of a hellish lava-filled landscape in order to beat the game.
At its core, Hoplite is a no-nonsense turn-based tactical action game that refuses to coddle players by giving them things like tips and useful tactics. But it also involves a great deal of strategy and is tons of fun once you fully understand how to play.
8. Hitman GO
Rather than featuring all the stealth action gameplay the Hitman series in known for, Hitman GO plays more like an assassination board game complete with a turn-based combat system that allows players to don various disguises and set carefully planned traps to take out targets. Although you can’t roam around an open world and stakeout your marks at museums or nightclubs like you would in other Hitman games, the board game aesthetic does provide a bunch of smartly designed puzzles that become increasingly complex and lengthy as you progress. Besides, it’s always fun to watch one board game piece murder another board game piece.
7. Device 6
Device 6 is an outstanding example of the kind of unique gaming experience you can only get on a mobile platform. The game is a text-based adventure that combines murder-mystery elements with the look of a ’60s spy movie and a cool jazz soundtrack. The result is a completely novel and polished puzzle experience that has you rotating your phone at every conceivable angle so you can better follow maps and analyze clues. However, the game’s greatest triumph is the way it uses its text as both a narrative and as geography. By limiting the use of illustrations and sound effects, players are able to really become engrossed in this truly thought-provoking story.
6. Drop 7
Drop 7 is a numerical puzzle game that can probably best best be described as Sudoku meets Tetris. The idea is, as falling number tokens land on a 7 x 7 grid, you need to make them disappear by matching the number of vertical or horizontal spaces with the digit. It might sound boring and abstract but it’s actually a lot of fun and quite addictive, especially when you start pulling off chain combos by reducing the number of tokens in a row or column to match the numbers on other tokens. This is an intelligent puzzle game with a great concept and consistent logic that makes even incredibly challenging situations seem solvable. No puzzle fan should miss out on this one.
5. 80 Days
If you’re looking for an amazing interactive fiction experience on the iPhone, then look no further than 80 Days. Loosely based on the classic Jules Verne novel Around the World in Eighty Days, the game takes place in the year 1872 where Phileas Fogg has just undertaken a wager to circumnavigate the globe in 80 days or less. However, unlike the original work, the story in the game is set in a magical Steampunk world full of massive moving cities, submersible sea trains, and mechanical camels. As Fogg’s valet, it’s your job to pack the luggage, negotiate fair prices for goods, and plan the itinerary for your grand adventure.
Although a single play through of the game might have you visiting 15 or 20 different locations, there are a total of 150 cities you can explore, and each of them contain their own unique set of side quests and encounters to keep you playing.
Whether you travel by boat, airship, or even the Orient Express, you’ll surely have a fun time seeing the world in 80 days.
4. Super Hexagon
Super Hexagon is a fast-paced game that’s all about survival. As a pattern of geometric shapes rush towards the center of the screen to the tune of some pulsating beats, it’s your job to swerve out of the way and dodge them. If you don’t, you’ll die. And you will die—most likely in seconds, but if you get really good you might manage to survive over a minute. The gameplay combined with the soundtrack makes the game hypnotically addictive, and the increasing level of difficulty with each stage makes it an incredibly challenging and rewarding experience. Super Hexagon nails the criteria for a great mobile game in that it’s fast, fun, and infinitely replayable.
3. Ridiculous Fishing: A Tale of Redemption
Let’s face it, real life fishing can get pretty boring sometimes with all that patience and waiting around hoping for a fish to take your bait. Thankfully, Ridiculous Fishing spices the pastime up a bit by adding a huge arsenal of automatic firearms and explosives to help you land that big catch. Just cast your line out and tilt your phone to lower your hook and lure as many fish as you can from the depths below. Then, once those unsuspecting little suckers reach the surface, rack up the points by blowing them away in hail of gunfire.
The merits of this game are obvious. Ridiculous Fishing is ridiculous fun.
This simple little game is so fun and addictive that it’s spawned hundreds of cheap knockoffs on the App Store. Essentially, Threes! is a puzzle game where you swipe numerical blocks in one of four directions in an attempt to place two like numbers side-by-side so they combine to create their sum. It sounds easy enough, but the difficulty quickly escalates and you soon find yourself forming new strategies and techniques in your mind to try and attain the highest score possible.
Threes! is a superbly designed game made all the more wonderful by its appealing aesthetic and delightful music. It’s the perfect mobile game you can play for either a few seconds at a time or hours on end. Basically, if you have Threes! on your phone and need to kill some time, you can consider that time murdered—in the most brutal way imaginable.
Even if you’re not really into strategy card games, you should probably still go ahead and get Hearthstone on your iPhone. Constructing your very own custom deck and challenging other players around the world is incredibly fun. And if you even don’t have all the best cards, you can still win and rank up because the game doesn’t rely on complicated rule interactions to separate skilled players from not so skilled players. Everything about the game is immensely satisfying, from the way cards interact and smash into each other during combat, to the addictive way new cards are earned and crafted in your library. Best of all, it’s completely free to download and every card in the game can be obtained without spending any real money. Although if you actually hope to unlock all the cards without paying anything you had better start playing now.