As someone on the verge of discarding my laptop PC altogether (iPads just need a good version of Photoshop!), I have been spending a lot of my time using my iPad – and have found that (combined with an iPhone) means it has come to replace any need for a Playstation as well.
Here is my Top 10 iPad and iPhone games of all time. As well as being about game quality and general ‘fun-ness’, you’ll find all of these games are an absolute steal at less than three quid.
1) Monkey Island 2: Special Edition – ( £2.99)
This was already my favourite game on any platform (I was still playing it, emulated on my laptop just a year or two ago) – the remastered version on iPad is even better. A classic adventure game from LucasArts (RIP), guide pirate Guybrush Threepwood on his quest to uncover the secret of Big Whoop – a long lost treasure. The puzzles are brilliant, the humour fantastic and the gameplay unparalleled. It is hard too, so you won’t clock it in an hour either. The iPad version completely remasters the 1991 graphics to the modern world, as it does with the full orchestral soundtrack. Adventure games work perfectly on touch screens.
2) New Star Soccer (0.69p)
The fact that this game only costs 69p is nearly criminal – it has swallowed more hours of my life on my iPhone or iPad than all the games on this list combined (it was also What Mobile’s game of the year for 2012). Take your player from the minor leagues of football all the way to the World Cup final using the simplest of controls. The game runs itself until it’s time for your player to intervene – either by intercepting, passing or scoring. The intricacies of aiming, curling and lobbing will keep you engrossed for hours.
3) Ski Safari ( £1.99)
A perfect hybrid of endless runners (such as Jetpack Joyride) and Tiny Wings, you slide your skier down the slopes, jumping and doing flips to increase speed while avoiding obstacles (and keeping your speed up – an avalanche chases you). Why Safari? Because you can use the animal you meet flying down the slope to help – wolves let you ride them, penguins slide on them and even Yeti’s will give you a boost. Incredibly addictive.
4) Galaxy on Fire 2 (Free)
For anyone that played space sims such as Wing Commander Privateer or Elite, this is gaming nirvana. Take your space ship and explore the galaxy as you will – you can either follow the story line (which is a bit cliched), ship cargo for profit or become a mercenary. The graphics are stunning and the gameplay works well on an iPad. This is another game that will swallow your life upgrading your ship and making obscene profits on the black market.
5) Draw Race 2 ( £1.99)
A concept so ridiculously simple, you’ll wonder why no one thought of it early. A top down viewing racer, you simply draw on the screen the path you want your vehicle to follow, quick lines speed up, slow, fat ones brake. Learning the different vehicles, tracks and enemies will see you pulling out your hair trying to clock some of the harder levels.
6) Bastion ( £2.99)
This game has won so many awards it’s a no brainer. An isometric hack and slash RPG game in the vein of Diablo, but with beautiful hand painted backgrounds, and a running commentary of your actions makes for an incredible atmosphere. The game seems simple, but the story, intricate levels and secrets will keep pulling you back in.
7) Super Monsters Ate My Condo (free)
This is pretty much a Tetris for the ADD generation, crossed with Jenga. As condos fall for the sky, align them into single colour combinations (with other special powered condos), while simultaneously swapping out the condos you don’t want by feeding the giant monsters on either side of the tower (who are usually pretty grumpy and won’t hesitate to kick your tower over). Pull together as many combos and specials (including using the monsters own powers) as you can in 3 minutes. This is pretty much the ultimate ‘in transit’ game.
8) The Room ( £1.49)
At first glance it doesn’t look amazing. A giant empty room with a puzzle box in it. Open the puzzle box, and another is revealed. What is impressive is the awesome audio-visual atmosphere, and the loving intricacies of the puzzles. The only problem is that it’s a bit too easy – most will clock it in around 3 hours. A fantastic show case for how touch screens can be used, and a British game too.
9) The Walking Dead (Free, then £1.99 per episode)
This one picked up the best mobile game at the BAFTAs, and fair enough. A modern 3D rendered adventure game, you have to survive a series of scenarios that keep you and those in your care safe from zombies. The fact that the choices you make (sacrificing one person for another, for example) stick with you throughout the game’s multiple paths make this a winner. It does have some camera issues and a sometimes clunky interface, but an engrossing story keeps you coming back for just one more episode.
10) Zookeeper (free)
A very underrated Japanese puzzle game that is great in short bursts on your iPhone or iPad. Similar to Bejewelled, you have to align various blocks to make them explode and earn points. Where Zookeeper changes this is that the titular character will demand a certain number of each type of animal (so 13 lion lines, and 8 hippo lines). It doesn’t seem like much, but is incredibly addictive and superior to Bejewelled.