The best gaming apps for your iOS device this month
Below, we run through the ten best new iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch games released within the past month. All titles are playable on all iOS devices unless otherwise indicated.
Buy from Apple1. The World Ends with You: Solo Remix 97 iPhone 4/4S only*
Action-RPG, $17.99*, ages 9+, from Square Enix
*A separate version for iPads is also available for $19.99
"A love-letter to Japanese youth culture and a staggeringly deep RPG with style in abundance. It's an iOS must have. The high price might give you pause, but do your best to let it slide and enjoy this one; it's unique & very special."
This new iOS port of the 2008 RPG classic for the Nintendo DS retains the Shibuya, Tokyo setting but adds a new soundtrack, control scheme, and improved graphics. Note that the iPhone version will not run on iPads.
From the Publisher: Welcome to Shibuya, a mishmash of attitudes and styles in the heart of Tokyo. A boy named Neku wakes up in a crowded intersection, alone and unaware of how he got there. Then, he receives a weird text: "Clear this mission...or face erasure." With that, Neku is thrust into a life-or-death Game that sends him scrambling down streets paved with one riddle after another... What is the Reaper's Game? Why is Neku a Player, and what is he playing for? Will the Game really end if he survives all 7 days? Another mystery is always around the corner. Square Enix's fresh-faced hit The New York Times called "one of the best role playing games ever designed for anything" has busted onto iOS in a big way, with a slick and addictive new combat system, eye-popping HD art, and (of course) plenty of zetta awesome reasons for longtime fans to double dip.
Buy from Apple2. Mikey Shorts 96
Platformer, $0.99, ages 4+, from BeaverTap Games
"Mikey Shorts is pure retro goodness, all wrapped up in a modern package. While its influences may be visible from space, it doesn't change the fact that this game is pure fun to play."
This retro-styled platformer offers gameplay in two different modes (story and challenge) and six different playing environments.
From the Publisher: RUN, JUMP, and SLIDE through the land to help Mikey Shorts rescue the people! Collect coins to buy fun disguises along the way! Features:
- 72 different levels across 2 game modes
- 6 unique environments
- Choose from over 100 disguises to wear
- Finish a level fast to earn up to 3 stars
- Golden Shorts are hidden in all Story levels
- Race against a ghost of your best score
- Split times at gates show +/- your best score
- Earn achievements both online and offline
- Easy access to Game Center scores
- Quick retry button for restarting a level
- Ability to customize controls
- View various game stats
- New content planned with updates
Buy from Apple3. Organ Trail: Director's Cut 89
Adventure, $2.99, ages 9+, from The Men Who Wear Many Hats
"A weird, wonderful and almost surprisingly expansive experience that will both infuriate and enchant."
Definitely not to be confused with Oregon Trail—though it does utilize '80s-style computer graphics in tribute to that classic game—this Kickstarter-funded project is a zombie survival adventure.
From the Publisher: Organ Trail is a retro zombie survival game. Travel westward in a station wagon with 4 of your friends, scavenging for supplies and fending off the undead. Members of your party might die of dysentery or you might have to put them down yourself when they get bit. Faithfully recreated it as if it were on the Apple 2, Organ Trail offers amazing 16 color art and retro beeps and boops. Packed full of zombie mechanics, themes and references; this is a must have for any zombie survival fans. Created by a small indie team in Chicago, The Men Who Wear Many Hats are very excited to launch with this game as their first commercial product, funded by our Kickstarter fans.
Buy from Apple4. Horn 89
Action-Adventure, $6.99, ages 9+, from Zynga
"Horn is an enormous, beautiful, carefully-constructed game that shows off what iOS devices can do."
An atypically sophisticated game out of casual game giant Zynga, this Zelda-like action-adventure title blends combat and puzzle-solving with a story about the lone human survivor in a village overrun by monsters.
From the Publisher: HORN is a 3rd person action adventure game - a completely unique experience where anyone can fully explore and enjoy a beautiful and engaging console-style world, all controllable by touch gestures. You play as a young blacksmith's apprentice named Horn who wakes up to find your village and lands over run by large fantastic, and sometimes humorous, monsters. It is revealed these creatures are actually the people and animals from your village transformed by a curse, and you alone have the power to free them. On your incredible adventure you carry the loud-mouthed head of one such fantastic creature with you - a somewhat uncooperative and ill-tempered but grudgingly helpful sidekick. Along with this new companion you must use your sword, crossbow, trusty musical horn, and wits to explore the lands, defeat the enemies, and solve puzzles in your quest to undo the curse that engulfs your homeland.
Buy from Apple5. Gasketball 86 iPad only
Sports/action, free, ages 4+, from Mikengreg
"It's a smart iOS game that reduces a sport to its basic elements like this - and an even smarter one that can then turn those elements into something that feels entirely new."
Play HORSE against a friend or the AI—using props, contraptions, and physics-altering trick shots not possible in the real-life version of the game—in a freemium iPad title that offers a decent amount of free content and even more available as an in-app purchase.
From the Publisher: The only game better than basketball! Gasketball is a shot matching basketball game similar to H.O.R.S.E. Challenge your friends online with shots of your own creation. Master over 100 single player levels in 4 unique worlds. Grab a friend and play one-on-one on the same iPad. The world of Gasketball is growing! Mikengreg continue to develop new content, robots and gameplay with regular updates. Stay tuned for more!
Buy from Apple6. One Tap Hero 86
Platformer, $0.99, ages 4+, from Chillingo
"It's precision platforming at its best, with enough charm and ingenuity to win over even the most jaded mobile gamer."
Just one tap lets you jump, climb, and more in this auto-running platformer with puzzle elements.
From the Publisher: Platforming has never felt so simple… An evil wizard has turned your sweetheart into a teddy bear and the only way to save her is to collect stars and use their power to change her back. Time for a top tapping adventure!
- TAP IT Controls couldn't be simpler. Just tap to jump, tap to climb ladders, tap to…do pretty much everything! With these super simple controls this platforming game becomes all about timing and foresight!
- WONDERFUL WORLDS Your adventure will take you to four unique game worlds, each with their own challenges and elements from portals to switches and more! Collect keys along your way to unlock bonus levels.
- RELAXING Sit back and relax with the soothing, melodic soundtrack and sound FX in One Tap Hero. It's perfect for a 5 minute blast or a long gaming session!
Buy from Apple7. Super Mole Escape 85
Action, $0.99, ages 9+, from Adult Swim
"Blessed with instantly appealing gameplay, engaging presentation, and plenty of long-term challenge, Super Mole Escape is a must-have download."
This polished endless runner from the Adult Swim crew offers single-player and head-to-head modes.
From the Publisher: Burrow out of the Big House with power-ups like hammers and rockets, stockpile gems to upgrade abilities (or bribe the judge), and do whatever it takes to stay ahead of the Warden's impressive mustache! Brought to you by Grumpyface Studios and Adult Swim Games, makers of "Bring Me Sandwiches!!" and "Robot Unicorn Attack".
- Seven playable prisoners to unlock with unique play-styles and upgrades
- Gain as much CRAZY-FAST SPEED as you can! Find shortcuts, combo speed boosts, and grab power-ups to out-dig that pesky Warden
- Race alone or compete against friends and random opponents in VERSUS MODE
- Randomized tracks and environments provide a unique experience EVERY time you play -- with thousands of combinations!
- Customizable Tilt or Touch controls for precision digging
- GameCenter support for Leaderboards and Achievements
- Universal app works on your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch
- Retina-enhanced graphics for the new iPad
- Spin the JUDGMENT WHEEL to change your fate… and earn extra prizes!
- iCade compatibility included
Buy from Apple8. Lost Cities 85
Board game, $3.99, ages 4+, from TheCodingMonkeys
"This is a fantastic game. It is even easier to play than the original board game, although the concept is the same. Think of it as a twist on solitaire, only you don't have to play this game alone."
This strategic two-player card game (with AI or human opponents) is brought to iOS from the makers of hit app Carcassonne.
From the Publisher: Lost Cities by the world-renowned board-game author Reiner Knizia takes you on a journey to undiscovered countries and mythical places. Compete against a friend, a stranger or one of 4 different computer players, in what has been called a "two player Solitaire with an extra portion of suspense". Designed and polished for the iPhone by TheCodingMonkeys, makers of Carcassonne for iOS.
- Online matches against game center friends or strangers
- Voice acted interactive tutorial
- Comprehensive rules section
- 4 different AI players with emotions
- Full-length atmospheric soundtrack
- A plethora of single- and multiplayer achievements
Buy from Apple9. Bad Hotel 84
Rhythm/strategy, $1.99, ages 9+, from Lucky Frame
"Bad Hotel is a hard game, and there are some really harsh levels that demand quick decisions and movements. I found the more relaxed early levels to be more suitable to the colorful presentation, and quirky story."
This unique take on the tower defense genre adds rhythm game elements, as you compose music to defend your hotel.
From the Publisher: IGF-nominated Lucky Frame brings you their latest crazy musical game creation: Bad Hotel. An insane hybrid of tower defence and procedural music, with beautiful art and tons of bullets. You are a budding entrepreneur, whose hotel is rather unfortunately located within the territory of Tarnation Tadstock, the Texas Tyrant. Your only defense against Tadstock's army of seagulls, rats, yetis, and more is to build your hotel as quickly and intelligently as possible, using an array of increasingly sophisticated weapons. The beautiful artwork, quirky storyline, and frantic gameplay all work seamlessly together with a generative music system, which creates original music depending on the player's actions and decisions. The player becomes a composer, creating complex musical structures to defend their hotel. A vast variety of music can be generated, from delicate beach chillout to country banjo techno.
Buy from Apple10. Trigger Fist 84
Shooter, free, ages 9+, from Lake Effect Applications
"For gamers seeking intense action and fantastic graphics, Trigger Fist should not be missed."
This third-person shooter has four different multiplayer game modes and is designed from the ground up to take advantage of touch-screen controls..
From the Publisher: Forged in the minds of battle-hardened gamers, Trigger Fist delivers precisely what you want in the shooter experience. Fluid controls coupled with exceptional gameplay. Dominate your friends in intense modern day firefights across six unique environments in four multiplayer modes. Scratch your shooter itch on the go with Free-for-All, Team Deathmatch, King of the Hill, and Sacred Goat -- a team based scenario with the objective of carrying a disgruntled goat around the battlefield for the maximum amount of time. Experience hours of challenging fun as you compete online with other gamers across the globe through Game Center Matchmaking and Online Leaderboards. Unlock numerous new weapons, skins, and perks as you progress through the ranks. Offline? No Problem. Highly sophisticated AI will find cover, camp around objectives, and work with you as you battle for supremacy. Trigger Fist is equally enjoyable online and off. If you are a fan of the shooter genre, it is time to see how good touch screen shooters can be. With Trigger Fist, everyone who has an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch will find something to love.
|Puzzle Craft||Puzzle/simulation||App store||$0.99||4+||83|
|Kid Vector||Platformer||App store||$0.99||9+||79|
|Happy Street||Adventure||App store||Free||4+||79|
A few to avoid
What are you playing?
Have you tried any of the games above? If so, what did you think of them? Are there any other new iPhone or iPad games that deserve a download? Let us know in the comments section below.