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. Joe Danger 88
Action, $2.99, ages 9+, from Hello Games
"Joe Danger Touch should become the textbook example of how you adapt a console title for a mobile device. It isn't a lazy port. It's been lovingly crafted for its new platform, which it evidently understands. The controls have been sensitively adjusted to work with for a touchscreen, while the levels are finely constructed."
Also known as Joe Danger Touch, this brand new game features the daredevil hero from the console games in motorcycle-racing/platforming action tailored to portable devices.
From the Publisher: The multi-award winning smash hit comes to your iOS device in an entirely new game! Wear the cape of the World's Most Determined Stuntman, and take your trusty motorbike on a wild ride from zero to hero! Race, ride and defy death as you jump buses, dodge giant mousetraps, leap tanks full of sharks and reclaim your title of Master of Disaster! Swipe Joe to pop a wheelie, flick obstacles out of the way, tap to jump, hold down to crouch and waggle to fight sharks!
★BEAUTIFUL! Eye-popping Retina 3D graphics
★FUN! Critically acclaimed gameplay in your hands
★SMOOTH! Intuitive touch controls
★HUGE! 20+ hours of non-stop action
★UNLOCKABLE! 25+ playable characters to discover
★GAMECENTER! Pull tricks and combos to beat your friends
Buy from Apple2. Pixel People 88
Simulation, free, ages 4+, from Chillingo
"Even with the knowledge that Pixel People has no real meat to it and is about as 'fun' as browsing someone's Facebook page I still have a hard time putting it down. Heck, the whole time I've been typing this I've been itching to get back to discovering new jobs. I can't quite explain why but this is definitely one time-waster worth checking out."
Think of this freemium town-building game as a three-dimensional take on Tiny Tower, with a bit of genetic engineering thrown in for good measure.
From the Publisher: Welcome to the world of Utopia where YOU create the city and the residents. Greet new clones to Utopia at the arrival centre, then find them a place in your new world. Splice genes of residents and combine their skills to discover new Pixel People to join your thriving city.
VARIETY IS THE SPLICE OF LIFE: Combine the properties of Utopia residents to create up to 150 new occupants, each one suited to a special role in your new society. MONEY MONEY MONEY: Each new job you create for a Utopian resident puts money in the bank, and the more residents you place in each building, the more money you make! Use your cash to build more residences, places of work, and to expand your land. Collect or buy Utopium to speed up building processes and reveal secret recipes for creating exotic residents. LOTS TO DO: As your population grows, love can blossom in Utopia too, and you can earn a sweet bonus for every 11 love hearts you collect. Bonuses could be coins, Utopium, or even a wild animal to wander your world?
Buy from Apple3. Hundreds 84
Puzzle, $4.99, ages 4+, from Semi Secret Software
"Full of nuance, depth, and innovation, this is easily the year's first must-play title."
A minimalist puzzler with first-class graphic design, Hundreds is deceptively complex and tricky.
From the Publisher: Simple in concept, deep in design, Hundreds is a puzzle game that requires quick fingers and deep thinking. The goal of Hundreds: Grow at least 100 points between the circles in each puzzle. Circles turn red and volatile while being grown and if they collide, it's game over. It's that easy.
- Over 100 unique puzzles - no filler!
- Elegant, minimalist graphics
- Mesmerizing original soundtrack
- Sync progress via iCloud
Buy from Apple4. Might & Magic Clash of Heroes 84
Puzzle/RPG, $4.99, ages 9+, from Ubisoft
"A wonderful, engaging and ambitious fantasy adventure that combines the best of classic RPGs and smart, match-three puzzle gaming. Essential."
The 2009 Nintendo DS game was remastered in HD for consoles in 2011, and now comes to iOS devices.
From the Publisher: The award-winning RPG is now remastered and optimized for iPhone and iPad! Live the epic adventure of 5 young Heroes leading their armies to save the world of Might & Magic. Discover a unique mix of RPG and exclusive puzzle battle mechanics.
- Enjoy a 20 hours campaign, featuring impressive graphics supported by Retina Display.
- Master 10 heroes, 40 creatures with unique abilities and more than 50 artifacts.
- Challenge your friends online or offline, in 1 vs. 1 or in the brand new asynchronous mode.
- Smooth touch-based controls
- Exclusive wallpapers to unlock for your device
- Multiple Cloud saves support
- GameCenter Leaderboards
- Supports the new iPhone 5 resolution
Buy from Apple5. Momonga Pinball Adventures 83
Action/Adventure, $1.99, ages 9+, from Paladin Studios
"Momonga's Pinball Adventures is already a winner. In part for its impressive look, certainly, but the charm and challenge of the game are a big part of what makes it so loveable."
A unique blend between pinball and platform gaming, Momonga also features cute characters like your flying squirrel protagonist (who doubles as the pinball).
From the Publisher: A little flying squirrel takes on the forces of evil. It's time to roll! Join Momo in the first episode of an epic adventure to save his tribe. A band of owls turned the momonga village to ashes. The owls took the momongas and vanished. Momo barely survived the attack. After the raid, Momo was found by a wandering panda in the outskirts of the village. A scar went deep from the top of his head to the tip of his tail. The panda, a Lorekeeper, took up the task to save the creature. Help Momo defeat General Kuton and find his friends. The momongas must be free!
Buy from Apple6. The Blockheads 82
Adventure, free, ages 9+, from Majic Jungle Software
"Yes, it is quite 'similar' to some other games out there. However it's almost infinite, full of possibilities and very fun. Might be hard to play on small devices, but being free we think it deserves a try."
The low-res graphics and open-world setup immediately call to mind Minecraft, though with a side-scrolling twist.
From the Publisher: Explore, mine, craft and build in this giant and detailed sandbox game. Navigate huge simulated worlds thousands of blocks wide with a full temperature and climate system, seasons, an equator, and frozen poles. Explore complex cave systems and flowing water, and survive deserts and snowy mountain tops.
- Control your blockheads in a vast randomly generated world with oceans, mountains, forests, deserts and deep underground caves.
- Keep an eye on their needs - give them sleep, feed them, create clothing and shelter - and they'll be happier, quicker and more productive.
- Craft tools with the resources they find, and they'll be able to work even faster and find more resources.
- Upgrade workbenches and unlock more advanced items to craft.
- Discover precious stones and metals deep underground, or rare plants and animals on the surface.
- Craft a boat and navigate the oceans using the accurate night sky to guide you.
- Make fur clothing and venture to the North Pole.
- Pick coconuts at a tropical beach.
- Cook meat at a campfire, build a marble palace, paint the walls, plant an orchard, ride a donkey!
Buy from Apple7. Time Surfer 82
Action, $0.99, ages 9+, from Kumobius
"While Time Surfer will not win any awards for uniqueness, it is a great example of how a fun idea can be iterated upon by blending in concepts from other games to create something that feels at least somewhat new."
Frequently compared to Tiny Wings, the new Time Surfer adds a twist to that title's easy-to-control endless runner-style gameplay: the ability to rewind.
From the Publisher: Surf for your life across the galaxy! An inevitable destructive force is after you... The end of the universe! Your only hope? You can cheat death by rewinding time! Get ready for the most psychedelic adrenaline-pumping surf of the year!
- Two touch gameplay keeps everything easy to reach and easy to play. Touch with your right thumb to dive. Touch with your left thumb to rewind time. It couldn't be simpler.
- Dodge spikes, pits and the end of the universe - it's a typical, never-ending day in the life of a trans-dimensional cosmic time god! Pick up speed, magnet and time bonuses! Miss one? Rewind and grab it!
- Complete missions to unlock new pets and earn Space Cakes to feed them. Little dudes like Axolotl, Squid Scholar or Robo-Duck will join your surf and give you crazy new abilities!
- Transition through beautiful Retina landscapes. Immerse yourself in a starry night as you surf, bounce and fly through various zones with different hazards and scenery!
- Psychedelic visuals backed up by numerous references to 80's icons, including a police box, a time-travelling car and the monkey king on a cloud.
Buy from Apple8. Heroes and Castles 82
Action/Strategy, $1.99, ages 9+, from Foursaken Media
"As a solo affair, Heroes and Castles works surprisingly well. Having to constantly launch units and keep an eye on the castle becomes overwhelming, but it doesn't take long to get a handle on the game's intricacies, and with new modes coming in the near future, there's room for aggressive expansion. Might as well get in on the ground floor."
Not just another tower defense game, Heroes also incorporates third-person combat in impressively large battles.
From the Publisher: The Undead Horde and their Orc and Goblin allies are at your castle gates, the King is on the brink of death, and only you stand between the enemy and complete annihilation! Choose one of 3 powerful heroes, summon an army to fight beside you, and defend your castle in Heroes & Castles, a seamless blend of 3rd person Action-RPG, Strategy, and Castle Defense elements!
- Take to the battlefield in an immersive 3rd person perspective, summon entire armies to fight beside you, and defend your castle to the death! Fight in the middle of a huge battle that you control!
- Level up, learn new skills and abilities, find randomized Runes and loot, and destroy your enemies with one of 3 unique heroes!
- Summon Dwarfs, Archers, Pikemen, Giants, Catapults, Mages and much more to aid you in your defense! Watch them battle the enemy right beside you!
- Build Towers, upgrade your castle walls, and build buildings to upgrade your units!
- Team up with a random ally or one of your friends and compete in the GameCenter leader boards!
Buy from Apple9. Dungelot 81
RPG, $1.99, ages 12+, from Red Winter Software
"Featuring simplified gameplay, clean graphics, and fun RPG elements, Dungelot gives novices an engaging introduction to dungeon exploration."
A "roguelike" dungeon-crawler, Dungelot best serves as an introduction to the genre for the casual gamer.
From the Publisher: Dungelot is a fun, addictive casual roguelike with easy controls. Flip over tiles to reveal amazing treasures or deadly monsters in your search for the key to exit the level. While your eventual demise is all but guaranteed, you can use your loot from previous runs to build up your characters and ensure each run can be at least a little deeper.
Buy from Apple10. Temple Run 2 80
Action, Free, ages 9+, from Imangi Studios
"If you were to pit Temple Run, Temple Run Brave and Temple Run 2 against each other, Temple Run 2 would definitely come out on top – but the play-it-safe improvements don't really do enough to make Temple Run 2 stand out in a sea of games inspired by the original. If anything, the content we're seeing here would have made an admirable update to the original Temple Run. But as a standalone release? Temple Run 2 just doesn't do enough to distinguish itself from its predecessor."
This sequel to the endless runner that was a massive hit in 2011 offers improved graphics and other refinements, though some critics find it a bit too similar to the original.
From the Publisher: The sequel to the smash hit phenomenon that took the world by storm! With over 170 million downloads, Temple Run redefined mobile gaming. Now get more of the exhilarating running, jumping, turning and sliding you love in Temple Run 2! Navigate perilous cliffs, zip lines, mines and forests as you try to escape with the cursed idol. How far can you run?!
- Beautiful new graphics
- Gorgeous new organic environments
- New obstacles
- More powerups
- More achievements
- Special powers for each character
- Bigger monkey!!!
|Swing King||Action/puzzle||App store||$0.99||4+||78|
|Rise of the Blobs||Puzzle||App store||free||4+||78|
|Kingdom Conquest II||Strategy||App store||free||9+||78|
|Wave Trip||Action/rhythm||App store||$1.99||4+||77|
A few to avoid
Square Enix's Final Fantasy: All The Bravest received an abysmal 26, by far the lowest score of any iOS release in recent weeks.
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.