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 Apple 1. Traps n' Gemstones 93
Platform, $2.99, ages 9+, from Donut Games
"An ambitious yet inviting freeform platform-adventure that strikes the perfect balance between depth and accessibility."
This "metroidvania"-style platformer comes from the creators of Rat on a Skateboard.
From the Publisher: TRAPS N' GEMSTONES is an adventurous platform game, among gamers typically known as the "Metroidvania" genre, from Donut Games, the developer behind chart-toppers Traffic Rush, Sunday Lawn, the "Rat On A" series and many others. Precious relics have suddenly started to disappear from a well-hid pyramid that has been guarded by Bedouins for generations, who claim to have spotted an unknown perpetrator. As a freelance archaeologist and expert on ancient explorations, you've been secretly called in to Egypt to help them solve the mystery. Arriving at the pyramid's entrance empty handed, your journey starts off by searching some well-known chambers for items and weapons to help you on your quest. But as you get deeper into the pyramid, you begin to realize that this mystery will require more than just a whip, a sharp mind and a good amount of explosives to unravel.
Buy From Apple 2. Monster Hunter Freedom Unite for iOS 86
Action-RPG, $14.99, ages 12+, from Capcom
"If you're looking for a game that can suck away thousands of hours of your life, Monster Hunter Freedom Unite should fit the bill nicely."
This port of Capcom's popular 2008 PSP title is the first true Monster Hunter game to come to Apple handheld devices.
From the Publisher: The world’s most exciting hunting action game, Monster Hunter Freedom Unite, is now available for iOS! Whether you’re a rookie or veteran hunter, intuitive touch controls will help you tackle the biggest, baddest monsters out there. Let the hunt begin! There are so many ways to progress through Monster Hunter Freedom Unite for iOS. With a multitude of quests to complete, you can choose to tackle something new, or go back and replay a quest you've already cleared with new weapons and tactics. How you play the game is really up to you! You'll embark on quests with numerous objectives, from gathering items to slaying monsters. If you're successful, you'll reap the spoils, which you can use to create and enhance weapons and armor. Once you've buffed up your character, you'll be ready to take on even bigger quests!
Buy From Apple 3. World of Tanks Blitz 86
MMO/Action, free, ages 12+, from Wargaming.net
"It's a rare free-to-play game that respects both your time and your money, and it's definitely worth checking out."
The addictive online tank battle game comes to mobile devices in a new, streamlined, free-to-play version.
From the Publisher: World of Tanks Blitz is a free-to-play mobile MMO action game developed by Wargaming, the award-winning online game developer and publisher of World of Tanks, the smash PC hit now with over 80 million players worldwide! Drawing inspiration from the PC version, World of Tanks Blitz is built specifically for optimal online mobile gameplay and is currently available on your iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. With an impressive roster of over 90 massive tanks, stunning graphics, and intuitive touch-screen controls, World of Tanks Blitz makes it easy to jump into short, action-packed 7vs7 tank battles no matter where you are! A truly free-to-play game. No timers, energy bars, fuel—play as much as you want and whenever you want.
Buy From Apple 4. Desert Fox: The Battle of El Alamein 85
Strategy, $9.99, ages 9+, from Shenandoah Studio
"A well-executed package that functions as both entertainment and interactive history lesson. "
From the Publisher: History and turn-based strategy collide in Desert Fox: The Battle of El Alamein! The award-winning team behind Battle of the Bulge and Drive on Moscow asks: Can you outwit the Desert Fox? Take control at the turning point of the battle for North Africa in this WWII strategy game. Will you hold the line as the Commonwealth or capture the Suez Canal as the Axis? Command a grand campaign, making key decisions and controlling the final engagement. In the oppressive heat of the desert, supplies are running low. Do you wait for more, or make a desperate attack now with tired troops? Use mines, ridges, and depressions to your advantage in desert warfare against challenging AI or online opponents. Desert Fox, designed from the ground up for iPhone and iPad, is a thrilling wargame experience for both casual and veteran players.
Buy From Apple 5. Fates Forever 83
iPad ONLY MOBA, free, ages 12+, from Hammer & Chisel
"A stunning MOBA that's been made with mobile in mind, but without compromising on the tactical depth or visual splendour of its PC-based influences."
This nice-looking iOS battle arena game lets you choose one of eight characters to compete in real-time combat against online players.
From the Publisher: The tournament has begun. Stop waiting for your buildings to finish. It's time to start battling! Fates Forever is a free action game where you team up with your friends in epic player vs. player battles. The winner breaks the Ancient curse. Will you? Choose from one of eight fantastic heroes to join in real time, exhilarating combat with other players. Destroy towers, capture ancient shrines, cast magnificent spells, and claim victory.
Buy From Apple 6. Modern Combat 5: Blackout 81
FPS, $6.99, ages 17+, from Gameloft
"All in all, Modern Combat 5 ticks all the right boxes for gameplay, graphics and audio."
The fifth installment in the hit iOS shooter franchise doesn't reinvent the genre, but critics still like the multiplayer mode.
From the Publisher: Step into the action as the latest installment in the best FPS series raises the bar for shooters once more! Create a squad, add your friends and test your individual and team skills against other squads! Is single player your thing? Then step into a world on the brink of anarchy and shoot your way out of one dire situation after another to expose a lunatic who's trying to tear the world to shreds.
Buy From Apple 7. JELLIES! 80
Action/Puzzle, $1.99, ages 12+, from Aleksei Kalinin
"Jellies! is an adorable little color-matching puzzle game with a fantastic style and an interesting arcade-like twist."
This charming casual match-3 action puzzler is dinged a few points only for its pricing scheme (yes, there are in-app transactions in addition to the upfront cost).
From the Publisher: A handcrafted game about catching jellies - with bombs, clocks and electroshock. NOTICE: iPhone 3Gs, iPod 4G and iPad 1 are not supported. Join Bob the Fisherman as he traverses the high seas, navigates through arctic glaciers and plunges beyond the ocean depths as he embarks on a heroic quest to find his fingers from the wicked jellies that have bitten them off! The goal is simple: catch as many Jellies as possible in 60 seconds to get your fingers back! Stockpile Jellies to earn power-ups to boost your score and time!
Buy From Apple 8. Revolution 60 79
Adventure, $5.99, ages 12+, from Brianna W. Wu
"Revolution 60 is a bold, cinematic action game with ambition to spare."
Described as "Charlie's Angels in space," this indie title is a graphical action-adventure (or is that interactive sci-fi movie) featuring an all-female cast and voice acting.
From the Publisher: Revolution 60 is a breakthrough game for iOS, using the strength of the touch interface to tell an intense, movie-length story. It features gorgeous animations using the Unreal Engine and has gameplay that is accessible to the casual iOS user. It is fully voice acted, and lovingly animated with a cast of complex, strong female characters. The press has called Revolution 60, "Heavy Rain meets Mass Effect." Players will control Holiday, a trained assassin using intuitive gestures with the touchscreen. Your mission is to regain control of the orbital weapons platform N313. Make your choices and accept the consequences. Revolution 60 also has an intuitive yet deep combat system, designed for the touch screen. Players will battle on a grid, and strike when the moment is right with cinematic moves. Players of all skill levels can enjoy the combat of R60.
Buy From Apple 9. Magic 2015 79
iPad ONLY Card battle, free, ages 9+, from Wizards of the Coast
"A weak interface and limited card selection can't disguise that Magic is still a great game."
The iPad version of collectible card battle game Magic the Gathering gets its annual update. Note that in-app purchases (which you'll almost certainly need) will run you anywhere from $1.99 to $34.99 for the full set.
From the Publisher: Experience the world's best strategy game with Magic 2015—Duels of the Planeswalkers! Hunt bigger game in this all new adventure. Command powerful creatures and wield devastating spells to defeat your opponents in the most exciting Magic yet! LEARN MAGIC: •Detailed tutorial makes it easy to start playing •The quickest way to learn the world's best strategy trading card game BATTLE ACROSS THE PLANES: •Sharpen your skills as you fight your way across the Multiverse •Face ever-more challenging opponents •Come face-to-face with legendary Planeswalkers on Innistrad, Theros, Ravnica, and more. BUILD YOUR DECK: •Craft your ultimate deck from hundreds of cards •Open Booster packs to grow your collection and become more powerful CHALLENGE YOUR FRIENDS: •Enter multi-player mode to test your deck •Pit your skills against random opponents or your Game Center friends
Buy From Apple 10. Hellraid: The Escape 77
Action-adventure, $2.99, ages 12+, from Shortbreak Studios
"Soaked in undead atmosphere, Hellraid: The Escape is a morbid adventure puzzler that isn't for those of a sensitive disposition."
This graphical action-adventure game features plenty of puzzles to solve and a dark fantasy setting.
From the Publisher: In Hellraid: The Escape, a sorcerer obsessed with dark arts has trapped your soul in a magic prison guarded by demonic creatures. Why are you there? Who are you and why can't you remember your name? To find the answers, you must first escape from this dimension of agony hung somewhere beyond time. Hellraid: The Escape is a visually stunning action-adventure game with free updates, no in-app purchases or pay-to-win elements! Challenging puzzles, free exploration of the game's world, and demons fought with brains instead of weapons make Hellraid: The Escape an exciting experience unlike any other in the App Store! Hellraid: The Escape made it into the Top 10 Apps on the US App Store within 48 hours of its release! It's been praised by both the press and App Store users worldwide.
What to avoid
Sonic Jump Fever 53 is this month's lowest-scoring iOS game among titles with at least 4 reviews.
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. And visit our iOS Games section for reviews of all new and recent releases.