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 (give or take a few days, since we skipped our August roundup). All titles are playable on all iOS devices unless otherwise indicated.
Buy from Apple1. Asphalt 8: Airborne 92
Racing, $0.99, ages 4+, from Gameloft
"Fast, slick, and startlingly affordable, Asphalt 8: Airborne redefines iOS arcade racing."
By far the highest-scoring game in the Asphalt arcade-style racing series, Airborne is earning raves for its depth, graphics, and multiplayer functionality.
From the Publisher: The best iOS arcade racing game series reaches a new turning point! Perform dynamic, high-speed aerial stunts in an intense driving experience powered by a brand-new physics engine!
- 47 high-performance cars (80% NEW!)
- Top licensed manufacturers and models like the Lamborghini Veneno, Bugatti Veyron, Ferrari FXX and Pagani Zonda R
- 9 different settings, such as Venice, French Guiana, Iceland, the Nevada Desert & other exciting locations!
- Stunning visuals thanks to next-gen shaders, real-time geometry reflection & other amazing effects
- Simultaneous multiplayer action for up to 8 opponents (not available for iPod touch 4th generation and iPhone 4)
Buy from Apple2. Shadowrun Returns 88
iPad 2+ Only RPG/Strategy, $9.99, ages 17+, from Harebrained Schemes
"Prepare to lose countless hours playing one of the deepest games on mobile devices."
This Kickstarter-funded tactical RPG (also released as a PC game earlier this summer) is set in the same universe as the tabletop RPG Shadowrun.
From the Publisher: The year is 2054. Magic has returned to the world, awakening powerful creatures of myth and legend. Technology merges with flesh and consciousness. Elves, trolls, orks, and dwarves walk among us, while ruthless corporations bleed the world dry. You are a shadowrunner - a mercenary living on the fringes of society, in the shadows of massive corporate arcologies, surviving day-by-day on skill and instinct alone. When the powerful or the desperate need a job done, you get it done... by any means necessary. The unique cyberpunk-meets-fantasy world of Shadowrun has gained a huge cult following since its creation nearly 25 years ago. Now, creator Jordan Weisman returns to the world of Shadowrun, modernizing this classic game setting as a single player, turn-based tactical RPG.
Buy from Apple3. Strata 85
Puzzle, $0.99, ages 4+, from Graveck
"A confidently executed and extremely stylish puzzler with a heavy reliance on its innovative ribbon-swiping mechanic."
An elegant, unique, and minimalist puzzle game. Note that you'll need to pay extra for additional (harder) levels.
From the Publisher: A truly unique puzzle experience that embraces simplicity, elegance, and challenge. Strata paints a simple yet challenging puzzle game onto a sophisticated canvas of color and sound. Test the limits of your brain by completing complex weaves of color to solve the puzzles. The goal of Strata is to strategically layer colored ribbons to match a pattern. Using forethought and strategy you must sequence your moves correctly. Over time patterns emerge and your tactics may evolve, but Strata will keep you on your toes with increasingly difficult puzzles.
Buy from Apple4. FIFA 14 by EA SPORTS 84
Sports, free, ages 4+, from Electronic Arts
"Assuming you've got room on your device for the 1.3 GB download, this is soccer done right, and for a price that can't be beat."
EA's annual soccer title is free to play, but you'll need to purchase Manager, Tournament, and Kick Off modes separately.
From the Publisher: REAL PLAYERS. REAL TEAMS. REAL LEAGUES. Welcome to the most authentic football game on the App Store. Feel the excitement of every pass, shot, and tackle with new touch controls. Plus, live every moment of real-world football with EA SPORTS™ Football Club Match Day. Get in there! ** This is a highly detailed game of superior quality. Please make sure you have at least 1.35GB of free space on your device. ** FEEL THE PASSION Featuring 33 leagues, over 600 licensed teams, and more than 16,000 players. From the English Premier League and La Liga to the German Bundesliga and beyond. March toward glory in 34 authentic stadiums. Plus, for the first time on mobile, listen to commentaries in English, French, German, Italian and Spanish! MATCH DAY MADNESS EA SPORTS™ Football Club Match Day lets you follow the heartbeat of your favorite club. Play along with real-world fixtures from top leagues. Every injury, suspension, and change in team form is reflected in-game – keeping you connected wherever you are! BUILD YOUR ULTIMATE TEAM Earn and trade, or buy and sell FIFA players to create your own fantasy team. Choose your play style, formation, kits, and more. Compete in tournaments to earn coins, then spend them on new players and items to improve your team. Play for free or purchase packs. The choices are endless! INTUITIVE NEW TOUCH CONTROLS Hold and drag players to move them around the field, tap to pass, swipe to shoot – and more! FIFA 14's new Touch Flow Controls put the excitement of playing the world's most popular sport at your fingertips – literally. CHALLENGE YOUR FRIENDS WITH ONLINE MULTIPLAYER Compete with friends anytime, anywhere. Rise to the top of the Leaderboards and use superstars like Lionel Messi and Gareth Bale to crush your competitors around the world. Then, share your most glorious moments online – straight from Instant Replay!
Buy from Apple5. 868-HACK 84
RPG, $5.99, ages 9+, from Michael Brough
"It's perhaps easier to admire than to enjoy, but those who are prepared to meet its bracing challenge may find themselves hooked by one of the smartest iOS games in some time."
This challenging roguelike from indie developer Michael Brough casts you as a computer hacker, with high-tech systems standing in for dungeons.
From the Publisher: You are a computer hacker. You steal precious data while the world sleeps. Siphons are your lockpicks. Progs are your guns. Connect to the sectors. Download the data. Escape, or be deleted alive. A cyberspace adventure from the creator of Zaga-33.
Buy from Apple6. Heroes of Loot 84
RPG, $1.99, ages 9+, from Pascal Bestebroer
"Heroes of Loot is about as close to pure, distilled arcadey dungeon-crawling joy as we're ever likely to get."
Another indie roguelike, Loot takes a more conventional approach to dungeon crawling.
From the Publisher: A dungeon full of skulls, imps, cyclops, minotaurs, flameheads, spikes, secrets and much, much more is now ready for you.. the Hero! From the guys behind Gunslugs and Meganoid comes a brand new adventure: Heroes of Loot is a dungeon-game like no other. Every time you play, the dungeon will be different, every time you become better, the dungeon will also grow and become more dangerous.. this game will never end! unless you die of course..
Buy from Apple7. Help Me Fly 83
Puzzle, $0.99, ages 4+, from Funtomic (2008)
"Help Me Fly takes a simple concept and nails the execution, delivering a lovely little puzzler that's a joy to play."
Help your pilot take off in this all-ages visual puzzler.
From the Publisher: Propellor Joe's plane ran out of power again, and it's up to you to help him jump-start it through 60 brain teasing levels. • Arrange and rotate the pieces on the board so they connect Joe's plane to the battery • Beautiful, clean graphics • Exciting new gameplay elements are added as you progress through the levels - energy beams, wireless power transmitters and more • Find a path that powers up all the stars for an extra challenge! Help Me Fly is a simple yet challenging game that's going to keep you busy for hours, scratching your head and smiling.
Buy from Apple8. Terraria 83
Action-Adventure/RPG, $4.99, ages 9+, from 505 Games
"While by no means a replacement for the full PC version of Terraria, this pint-sized iteration is an effortless recommendation."
The pixel-art, sandbox-style PC game—oft-described as a 2D take on Minecraft—comes to iOS devices.
From the Publisher: The critically-acclaimed, best-selling indie sandbox adventure has finally arrived on iOS! In Terraria, every world is unique -- from the floating islands in the sky to the deepest level of The Underworld. Adventure to the ends of the earth, and defeat villainous bosses along the way. The world is your canvas! Terraria is a Universal App -- play on iPhone or iPad! Buy now and receive free updates with new content and features!
Buy from Apple9. Blackbar 83
Puzzle, $2.99, ages 9+, from Neven Mrgan
"A moving and sometimes painful experience, Blackbar deserves to be played by as many people as possible."
This unique text-based game asks you to solve puzzles by filling in words censored from various pieces of writing.
From the Publisher: Blackbar is a text game: a sci-fi story of a dystopian future told through the medium of word puzzles. Reminiscent of text adventures and interactive fiction, it has a unique mechanic centered around the concept of censorship. Censorship is frustrating, but the human spirit can beat that frustration by turning it into a game. You'll pick up Blackbar instantly; however, its challenges will keep you searching, thinking, and trying for days.
Buy from Apple10. Junk Jack X 82
Action-Adventure/RPG, $4.99, ages 4+, from Pixbits SRL
"If you were a fan of the original, Junk Jack X is going to need a place on your iPad."
Another 2D sandbox-style exploration game, this new title is a sequel to 2011's Junk Jack.
From the Publisher: Welcome to Junk Jack X! It is a 2D sandbox where you can explore, build and survive in randomly generated procedural worlds, full of monsters, hidden treasures and beautiful landscapes, now even in multiplayer with friends! We are glad to deliver you the best Junk Jack experience ever imagined! A sequel which brings the game to a whole new level with multiplayer, multiple planets, creative mode, liquids, plenty of equipment to customize your character and much more! Plus all the features you loved from Junk Jack (and, we hope, less features you hated!) This is not a freemium game, buy it once and enjoy the full game experience!
|Boson X||Action||App store||$1.99||9+||82|
|Infinity Blade III||Action/RPG||App store||$6.99||9+||81|
|Racing Rivals||Racing||App store||Free||4+||81|
|Infectonator : Hot Chase||Action||App store||Free||9+||80|
|Pocket Trains||Simulation||App store||Free||4+||80|
|Angry Birds Star Wars II||Action/Puzzle||App store||$0.99||4+||79|
A few to avoid
EA's annual football title Madden NFL 25 apparently doesn't translate well to mobile devices; it scored an abysmal 39. Other recent titles to be wary of include 2013: Infected Wars 50 and Riddick: The Merc Files 52.
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.