iPhone/iPad Games Guide: What to Buy This Month

  • Comments: ↓ 9 user comments
  • Publish Date: June 30, 2010

6/30: The Metascore for Pro Zombie Soccer has been adjusted to reflect a recent score change by one of the publications reviewing the game.

Our monthly feature offers a handy guide to the past month's best new game releases for the iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch.

Great games on a dollar a day

What are the best new iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch games available for a total budget of $30 -- or about a dollar per day? Below are the best-reviewed titles released over the past month. All games are available for all devices unless otherwise indicated.

Best-Reviewed New iPhone/iPad/iPod Games, $30 Total Budget - June 2010
  Game Genre Rating Metascore Price
Image Super QuickHook Platform 9+ 96 $2.99
Image Pix'n Love Rush Platform 4+ 91 $0.99
Image Carcassonne Strategy/Board Game 4+ 91 $4.99
Image Pro Zombie Soccer Action 9+ 90 $0.99
Image Hector: Badge of Carnage - Episode 1 Adventure 17+ 88 $3.99
Image Carnivores: Dinosaur Hunter  First-Person Shooter 12+ 84 $2.99
Image Banzai Rabbit Action 9+ 82 $2.99
Image Highborn Strategy 9+ 76 $2.99
Image PES 2010 Sports 4+ 76 $6.99
      TOTAL COST: $29.91

The Metascore for iPhone and iPad games is an unweighted average of individual scores given by professional game publications on a scale of 0 (bad) to 100 (good). A Metascore of 75 or higher denotes generally positive reviews, while 90 or higher indicates universal acclaim. Scores are not calculated for games with fewer than four reviews.

Below, we take a closer look at each of the past month's best new games. (Note that all game summaries are from the publishers' official descriptions.)

Super QuickHook

Metascore (out of 100):
96
from Rocketcat Games
Platform, $2.99, ages 9+
> iTunes App Store (Buy/Info)
Image

Conquer Eagle Mountain with the help of your trusty grappling hook. Swing and run your way through meadows, frost-tinged fields, ice caverns, volcanic caves, and more. Find secrets, loot, and special encounters. Race against your friends. Explore peaceful landscapes, or try to outrun an endless avalanche. QuickHook combines heavy replay value with deep variety.

What the Critics Said
Score Publication
100 148Apps
Rocketcat Games has refined the foundation that Hook Champ laid down into something truly wonderful with Super QuickHook.
100 AppSpy
Prepare yourself for another round of hook-swinging action as Super QuickHook manages to slightly improve on the original title while rewarding players for being even more obsessive than before.
100 Gamepro
Whether it's the exhaustively full-featured leaderboards, gorgeous graphics, or community features, every element of Super QuickHook goes above and beyond what's expected of an indie game release on the App Store.
100 Slide to Play
Super QuickHook is a worthy sequel to Hook Champ in every way. Don't let our minor quibbles stop you from swinging to the App Store and grappling it up.
80 Pocket Gamer
In spite of the steep difficulty, Super QuickHook is a charming, fun aerial adventure.

Pix'n Love Rush

Metascore (out of 100):
91
from Bulkypix
Platform, $0.99, ages 4+
> iTunes App Store (Buy/Info)
Image

Move, jump and shoot! Sounds easy? Well it is at first... but wait and play! All you love in classic Jump & Run games stuffed into 5 minute sessions where your heartbeat will not resist the rush. Infinity Mode for those of you who have solid nerves and good reflexes. Worldwide score boards and tons of achievements… Can you get to the top? 125 levels and 7 skins… and more to come!

What the Critics Said
Score Publication
100 AppSpy
Pix'n Love Rush is the perfect example of how classic gaming can be paired with modern casual gaming, creating a challenging and addictive title that's almost endlessly appealing.
100 The Onion A.V. Club
Regardless of what it looks like, Pix'n is deep enough to drain hours on the couch, but also casual enough to distract throughout an entire commute.
100 Slide to Play
Pix'n Love Rush is a surprisingly epic, retro-styled gem.
90 148Apps
The game is visually a treat when it isn’t distracting and its individually separated level segments differentiate it from other endless platformers.
90 Gamepro
A scoring system that completely alters the visual style of the game adds to the unique flavor of Pix'n Love Rush, and the fast gameplay makes it a perfect "pick-up-and-play" sort of game.
89 IGN
The rapid-fire stage shifts, the straightforward but challenging gameplay, and the ease at which you can bounce in and out of Pix’n Love Rush all contribute to this stellar score.
70 Pocket Gamer
Part Mario, part Space Invaders, part every 2D game you can think of, Pix'n Love Rush's complex set-up will likely charm just as many players as it bamboozles.

Carcassonne

Metascore (out of 100):
91
from TheCodingMonkeys
Strategy, $4.99, ages 4+
> iTunes App Store (Buy/Info)
Image

Play the original award-winning board game with friends, family, or other board game enthusiasts over the Internet. Build a medieval landscape, tile by tile, claim landmarks with your followers and score points. As a winner of the prestigious "Spiel des Jahres" award in 2001, the game allows for a plethora of play styles and strategies. If you like social gaming or board games you will love Carcassonne!

What the Critics Said
Score Publication
100 AppSpy
Despite only being published a decade ago, Carcassonne has all the hallmarks of a classic board-game and grabbing a version to play on the go is a boon that no one should miss.
100 Gamepro
This game should stand as a shining example to all other developers as to how a board game should be properly structured for the iPhone. Intuitive controls, numerous AI opponents for varying difficulty, online multiplayer, local network play, pass-and-play multiplayer, a comprehensive tutorial, and a top-notch presentation make this a mandatory purchase if you own an iPhone.
100 No DPad
Creating multiplayer match ups with friends is as simple as emailing your friends the link to your match and when accepted the game begins.
100 Slide to Play
This award-winning board game is also an amazing app, loaded with multiplayer features.
90 Pocket Gamer
One of the most successful translations of a boardgame in years, Carcassonne is charming, captivating and competitive.
90 TouchGen
With both online multiplayer with push notifications, and an addictive solitaire game Carcassonne is a complete package.
80 IGN
Carcassonne is an excellent board game in real-life. The iPhone edition is a great way to take it on the go without having to lug around a board and pieces.
70 148Apps
It’s a real pleasure to see an iPhone game that is well-crafted, that uses music and sound to create a distinct atmosphere and that plays as well offline as it does online. If Carcassonne is your first foray into Euro-gaming, you’re sure to want more.

Pro Zombie Soccer

Metascore (out of 100):
90
from Chillingo Ltd
Action, $0.99, ages 9+
> iTunes App Store (Buy/Info)
Image

No one ever needed an excuse to go out and kill zombies. Or to kick a soccer ball around. But if you want an excuse to kick a soccer ball into space, realign an orbital weapons platform and launch a death-ray to explode the heads of the zombies sneaking into your soccer field – then this is it. Pro Zombie Soccer’s intuitive control system offers a torrent of incredibly deep, satisfying and addictive zombie-blasting action, from free kicks to full orbital assault. A horde of unique zombies; a locker full of cool abilities, combos and rewards; a laugh-out-loud twisted story that spans a series of varied, original and surprising levels ... you won’t want it to end! Incredible characters, environments and comic-style set-pieces draw you into a surreal, immersive world.

What the Critics Said
Score Publication
100 AppSpy
Even once this jumps back to full price, Pro Zombie Soccer will grip you and keep you smiling thanks to its fun storyline and varied gameplay that keeps things fresh from start to finish.
100 No DPad
Pro Zombie Soccer as a game is a must have experience. The controls, gameplay, and artwork are just over the top, making this casual game one of the more intriguing. [Score adjusted by publication from 75 to 100 to reflect a recent update to the game.]
80 Pocket Gamer
Replacing guns and glory with a good old fashioned football, Pro Zombie Soccer's line-up of ghouls aplenty manages to endear and excite in equal measure.
79 IGN
This kind of silly pick-up-and-play experience is the perfect companion to the actual World Cup event on your television.

Hector: Badge of Carnage - Episode 1

Metascore (out of 100):
88
from Straandlooper
Adventure, $3.99, ages 17+
> iTunes App Store (Buy/Info)
Image

[FOR MATURE AUDIENCES ONLY] When a hostage crisis erupts in the centre of Clappers Wreake, only one man has the diplomatic finesse to defuse a simmering situation before it boils over into a stew of butchery and bloodshed: Detective Inspector Hector. He’s all they’ve got. Literally. All the other negotiators are dead. Hector has a choice to make: carry out the terrorist’s curiously altruistic demands, or watch as his fellow officers are picked off one by one. Hector’s still on the fence. Stagger a drunken mile through the Crime Capital of Britain in the size 9s of Detective Inspector Hector: part criminalist, part kebab-fiend, all cop. Do all the things you’ve dreamed about: hit a tramp with a crowbar, steal a young man’s trousers, kick a heroin addict into a cardboard box, enter a porn shop without embarrassment, carry a designer handbag... all in the name of justice, and all in spectacular ground-breaking 2D.

What the Critics Said
Score Publication
100 AppSpy
This is definitely not a game for the kiddies, but if you're after a great adult adventure game then look no further than the slovenly UK Detective in 'HECTOR: Badge of Carnage Episode 1'.
90 Eurogamer
The payoff is always worth it, though, with some of the best one-liners and crackpot characters seen in an adventure game since the mighty Day of the Tentacle. Yes, it really is that good, and insanely good value for the three hours of fun it provides.
85 IGN
Hector is one lewd and crude dude. Without the excellent script, though, this would have just been a collection of shock value scenes. However, the genuine humor and smart puzzles hearkens back to the glory days of point-and-click adventure games.
75 Slide to Play
This edgy and often-hilarious adventure game won’t appeal to everyone, but it’s a great start to a promising series.

Carnivores: Dinosaur Hunter

Metascore (out of 100):
84
from Tatem Games
FPS, $2.99, ages 12+
> iTunes App Store (Buy/Info)
Image

Carnivores: Dinosaur Hunter is a console-quality hunting game which lets players explore huge non-linear locations as they attempt to track down a variety of dinosaurs that are armed with some of the most advanced AI on the platform. As a result, these are no “pea-brained” dinosaurs – these are dangerous creatures that are able to see, hear and sense the hunter. If you’re not careful, it’s very easy for the hunter to become the hunted. With 15 different dinosaurs across 5 distinct environments including pine forests, muddy marshes and rolling hills, how you approach your target is important. Wind direction, scent and the use of a special dinosaur call are all key elements in tracking your prey.

What the Critics Said
Score Publication
100 No DPad
Carnivores: Dinosaur Hunter is the premier hunting experience on the iPhone, and it’s just the perfect game for a wide variety of people.
80 AppSpy
For some, Carnivores: Dinosaur Hunter may be a hard game to appreciate thanks to just how realistic the experience can feel, however this is without a doubt a must have for hunting enthusiasts and fans of open-ended titles.
80 Pocket Gamer
Methodical and hugely satisfying, Carnivores: Dinosaur Hunter isn’t your typical shooter and while it makes considerable demands of the player, the feeling of reward you get in return is immense. The only real complaint is a lack of variety.
75 The Onion A.V. Club
You also have extremely limited ammo and no way to heal yourself, which means that unless you know what you're doing, you're more than likely to wind up being hunted yourself, uttering your last words to that cunning velociraptor: "Clever girl..."

Banzai Rabbit

Metascore (out of 100):
82
from Revolutionary Concepts
Action, $2.99, ages 9+
> iTunes App Store (Buy/Info)
Image

Taking its cues from classic sci-fi story 'The Fly', all the best super-hero movies, and with a nod to your favourite arcade classics, 'Banzai Rabbit' (formerly Frogman) tells the story of what can go wrong when a rabbit, a flea and two scientists - one good and one evil - all find themselves involved in a terrible cloning accident. Leaving you to save the world from certain destruction by an evil flea genius while avoiding getting squished by traffic, all so you can get your dream girl back! Part platformer, part puzzler, all action & totally fun in a way that games should be - regardless of your age or skill level.

What the Critics Said
Score Publication
90 148Apps
With a funny storyline, 142 rounds of 3D action set across 34 locations, bonus levels, power ups and varied gameplay controls, Banzai Rabbit is fun, challenging and nostalgically appealing. If you do one thing for Johnny, man, get this game.
80 AppSpy
Getting across the road and river in Frogger was always hard enough, but only Banzai Rabbit would make you come back again, challenging gamers to fine tune their timing skills.
80 Pocket Gamer
Banzai Rabbit doesn’t try to conceal its source of inspiration, but the end result is a fantastic recreation of Konami’s classic Frogger – albeit one with a few regrettable camera niggles.
78 IGN
Banzai Rabbit is a good update on Frogger that I heartily recommend to fans of the arcade classic. There is more to do here, the action is frantic, and it looks great.

Highborn

Metascore (out of 100):
76
from Jet Set Games
Strategy, $2.99, ages 9+
> iTunes App Store (Buy/Info)
Image

Highborn is a casual, turn-based strategy game, perfect for gaming on the go, or for anyone looking for an intelligent, tactical experience without the frenetic play of a traditional real-time strategy game. Highborn features two types of strategy games in one. Move your army around an overhead map to capture points of interest and receive spells and combat support; then dive into 3D combat to deploy those advantages against an unsuspecting enemy! All the fun and fighting is set against an irreverent take on the classic good-versus-evil tale. Eight wacky heroes banter about, trading dialogue full of miscommunications and outrageous assumptions.

What the Critics Said
Score Publication
100 AppSpy
Highborn is a game that knows how to have fun while remaining insanely addictive and can only get better with future updates.
90 148Apps
The entire game is meant to be a light and fun addition to the turn based strategy game, easy to pick up, deep game play, a lighthearted and humorous story line, and an overall enjoyable equation that makes it an easy choice for those looking for a new game.
80 Multiplayer.it
Highborn is an amazing turn-based strategy game, rich in humour and with a remarkable tactic depth. Players will be strongly challenged starting from the second mission already, and even the most ridiculous error can nullify the entire strategy. Actually, the game suffers from some major issues, as the Facebook-based multiplayer mode or the lack of an Undo button.
75 IGN
Highborn is a good turn-based game held back by a number of nagging issues – none of which cannot be easily fixed in an update, although the Facebook-reliant multiplayer might take some time.
70 GamePro
It's already a fun, extremely well-written game, so those who enjoy strategy games shouldn't pass it up.
70 Pocket Gamer
Highborn is a well-intended, though unpolished tactics game that needs to incorporate a number of basic features in order to improve playability.
50 Slide to Play
Highborn is a decent game with much potential. Keep an eye out for updates.

PES 2010

Metascore (out of 100):
76
from Konami
Sports, $6.99, ages 4+
> iTunes App Store (Buy/Info)
Image

You make the moment - The champion of football video games has finally arrived on iPhone and iPod touch! Immerse yourself in unprecedented football atmosphere and the true PES experience with PES 2010. The uniquely designed true flow TM control system provides instant access for players of all levels by utilizing the iPhone’s intuitive accelerometer and AI-supported touch controls. More advanced players are presented with unlimited freedom of play by being able to master classic console-style controls with virtual pad and buttons. Experience incredible gameplay and focus on tactics, goals and winning trophies while competing against the most advanced team and player AI on the market. A stunning visual environment and unseen level of smooth player animations will make you feel the beauty of the game. Compete in the exclusive official UEFA Champions LeagueTM and UEFA Europa League™ competitions against the best club teams on this continent. Lead the English national team to victory in international competitions and play against high-profile opponents like Spain, Italy or Argentina.

What the Critics Said
Score Publication
90 Pocket Gamer
A consummate professional, PES 2010 proves just what we've been missing: a solid football sim with impressive AI, excellent controls, and a knack for the passing game.
80 TouchGen
It’s another great football game for iPhone and iPod Touch. If, like me, you prefer the simpler controls, then PES 2010 might be for you, but you may want to weigh up the pros and cons of the other offerings out there.
75 GamesNation
Very close to the real PES experience, this iteration of Pro Evolution Soccer 2010 is a must-have for all Konami fans, but if you are after a good football simulation for your iPhone, there are other interesting titles out there you might want to consider.
75 No DPad
PES 2010 is, at best, a good soccer game. There are a lot of feature and content problems that I know could have been nonexistent had Konami been more creative.
60 AppSpy
PES 2010 is almost like a tech-demo for what could be achieved for football gaming on the iPhone, but until the same level of attention to detail is placed on basic features it's a hard game to recommend even to die-hard fans.

What NOT to buy

You'd never guess it from the title, but apparently Pillowfight Girls 33 isn't a very good game.

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.

We're sorry, but comments are closed for this article.

Comments (9)

  • iGameStats Reveals T  

    [...] doing the hard work. Metacritic doesn’t regularly cover iPhone games, but instead compiles a monthly feature with iPhone game scores, including those from Slide To [...]

  • Ryan Rigney  

    As GamePro's iPhone/iPad guy, I have to agree with the commenters above. The iPhone and iPad have been legitimate game platforms for quite a while now. Shouldn't you guys catch up with the times now instead of putting it off even further? Add that iPhone section!

  • Nigel  

    Not only would an iPhone section be great, but even an Android section would assist those who just dont know what to buy

  • Bails  

    Yeah agreed, don't really use my iphone for gaming, struggle to find anything i want to play for more than 5 minutes. Perhaps though, that's because i'm not looking at the right stuff. Love this website, would be great if you could afford iWhatnots their own category.

  • J.  

    Metacritic games is blowing it by not having a full section on Iphone games....they could leverage a great brand and great website...instead the traffic is going elsewhere.....sorry!

  • Alex  

    A whole section would be amazing! It would help buyers obviously, but also help get the names of good games out there for developers given how driven it is by popularity and not quality right now (App store top 200).

  • lucas  

    why dont you make a whole section for ipod touch/iphone/ipad apps under games?

  • Jason Dietz  

    @Daniel: Thanks! We have updated the score.

  • Daniel  

    Hey guys, great article. Just wanted to point out that Pro Zombie Soccer was given a 100 on NoDPad, after an update was released to fix a crashing bug that was occurring.

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