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. Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft 94 iPad ONLY
CCG/Strategy, free, ages 12+, from Blizzard Entertainment
"Not only is Hearthstone one of the best F2P games I've ever played, it's unbelievably deep, rewarding, and satisfying."
This freemium, Magic-style collectible card battle game for iPads (it's also available as a PC game) comes from the team behind the World of Warcraft franchise.
From the Publisher: Pick up your cards and throw down the gauntlet! In Hearthstone, you play the hero in a fast-paced, whimsical card game of cunning strategy. In minutes, you'll be unleashing powerful cards to sling spells, summon minions, and seize control of an ever-shifting battlefield. Whether it's your first card game or you're an experienced pro, the depth and charm of Hearthstone will draw you in. Fun introductory missions bring you into the world of Hearthstone's intuitive gameplay. With hundreds of additional cards to win and craft - your collection grows with you. Play in practice matches against computer-controlled heroes of the Warcraft universe. Thrall, Uther, Gul'dan - they're all here! Your card collection is linked to your Battle.net account - enabling you to switch your play between tablet and desktop with ease. When you're ready, step into the Arena and duel other players for the chance to win awesome prizes!
Buy from Apple2. Monument Valley 89
Puzzle, $3.99, ages 4+, from ustwo
"To fans of experience-focused games, and you know who you are, you should assuredly pick up Monument Valley right this minute. It's a feast for your senses, is mysterious and vague enough to keep you thinking, and has a great, snappy pace to it without ever feeling rushed."
Easily this month's most graphically beautiful game, Monument Valley asks you to solve creative 3D puzzles vaguely inspired by the artwork of Escher.
From the Publisher: In Monument Valley you will manipulate impossible architecture and guide a silent princess through a stunningly beautiful world. Monument Valley is a surreal exploration through fantastical architecture and impossible geometry. Guide the silent princess Ida through mysterious monuments, uncovering hidden paths, unfolding optical illusions and outsmarting the enigmatic Crow People. Twist and drag to reshape the world and help Ida to explore. Designed to be easy for everyone to pick up, enjoy and complete. Audio reacts to your manipulation of the world to provide a surreal and beautiful soundscape. Best experienced with headphones.
Buy from Apple3. FTL: Faster than Light 89 iPad ONLY
Simulation, $9.99, ages 9+, from Subset Games
"FTL: Faster Than Light for iPad is optimized for touch screens and plays like a dream. The Advanced Edition is a good addition and this, more expansive version of the game even plays better than its PC, Mac and Linux counterparts."
It might be pricey, but this iPad port of the brutally difficult, critically acclaimed PC space sim/roguelike comes with the Advanced Edition expansion built in.
From the Publisher: The award winning PC spaceship simulation game from Subset Games comes to iPad! Includes the free expansion, FTL: Advanced Edition, which adds new ships, enemies, events, weapons, and more! In FTL you experience the atmosphere of running a spaceship trying to save the galaxy. It's a dangerous mission, with every encounter presenting a unique challenge with multiple solutions. What will you do if a heavy missile barrage shuts down your shields? Reroute all power to the engines in an attempt to escape, power up additional weapons to blow your enemy out of the sky, or take the fight to them with a boarding party? This "spaceship simulation roguelike-like" allows you to take your ship and crew on an adventure through a randomly generated galaxy filled with glory and bitter defeat. Key Features: - Give orders to your crew, manage ship power distribution and choose weapon targets in the heat of battle. - Pause the game mid-combat to evaluate your strategy and give orders. - Upgrade your ship and unlock new ones with the help of seven diverse alien races. - Hundreds of text based encounters will force you to make tough decisions. - Each play-through will feature different enemies, events, and results to your decisions. No two play-throughs will be quite the same. - Permadeath means when you die, there's no coming back. The constant threat of defeat adds importance and tension to every action.
Buy from Apple4. Wayward Souls 88
Action-Adventure, $4.99, ages 9+, from Rocketcat Games
"It's the kind of game you'll sit down to play one session of, and the next thing you know you've killed the battery on your phone."
Another challenging gaming experience, this dungeon crawler—a roguelike/action-RPG hybrid—comes from the folks behind Mage Gauntlet.
From the Publisher: Wayward Souls is an action-adventure game built for quick playthroughs and massive amounts of replay value. It was inspired by Spelunky, Secret of Mana, and our previous game, Mage Gauntlet. Procedurally generated random levels mean that every time you play the game, it's a different experience. Control one of six characters, all with their own unique playstyles, abilities, and equipment. Explore and fight for survival, in combat where your tactics, positioning, and timing matter. More Features: - Fancy control scheme with no virtual buttons or sticks to fumble over. - Unlock new areas, for increasingly punishing difficulty. - 13 area types, all with different monsters, potential traps, and rare encounters. - Each character can find equipment combinations that change their gameplay. - Victory is based on your increasing skill as a player, not solely on grinding. - Hats. - No IAP ever, even for the hats. All content updates will be free for our fans. - Unprecedented scope and variety for an action-adventure game on iOS, maybe anywhere. First update plans: A huge new area will be added to the game, along with feature requests from the players! You can reach us on twitter or facebook to give requests or feedback on the game:
Buy from Apple5. Joe Dever's Lone Wolf - Act 2: Forest Hunt 87
Action-Adventure/RPG, $4.99, ages 12+, from Bulkypix
"Forest Hunt continues the gripping and well-presented tale which began in Act 1, and while it doesn't bring any groundbreakingly new features, fans will find that it's just as entertaining and action-packed"
This is the second of four planned chapters in this new interactive story (with action-RPG elements) set, like Dever's gamebook series, in the world of Magnamund.
From the Publisher: "Night is drawing a dark cloak over the Sunken Forest. You shiver with anticipation; with the darkness will come danger…" Your adventure continues! Explore the frontier between the Kingdom of Sommerlund and the dreaded Darklands, face new powerful enemies and uncover the truth behind the attack on the village of Rockstarn! The story continues in the Sunken Forest, with meaningful choices, alternative paths, brand-new 3D locations and a magical minigame that will put your wits to the test! Last but not least, "Forest Hunt" features one of the most iconic and fearsome enemies you could face in Lone Wolf's world: are you ready to face the fearsome Gourgaz?
Buy from Apple6. Leo's Fortune 85
Platform/Puzzle, $4.99, ages 9+, from 1337 & Senri LLC
"Leo's Fortune delivers a platforming experience as creative and refined as any console game."
This adventure platformer is one of the more visually stunning examples of the genre you'll find in the App Store.
From the Publisher: Leo's Fortune is a platform adventure game where you hunt down the cunning and mysterious thief that stole your gold. Beautifully hand-crafted levels bring the story of Leo to life in this epic adventure. VOYAGE through lush environments from mossy forests and arid deserts, to pirate cities and snowy mountains. SURVIVE vicious traps and solve physics-based puzzles through 24 levels of treacherous adventure. FOLLOW the trail of gold and uncover the truth behind Leo's stolen fortune. "I just returned home to find all my gold has been stolen! For some devious purpose, the thief has dropped pieces of my gold like breadcrumbs through the woods. Despite this pickle of a trap, I am left with no choice but to follow the trail. Whatever lies ahead, I must recover my fortune." -Leopold
Buy from Apple7. CLARC 84
Action/Puzzle, $3.99, ages 12+, from Matthias Titze
"CLARC's personality, handsome presentation, and ingenious block puzzles make it easy to recommend."
Great comic-book-style visuals and a welcome dose of humor distinguish this indie action-puzzler, which features an unlikely romance between robot and missile.
From the Publisher: An actiony puzzle adventure. With drunk robots. CLARC combines complex spatial puzzles with arcade style action elements. As the story unfolds, the nerdy janitor robot Clarc will encounter partying robots, attractive nuclear missiles and intoxicated supercomputers. He sets out to repair his production facility on Mars and fights to rescue his friends from the intruding spaceship M.O.T.H.E.R. who threatens to disarm the factory. CLARC's grid-based gameplay, challenging puzzles and tight controls will give you the retro feel of your first console.
Buy from Apple8. Yomi 83 iPad ONLY
CCG/Fighting, $9.99, ages 12+, from Sirlin Games
"Intricate yet fun to learn, Yomi mixes fighting and card games together into a compact package that plays just as well on iPad as it does on your tabletop."
This card battle game evens the playing field by giving every player a balanced group of 10 character decks from the start. (A second group of 10 character decks can be purchased in-app for $9.99.)
From the Publisher: Yomi is a fighting game in card form. Learn your character, practice combos, and read the opponent's tendencies. 10 characters to choose from, plus 10 more expansion characters available inside the app. Yomi captures the mindgames from fighting games such as Street Fighter, and was created by the lead designer of Street Fighter HD Remix, who was also a long-time fighting game tournament player. Yomi itself is strategy card game that has held up to many years of tournaments. Start practicing now! • 10 character decks (10 more expansion also available) • AI opponents, including a pretty difficult AI • Survival Mode to play many AI opponents in a row • Tutorial to get you started • Online play, cross-platform with the web version at www.fantasystrike.com • Online leaderboards: start in the Student ranks and work up to Master ranks • Save replays of your games and watch replays from any other player, including top leaderboard players From the makers of Puzzle Strike, Flash Duel, and Pandante.
Buy from Apple9. Sometimes You Die 83
Puzzle/Platform, $1.99, ages 12+, from Philipp Stollenmayer
"What it lacks in physical dimension it more than makes up for in philosophical depth. A dark prince among puzzle games."
Almost an anti-game, this seemingly simplistic puzzle-platformer with a surreal, philosophical bent offers one last thought-provoking twist to those who complete it.
From the Publisher: In a game, you die. And imply that it has no effect on you. You feel invincible in the realm behind the screen. This one is different. In this game, you have to die. What is your motivation? What do you expect from this game? Do you want to beat it? How do you know it can be beaten? This game plays with expectation, illusion, and reality. Think before you act. Who knows what it means to die behind the screen? Is it only a number that goes up? Pixels that change their intensity? Solve disturbing, surprising, and malicious puzzles. Is it possible to go through the game without dying even once? Will you aim for it? Some think the game is easy. I think, those haven't discovered the hidden levels yet.
Buy from Apple10. Hitman GO 82
Puzzle/Strategy, $4.99, ages 17+, from Square Enix
"Square Enix Montreal has created a game in Hitman Go that avoids the trappings of so many other attempts to bring popular franchises to mobile devices—and the result is an experience that feels fresh, unique, and exciting from start to finish."
The Hitman franchise comes to iOS as a turn-based puzzler.
From the Publisher: Get your daily fix of Agent 47 with this elegant, strategy-based Hitman game! Hitman GO is a turn-based puzzle game with beautifully rendered diorama-style set pieces. You will strategically navigate fixed spaces on a grid to avoid enemies and take out your target or infiltrate well-guarded locations. You really have to think about each move and all the Hitman tools of the trade you would expect are included; disguises, distractions, sniper rifles and even 47's iconic Silverballers. With Hitman GO, you'll experience: • Challenging puzzles that put your assassination skills to the test • Beautiful scale model-style visuals • Environments with secret passageways and off-limit areas • Agent 47's tools of the trade: Distractions, disguises, hiding spots, sniper rifles and even the iconic Silverballers • Different enemy types with unique and deadly behaviours • Different ways of completing each level, silently or forcefully
|iOOTP Baseball 2014 Edition||Simulation/Sports||Apple||$4.99||12+||81|
|Wind-up Knight 2||Platformer||Apple||Free||9+||79|
|Tiny Space Adventure||Puzzle||Apple||$0.99||4+||78|
A few to avoid
RollerCoaster Tycoon 4 Mobile 36 and Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff 47 were the worst-reviewed iOS titles released in recent weeks, with Captain America: The Winter Soldier - The Official Game 54 not all that far behind.
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.