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.
1. Ryan North's To Be Or Not To Be 90
Adventure/Gamebook, $5.99, ages 12+, from Tin Man Games
"This game is utterly uproarious, and Tin Man did a great job at using their gamebook engine, along with their visual and music touches, at making this come to life."
Not satisfied with Hamlet as William Shakespeare penned it? Create your own version(s) of the play in this irreverent, branching-narrative take on the classic.
From the Publisher: William Shakespeare's Hamlet has finally been restored to its original second-person non-linear branching narrative format. I know! What took so long, am I right? Now it's up to YOU to decide what happens next. Play as Hamlet and revenge your father's death. Play as Ophelia and make scientific discoveries. Play as King Hamlet, Sr. and die on the first page! Discover sweet art as you play from some of the greatest and most attractive artists of Our Time, including Kate Beaton (Hark! A Vagrant), Anthony Clark (Nedroid), Mike Krahulik (Penny Arcade), Matthew Inman (The Oatmeal), Ethan Nicolle (Axe Cop), Andrew Hussie (MS Paint Adventures), Zach Weiner (Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal) and WAY more!
2. Magic Touch: Wizard for Hire 87
Action, free, ages 9+, from Nitrome
"Its quick pace, combined with the simple fun of line-drawing, makes it a must-play, particularly for people that need to waste small bursts of time during a commute."
The makers of Icebreaker: A Viking Voyage return with an ad-supported free game that asks you to draw shapes on the screen to pop balloons carrying robots that threaten your town.
From the Publisher: Wanted, Wizard required for defence duties. Must be proficient in spell casting to pop varying balloon types that may be utilised by intruders. Must be confident working alone and comfortable facing aggressive hordes. Advanced magic techniques desirable but can be learnt on the job. Applicant expected to provide their own spell book and potion bottles. They also may be required to make tea and answer phone calls.
3. Silly Sausage in Meat Land 86
Action, free, ages 9+, from Nitrome
"A bright and wonderfully well put together game, Silly Sausage ranks with Nitrome's best."
—Pocket Gamer UK
Another ad-supported free action game from Nitrome, Silly Sausage features a unique stretching mechanic.
From the Publisher: Meet our stretchy pooch: Silly Sausage in his adventure through Meat Land. Swipe based controls will allow you to stretch through the air changing direction as you go. Latch onto a surface and your dachshund will retract to that spot. Having an infinitely stretchy body is pretty handy, but it's not all plain sailing. Your exposed body is vulnerable to all sorts of meat cutting instruments so don't over stretch yourself or you could end up butchered!
(tie) 4. Sid Meier's Starships 85 iPad ONLY
Strategy, $14.99, ages 12+, from 2K
"Sid Meier’s Starships is as much fun as you’d expect from the mind behind Civilization and Pirates!, but it’s a bit of a rocky start."
Also available for PC, the latest from 4X specialist Sid Meier is a sci-fi strategy game that ties into the recent Civilization: Beyond Earth.
From the Publisher: Take command of a fleet of powerful starships in this adventure-driven strategy game from legendary designer Sid Meier. Travel to new worlds, completing missions to help save and protect the planets and their people from dangerous Space Pirates, to powerful Marauders and other hostile factions. Build a planetary federation as you strengthen your fleet and secure your homeworld as you attempt to preserve intergalactic peace and your vision of humanity. Set in the universe of Civilization: Beyond Earth after the age of the Seeding, Sid Meier’s Starships offers sci-fi/strategy fans a full stand-alone game experience that also features cross-connectivity with Beyond Earth, expanding the depth of both games. See if you have what it takes to rule the universe!
(tie) 4. Adventures of Poco Eco - Lost Sounds 85
Puzzle, $2.99, ages 4+, from Possible Games
"It might not challenge you, but Adventures of Poco Eco will delight you."
Unique, atmospheric exploration/puzzle game features an electronic music soundscape and artistic 3D visuals.
From the Publisher: A relaxing exploratory game in a mind-blowing audio-visual world. Get involved in this special tale, choose quick adventures if you want to rush through, or take your time and explore a world of sound & design. Discover a new world where there’s a lot to see and even more to hear. Help Poco Eco, the curious explorer complete his mission. Your goal is to help Poco and his tribe find their Sounds that they’ve lost by solving the mini puzzles and completing all twelve 3D animated levels. By downloading the game you also get free access to Iamyank’s new LP.
6. SwapQuest 85
Puzzle/RPG, $2.99, ages 9+, from Constantin Graf
"It’s full of neat little touches and moments that’ll make you smile and want to keep on playing."
Retro-styled puzzle-RPG hybrid lets you choose between two characters as you explore the fantasy world of Aventana.
From the Publisher: SwapQuest is a captivating new mix of easy-to-learn puzzle mechanics and old-school RPG elements. The kingdom of Aventana is under attack by a demon cloud known as the Horde. Many legends tell of its destructive power and how it devoures everything in reach. Will you become the hero Aventana needs? Can you find the magical sword that is said to be powerful enough to defeat the Horde? Play as Prince Wilbert or Princess Wilma and go on a journey through the land to become stronger, wiser and braver as you fight cursed monsters, find invaluable treasures and discover the secrets of Aventana.
7. TouchTone 84
Puzzle, $2.99, ages 12+, from Mikengreg
"If you can stick with it and see it through, I promise the juice is worth the squeeze."
Indie story-based puzzler asks you to decrypt messages to prevent potential terrorist attacks.
From the Publisher: If you solve something, say something. In today's world, it's all on the line. Answer the call. Join your fellow citizens to decrypt suspicious messages and help make our nation safer and stronger! For every puzzle you solve, for every dangerous message you bring to our attention, you make your family and your country that much safer. Solve high-level decryption algorithms through a puzzle-like interface, then uncover potential plots and unmask suspicious individuals. Reach into their past to follow their movements and uncover their motives, track their associations and evaluate the threat. The guilty have nowhere to run. The innocent have nothing to hide.
8. Flop Rocket 83
Action/Arcade, free, ages 9+, from Butterscotch Shenanigans
"This arcade game feels like a silly mash up of Lunar Lander and Jetpack Joyride, which is mostly a good thing."
Pilot your spacecraft through caves and around space ducks (!) in this challenging indie flying game. A one-time in-app purchase eliminates ads and adds additional ship upgrade options.
From the Publisher: Pilot your Flop Rocket through a 5 kilometer cave filled with dragon-like Spaceducks, enormous rock-worms, and other space-time anomalies as you try to prevent an underfunded space program from going bust. Why is your space program housed in a cave? GOOD QUESTION.
9. Blokshot Revolution 82
Arcade/action, free, ages 4+, from Foxhole Games
"A neat twist on the shooter with some surprisingly sharp claws."
—Pocket Games UK
Ad-supported, block-smashing arcade-style game features a well-executed take on the classic Arkanoid concept.
From the Publisher: Feel the rush. A beautiful firework display of hypnotic neon destruction. Game Features: * Throw fireballs, smash blocks, score big. * Timing-based one-touch gameplay. * Pumping EDM soundtrack. * Combos for massive scores. * Triple Shot power up. * Challenge friends to beat your score. * Created by AAA developers of worldwide smash hit games.
10. Card Crawl 80
Card/Adventure, $1.99, ages 12+, from Arnold Rauers
"Card Crawl is an impressively solid card game that borrows what works from other games and spins it into it’s own, unique, game."
Card Crawl is a mix of solitaire, card battle, and dungeon crawler, with two game modes to choose from.
From the Publisher: Card Crawl is a solitaire style Dungeon Crawler played with a modified deck of standard cards. Clear the Dungeon of 54 cards by using item-cards, slaying monsters and managing your limited inventory. Each run you can use 5 ability-cards (mini deck building) which will give you unique skills. By collecting gold you can unlock 15 ability-cards which enable new tactics and even better highscores. Card Crawl’s 2 single player game modes are enhanced via Game-Center to compare scores and the associated decks created by each player. A typical game can be played within 2-3mins and is a perfect one more game experience while waiting in line or commuting.
More Good New iOS Games, March 2015
Final Fantasy Record Keeper
Heavenstrike Rivals - A Monster Tactical TCG!
Mr Jump (2015)
Pixel Heroes: Byte & Magic
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.
A few to avoid
The past month's worst game (with 4 or more reviews) is Stan Lee's Hero Command 51.
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.