Still not sure iOS devices are a serious gaming platform? Game designers sure think they are, and the result is more and more big games making their way to the touch screen. Minecraft is a fine example of this, and this week, it's making its iOS debut with a highly playable portable version of the desktop game!
Snoopy's Street Fair (universal) - It's hard to ignore the power of free-to-play games, especially when they follow the hyper-addictive formula set by the likes of Smurf's Village and Tiny Tower. Snoopy's Street Fair drops you in the Peanuts' neighborhood where you can manage things like Sally's lemonade stand and Lucy's "advice" booth, selling all sorts of things to passers-by as you gather coins, unlock bonus items (including scans of the original comic strips), and send Snoopy out on various quests. It's every bit as engaging as games like We Rule, but with the careful attention to detail, a lighter emphasis on the minutae of management, and the deluge of nostalgic characters, this one could be an even bigger hit.
Chickon (universal) - From the creator of the Risk-like strategy game Galcon comes a very similar sort of game involving chickens, eggs, and robots! Send your little warriors to the robots' nests in order to slowly take them over. You gradually build up eggs while roosting, and the more nests you own, the more troops you can command! Fight off the machines as your work your way to the caged roosters, and once you free them, it's on to the factories for some seriously swarm-like levels. Power-ups give things an extra splash, but to get some good use out of them, you'll probably want to dip into the game's microtransaction system.
Minecraft: Pocket Edition (universal) - Around the same time Minecraft left its beta phase, the first iOS version of the game was released! Just like its Android brother, this mobile version of the sandbox building/exploration game only features the most basic gameplay elements at the moment. Tromp around the block world, creating and removing cubes as you see fit to build a towering... well, anything! There's not much to see beyond that at the moment, but you can save worlds and play with friends on your maps, so that's a great start.
NOTE: Games noted as 'universal' have been designed for iPod Touch, iPad, and iPhone devices alike. Any game not listed for iPad will work on the system, but native full screen will not be present. Games listed may not be available outside of North America. Prices are subject to change and are therefore unlisted. Please see the individual game pages for purchasing info.