Were you alive and mostly aware of your surroundings in 1984? Good, this article is for you! Karateka Classic is a mobile re-release of the original combat game created by Prince of Persia guru Jordan Mechner. Akuma has kidnapped the princess and you're going to fight your way through every one of his minions until you get her back. Bam! The music, the floppy drive loading sounds, the scan lines... it's all there. With some more modern features to accommodate touch screen controls, of course. But apart from that, it's all retro.
Locking horns with a great puzzle is an almost zen-like experience. There's something wonderful about letting the world slip away as you sink into the pure logic of a mind-bending puzzle. Of course, when that puzzle is as beautiful and engaging as Quell Memento, it makes the experience that much sweeter. Created by Fallen Tree Games, the lastest installment of the raindrop-sliding brainteaser Quell takes place in an abandoned house, filled with the memories of its previous owner.
Here's a fantastic idea for a restaurant: have a competent waitress who does her job well, then hire a cook that periodically flips out and tries to kill the customers. That's the general idea behind Cafe Murder, a mobile time management game from Beaver Toad Software that emphasizes character and personality over speed. It's not a game about seeing how fast you can serve sandwiches, it's a game about keeping your shop tidy and pleasing the customers. And boy do customers love it when they're not murdered!
Phoenix Wright is back, and he's in HD! After months of waiting Capcom has finally released Ace Attorney: Phoenix Wright Trilogy HD, packing three Phoenix Wright games into a single, easy-to-get-hooked-on download. It doesn't matter if you've never heard of the series or are a tried and true fan, Ace Attorney offers a lot of story and a lot of suspense in a very attractive package.
Greedy Grub is a freemium town building game from Pixowl with gorgeous artwork and gameplay that's just left of the norm. It immediately captivates you with its tale of a cute orange grub falling out of a tree, and every character you meet afterwards is just as quirky and lovable. Layer on top of that an honestly entertaining collection-centric gameplay mechanic and you've got the perfect recipe for an addictive mobile game.
Travel the world. Find exotic kittens. And put bread on their faces. Pokemon meets internet meme in this bizarrely endearing free iOS game, where adorable art and simple yet addictive gameplay war with some monetization issues.
Frozen Synapse puts you in control of a squad of armed troops and gives you the ability to precisely map out their actions and movements. Once you have settled on a game plan, you and your enemy's commands are then played out simultaneously in real time (the game's defining feature) and hopefully the resulting encounter leaves you with more men standing than the other guy.
From the creator of the SQUIDS series comes a truly casual, but also truly addictive, casual brawler. Simply swipe to attack as you learn to chain together powerful abilities and combos to defeat your foes, earning upgrades to become even more powerful, in a game dripping with charm... and satire!
Logistics is a physics puzzle game from Robb Akerson. Using only the most basic features from building games such as The Incredible Machine, it's your job to move objects around the screen, one piece of candy or one block of ice at a time. It takes a bit of fiddling to make sure everything is in the right place, but Logistics is built with casual players in mind, providing a good logical challenge but never making you feel frustrated.
CastleMine from Mugshot Games combines tower defense with a little bit of old fashioned digging. Instead of mapping out mazes for creeps to crawl through or building balloon things on green green grass, you get to dig underground one block at a time. Uncover extra gold deposits, additional resources, or even nests of enemies as you attempt to defend your castle from the threat from below.
If Beret Applications' Demon Chic were a person it would be a Brooklyn-dwelling record store clerk riding a fixie to a farmer's market while listening to Yo La Tengo. It would be of the species Homo ironicus—in other words, the creature popular culture has dubbed the hipster. Yet, astonishingly, the game is neither as insufferable nor pretentious as this analogy would suggest. Instead this mobile piece of art instead is an entirely successful marriage of action RPG gameplay with an absurd, darkly funny, and frequently touching story.
This barbecue is being crashed by some seriously unruly lizards of the prehistoric sort! Most gophers would turn tail, but you're not giving up your delicious steaks without a fight! Plan strategically and make use of a variety of clever tower types to defend your 'cue against incoming dinos of all sorts, ranging from hordes of sprightly compys to enormous bosses in this indie defense game.
The woods are no place to be stranded in. You can lose your way; you can lose your mind; you can even lose yourself. Developed by Simulated Culture, Rootwork is a new strategic card game that drops you into the heart of the deepest, darkest forest and challenges you to make it out safely. However, a stray critter or a thorny bush are the least of your troubles here. These woods are full of dark forces and malevolent spirits, and at the center of the dark maelstrom is "She." Who is She? That's uncertain. But these are Her woods, and if She wants you to stay lost forever the odds are stacked against you.
You know what your average tug-of-war game needs? A table instead of a rope. At least that's what Otto Ojola thinks, and he's turned the idea into Tug the Table, a simple yet wonderful fighting game that manages to be reminiscent of Wrestle Jump while still being unique.
A lot of kids who grew up with RC cars turned into today's gamers. That's a dangerous blanket statement to make, but you can't argue there isn't some overlap. After all, isn't driving a radio controlled car around the living room kind of like a video game? And didn't playing with RC cars and video games make your parents mad? Looking to bring those two worlds together, Paladin Studios, the team behind Momonga Pinball Adventures, has released Nikko RC Racer, a wild and untamed arcade racing game that's about as close to driving the real thing as you can get.
Money, or freedom. Which will you choose? McBank: The Puzzle of Money and Freedom uses stark, humorous imagery wrapped around a series of quick puzzles that play on the theme of the uneven distribution of wealth and power in modern society. Even though most of the world's money is controlled by a relative few people, the masses continue to support them with their purchases and actions. McBank forces you to to choose with each level you complete, and the results aren't always pretty.
Move fast! No, faster! No, even faster! Available in your browser or on your mobile device, Mini Dash is a challenging one-hit K-O platformer full of missiles, buzzsaws, daring jumps, and more that will test your mettle over and over.
After your rather unceremonious birth, you're sent to the temple of the Silene Monks, where you choose whether to be a medic, a warrior or an engineer. From there, it's up to you to make the right choices to fulfill your destiny and, most crucially, not die. But Trial of the Clone is more than a simple choose-your-own-adventure. Along the way you'll gain stat points, weapons and items, which you can keep track of via a built-in D&D-style Adventure Sheet. These come to play in battles which pop up occasionally and affect the course of the story. Battles are pretty simple: You deal damage to your opponent based on your given stats plus a random number from 0 to 3, and then your opponent does the same — the last one standing wins. Loss in a battle doesn't necessarily mean death; it may just mean being relocated to a different department (say, engineering, where physical strength, ability and charisma are less in demand).
Douglas Chase, the hero of Tasty Poison's arcade puzzle game Dig!, has it rough. He works as an archaeologist for a failing museum, and in order to save his job, appease his boss and rescue the museum, he has to dig up new and exciting artefacts, pronto. And he has to do all this while mummies, tentacles and moles chase him, which never makes things easy. Oh, and toilet seats count as priceless artefacts, by the way. Have fun!
Daddy Was a Thief is a solid little arcade game from Rebel Twins, creator of the gorgeous mobile release Crumble Zone. The story begins with dear old dad losing his job, then picking up a How-To book on robbery so he can nip off to the bank for a bit of thievery. When the action begins dad is making his escape. The only problem is there are hundreds of things standing between his high-rise hijinks and the safety of terra firma.
Something has gone terribly, horribly awry at Don Eduardo's zoo. Flesh-seeking undead animals are on the loose and you, plucky boy or girl, are the last line of defense in Zoombies: Animales de la Muerte!, a mobile line-drawing defense game from High Voltage Software. Could this be the worst field trip ever?
Armed with only an arsenal of letters, the Banana Breakers are here to save the day! In this Mastermind-meets-Boggle word logic game, you've got to split the grid of letters into a series of words. You can use clues from submitted words to help you deduce the positions of letters in a word, but your next guess might give you clues somewhere else entirely! Can you solve the grid without going bananas?
Perfection is a simple, casual puzzle game from Dumb and Fat Games, creator of Sling It! and Phantasmaburbia. It tests your spatial resolve by challenging you to slice bits of an object away until it fits inside an outline. There's no timer, there's no move limits, and there are no missions to complete. Just some relaxing music and a great game of self-challenge at your fingertips.
You can't help but smile when you make these monkeys happy in Pencil Kids' wonderfully interactive point-and-click puzzle game. In each stage, figure out what will make the weepy-eyed simian dance in glee. This means using objects creatively, solving puzzles and even completing a few arcade-type mini-games. Finish all 15 stages to be treated to a coin collecting adventure bonus level. But the joy on those adorable faces is what makes the effort worth it.
Explore a mysterious paper world and help the Paper Titans reunite as they work together in 45 levels to gather up three stars and reach the envelope sealed with a kiss. Fold up these quirky characters then put to collecting, throwing, flying, exploding and shamaning past obstacles in an elaborate 3D world which is instantly accessible via a touch and a swipe on your mobile device. Playing more as interactive art than a challenging game, those who enjoy distinctive visuals and relaxing gameplay can let their imagination run wild in this papercraft playground.
Bart Bonte is back (ok, so he never really went anywhere) with a brand new game, this time on iOS! Factory Balls began as an entry in one of our early Casual Gameplay Design Competitions in 2008. The puzzle game has grown and expanded since then, producing several sequels and finally landing on mobile devices with a stylish visual upgrade. Get ready for a new generation of infuriating, satisfying sphere painting!
Do you like numbers and loops? Of course you do! You're only human. Conceptis, the team who brought pencil puzzles like Link-A-Pix and Nurikabe to the web, are continuing their trend of porting their browser puzzles to the iOS platform, trading in the scratch of a pencil or the click of a mouse for the tap of a finger. Their latest App Store addition is Conceptis Slitherlink, a mobile iteration of their loopy logic puzzle Slitherlink Light.
In Hummingbird Game, you play a mother hummingbird trying to lead her babies — and some friendly butterflies, dragonflies, and other animals — into the nest while avoiding wasps. The gameplay is neat, the artwork is gorgeous, and there are a lot of little details that really give it polish.
New from inkle studios, the team that brought the interactive novel Frankenstein to iOS in 2012, Steve Jackson's Sorcery! is a digital re-imagining of the Fighting Fantasy roleplaying gamebooks. You don't have to be a fan of the classic series to enjoy Sorcery!, nor do you have to be an avid reader (or own a pair of dice). You just need a little bit of curiosity and a love of interactive stories.
Manipulate cells and bacteria to your liking in this shiny match-3 game. As you play scientist, get three of the same cells adjacent to each other to form a higher grade cell. Trap pesky bacteria to stop their roaming, and complete level goals to move on. Don't forget to try the shop if you get stuck!
Potato chips and a TV. What more could a human being possibly want? Apart from the fulfillment of hopes and dreams and all that stuff, of course. It's been several years since Dan Russell-Pinson's point-and-click adventure series Tipping Point has graced our screens. The iPad debut bundles together all four previously released chapters along with a brand new fifth chapter that resolves the little cliffhanger from chapter four. Tipping Point is some of the best point-and-click adventuring you'll find, and the story and setting make the game something truly special.
Welcome about your starship, commander. It may not have much going for it right now, but it's yours. With time, training, and diligence, you could turn it into a credit to Star Command's fleet... provided, of course, you don't get caught up in a deadly web of conspiracy and intrigue that could spell your demise. A challenging and addictive sci-fi simulation strategy game packed with gorgeous pixel art.
The most frightening things are often the ones you can't see. It stands to reason, then, that in a world where nothing is visible, just about everything is frightening. The Nightjar is an audio adventure from Papa Sangre that uses a rudimentary visual interface to allow you to explore a sci-fi horror adventure world. Every sound has a meaning, and every step moves you through a dark labyrinth of mental images. Now let's see if you can escape this ship you've been stranded on without getting eaten by one of those "complex, non-human" lifeforms!
To be a robot unicorn, galloping through the futuristic landscape straight from a prog album cover while feeling the wind in your luxurious mane, dashing recklessly through glittering stars and smashing into your component robot parts when you misjudge that one tricky jump... Robot Unicorn Attack 2 by PikPok and Adult Swim is a candy-coated cream puff of a game with a tough-as-nails center. In short, a new endless runner superstar.
Crabitron from Two Lives Left is a mobile arcade game that lets you live the life of a giant space crab. Using your giant space claws, crush vehicles and fend off space enemies as you turn space stuff into space lunch. There's nothing about those sentences that isn't awesome, and Crabitron goes out of its way to remind you that being a giant space crab is just that.
Describing Blendoku, a mobile puzzle game from Lonely Few, is simple: it's sudoku with colors. Blendoku is such an intuitive game that reading about its mechanics will take longer than grasping them through experience. Puzzle freaks are advised stop reading now and gobble up this colorful and satisfying gem. Everyone else, read on for all the convincing you'll need!
Hiversaires is a game about not knowing. Not knowing where you are, or why you're there. Not knowing what those markings on the wall mean. Not knowing where you're supposed to go, or how to get there. But eventually, piece by piece, figuring things out. Created by Aliceffekt, Hiversaires is a first-person point-and-click adventure that drops you cold into a dark, mysterious, monochrome world full of cryptic symbols and machines.
From Jesse Venbrux, whose name you might recognize from games like the Karoshi series or Focus, They Need to Be Fed 2 is a mobile sequel to a freeware downloadable game that's all about feeding helpless critters to chomping piranha plants. Neat, right? Don't worry, it's not all sad and evil. In fact, it's quite a cheerful mix of puzzle and platforming elements that works really well on touch screen devices.
It sounded like a simple heist... get into the old abandoned house, steal anything of value, and get out. But you're not alone in the dark, and something is very unhappy you've intruded. Explore an eerie house full of randomly generated treasure, grab what you need, and get out before you're caught, making use of ghostly eyes to see through the sight of the thing hunting you.
Which sounds worse: tennis or clowns? Ha, trick question! They're both equally creepy in their own way! 10tons totally gets that, which is why the team that brought us the physics puzzle game Tennis in the Face has released the follow-up Clowns in the Face. Now, instead of just smacking things in the face with tennis balls, you're smacking clowns in the face with tennis balls. Neat!
New from Halfbrick Studios, creator of Fruit Ninja and Jetpack Joyride, comes Fish Out of Water!, an arcade game that's one part fish tossing, and, well, another part fish tossing, too! Pick up a scaly friend and give 'em a throw, sending each one across the ocean to see how far you can go. Get an impressive distance score and skip off the surface of the water as many times as you can and you might just impress the crabby judges at the end. Seriously, the judges are crabs.
It's been three years since the first Cut the Rope game, but our little green buddy is still hungry! When a time machine so rudely nabs his next snack, Om Nom jumps in and chases after it. But really, can you blame him? Cut the Rope: Time Travel follows the well-established formula from the previous games, adding themed levels that take us through the history of the human race one era at a time.
NonoCube from Graycode Software takes the familiar picross puzzle and bumps it into the world of 3D. Now, instead of filling in squares on a flat grid, you carve out a shape by twisting and turning a cube shape floating freely in space. The same rules of logic still apply, you just have another dimension to worry about solving!
Yummies is a logic-based puzzle game from YUMMY Factory, the team behind the mobile brain teasers IQ Mission and IQ Mission: Epilogue. Your goal is to guide squishy-looking aliens to their respective capsules, nudging them along paths while you deal with all sorts of barriers and blockades. It's an extremely cerebral experience that's softened by a phenomenal visual presentation, right down to the grinning little aliens you'll be helping out.
Fester's brother has gone missing shortly after discovering gold, and Fester is determined to find him in this retro point-and-click adventure game. Your journey takes you through a small town in the wild West filled with quirky characters and humorous descriptions. Enjoy a Western-inspired soundtrack and great old-school graphics as you search for your missing brother.
Slayin isn't a game, it's a time machine rocketing from an 8-bit past. Pixel Licker's deliciously compulsive mashup of old school action RPG and contemporary endless runner-style progression is so infused with retro spirit that you might forget you're playing it on a device that lacks buttons.
Months after the tournament that decided Kurestal Kingdom's next ruler, one of the knights sacrifices his life to save the new king. In The King's League: Odyssey, the sequel to Kurechii's popular game from 2011, you manage a team of fighters who are looking to fill the job opening.
Pah. Tossed out with the rest of the garbage. The nerve! At least you have your freedom, though once you see what's ahead in this surreal world of shadows and machines you might want to go back to the junkyard. Badland is a one-touch action game from Frogmind that's sort of a cross between an endless flying game and a platformer. It tells a charming story without using a single word, expressing a range of emotions using little more than clever level design and plenty of beautiful, beautiful artwork.
Orion has one of the coolest jobs in the universe: creating constellations. While we'd really like to sit him down to find out how a bunch of random stars is actually a centaur with a bow, Trinket Studios has something better to offer. Orion's Forge is a new mobile puzzle game from the studio that brought us Color Sheep. Instead of defeating wolves with rainbows you'll be working with gravity as you manipulate energy to fill stars so they shine bright and clear in the sky.
Fairune is an action-puzzle RPG adventure much like the world where it is set: a place where illusion is reality and three spirit icons have gone missing, unlocking an evil scourge that generates monsters all over the realms. It looks like something you've played before yet eliminates hack'n'slash style combat in favor of solving puzzles. Instead of fighting, just walk over monsters and make your way across a maze-like retro environment, gathering the items you need to open new pathways until your ultimate goal: a showdown with three powerful bosses that will either end in victory or crushing defeat.
What's the crucial element missing from most games nowadays? If you answered anything other than "goats," you're wrong! Jumping goats make anything better, and that's been proven. By science. Released by Llamasoft, Goatup 2 is the goatiest retro platformer you ever did see. A follow-up to the endless jumper Goatup, this sequel is slightly more traditional gameplay experience, if your idea of tradition involves minotaurs in rainbow sweaters, the Queen of England and angry toilets.
Alien Hive, a game by Appxplore is a blend of match 3, sliding block puzzles, and resource management with some alien breeding mixed in. It's all a bit reminiscent of Triple Town, where you shuffle items around to fill in gaps and help tiles evolve to be all that they can possibly be.
Magicka is back! And it's mobile! And Vlad's still not a vampire! Bringing with it everything that made the original game a hit, Magicka: Wizards of the Square Tablet takes a slightly more action-oriented approach to the spell slinging arcade game. You still combine elements to cast various bits of magic that can harm enemies, yourself, and your teammates, but thanks to shorter levels and a new camera angle, it's now all about speed and strategy.
You know the old cliché of the adventurer being chased by the giant boulder? It's a trope that has appeared in numerous movies and games, but we never get to see things from the boulder's point of view. Well, that's all about to change! Indiana Stone: The Brave and the Boulder is an arcade-styled action game from Twinsky Games in which you play the larger, rounder, rockier half of the oft-imitated duo. Your mission is to crush the unnamed (but curiously familiar) archaeologist who has stolen your precious golden idol with the intent of locking it up in a stuffy museum.
Fetch is the story of a boy, his dog, and a bunch of arcade games living in a futuristic sci-fi world where robots and mega-corporations rule. A point-and-click adventure at its heart, Fetch is littered with so much gorgeous artwork and creative elements that its world springs to life, making it feel almost like a free-to-roam sandbox game.
The latest release from Pocket Planes developer NimbleBit, Nimble Quest drops the simulation formula in favor of a good old fashioned arcade game. And we're not kidding when we say "old fashioned". Nimble Quest is essentially the 40 year old game of Snake with a layer of RPG elements and free to play features draped on top. It's a very different experience than, say, Tiny Tower, but it's got that same level of simple charm we've come to expect from the studio.
The 2010s are shaping up to be the decade of the Internet renegade, yet for those of us without the technical savvy necessary to participate in virtually sticking it to the man, BoxCat LLC offers us a tempting and significantly more legal alternative with Nameless: The Hackers, a mobile RPG with a lot of virtual bite.
Solitaire Blitz is a fast paced addictive card game for your iOS device. It comes with all of the charm and atmosphere you've come to expect from PopCap. Challenge the clock and your friends as you try to clear all the cards within 60 seconds. Earn silver as you play, then spend it on boosts to help you up your score and unlock achievements.
It's a monster's life for you in this casual yet engaging indie simulation from Dejobaan Games! Going from a lowly morsel swimming in a vat of goop to (potentially) a respected elder that can influence the course of history, it's a whimsical, weird, and occasionally gross cross between a choose-your-own-adventure story and a visual novel that offers lots of replay value and laughs.
Bobbing is a fast-paced, finger-twitching, reflex-hounding action platformer from Little Bobby Games. You play as a little eskimo creature whose only ambition in life is to run endlessly through a circular labyrinth filled with twists, traps and lots and lots of fire.
Totems puts a simpler spin on the classic Risk (or Galcon) style of strategy game. Handing you a fistful of animal totems and placing you on a map, it's your job to outwit your opponent as you take turns dropping pieces on the board, claiming territories and fighting for control over the largest chunk of land.
The king is dead. Dibs on his crown! Ascent of Kings is a platform adventure game by Nostatic Software that sends you on an epic quest to become the next king. Your brothers are out to do the same, but because nobody thinks you've got the guts to do it, you have something to prove! The road from your home to the Shrine of Kings is a twisted and treacherous path, but there are a few handy items you'll encounter along the way that help you traverse the land.
Golf is, well, not traditionally the most exciting sport in the world. The clothing alone should tip you off to that fact. That's why everyone should play Super Stickman Golf 2 instead. The basic goal is the same: knock a little white ball into a hole somewhere on the green. Getting from start to finish means traversing some of the most impossibly mixed-up terrain ever seen. Laser beams, teleporters and sticky surfaces should have been part of golf from day one.
Dojo Danger from Kihon is the kind of game you can't wait to be good at. One part strategy and one part arcade physics, the setup is a bit reminiscent of the SQUIDS series, putting you in control of a group of heroes who can be shot around the screen in order to defeat the bad guys. This time around, though, you get to play as a band of ninjas ridding the world of a zombie invasion by smacking into them and knocking them into spike traps!
Block Fortress is Minecraft meets tower defense meets first person shooter, all squeezed down into a mobile game. Build a base in the middle of a blocky wilderness, place turrets and towers and power supplies to fortify your position, then send in the waves of enemies. Once combat begins, you shift from building mode to combat mode, taking a gun into battle and watching over your fort by blasting enemies by hand. It's incredibly exciting and also deeply rooted in upgrades and tactics, making it the sort of game you can play for months without truly mastering.
Adrift is a stylish logic puzzle game from Tack Mobile. It follows the gameplay outline of classic browser games such as Hyper Frame and 3D Logic II, eliminating the rotating cube in favor of a fixed isometric viewpoint, simple touch controls, and a sweet-as-candy visual presentation. Don't think that just because you only have three sides of a cube to worry about that things are going to be any easier to solve, however!
Fishing isn't exactly the wackiest sport. Tag it as Ridiculous Fishing, though, and suddenly everybody expects a certain level of, oh, ridiculousness. From Super Crate Box creator Vlambeer along with Greg Wohlwend of Mikengreg and Zach Gage of SpellTower fame, Ridiculous Fishing is a wholly upgraded version of the browser game Radical Fishing released in 2011. The premise? Fishing taken to a ridiculous level.
Minesweeper is the kind of game everyone's played at least once in their life. Or 57 times simply because, hey, it's there. When you combine zombies and the very familiar logic puzzle you get Zombie Minesweeper, a game from Frogtoss Games that is exactly what it sounds like: minesweeper with zombies chasing after you. Your job is to carefully move across the minefield, planting flags to mark dangerous tiles while you aim for the detonator at the end. Reach it and it won't be your brains splattered across the place.
As the saying goes, there's no use crying over spilled milk. Or in Yuri's case, a toppled bucket of water that has unleashed monsters that inhabit the lab where he works. The only real option available in Monster Meltdown, a new puzzle platform game from Ambient Studios, is to put on a spiffy suit that will allow him to teleport around the lab and find those creatures as quickly as possible.
Run, Commander Video, Run! Runner2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien is the next chapter in the BIT.TRIP series by Gaijin Games. You've got to jump, slide, kick, and glide your way to all of the gold bars while avoiding getting bonked by a ton of enemies. Sporting a wonderfully wacky atmosphere and fantastically catchy soundtrack, Runner2 is definitely a game you'll want to make a dash for.
Dungeon Plunder is one of those mobile games whose name says it all. Created by Dominic Duchesne, this randomly generated roguelike ditches most of the story and gives you precisely what you want in an RPG: looting, equipment, stuff to fight, and experience to gain. The best part is that combat is handled not with a menu system but with a good old fashioned slot machine!
You'll tap, pinch, slide and tilt, uncovering useful objects and deciphering enigmatic clues in this sequel to the quintessential multi-door escape game made popular by 58Works' original DOOORS. With at least 40 stages to delight your logic and lateral thinking skills, DOOORS 2 serves its purpose very well: opening the door to multiple opportunities for puzzling amusement on your mobile device.
Here's something you don't see every day: an endless runner made on a sweater. Well, not really, but everything in Knitted Deer is an actual knitted pattern, which suddenly makes pixel graphics seem less retro than before. Jump and shoot your way through the yarney landscape as you avoid just about everything you run into, the only exception being knitted coins and knitted power-ups!
From Dumb and Fat Games, creator of Phantasmaburbia, Sling It! is a quick-fire arcade game perfectly suited for satisfying your urge to break things while ridding the world of smoke-belching machines. It uses a simple-style difficulty progression that throws enemy after enemy in your face, challenging you to chip their metallic bodies apart and use the debris as a weapon. A bit of poetic justice, maybe?
The only thing that could make Plexus Puzzles better is more... and that's just what you get in Plexis: Together Till The End. Four times the jigsaws mean four times the fun, and with a cool chalk-art aesthetic and added animations between each puzzle, it definitely makes the most of its expanded ambitions.
Kuruma is a room escape game from MyGames888 with fantastic minimalist design that features a room that's empty except for a shiny new car. In this one you will use found items several times until you are breathing the fresh roof air. It's a quick and fun experience perfect for a break, be it mid-day or mid-week.
Created by a studio called, of all things, Taco Graveyard, Penumbear combines light-based puzzles and a platform adventure game into a very good-looking mobile experience. Playing as the aforementioned bear, you find yourself awakened by a color-changing firefly who leads you out of the dark castle where you dwell. Getting from dank cellar to sunny field is going to be quite a feat, though, but luckily you have a very special ability involving lights!
The Silent Age: Episode One from House on Fire is built like a classic point-and-click adventure game. It goes to extreme lengths to keep everything as crisp and minimalist as possible, reducing the controls to quick taps and pouring on massive amounts of attention-getting atmospheric details using just a few sound effects and some subtle gradients. But it's that stark simplicity that makes The Silent Age such a fetching game, one that will have you eagerly awaiting future installments!
The dead walk!... and it's you! In this wonderfully bizarre hybrid of slot machine and RPG, take control of a zombie king and his undead army as they rampage across the country through a series of graphic novel-styled adventures, doing battle over the reels and amassing enough loot to buy more units and weapons to expand your arsenal. Simple, fun, and immediately addictive, with a great sense of surreal ghoulish charm.
And if 2013 is the Year of the Snake, well, then there's absolutely no reason why it can't be the year of the Shadow Snake 3, the new arcade game from Play Panic, also as a free download for iOS and Android. Snake gameplay is as familiar as it is difficult to mess up, but this is a very soothing and fun interpretation.
Eighty-Eight is a puzzle game from Premiere Liaison that smashes together numbers and logic. The simple set-up places you on an 8x8 grid of squares with a few blocks resting comfortably at the bottom. New blocks appear, ready to be dropped, and with a little bit of forethought (ok, boatloads of forethought) you can create some elegant chain reactions and keep the screen as empty as possible. Or, you know, panic and start crying because THE NUMBERS ARE EVERYWHERE.
New in the line of mobile room escape games with "100" in their name ("door exit" games, if you will), 100 Crypts takes a bit of a darker tone with its series of point-and-click puzzles. Dropped off in a series of one screen rooms, your goal is to find a way to unlock the door, unseal the tomb, open the port hole, or do whatever it takes to leave the area, usually so you can find yourself in the exact same situation when you reach the other side!
Briquid is a physics puzzle game from Gamious that quite neatly combines brick removal, brick creation, and flowing liquids. With a few simple taps it's your job to shift all of the water on the screen to the designated zones, all while staying under your movement limit and without wasting a drop of the precious stuff. It's a bit of an extreme brain bender at times, but it's just accessible enough to work!
Art restoration is a tricky business. Make one false move, and you turn a beautiful fresco into a bowl of mashed potatoes. You can try your hand and bringing pictures back to life with Puzzle Restorer by Gavina Games. Mix and smear the paint around the grid, and try to match the target image. Your paints and brushstrokes are limited, so make every move count!
Color Sheep from Trinket Studios is an intense arcade game about a sheep that can change colors and shoot lasers. Wolves have escaped the Wolfcano and are stealing colors from the world. Sir Woolson, the Knight of Light (that's you), can change the color of his fleece to defend against the dark minions. But wolves don't adopt one or two basic shades. Instead, they sport almost two dozen different colors, meaning you got a lotta mixing to do and not a lot of time to do it!
Spunk and Moxie is a one touch platform game by Tilt Studios that relies on split-second timing and perfect reactions. It's a game of extremely high difficulty and no room for error, as the slightest little mishap will send you back to the beginning of the stage. That may not sound like a terrible punishment, but Spunk and Moxie is about high scores and unlockables, not raw level progression, so anything less than a perfect run is just not satisfactory.
Puzzle game plus farming plus mega-mustachioed man equals Sprinkfield, a logic-based game from Webstar Works that's as simple as watering the lawn. Well, not that simple, but it starts out with that basic direction and adds a little extra complexity from there. It's also a mighty handsome looking game, which is always a nice plus!
Year Walk, the latest mobile release from Simogo, is almost the exact opposite of the team's previous release Beat Sneak Bandit. It's a great credit to the studio, however, that such different games can be pulled off with equally impressive results. Structured like a minimalist point-and-click puzzle game, Year Walk weaves together various pieces of Scandinavian folklore to set an atmosphere of cold intrigue and foreboding mystery. It's a beautiful and very meaningful game, and quite the haunting experience if you sit down and let yourself get drawn into the story.
The original zombie-defending gardening sensation may be a few years old, but Plants vs. Zombies lives strong as it makes its way to more and more devices. The killer PopCap app hasn't changed much from its original incarnation, it's just been optimized for touch-based controls and smaller screens. It's just as wacky and fun as ever, though, so if you've never given it a try, now's your chance! It's Apple's Free App of the Week!
Relic Rush from Jason Pickering is a one-touch arcade game that makes Indiana Jones' job look easy. Relics are stashed at the end of a series of levels, each one guarded by a few denizens of the environment. As the creatures do their things, it's your job to tap the screen to put a temporary restraint on the protagonist's boundless energy. Pick your way across over 100 levels divided between five unique themes and see how good you are at not running!
It's not often one can look at a racing game and say "Wow, that appeals to a wide audience!" Cubed Rally Redline is one of those games. Created by No Can Win, this pixel art racing game has more in common with mission-based arcade games like Jetpack Joyride than your average racer. Hit the track, jump a few ponds, dodge some cows, and see how far you can go without crashing.
The world needs a QuestLord, and you're just the lucky person to do it! In QuestLord by Eric Kinkead, you play the only hero in a retro-styled, turn-based, first person RPG. Also, it's your job to save the Shattered Realm from destruction! You start with little more than a basic set of adventuring equipment and head into the wilderness ready to face skeletons, giant rats, living trees, and most frightening of all, greedy shopkeepers!
Explore a surreal, magical world inhabited by unusual monsters and other oddities, helping a little girl recover her stolen teddy bear in this point-and-tap adventure from Storybird. Solve conventional adventure game puzzles as well as tone-based riddles to progress through three beautiful chapters, unlock remarkable artwork in the gallery, and enjoy a lovely narrative-free story so charming that it will capture your heart and make you its everlasting friend.
Back in the olden days the life of our earliest ancestors was one of struggle and strife. Vegans and pescetarians hadn't found their chance to emerge yet and instead life was sustained through the efforts of hunters and gatherers. In Feast or Famine, a brilliant new action platform game by X4 Games, you will play the role of the hunter chasing after birds and bison while dodging an assortment of cranky creatures and environmental hazards. Shown through art inspired by caveman paintings this game is good enough for caveman and a throwback treat for us modern folk.
The clock is ticking, the fuse is burning, and the stakes are high... You're the only bomb technician in town who can defuse the logic puzzles in ShellBlast Forever, a mobile version of the Minesweeper-esque downloadable game by Vertigo Gaming. As you slide the SDUs around the grid, can you tell which tiles are deadly triggers from the numerical clues provided?
Everything's better with a buddy, and this vibrant iOS physics puzzler wants you to reunite two of them with the help of some very weird but very friendly critters. Though a familiar concept, Be Together shines with an exceptional amount of polish in everything from its design to its gameplay to be the sort of casual mobile game you can enjoy at any age.
There you are floating around on planet Eena, a world with unpredictable gravity, deadly walls covered in sharp things, and sentient triangles that shoot spikes at you. If you were some sort of nigh-invulnerable rock this might be ok, but you're a crystal ball that will shatter if a cloud looks at you the wrong way. Oh, and in order to move around, you have to wobble by temporarily defying gravity with quick screen taps. That's Tapforss in a fragile nutshell, a mobile arcade game from Like a Crocodile that cranks up the difficulty and provides a quietly impressive experience that's probably going to drive you mad.
Sometimes a puzzle game comes along that's so smart and so well-made, you wonder why it wasn't created like a billion years ago or something. Puzzle Retreat from The Voxel Agents is one such game, combining elements from sokoban and a sliding block puzzle to create an impressively challenging game that is almost completely void of frustration. You just sit, stare, and play, all while marveling at the beautiful visuals before your eyes.
Calling all heroes! It's up to you to defend the castles of the kingdom in Wild Heroes. In this tower defense game you must place your heroes wisely to keep the enemy at bay. Upgrade them to wild status to really do some damage. Show the monsters what a hero is really capable of!
It's the end of the world, but turn that frown upside down, because the apocalypse has never been so cheerful! In this free iOS simulation, you're in charge of rebuilding a utopian society in space... by yourself. Fortunately for you, you've got an endless supply of incoming clones, and a bunch of genetic material to mix and match to create more jobs and more buildings. A vibrant pixel style and cheeky sense of humour make this one light, addictive casual sim that's hard to put down.