Have you been going through Dolphin Olympics withdrawal over the last few years? Don't worry! Series creator Alan Rawkins has been hard at work on a tasty little surprise: Dolphin Up, a mobile version of the water-based stunt/physics game, now prepped and ready for your iOS enjoyment! It's all the splashes, all the high scoring, high flying acrobatics of the browser games squished into the palms of your hands. Plus, there's plenty of that squeaky, jittery, uh, clicking and whistling... sound... whatever you call that noise dolphins make. It's got that!
Hey there strategy and tower defense fans! Just a little note to announce a bit of good news for iPhone and iPod Touch owners. Kingdom Rush, the so-awesome-it's-mega-awesome tower defense game from Ironhide Games, has finally made its way to small-screened iOS devices, following Kingdom Rush HD for iPad and the browser version of Kingdom Rush last year. The game stands out as one of the best defense/strategy game on the planet, capturing two awards in our Best of 2011 feature, including Best Browser Defense or Strategy game along with Game of the Year! If you haven't tried it in one of its incarnations, you owe it to yourself to correct that mistake immediately!
Mobile developer Orangepixel has made a name for itself by crafting unique action arcade games that go to great lengths to tickle that nostalgic gaming bone of yours. With the team's latest release, Chrono&Cash, a single-screen loot gathering game that challenges you to grab the gold while avoiding the baddies that constantly stream from the doors. It's a bit like the original Mario Bros. (not Super Mario Bros., mind you) mixed with a little Super Crate Box, and it's a great fit for an on-the-go arcade fix.
Oscura is a dark and shadowy mobile platform game created by Chocolate LIberation Front. The silhouette-based visuals might remind you of games like Limbo, but Oscura is much more grounded in action, preferring exaggerated leaps over more limited, realistic physics. Some of the levels feature horribly frightening phantasms, not all of which come in the form of moving enemies. But the visual design is one of Oscura's strong points, and you'll find it's both a graphical treat as well as a platform player's dream.
The number of "just one more round" games on mobile devices has increased dramatically since Jetpack Joyride gained its popularity (see the browser release Chuck the Sheep for another fine example). Each one features short stages, upgradeable abilities, in-game currency that can either be collected while you play or boosted with in-app purchases, and simple gameplay that grabs you within seconds of starting. Dragon Flight is one such game, though instead of going the route of sidescrolling arcade game, developer NextFloor plops you on a dragon for a vertical shooter that even casual fans can enjoy and (eventually) master!
Commander Pixman is in trouble. Or, rather, the aliens whose base he has just crash landed on are in trouble! Armed with a gun and a good pair of jumping boots, you have the honorable pleasure of escorting Commander Pixman through over 135 levels in this retro-inspired action arcade game, destroying aliens, evading traps, and making pixel-perfect jumps time and time again. And if you fail, you get to watch your flub a second time on instant replay!
Filed directly under the "yes I'm old enough to remember the games this game was inspired by" category, The Sky is Falling from Ovine by Design is a retro arcade game that would have to revert to lines scratched in the sand to be any more old school. It's built around a simple mechanic that gradually gets more difficult as you play, offering up a crazy premise and a lot of gameplay mastery that only comes with practice, practice, and probably some more practice!
A certain giant nuclear lizard and his fellow monster nemeses have had exclusive raging rights in Japan, but has their reign finally come to an end? Adult Swim along with PikPok Games is contesting the monster mayhem supremacy with an arcade-style puzzle game for Android and iOS called Monsters Ate My Condo. As it heavily parodies the Showa (aka monster) era of movies, you need to appease the behemoths by feeding them condo buildings for super high scores until your apartment tower topples over. Your building may fall and the game will end, but you will keep coming back for more of this frenzied arcade action.
It's dangerous in the primordial soup, a place where infected organisms roam hungrily looking to consume or destroy anything that crosses their path. At least, that's the scenario behind the fantastic Amoebattle by Grab Games, a real-time strategy gem created for iOS devices. Inside, at the microscopic level, it's a constant state of warfare, and war is heck.
When you're trapped in a world filled with nightmares made flesh and are out for YOUR blood, your best bet is to... RUN FOR YOUR LIFE! Nightmare Runner puts you in the depths of hell in this run and jump shooting game built with a player level upgrade system and in-game pick ups to aid in your escape. With an ambient choir-meets-action movie soundtrack and an easy one button click interface, you get easily entranced into 2D world that flows smoothly with the music and the difficulty. You have an infinite clip of bullets and finite distance to travel for salvation so this evil can be trounced in a single, well-lit sitting.
Explore deeply layered fantasy landscapes, encounter boss battles and intriguing characters, discover treasure chests and secret coves, upgrade armor and weapons, level up and and everything else you'd want to find in an epic RPG platforming adventure. The on screen controls make your journey all the more enjoyable for a classic gaming feel. Any nostalgic cravings you had for your favorite games of old will be satisfied as you are the hero and your quest is great. Keep that sword handy and your magic prepped; who knows what danger lurks beyond those gates? You'll soon find out!
Oh no! The king of the realm needs you to save the princess from the evil clutches of the Dark Knight! Go figure, right? Wind-up Knight is a mobile run and jump adventure very similar to Canabalt HD except you get a fancy sword and armor to fight enemies while dodging traps to make your way to the princess. Convenient items in adventuring, yes, but it won't save you when the Dark Knight starts getting really serious about stopping you. A knight's mettle will never be more tested and neither shall your timing skills as pits, enemies, and environmental dangers stand in your way.
Everybody wants to rule the world, and zombies are no exception. In Brainsss, a wild sort of mobile game by Lonely Few, you get to help the zombies start their plot for world domination. Part strategy, part action, part brains, you must lead and grow your zombie horde to complete the goal for each level. Humans just don't get it. Life is so much simpler if all you need are brainsss.
The classic first-person shooter credited with jump-starting the genre on PC gets a re-release in HTML5! As Captain B.J., blast your way through three different missions and all the original levels of over-the-top retro action. It's cheesy, it's violent, and back in its day it was more than a little controversial, but Id Software's iconic title is responsible for siring many of the games you play today and is still as fun as ever.
We are not alone. Life has been discovered on Mars, but it's nothing like we ever expected to encounter. In this gorgeous, one-of-a-kind moody action adventure game for iOS, you'll journey deep into the red planet and uncover the secrets buried within its soil. Discover new life forms and challenging puzzles that force you to use the environment to your advantage as you help the planet grow... and ultimately decide its fate.
As a white neon ghost creature, you guide Spirit through waves and waves of abstract style enemies. Easy to use touch movement, but difficult mastery of avoiding and capturing your foes in the next dimension. With three different modes to try out and the need to outscore yourself or gaming friends, your fingers will swiping and sliding across the screen for hours to come.
It was once the dream of man to fly through the sky as the birds. Now, a cat is dreaming of it too. David Ngo and Don-Doung Quach, rocket scientist turned game designer and a programmer respectively, decided to bring some of their nerdiness to the iOS marketplace in the form of an action adventure game. Cannon Cat follows the story of Meo in his quest to save all the skyfish from the clutches of Evil Emu and his flightless bird army. A determined cat has never looked so cute being fired from a cannon, and it will fly straight in to your heart, free of charge. After eight months at the scratching post, a high-flying adventure is born that 'haz mad skillz' to go with the fantastic visuals and wonderful story for all ages.
The cheese is the prize in this gloriously cartoonish and vibrant stealth mobile/tablet game from Electronic Arts. Guide a daring mouse hero through 70+ levels, drawing a path for him around his ferocious feline opponents. Contend with ghost cats and villainous constructs, outwit mouse traps, and drink in one of the most polished casual gaming experiences you could want in the process.
Well, would you look at that, another kingdom is in peril and you must defeat the king's power hungry son before it is too late. Nano Kingdoms puts you in charge of His Majesty's forces as you carve a path towards his evil son. Easy-to-figure out click controls make this realtime strategy defense game a nice choice for first time RTS players. The sounds are well-made, the art is wonderfully cartoonish, and the difficulty will leave you satisfied with your micro-managing skills.
Your sacred grove is being desecrated! Evil spirits once again threaten the balance of a peaceful woods in Bloom Defenders, and it's up to your green thumb to stop them. This charming tower defense title by Juicy Beast has sprouted up out of your browser and is now available on your mobile device! Five varieties of tree-towers are at your disposal across 36 levels of simple, challenging strategy action.
Hexage, creator of Evac and Everlands, pits your human military prowess against endless alien swarm in this mobile tower defense game, Radiant Defense. Defense of your spiral reactor (which looks oddly like a stove burner) is the number one priority since it keeps out those pesky invaders from, you know, destroying all humans. Radiant Defense definitely keeps elements that you would always expect from the tower defense genre, but you remove the predetermined path and get the ability to create the path they will follow to their doom (hopefully). Lasers will fly, aliens will die, and the entire time your fingers will be nimbly working to hold off a rather comically bad invasion story unfold.
Have you ever watched an Indiana Jones movie and thought "I could totally do all of that stuff. Easy!"? Well, thanks to Imangi Studios, creators of Temple Run, you can give it a shot! Just don't expect hundreds of thousands of adulating fans, actual fortunes gained, or a fine battle-worn fedora to suddenly appear on your melon.
If you mixed Robot Unicorn Attack with a great big helping of Jetpack Joyride and threw it all into the ocean, this incredibly colorful arcade game would jump up and smack you with a rainbow. Sea Stars gets your finger tapping to help these cute undersea creatures swim and jump past obstacles that would otherwise ruin their good time. Hothead Games made sure you wouldn't miss out on the fun by putting the app in every mobile marketplace. Just dive right into their vast ocean home so you can begin a journey that ends only when you put the app down.
Bam! Caught ya! Being stealthy is something we all do when creeping around the kitchen at night, going for that last piece of cake before anyone else in the house gets a crack at it. In Stealth Bastard, a stealth platform game from Curve Studios, moving around unseen is what it's all about. Instead of getting busted and forfeiting half a slice of cake, though, you get blasted to pieces by a robot laser the size of your torso. Ouch!
Ages ago, a mighty wizard built a castle to guard his secret treasures. Then... he vanished, leaving all that booty just sitting around. Monsters noticed the unguarded treasure, too, and started out to nab it. If only they knew of the force they would have to reckon with when they got there: your fingers. Treasure Swipe is a frantic mobile arcade game laced with unlockables and coated in a slick presentation worthy of your best touch screen device!
So, whales can't fly, right? Keep that in mind while playing Whale Trail, a colorful one button arcade "cave flying" game that has recently spread from iOS devices to include other mobile markets. Baron von Barry is chasing Willow the Whale, and in order to escape, she has to take to the skies, staying afloat by collecting bubbles scattered throughout the clouds. It's cute and colorful,
The title says it all: Canabalt HD is Canabalt in HD! The epically popular one button running game that originally appeared in browsers back in 2009 has made its way to the mobile scene before. There's even C64anabalt for the Commodore 64! Now, with bigger, more powerful mobile devices around, this high-definition version of the game comes along, featuring remade 3D backgrounds and smoother animation. Don't worry, though. It's still just as easy to leap out a window and smack into another building!
180 might not offer a lot in the way of innovation, but you'll be hard-pressed to put this casual arcade puzzler for your mobile device down! Match coins in colours to clear space for as long as you can, and tap coins to flip them over and set up big chains. Simple, colourful, and oh so addicting.
It seems like this particular group of birds has been pretty upset with a particular group of pigs for quite some time. Now that they've taken their shenanigans to outer space, you can bet the madness isn't going to calm down anytime soon. Rovio Mobile has dropped its irate little friends into the role of space super heroes defending their egg-shaped homeland in Angry Birds Space. The physics/action game calls upon your mental fortitude to use gravitational forces to destroy all of evil-pig-kind. The angry birds are back and they need your help!
Guide a laying hen around her running eggs until there's enough of them to set off a chain reaction hatching explosion! If that idea doesn't brighten your mood by itself, we'll sweeten the deal by telling you it features zany kazoo music and the cheerful art of master developer Orisinal. Now you're ready to get cracking!
Have block, will tip it over in every direction trying to slide it through the exit pit! Brain Cube is a mobile game that's similar to the browser game Bloxorz, putting you in charge of a little rectangle that can be flopped bottom over top to maneuver it around a grid-shaped board. The goal is to move to the exit chute so the block slides neatly through, but getting yourself in the right position at the right time takes planning, luck, and probably a lot more planning.
It's been years since the king has sat on the throne of Kurestal Kingdom. His heirs are no longer living, though, so to find the next leader, the king has issued a challenge. Whoever wins The King's League will challenge the king himself and emerge with a shiny new throne to call their own! The mobile version of the 2011 browser game works quite well on touch screen devices, and it still provides serious challenge while looking just as cute as a button!
An arcade game of raw survival! Standing on a cloud-piercing mountain, it's you versus evil alien robot things who really want to be kind of this here hill! Armed with a single-shot gun, you must lob shots at the foes to keep them away from the pinnacle. Two control schemes let you customize how you play, but beyond that, it's up to your skill with this simple weapon to see how long you can survive. Bonus 16-bit visuals give it an extra epic feel!
Most of us have been craving a game that pits skeletons against pizza. Obviously, pizza is going to be the winner, which is why this crazy hodgepodge sort of arcade game puts you in control of a giant, customizable pizza. Skeletons rise from the soil every thousand years, but a doughy arch nemesis arises this time around, and it's your job to roll, jump, and crush the boney bad guys with your supreme skills. Not only that, but you'll participate in over 100 neat-o levels with dozens of themes, including skiing down long snowy slopes, finding and rescuing puppies, balancing, swimming, taking out skulls in a very Crush the Castle sort of manner, and even customize your pizza with all sorts of accessories. You're a Renaissance pizza, that's for sure. A very creative game that's worth its weight in laughs and sheer awesomeness. Pizza vs. Skeletons Free is also available.
The Fancy Pants Adventures is now available for iPhone and iPad! Referred to as simply Fancy Pants, this is the fast-moving blur of a browser game we've all come to worship over the last few years, including the more recent and feature-filled XBLA and PSN releases. Tons of levels, tons of extras, and tons of creativity. It's so much Pants, you'll barely be able to contain yourself!
If you're the kind of person who spent many hours playing Pac-Man, then Evac is for you. You play as a square, attempting to escape from a maze-like prison. In order to unlock the door at the end of each level, you must collect all of the multi-colored dots. This isn't an easy task, however, as red squares will attempt to capture you. Luckily, you're not left defenseless. Many different power ups exist, such as the ability to turn invisible or the ability to shock your pursuers.
Aww, poor little armadillo. Too heavy to fly because of that thick armor on your back? Don't worry, you're great at rolling, and we're sure that if you get enough speed going, you can jump really really high, which is pretty similar to flying. In a way. The mobile release of the browser game of the same name, Dillo Hills is a charming and rather engrossing game of quick reflexes and gradual mastery!
Ever feel like a small fish in a big pond? Well, Grow can help you reconcile that feeling. You play as a small fish in a variety of habitats, ranging from a tiny jar to the less-than-tiny ocean. Your mission is simple: eat anything smaller than you so you can get bigger! In some levels you will have to eat a certain number of fish to progress, while in others you must simply survive for a certain amount of time.
Captain Skyro is a classic "pull back and fling" game similar to the old browser series Sling, only instead of tossing around squishy gross things, now you get to control a pirate! Grappling up through the clouds, you'll encounter cargo holds full of crazy obstacles, clouds that you'll swear are out to get you, and score-based gameplay that will inspire you to go back and play again, just so you can nab that last coin!
No one ever said being a bandit was easy. Especially not a righteous Beat Sneak Bandit! This impressively creative game from Simogo (Bumpy Road, Kosmo Spin) combines the most basic musical elements with a visually sparse but stunning art style. The gameplay is different from just about every other iOS game out there, and you'll absolutely fall in love with it from the very first level!
It's a serious trip on Nostalgia Lane when you pick up Retro Racing, an arcade-style racer from the creator of QWAK. True to its roots, you focus on pure skill and coming in first place rather than crazy jumps or tweaking your car. Look for the most efficient path through each course, and pick up power-ups to increase your car's speed, acceleration, or tire stickiness to keep you in the game. Mistakes must be kept at a minimum, as this game doesn't coddle you just so you feel like a winner. Earn your rank and you will be rewarded! A neat local two player mode is also available.
Off the Leash (iPhone/iPod Touch) - The life of a dog is wrought is stress. Take, for example, running from the police, avoiding obstacles, staying away from stationary human folk, and gathering coins and power-ups, all while recruiting as many dogs as you can without stopping even for a moment. Off the Leash is just such a crazy game, utilizing motion controls for a mission-based arcade experience that's, well, completely off the leash. Control a pack of dogs running from the police while you work to go as far as you possibly can, increasing your pack size to gather more power-ups and switching your running formation to creep through difficult obstacles. It's an absolute riot of a game, and once you start completing and seeing new, crazier missions, you'll be absolutely hooked on this gorgeous game. From the same team that brought us the equally-awesome Land-a-Panda!
The SNES/Square classic makes the leap from 1993 into your hands with this port of the huge RPG action adventure. You play a boy from a small village who, unwittingly, draws the legendary Mana Sword from a stone and is banished for what the villagers perceive as an ill omen... and when you get wrapped up in a conflict to save or destroy the world, it looks like they might be right. The real-time combat may feel a little odd to pick up on a touchscreen initially, but quickly becomes second nature, and the huge world combined with the action and colourful environments make this one effortlessly engaging despite an admittedly tried and true storyline.
Hey, Super Crate Box, the awesome arcade and shooting game released by Vlambeer way back in 2010. What are you doing on the iTunes App Store? What's that? Being as awesome as the PC/Mac downloadable version? Sounds great! With handfuls of unlockables, perfectly-tweaked touch controls, and a constant worldwide tally of crates collected, you'll be short on excuses not to play this lovely, crazy little game.
Originally released as a WiiWare download back in 2008, LostWinds has finally wafted its way to the iOS device world, bringing with it the same shining visuals, imaginative gameplay, and creative use of physics, all told through the wide eyes of a young boy. LostWinds combines traditional platforming elements with a touch of wind manipulation, giving you control over more than just the main character as you explore the lush world before you!
New to the iPad world is the tower defense game we all love to love, Kingdom Rush HD from Ironhide Games, a port of Kingdom Rush for browsers released not too long ago. The team had a bit of a problem when an unauthorized clone appeared on the iTunes App Store weeks before release. The knockoff was spotted and eventually removed (whew), leaving space for this excellent port of an already excellent game to wow and surprise gamers in the iOS device realm!
Infinity Blade 2 is the reason your iOS device exists (other than all of that non-gaming stuff, of course). It's the deep, compelling, great-looking release that melds the casual and the mainstream gaming ideals together. It seamlessly incorporates a strong fantasy story with role playing elements, upgrades, exploration, and even a hint of hidden objects along with fast-reflexes action that will make you sit up straight to play.
Swift Stitch, from Sophie Houlden, author of some fan-favorite browser games like Linear RPG and BOXGAME, is a one button (almost) arcade game that's all about speed, direction, and crashing into walls because you got confused as to which way your ship was going to go when you pressed the "switch" button. Smart decisions and quick reflexes get you through this game, and if the 20 odd levels in the free browser demo get you excited, there's more than twice that content awaiting you in the full version!
Shantae: Risky's Revenge is the sort of game retro-minded players will immediately snatch up. Modern players may look at it and think "another platform game?", but as soon as any human being plays it, it's easy tell that Shantae is anything but ordinary. Risky's Revenge is an action/platform game that's smartly focused on exploration in the style of a good old-fashioned metroidvania. It's a labor of love that's funny, challenging, creative, and absolutely gorgeous down to the last pretty pixel!
Aah, the salt of the sea. Deadly waves threatening to drown passersby. Armed frigates firing on civilians. Mummies scuttling across the sandy beaches, infecting helpless folks with their embalmed charm. It's just an ordinary day for the citizens in Open Sea!, a satisfying and great-looking mobile arcade game by The Pixelizers. To get everyone to safety, you're going to need a little bit of luck and a whole lot of lightning bolts.
Mage Gauntlet, from Hook Champ and Super QuickHook creator Rocketcat Games, is the modern 16-bit action role playing game you've been waiting for. Everything about it is retro, from the level design to the pixel art, only instead of having to dust off your SNES, you just fire up your iOS device. In a decidedly awesome twist, this RPG doesn't take hours of playing before you can get into it, opening it up for shorter mobile sessions and casual gamers alike!
You find yourself on the floor of a dilapidated hospital, apparently situated in the middle of a meadow filled with the drone of cicadas. Monsters roam the halls, and the only other human occupant babbles about a witch who's trapped you both there, but as you piece together the truth from papers and journals, you'll begin to wonder who you can really trust... if you can even trust yourself. An action-heavy adventure title from Phosphor Games for your iOS made with the Unreal Engine, boasting great writing, beautiful visuals, and a lot of mystery.
The Last Rocket, from Shaun Inman, looks and sounds like it belongs on the top shelf of your Game Boy Color library. It plays like a puzzle-oriented version of VVVVVV, high level of difficulty and retro presentation included. It's the sort of game that will challenge you to make precise movements, quick decisions, and flawless maneuvers, and if you fail, you die and have to start the level all over again. But hey, you don't get to be the big hero without crashing into spikes a few dozen times, do you?
From Halfbrick Studios comes a cave flying-style game with the power to keep you playing for many multiple hours. Jetpack Joyride takes the best from jump-and-run-style games and mixes in a host of achievements, missions, store upgrades, vehicles and more, crafting a game that looks phenomenal and will keep you doing "just one more joyride" dozens of times in a row.
More pachinko, anyone? Kickin' Momma is the latest from Hothead Games, the team that is perhaps most famous for creating the Penny Arcade adventure episodes beginning with On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness. Now, though, the studio is focusing some efforts on the iOS market, creating a crazy sort of game that's very similar to Peggle.
Several years in the making, the darkly atmospheric (and strangely realistic) platform game LIMBO has finally migrated from console download to the PC ecosphere.Crafted by Danish studio Playdead, LIMBO drops you in a shadowy world filled with dangers, immensely difficult puzzles, and more ways to die than you would really want to count. It's an incredibly stylistic and engaging game, one that just about any player can pick up and enjoy from beginning to end.
Life in the Gemini galaxy isn't easy; war has left its mark on the lives of the people within it, but most of them are more concerned with the all-seeing eyes of the Boryokuden, a crime syndicate that seems to operate outside the law and swiftly deals with any opposition. In this top-notch adventure game, you play as Azriel Odin, a detective on the streets of New Pittsburgh, and Delta-Six, an amnesiac test subject stuck in a sinister training facility, and attempt to stay alive while you uncover a conspiracy that might hit closer to home than you suspect.
Ready for another game of ambiance and intrigue from Nifflas? NightSky is the latest release from the designer/artist known for creating enchanting atmospheric settings in his games, and this one certainly doesn't disappoint. It's simpler and more streamlined than Knytt Stories, but there's no shortage of challenge or variety to be had!
Matt Hammill's Gesundheit! is a beautifully hand-drawn, action puzzle game with a soothing toy-instrument soundtrack (you'll need it) and adorable sound effects. You play an allergic pig chafing under the invasion of hungry monsters from the mountains.The monsters can hear your footsteps, and if they see you, they'll eat you. But you have a secret weapon - your yummy snot!
Danny Miller's Boomshine is a new riff on the chain-reaction action pioneered by Omega's Every Extend. The goal is to remove a given number of the colorful, floating dots moving around the screen. It would be a stretch to call Boomshine relaxing, but it is certainly refreshing, and a nice, albeit simple addition to a rapidly growing category of casual gameplay.