iOS 7 launch day came and went in a tizzy, and the aftershocks of people upgrading their OSes on iDevices will continue for the next few days. This week we saw the release of the iPhone 5C and 5S into the wild, which is sure to bring even more iOS users into the fold.
The top question I’ve been getting over the last few days as people upgrade or prep has been: “What games should I get?” You’re probably thinking the same thing. So guess what? You’re in luck!
We’ve assembled a collection of the must-have recent game releases that play nice with iOS 7 and really suck up our time to play.
Read up, download away.
Angry Birds Star Wars II – The Angry Birds games may not be the most innovative, but they’re incredibly solid time-wasters, built with a simple mechanic that works extremely well. Last year’s Star Wars edition was a ton of fun, bringing some of our favorite characters and settings into the series. The latest is even better, as Angry Birds Star Wars II mixes in over 30 playable characters and (for the first time ever) the chance to play as the pigs. If Rovio keep making spin-offs like this, we’ll keep gobbling them up.
Puzzle & Dragons – Puzzle RPGs aren’t a new genre, but some of the latest ones do a great job of extending the gameplay by adding more or unexpected features. Puzzle & Dragons throws in collectible monsters that players can level up and use to battle their way through dungeons. Daily and weekly challenges and special items and bonuses keep people coming back, making this simple puzzle game that much more addicting.
Asphalt 8: Airborne - The latest iteration of Asphalt takes much of what console games are doing — asynchronous play, online races, leaderboards, etc — and throws them into the phone realm, along with terrific visuals and some enjoyable physics. It’s not often you can launch a Lamborghini 45 feet in the air.
Dots – It doesn’t get any simpler than Dots. Points are earned by connecting 3 or more dots next to each other on a falling grid, and points are shared on a leaderboard to keep competition loose and enjoyable.
Strata – Strata is another simple puzzle game, focusing on pulling and layering ribbons back and forth to get them to match a specific image. It’s not going to overly excite you, but the visual design is wonderful, and worthy of taking screen captures for iPhone backgrounds.
Infinity Blade III – If there is ever a portable version of “Will it play Crysis” it’s probably “Will it play Infinity Blade”. The series is known as a benchmark for visuals, and the latest iteration does a fantastic job of showing off what iOS 7 and the latest iDevices can do.
Badland – Platformers can work really well on touch screens, if designed with the simplicity and honesty of games like Badland. Part Limbo and part World of Goo, Badland provides hours of adventure, with great characters and memorable level design.
Plants vs Zombies 2 – The original PvZ remains one of the best games in recent memory, and PvZ2 tops it in every way possible with new modes, gameplay elements, and a zero-dollar price (it’s Free to Play, but hardly seems it).
rymdkapsel – Though it may be hard to pronounce, rymdkapsel is easy to understand: it’s essentially SimCity in space, except we’re building a space station and need to send out our armies to protect it.
Nimble Quest – A free-running overhead RPG, you say? Grow our line of heroes as they run around trying to kill enemies, you confer? Nimble Quest is like a classic Super NES RPG, except that we control our heroes’ path rather than their individual actions.
Heroes of Loot – We’re always in need of a quest-based dungeon crawler in our pockets, and the recently released Heroes of Loot fills that niche perfectly. Think of it like Dark Souls set in the NES era.
Ultima Forever – Old school PC gamers might fondly remember Ultima IV: Quest of the Avatar, one of the greatest classic RPGs of yore. Well, it’s back. With some slight F2P elements in tow, Ultima Forever takes the classic game and revamps it with glossy new visuals, a deeper plot, and perfect-for-mobile gameplay tweaks. A massive RPG in your pocket? Yes please.
Breach & Clear – Strategy games seem to be a perfect fit of touch screen devices. Mixing war-grade tactics into the genre, Breach & Clear gives us a meta-level amount of strategy. Execute maneuvers pre-assault and on-the-fly as intense situations unfold.
Ridiculous Fishing – Go fishing, grab some sharks, and shoot them with a rifle as they’re launched towards the moon. Yes, all of that is included in Ridiculous Fishing, and it manages to mesh wonderfully. This is as bonkers fun as it can get.
XCOM: Enemy Unknown – A lot has been said about console games not translating to touch screens, but XCOM quiets that idea. It works as well as (if not better than, in some cases) its console/PC brethren. One of the best tactical strategy games of 2012 fits perfectly in our pockets and our tablets.