Apple's iOS (formerly "iPhone OS") is the operating system that powers their iPhones, iPods, and iPads. It is derived from OS X, but applications are not compatible between the two, and no emulators capable of running commercial apps have been released yet. iOS is much more locked down than rival Android, and its app store is much more restrictive (no controversial or adult content, emulators, non-WebKit browsers, or GPL-licensed applications). Through a process called jailbreaking, you can bypass all of these restrictions (and void your warranty) to do anything you want with iOS.
Although lacking somewhat in content, an excellent and accessible roguelike for the iPhone that has noticeably attractive graphics for its genre. Too easy and simple for roguelike veterans.
Avadon: The Black Fortress
Oldschool Isometric RPG. Think Baldurs Gate for iPad. The story, setting and lore is extensively crafted and immersive. The main story and most side quests have multiple outcomes that impact each other and drastically change the story's progression. incredibly high re-playability. Combat manages to be deeper than most offerings in RPG's today but that's relatively weak. There is a large amount of text for dialogue but nothing unskippable. Sound does the job. This game is an RPG for RPG lovers, definitely worth it. (Also available on Steam!)
Ace Combat Xi: Skies of Incursion
Flight / Action
Gets the gameplay of the Ace Combat series down pat, but is severely lacking in content, with a measly five missions total.
A port of the classic platform-adventure game that inspired Hideo Kojima. Comes with both updated HD and original graphics.
Assassin's Creed 2: Discovery
Fighting / Platformer / Stealth
An iPhone version of the successful Assassin's Creed 2. Better then the first iPhone AC game. It's got fighting, treasure hunting, stealth missions, chase missions, stealth missions, wall jumping, stealth missions and poster-ripping. Did I mention stealth missions? Another cool thing, during the game you will find "Wanted" posters you can rip off. You can set your own photo to be on the poster.
Homerun derby, online, and with leveling up.
Battle for Wesnoth
Absurdly expansive fantasy turn-based strategy game that offers 200+ hours worth of gameplay in its campaign. Port of a popular free PC game. Unique strategy gameplay that is reminiscent of SRPGs like Tactics Ogre and Fire Emblem but maintains its own identity.
Beat Sneak Bandit
Creative puzzle game where you collect clocks and avoid detection. The catch: you can only move to the beat of the music. Requires careful planning and a sense of a beat, white boys beware. Also has catchy music and cute visuals.
Beneath a Steel Sky
Port of the classic PC adventure game with voice acting fully intact, as well as new cutscenes. Excellent, intuitive touch controls.
It's Bejeweled, what do you expect.
Blades of Fury
Essentially the iPhone/iPod Touch equivalent of Soul Calibur. 10 characters, surprisingly good graphics, some interesting control methods, and wireless fights make this game worth checking out.
Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templars
Another remake of a classic point-and-click adventure game, now with revamped graphics. Practically identical to the Wii and DS versions.
Carnivores: Dinosaur Hunter
Dinosaur hunting simulation game. Surprisingly deep. Despite the ridiculous premise, takes the "hunting" aspect rather seriously. One of the more hardcore games on the iPhone.
Square Enix (which mean it's going to be pricey) RPG developed exclusively for the iPhone. Production values through the roof. No exploration to speak of - gameplay largely consists of running through dungeons. Decent battle system that has customization which is reminiscent of FFV's job system. Story isn't brilliant, but is compelling enough. Lasts a good 20+ hours.
Turn-based Strategy / Civilization
It's Civilization. Do you need a description? The controls can be a bit cumbersome, but it's totally playable.
Crimson Gem Saga
Port of a PSP JRPG. The best and most fleshed out traditional JRPG on the iPhone, albeit with wonky controls.
(Does not run properly on any handset using iOS 5.0 or above, intermittent crashes, sound de-syncing etc).
Simple looking game much like the kind you played in class on your TI-83, except now in 3D. Game is controlled by tilting, level packs range from easy to ridiculously hard, and it can be played in portrait or landscape modes.
Cut the Rope
Another physics-based puzzle game by the makers of Angry Birds. Just as well-designed and addictive.
NOT a port or demake or the original Dead Space, but a side story that happens in the same universe. You play as somebody that is mislead to unleash a bunch of necromorphs into a space station and now has to get the fuck out. The plot is decent for an iOS game and the lack of cutscenes is somewhat compensated by adequate voice acting. The controls adapt better than expected to the touch interface and the graphics are quite beautiful, although they don't measure up to the other versions, obviously.
Deus Ex: The Fall
An augmented mercenary finds he was tricked into joining the bad guys, and must uncover a global conspiracy in order to survive. A side-story to Human Revolution, with the same flexible gameplay: you can be sneaky or go all guns blazing, manipulate people and hack into systems.
Platformer / Adventure
Plays like a combination of Metroidvania and Ecco the Dolphin, with minor RPG elements. A solid game, although not very long.
Shoot 'em Up
Cave-developed port of the acclaimed bullet hell shooter Do-Don-Pachi Dai-Fukkatsu. Silky smooth touch controls. Contains the original arcade mode and an iPhone mode developed exclusively for the platform, with a remixed scoring system.
Dungeon Hunter/Dungeon Hunter 2/Dungeon Hunter 3
Gameloft's take on Diablo, with requisite loot whoring and dungeon crawling. Like other Gameloft games, it's a competent imitator of its "inspiration" and will scratch your itch for Diablo on your iPhone. The sequel improves pretty much everything, and adds multiplayer.
You control a box which you move around a map to reach the goal. It's not that simple. There are moving platforms, other blocks pushing you forward, and other obstacles which turns this game into a game of solving puzzles just to reach your goal. It is an extremely addicting game.
Possibly the best puzzler on the iPhone. Attractive, minimalistic design. Makes ingenious use of the touch controls, requiring you to use both hands at once to keep up with the frantic pace of the gameplay. Very difficult at later levels.
Action / Driving
Enviro-Bear is a game that is similar to QWOP, in the sense that it's a challenge to operate the vehicle. Fish will pop into the car and you'll find yourself avoiding other cars. Your objective is to eat enough berries and fish to gain enough fat to enter hibernation.
Shoot 'em Up
Another arcade perfect port of a Cave bullet hell game, with slick controls and an exclusive iPhone mode. The premier iPhone bullet hell experience, along with DoDonPachi.
Super minimalist action-RPG where you hack and slash your way through enemies (made out of colored cubes), cast a variety of spells, and level up your stats, all in the space of 5 minutes. The emphasis is on speedrunning, so improving your time little by little is the meat of the game. It can be a bit too minimalistic, but with the variety of game modes it's easily worth the $1.
A build-your-own maze tower defense game.
Final Fantasy Dimensions
Homage/spiritual successor to classic FF with Crystals, Jobs, Abilities, and new "Fusion-Abilities". FAs unlock unique attacks, skills, and spells which any job can use, but no job learns without fusion. You must level 2 jobs to get skills needed for FAs (hints: Poison+Poisona=Magic Missile; Bash+Pickpocket=Nab Gil). Think ahead for party types (fighting-based? magic? mixed?) and FAs to learn. There's many more skills than FF5 had, and many have their own menus. Ex: FF5 Monk had "Kick" as a command, but FFD Monk has "Martial Arts" as a command, which has Kick, Chakra, etc. Many jobs learn new stuff too. Ex: Red Mage's "Sword Magic" (like FF5 spellblade, but as single attacks, not element/ailment-buffs) and "Attune Blade" (FF6 Runic). The story isn't hot, and some characters are lame, and the graphics are really fucking awful (think shitty RPG maker quality), but shit does get real and other charas are pimp. As this IS pricey: If you really like this stuff (especially FF5), check it out. If you don't particularly enjoy anything before FF6, then probably not. If you're on the fence, try the demo and if you find it alright, buy the first chapter, since that's the one you can actually start using Jobs and FAs. If you can't get into it past that 1st chapter and enjoy it, then it may not be for you.
Final Freeway 2R
If you have nostalgia for 80s arcade racers, especially Sega's OutRun, this is definitely worth a buck!
Flick Kick Football
Crazy addictive football/soccer free-kick game with openfeint.
Platformer / Metroidvania
Think Cave Story + Yoshi's Island. A cutsey non-linear platformer with beautiful pixel art about an unemployed frog trying to defend his town.
Galaxy On Fire 2
Full-fledged space simulator a la Wing Commander. Accessible enough to appeal to newbies while having a deeper trading system than games like Freelancer or Darkstar One. Impressive production values.
Game Dev Story
Time management game where you create and manage your own video game company. The most addictive game on the iPhone. Guaranteed to suck your life away.
geoDefense / geoDefense Swarm
The best tower defense games on the App Store, requiring more thought as they are much more difficult than most other tower defense games. geoDefense is a fairly straightforward tower defense game, while geoDefense Swarm makes many changes to the formula and is ludicrously difficult.
Gangstar: Miami Vindication
Sandbox / Action
Gameloft's attempt at Grand Theft Auto. A fairly decent GTA-clone with gameplay that is closest in the series to GTA III. Game length is around 10-15 hours.
Ghost Trick: Phantom Detective
Adventure / Puzzle
A port of the popular Nintendo DS, puzzle game, Ghost Trick. The game begins with the main character, Sissel's, death. Work your way through an interesting adventure as your own spirit in an attempt to find out who murdered you. Runs a bit slower than the DS version, but not too much. Also now has minigames after completing!
Reimagining of the fondly remembered German Super Mario ripoff. A solid, very charming old-school platformer. Also for OS X.
Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars
Sandbox / Action
The Grand Theft Auto game that started on the DS with all the touch-screen features of the DS and the slightly better graphics of the PSP version. Controls surprisingly well and is pretty cheap at 10 bucks, considering the ones on the other portable systems are around 30 bucks. GTA 3 is now on IOS, so check that out, and Max Payne got a full port.
A trippy shooter from the king of trippy shooters, Jeff Minter. At first it looks like a clone of Centipede with sprites ripped from Galaga and the sound effects from Robotron, but other than the arthropod-ish enemies coming down, there are also cannons trying to zap you from above and from the side. Then the enemies start to fly in bizarre formations, you get some crazy power-ups, and suddenly you can't see shit because the screen is absolutely swamped with color-flashing bullets everywhere! The touch control is a bit clumsy, but it's still something worth seeing.
An unique trick is that holding the device in portrait position gives you the modern game, while holding it in landscape gives the unchanged 8-bit version from 1982.
Hector: Badge of Carnage
Point-and-click adventure game developed exclusively for the iPhone. Very nice production values, with fully animated FMVs, full voice acting, and crisp, attractive art. Clever puzzles and a crude sense of humor. First episode is free, the rest are paid.
Inventive puzzle game with a nice Gothic aesthetic that involves lighting torches to exterminate enemies. A bit short and easy.
Hero of Sparta / Hero of Sparta II
God of War style action games for the iPod Touch/iPhone. Good graphics, decent controls, and the cyclops-decapitating QTE's that we've all come to know and love. Also a PSP Mini. The sequel is significantly better than the original.
A sickeningly stylish spinoff of the Hitman series, which is transformed here into a turn-based board game.
Hook Champ / Super Quickhook
Lots of grapplan, coin collectan, and hat purchasan. Bionic Commando but with a heavier emphasis on swinging through levels at mach speed. The leaderboards, excellent controls, retro graphics and sound will keep you 'hooked'. Super Quickhook, the sequel, is expanded and even better.
iBlast Moki/iBlast Moki 2
Physics-based puzzle game where you must use bombs and other devices to propel your "Mokis" to level exits. Excellent level design. Has the same appeal as World of Goo in terms of deceptively accessible yet difficult gameplay.
Isotope: A Space Shooter
Arena Shooter / Survival
Not your typical dual-stick shooter, in that it has a lengthy campaign mode with significant RPG elements that gives it far more value than your average bare-bones survival dual-stick shooter. The level design and enemy variety is also well above most other games of its ilk.
Jet Car Stunts
A cool racer that resembles Trackmania. It's got heavy car physics, excellent controls, a great drift mechanic, crazy track designs and lots of opportunity for huge, satisfying hang time. The lack of a multiplayer mode is unfortunate, but the single-player affair will keep you busy for weeks.
Similar to Terraria, though it doesn't have the emphasis on combat. Controls/menus can be difficult if you have sausage fingers.
iPad strongly recommendedfor large-ass screen. Addictive Japanese arcade-based rhythm game involving touching blocks on a 4x4 screen in sync with the game. App and a few songs are free but the rest is DLC out the ass. Also check out the Japanese app Jubeat (English friendly) for an almost strictly superior song list
The best tower defense game on the iPhone, port of the flash game. If you don't have this, get it.
King of Dragon Pass
Strategy Choose-Your-Own-Adventure RPG Book Simulation
Guide your clan through a vaguely medieval world with filled magic in your quest to become, well, king.
Gameplay consists mostly of reading and making decisions in various scenes, which are randomly chosen from a couple hundred, which means that every playthrough is, at bare minimum, different, and it's cool to see decisions you've made come back to bite you in the ass a few years later. It's ported from a PC game, which is available from GOG, and it's actually a really good game regardless of version so torrent it and give it a try if you're even slightly interested.
Ball Rollan Games
Tilt all around to move the ball around the maze and reach the goal. Just like the real game that consists of a box, a maze, holes, and mad tilting skills.
League of Evil/League of Evil 2
Pretty much the best platformer you'll find for your iPhone. You have two directional buttons, an A button to jump and a B button to kick evil scientist ass with. Gets very hard if you go for the 100% completion and has a LOT of levels.
A iOS port of a PC puzzle game made by the Irisu Syndrome guy. It plays like Yoshi's Cookie and despite the cute look, a dark plot twist reveals itself after you play 13 times. Score high enough and you'll be able to defy it.
Yep, it's real. Controls are fine, although a bit inferior to the PSP/PC versions. The main issue is the lack of content; there's only one skin pack consisting of about 5 skins, and you have to purchase the other pack. It wouldn't be such a problem if the default pack weren't so darn easy. But hey, if you've gotta have Lumines and for some reason aren't carrying around another portable device, this works.
Magnetic Billiards: Blueprint
Despite the name, it plays more like an anti-billiard game. You rack up points by bouncing, grazing and forming clusters of balls rather than clearing the table quickly. There's a lot of content with a nice difficulty curve; the only downsides are the high (for an iOS puzzle game) price of $6.99 for all content and the creepy game icon.
A turn-based strategy game with gameplay that is nearly an exact clone of Famicom Wars/Advance Wars. Its surreal visual design by artist Luc Bernard gives it extra appeal.
Military Madness: Neo Nectaris
A port of Hudson's Neo Nectaris for the obscure PC Engine CD, somewhat optimized for the iPhone hardware. The original was Japan-only making it even more obscure. That fact alone makes this port notable, as the game is now available to iPhone wielding, English-reading masses. This port itself is not particularly good however, as the scaled up sprites are not very impressive in 2010 and it is a bit sluggish, with even a bit of load times. A great game for fans of turn based tactical games a la Advance Wars (but with hexagons!) nonetheless.
Arena Shooter / Survival
A quirky little top down shooter where you have to fight more and more horrid little creatures called Furries. The highers your score and the more furries you kill, the more difficulties and characters you unlock. Some of the characters you can unlock are cameos from other iPhone games, including the bear from Enviro-bear. He wields a shotgun. It's got some pretty funny voice acting, too.
A more complex clone of Canabalt. Still plays fairly similarly to the 3D PC version, and has a slightly better plot. Also, Mayor Callaghan is apparently an FTM transsexual.
Modern Combat 2: Black Pegasus
Gameloft's imitation of Modern Warfare 2. Actually has quite the enjoyable campaign (albeit more reminiscent of early Medal of Honor games than CoD), and the online multiplayer is the best on the iPhone, containing the same level perk system as MW2.
Puzzle / World of Goo-ish
Think World of Goo.
Mushihimesama: Bug Panic
A two-stick shooter (kinda like Smash TV) made by Cave, featuring the characters from Mushihime-sama. Pretty fun, even if it's not Cave's usual genre.
Let's JAM! BOOMSHAKALAKA!!!1
A huge dungeon crawler with nice graphics and good combat. Also really addicting loot based gameplay.
Shoot 'em Up
Another port of a PC bullet hell, Noiz2sa features 10 stages and several more endless stages of bullet hell goodness. IMPORTANT: The paid version of Noiz2sa is a bucket of donkey dicks, AVOID AT ALL COSTS.
A very blatant ripoff of Halo and fellow Halo clone The Conduit, this was the first decent FPS on the iOS. Even though the single-player story mode is filled with cliches and hammy voice acting, the graphics are some of the best on the iPhone, and the controls work great. Also sports 4 person online multiplayer. Later games in the series improve the graphics and multiplayer even further and take the singleplayer in a CoD direction.
Zelda for iOS. This game received major hype in the two years leading up to release- and for the most part it's justified. Beautiful graphics (that scale shockingly well to older devices such as the iPhone 3GS) and an amazing soundtrack are highlights of the experience. There are no IAPs to be found; all additional content has been provided via free updates. This is a full gaming experience.
Its only cons are somewhat touchy controls (though for the most part they work very well), rather simplistic level design, and the fact that it apes Phantom Hourglass right down to the key animation/sailing mechanic. But at least for now, it's as good as it gets- unless Nintendo releases a Zelda on iOS, which we all know won't happen for another few decades or so.
Shoot balls, make orbs, don't cross the line. Requires a bit of thinking.
Edutainment / Oregon Trail
You know that amazing "educational" game we all played in the computer labs back when we were kids? Yeah, this is like that, only with quirky 2D graphics and touch-controls. Arguably the best remake of Oregon Trail yet. Also on DSiware. Don't confuse TOT:American Settler which is a freemium town buildan' game.
Port of a PC game, and now one of the best puzzle games on the iPhone. The gameplay involves manipulating physics to get your orb to consume other orbs, with brilliant level design that slowly ramps up in difficulty. Supported by beautiful presentation that creates an inviting aura of ambiance.
A fun game from Conker's Bad Fur Day creator Chris Seavor. Use motion controls to guide Stan as he tries to escape an evil Baron and his minions while falling through the air.
Driving/Maze/Puzzle (sort of a jumble of all three)
Top-down game where you need to navigate a vehicle into a parking space. Comes with 110 levels with different types of vehicles ranging from small minis to large trucks. Speed is controlled via a slider on the side, while the steering is done by rotating the device like a steering wheel, but that can be changed to an on-screen control in the options. iPad HD version available which looks quite good even with the cartoony graphics.
Same shit, different platform.
Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney
That's right... Phoenix Wright, on your iPhone! The controls aren't quite as perfect as they were on the DS, but the writing is still compelling as it ever was. Edit: NOW AVAILABLE IN AN HD TRILOGY (WITH JFA AND T&T) FOR $20 TOTAL
Pix'n Love Rush/DX
A stripped-down platformer with an interesting art style. Consists of runnan, jumpan and shootan in order to get the highest score in 5 minutes. Based off the game Pixel! on XBLA.
Plants vs Zombies
Defend your house from Zombies using a large array of cute Plants. Seriously. Easy to learn, hard to master, and really fun. Works wonders with the touch screen.
Pocket Tanks Deluxe
Turn-based Strategy / Artillery
Scorched Earth clone.
A WRPG that attempts to reach the heights of Morrowind, although it falls short in most key areas. Nevertheless, still a compelling RPG with an abundance of quests and game world to explore.
No other racer right now combines this title's stunning visuals, smart AI, and excellent community features. The game handles very well -- better than any other iPhone racer out there. The tilt steering is fantastic. If you love racing games, there is zero reason to not download this game.
The most original and intuitive RTS on the iPhone, with online multiplayer and a lengthy campaign mode. Innovative gameplay which isn't particularly reminiscent of any big-name RTS.
iPad strongly recommended. Japanese arcade-based Bemani music game by the makers of Jukebeat/Jubeat, you tap dots on the screen in sync to music against an AI opponent. Addictive as hell and good music but DLC out the ass so maybe find a way to get the DLC for *cheaper* if you know what I mean. Also Sakura Sunrise. WOOOOOOO
Although not very lengthy, a solid dungeon crawler with addictive D&D-esque gameplay and an intriguing steampunk aesthetic and story.
It's Riven. Myst is also available. Controls are difficult to work with due to lack of context sensitive cursor, which makes interacting with things a lot harder.
Rolando / Rolando 2
Puzzle / Platformer
A LocoRoco-esque platformer that uses the tilt controls of the iPod Touch/iPhone to roll around series of little circles with faces on them through obstacles towards the goal. Really cute graphics. Rolando 2 is lengthier than the original and one of the definitive games on the iPhone.
Another Advance Wars clone, this time by Gameloft. Most similar to Days of Ruin. Has very high production values and a long campaign, as well as online multiplayer.
The Secret of Monkey Island / The Secret of Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge
Remakes of the classic LucasArts point-and-click adventure games, now with revamped graphics. Monkey Island has unwieldy, cumbersome controls, but Monkey Island 2's control scheme is simple and intuitive.
Puzzle / Platformer
It's a port of the Nintendo DS version but it's much better.
Puzzle / Platformer
This game is a lot like a 2D Portal, except instead of using portals you press a "shift" button that inverts the colors of the level and flips your character across the color boundary. Unique gameplay and controls. Also, jazzy music. Should you need even moreShift, you can find the 4 flash games that spawned the series on your favorite flash games site.
Action / Adventure
Pretty crazy title. It's wild west meets vampires meets steapunk. Actually this is Gameloft's attempt to imitate Red Dead Redemption's Undead Nightmare DLC, but not bad attempt. It's free-to-play for some reason.
Song Summoner: The Unsung Heroes
A strategy RPG where the troops that you use in battle are created from the music in your song library. You can even power up your troopers by listening to the music that created them. The character design is top notch, while the in-game graphics are pretty close to Final Fantasy Tactics. The story seems pretty standard, but is really fun to play through due to the fact that all the names of the characters, places, and attacks are song references. Such as the archer attack, "Shot Through The Heart". Really good. Port of the Ipod Classic "Click Wheel" Game. You'll never find the original.
Super Mario Galaxy in 2D. Seriously. Music sucks, but gameplay is awesome.
Space Invaders: Infinity Gene
Shoot 'em Up
It starts out like a regular Space Invaders game, but quickly evolves as you play it. It has fucking awesome music and graphics, perfect controls, and it lets you play to music off of your iPhone/iPod Touch. Fuck year.
Shooter / RPG
One of the most fleshed out games on the iPhone. Offers an involving story, and a compelling mix of Asteroids-esque shooter gameplay and traditional RPG elements.
Spider: The Secret of Bryce Manor
Puzzle / Platformer
Possibly the most well designed game on the iPhone. Hits it out of the park in every department - innovative gameplay, slick presentation and a tantalizing story. As good as XBLA's Braid or Limbo.
Sonic the Hedgehog / Sonic the Hedgehog 2 / Sonic the Hedgehog CD
Some true Sega classics, ported and upgraded with widescreen support and other extra coolness. The fans made these; support them!
Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1/2
Very short (due to its episodic nature), but really fun. The fans were right for once. Same fun 2D gameplay that even the couple of changes, such as lock-on, doesn't ruin it. A (finally) great Sonic game for what it is worth. Also on Android, XBLA, WiiWare, PSN and Windows. There was a lot of bitching around the game's release, mostly related to the Sonic Rush physics and green eyes, but these complaints prove to be superfluous regarding the general experience.
The second episode improves on the first regarding physics, graphics, and (debatably) audio, and features co-op gameplay with P2 as Tails. Overall it's better than the first game in almost every way, except for one major caveat- it's not compatible with iOS 7 at present, and the only devices that can run this game well are restricted to iOS 7.
Nice tower defense game with leaderboards. The levels all take place on mini planets with a twisting and turning path, which adds a lot of depth to what is a fairly simple tower defense game. A good step up if you're sick of Plants vs. Zombies.
Fast paced action-puzzler where you have to guide a triangle (which you circle around a stationary hexagon) through incoming waves of walls. Very fun, addictive and challenging. Features an awesome chiptune soundtrack. Also on PC/Mac/Android/Blackberry.
Sword and Poker 2
Card Game / RPG
A unique and cute game where you play as a heroine, who has to travel to four dungeons to get four keys in order to enter an ancient tower containing a sacred artifact. Gameplay consists of adding two cards to the board in order to make a poker hand, damaging the opponent and creating various combos. The damage is based on the equipment you are wearing, and you can upgrade your coin purse which is your health bar. There are also magic skills, status effects, etc. You can listen to your own music while playing, and it is very addictive.
Sword of Fargoal
The premier roguelike for the iPhone, with a huge amount of content and a creative control scheme that makes full use of the iPhone's touch screen.
Tetris with touch controls, you get used to it quickly.
Texting of the Bread
Imagine, Typing of the Dead, with Gingerbread man and Internet Meme sentences, like ROFLMAO and Allyourbasebelongtous. Pretty fun.
The World Ends With You Solo Remix
An improved port of the DS game.
Could compare it to The Elder Scrolls games. Has multiple races and skills you can pick. Pretty fun if you grew up playing Daggerfall.
Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 2
Sports / Skateboarding
Pretty much the original THPS2 on your iPhone.Controls can be a bit iffy at times, but great fun nonetheless.
Sports / Skateboarding
Remember playing with Tech Deck skateboards as a kid? This game pretty much embodies what you wish playing with Tech Decks was like. Excellent touch controls, easy learning curve, and nearly endless playtime depending on how short of an attention span you have. Downside is there's only one map, but it's a relatively new game, so new maps may be added in the future.
Turn based strategy game. Similar to Advance Wars. Contains the most pure variety out of the Advance Wars clones on the iPhone.
An absolutely huge top-down space simulation game with a gigantic open world and a meaty, branching campaign where you can choose between warring factions. Action is the weakest point of the game, but everything else in the package makes up for it.
Ported over from the PC, this is one of the earliest first-person shooters. You play as BJ Blazkowicz and your objective is to defeat the Nazis and escape a World War II prison called, "Castle Wolfenstein."
FPS / RPG
Wolfenstein plus turn-based combat in fully rendered 3D environments. Battles consist of taking turns shooting or moving, giving the game an almost chess-like feel. 8+ hours of game time.
World of Goo
Physics / Building
You use the little goos to build bridges and other constructs to make obstacles and even gravity your bitch. Diversity comes in form of different kind of goos and cut-scenes. The iOS port is much more viably playable on iPad.
Worms 2: Armageddon
Turn-based Strategy / Artillery
Port of Worms 2, has multiplayer and much nicer graphics than the first Worms port.
Atmospheric adventure based on Swedish mythology. Controls are Myst-esque. Beautifully creepy, especially as it goes on, but a little pricey for its length. Check out the freee "Year Walk Companion" app that explains all the mythology, adds immersion/creepiness.
Zen Bound / Zen Bound 2
A puzzle game involving wrapping rope around wooden objects. Currently one of the most critically-acclaimed iPhone games. A sequel was recently released. Newer devices can run a version with enhanced graphics. The sequel, Zen Bound 2, is bigger and better.
Action-Adventure / Shooter
Gameloft's take on Resident Evil 4/5 that actually manages to be better than Capcom's iPhone version of RE4. A fairly decent story mode which will last a good 5-6 hours.
Think Tetris Attack meets Puzzle Quest, only with online puzzle-fights and in-game text chat. Really cool.
Battle Bears Royale
Third Person Shooter/Online
Think Call of Duty, but good, on your iPhone/iPad. It's Free-to-play (Done Mostly Right), and includes cartoon Bears. It's worth a shot, but only if you can bear the touch controls.
Blimp: The Flying Adventures
Puzzle / Platformer
One of the best original platformers on the iPhone, with slick presentation and fresh, tilt-controlled aerial platforming. Game length is short at 2-3 hours.
Z-Machine emulator. Plays old Infocom text adventures such as Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and Zork, as well as user-created games.
Port of a PC indie game inspired by Elite Beat Agents/Ouendan.
An iPhone owner's Geometry Wars.
Shoot 'em Up
Port of the PC version. The game is essentially an endless boss rush, and it features 4 different game styles that spice up gameplay, as well as having a fuckton of stages (All you do is pick a game style, and then a stage, and then you play until you die). One of the game modes is basically Ikaruga! It's free, so there's no reason NOT to get it. Paid version is exactly the same, but minus ads.
A port of 36 types of puzzles, randomly generated and adjustable difficulty. Barebones presentations, but who really needs anything more than the basic graphics given? Bitches, that's who.
It can potentially replace other apps you might have, such as Minesweeper, Picross (Nonograms), and Mastermind. Fuck yes. If you pass this shit for any other game on this page you're a fucking casual.
Endless running and coin grabbing game, everyone loves this and it's become super popular since going free. Play this.
Zenonia is like a Genesis or Super Nintendo ARPG which introduces fresh concepts to the genre like the day-night system and the great skill tree for customizing the hero. Highly recommend for both retro gamers and adventure fans. The sequel, Zenonia 2, fixes many small issues with the first game and is generally considered to be superior. "Zenonia 3", has sharper looking graphics, removes the hunger and inventory weight limits, and continues the saga. Each game contains different classes to play around with. And there's also Zenonia 4, and it's free.
RetroArch is the only emulator you'll actually need- it does everything the below emulators do and much, much more. You'll find the most use out of it as the only good N64/PS1 emulator for iOS- and it's surprisingly efficient, PS1 games run at full speed on A4 devices, and N64 can mostly run at full speed on A5 and above. It's also free- that's nice. The only con is its clunky user interface (in-game, 3 menus are available that perform the same functions with different looks), but it's well worth the learning curve.
Also features a really cool "rewind" feature that allows you to literally rewind your gameplay to an earlier state. It must be seen to be believed.
Add the repository on Cydia: libretro.com/cydia
GBA emulator. Runs most games at decent speed, although it can be rather choppy.
NES.emu and other ".emu" series
Robert Broglia has released a series of full-featured emulators on iOS. Platforms supported include NES, GBA, Mega Drive, GBC, Neo Geo Pocket Color, Saturn, and more. This is the NES emulator; it runs practically everything perfectly. Much more customization than the older emulators, including external controllers, full filesystem support, on-screen control calibration, and a robust save/load state system. Well worth the price.
SNES emulator. Runs most games absolutely perfectly. Has iCade and iControlpad support. Much better than the older emulators.