iPhone Games

I play quite a lot of games on my iPhone. I thought I’d write a quick post to highlight some of the games that I’ve really enjoyed and I keep coming back to. There’s a lot of good stuff out there, but there’s also a lot of rubbish to wade through (either games that are just plain bad, or fun for five minutes and then you’ll never play it again); so here are the ones that have stood the test of time with me. In alphabetical order:

Broken Sword

Broken SwordA classic point-and-click adventure, updated for the iPhone and touch controls. The original came out in 1996, and it’s still awesome. If you’ve never played Broken Sword, I highly recommend it. Fantastic historical-thrillery-mystery storyline, great visuals, good humour, and memorable characters.
[iTunes]

Canabalt

CanabaltCanabalt’s probably the simplest game on this list. It has one control: tap the screen to jump. Your character runs and jumps along rooftops in some dystopian future that’s going all to hell. Nice pixel art, and an awesome soundtrack (headphones recommended). Seems like it’ll be a one minute wonder, but it’s very much “hmm, just one more go…”. There’s a flash version on the Canabalt website, so you can try it out there.
[iTunes] [App website]

Carcassonne

CarcassonneCarcassonne’s my newest acquisition and it’s so so SO well made. Carcassonne is an iOS version a of a board game, and it really feels like an authentic board game. You place tiles to build up countryside (consisting of towns, roads, and fields), and place your ‘meeple’ on the structures you create to capture them and score points. The Carcassonne website has a nice introductory video explaining how the game works. Lovely graphics, music, and sound effects, and a great tutorial with voiceover introduces you to the game. Also, lots of nice casual multiplayer1 and replayability. I’m jwfrosty, so if you grab the game, come play against me online!

Carcasonne is £2.99, but I can’t recommend it highly enough. The price will be going up when the app gains iPad support, too (to $9.99 in US money), so if you’re interested buy now!
[iTunes] [App website]

Flight Control

Flight ControlThe quintessential iPhone game. One of the first, and still one of the best examples of touch screen gaming. I think there’s some sort of law that states that every iPhone owner must have a copy of Flight Control. Chances are you’ve probably seen or played this already but if you haven’t, you should.
[iTunes] [App website]

Fruit Ninja

Fruit NinjaA recent acquisition, but pretty addictive. Fruit get thrown in the air, you swipe them with your finger to cut them in half. Avoid the the bombs. Bombs are bad. That’s all you need to know. Nice graphics, although not updated to high res versions for the retina display yet. Another “just one more go…” game.
[iTunes] [App website]

geoDefense

GeodefenseI’m not the biggest fan of tower defence games, but geoDefense is well done, and adds some nice restrictions to the format which make it much easier to pick up and play. The enemies move ‘on rails’, so it’s not such a free-for-all as other games; you know where they’re going to be headed and can plan your defenses appropriately.
[iTunes] [App website]

Orbital

OrbitalAn iPhone remake/clone of a flash game, Gimme Friction Baby, but better. Gorgeous visuals, easy to learn, good game mechanics, good for pick up and playability.
[iTunes] [App website]

Plants vs Zombies

Plants vs ZombiesPopcap, the kings of the casual game market. Plants vs Zombies is their take on tower defense games, and it’s pretty addictive. Plant plants in a garden, all of which have different zombie-resistant abilities – some shoot seeds, some stop baddies dead in their tracks (dead! Zombies! See what I did there?), and others just explode. Good fun, and the difficultly level ramps up perfectly – each level introduces you to some new item, ability, or bad guy, so you’re always making progress. There’s a free online flash demo if you want to try it out there.
[iTunes] [Free online demo] [App website]

Strategery

StrategeryApparently Strategery is quite like Risk, although I’ve never played Risk so I can’t really vouch for that. You take over enemy territories on a map. Some element of luck involved. The game scales pretty well from really easy on tiny maps all the way up to ‘give me full control over everything’ with brutally hard CPU opponents on epically-sized maps. I prefer the smaller easier ones, because I can win at those. There’s a free, lite version of this (which is slightly dated now – hasn’t been updated for a while – but it’s still good), so give it a whirl.
[Lite version – iTunes] [Paid version – iTunes] [App website]

Words with Friends

Words with FriendsWords with Friends is a Scrabble-like game which allows you to play with friends over the internet. It’s very well done, and the multiplayer works seamlessly. More people need to come and play this with me! I’m jwfrosty. There’s a free ad-supported version, so there’s no reason for you not have a go!
[Free version – iTunes] [Paid version – iTunes]

If there’s anything I’ve missed out that you’d like to recommend, please let me know about it in the comments! And please come and play against me at Words with Friends and Carcassonne!


  1. You don’t have to play all in one sitting, just take turns as and when – the game will let you know when it’s your turn.