Another 6 iOS Games You Should Play


by Hedge

iOS. It’s becoming more of a legitimate gaming platform by the day. Since the last article of this nature got such a welcome response, I’ve been thinking of, and listing up, games ever since although honestly I’ve been playing so much Prison Architect that everything else in my life has come second place. Sorry family, friends and employment.

But recently I’ve been exploring the platform again. More specifically, this past weekend where I found myself in the Perth Apple store, leeching their wifi to finish the download of KOTOR – more on that soon.

So here, for your perusal, are six more iOS games you should give a shot. Maybe not as obscure as the previous list, nor as long, but still a really good collection no matter what kind of games you enjoy.

Carcassonne

By The Coding Monkeys

Available for iPad/iPhone

Played on iPad

Slowly conquering the world one little blue guy at a time.

I’ve recently, partly thanks to Wil Wheaton and Felicia Day’s series TableTop and partly thanks to my boyfriend’s obsession with them, gotten back into board games in a big way. I’m a huge fan of games like Zombicide, Tsuro, Pandemic, Forbidden Island and, recently, Carcassonne. Although playing at a table with friends is always the ideal method, sometimes you just wanna lay in bed and it’s not always easy to get people together in this hectic world of sixty-hour weeks and “oh my lord I’m old and all my friends have kids now.”

So digital versions of excellent board games have their place and amongst the best is the official Carcassonne app.

Carcassonne plays as a land conquering tile game. Randomised tiles are selected and placed by up to five players in this digital version. The goal is to connect and claim ownership of roads, cities, farms and cloisters to build up your score as the number of tiles reduces. It’s easy to learn and quite a challenge to master, as strategy and tactics come into play quickly.

I was introduced to it as a table game by my buddy Dann and enjoyed it right away. The app is smooth to run, and works via Game Centre for ease of keeping track of friends and such. The tile art is official and looks great and the whole thing plays out with a sort of skeuomorphed table design that actually serves it well (and I’m that guy who fucking loves Apple but fucking loathes their clinging to skeuomorphic design traits. Bring on iOS7, I say).

You can play locally with one iPad, either solo against the app or by passing around, or over wireless from the comfort of your own bedrooms and lounge chairs.

$9.99 plus in-app purchases if desired.

Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic

By Aspyr Media, Inc

Available for iPad

Played on iPad

Kotor

KOTOR was something I kind of missed. I wasn’t a huge RPG guy back in my… let’s go with youth… and so I’ve always felt like I missed out. I did start it around the KOTOR2 days but it was kind of fugly by then, and I was fickle and wanted something newer. No surprise then, I was really excited when they released the full KOTOR game, as a direct port, to iOS.

The game is exactly as it was. There are a few updates and of course it’s been upscaled to HD but the game itself looks exactly as it did. Surprisingly though, it doesn’t seem anywhere near as fugly as it did when I was trying to play it on my xbox all those years ago. Sure the textures are low res and such but, in terms of gameplay and story, it’s all there.

The controls are… well… not perfect. Auto-pause for combat is very welcome and makes the actual combat gameplay a breeze. It’s navigating that is kind of a pain. Swiping to navigate the world means your hand is in the way a lot and while it doesn’t negatively impact the actual PLAYING of the game, it’d still be nice to have a digital analogue stick.

I’m hoping they patch it with one in the future – it doesn’t seem like a big deal until it’s missing.

$9.99. Worth every penny.

Paper Monsters

By Crescent Moon Games

Available for iPad / iPhone

Played on iPad / iPad Mini

Paper Monsters

I discovered this today while waiting for KOTOR to download. I was at the Apple store, leeching their wifi because I’d intended to download the game before I went out and play it on the bus, but it’s a huge download and took forever. So while I was waiting for my buddy to show up, I wandered around the Apple store. I looked at their junk and downloaded KOTOR to my iPad.

While I was there I decided to play with the iPad Minis, which don’t interest me a whole lot (I already have a retina display which, for reasons that can be best summed up as ‘planned obsolescence’, the Mini does not) but are quite nice to mess about with in the store.

My general trend is to check out the games they have available, which are usually a random assortment from various genres, and see if anything takes my fancy. Paper Monsters took my fancy.

This is a traditional platforming game with a lovely, LittleBigPlanet-like, 3D paper aesthetic. You collect buttons and paper clips, everything is constructed like papercraft and there is a real nice sense of child-like simplicity to it. I’m not very far through – I tend to play games for review only long enough to get a basic gist and see if they are worth continuing with or not. This game though, I can see it becoming something I really enjoy with simple controls and an easy learning curve. I’ve always been a fan of platformers (why oh why has nobody brought Abe’s Oddysee and Exoddus to iOS?) and this one is charming enough to be attractive even though it doesn’t do a whole lot that hasn’t been done before.

It’s just so gosh darn sweet looking. Later levels swap up the cutesy rainbows and sunshine visual style for dank sewers and caves but it’s all got that papercraft look to it. It feels like you should be able to download templates for making your own real-world models of the characters and sets. Plus you get to unlock costumes for your dude and I am a real sucker for dressing up my dude in costumes. For serious.

At 99c it’s also an easy sell.

Zombiewood

By Gameloft

Available for iPhone / iPad

Played on iPad

Zombiewood

A top down, 3D zombie shooter with a weird sense of humour is pretty welcome at any point in my life. Zombiewood is set in a stylised LA, complete with movie themes and the glitz of the studio scene. It’s quirky and doesn’t take itself too seriously and, with the newest update, you can play multiplayer online and bring a friend into the zombie smashing fray.

It plays out in scenes, with the player (or players in a mulitplayer setting) given a run sheet of tasks to accomplish. Then the zombies arrive and holy mother of balls do they arrive. Just in my early gaming session, still within what could be construed as tutorial, the undead sauntered towards me in wave upon wave of decomposing aggression. You’re free to run and gun, although early in the game my gun seemed to need frequent reloading, which isn’t as fast as I’d like it to be when faced with dozens of zombies all encroaching upon my person from every angle.

It got quite hectic, even very early on. I’ve yet to play it (at time of writing) in multiplayer, but I do think that would be an exciting challenge.

It’s also free, with the option for in-app purchases should you so desire them.

Siegecraft

By Crescent Moon Games

Available for iPhone / iPad

Played on iPad

Siegecraft

Delivered by the same guys who made Paper Monsters, Siegecraft is a siege warfare game set in a medieval fantasy world. You’re tasked with missions of varying difficulty, including defending your territory against interlopers. It plays out slowly at first, but is still quite challenging when you aren’t yet used to the controls.

Not that they are difficult to learn, per se, but they can be difficult to master as the drag and fire mechanic relies a lot on a kind of spatial co-ordination I evidently do not possess.

I haven’t played a whole lot of this game but what I have played is super fun.

$2.99

Gemini Rue

By Wadjet Eye Games

Available for iPhone / iPad

Played on iPad

Gemini Rue

Two words: Cyberpunk. Pointandclick. Yes that’s one word. You know why? Shut up, that’s why.

Gemini Rue is a cyberpunk, science fiction point-and-click detective adventure in the vein of the old LucasArts titles and with a real edge that’s been lacking in recent years. You follow two characters with an intertwined story as they explore the sci-fi world laid out before you. It reminds me of Blade Runner and has a similarly 80s aesthetic. It really embraces the dystopian feelings of the genre, particularly early pieces, and has a real Ellison / Gibson feel to it.

In part because the visual style is so reminiscent of the earlier P&C game I Have No Mouth, And I Must Scream, which was based on Ellison’s short story of the same name, and with input from Ellison himself kind of typified the whole genre.

The whole thing makes me wish 2K would skip Bioshock Infinite 2 and remake System Shock… okay, maybe not remake System Shock. You can’t remake that sort of brilliance but you can add to it. It would have been a nice nod if (spoilers for Bioshock Infinite follow) Booker and Elizabeth had wandered into Citadel Station around the time they wandered into Rapture. Given the whole thing ties to the classics. (End Spoilers)

I just want to hear SHODAN’s discordant musings again.

$4.99.

Got any recommendations for us? I’ll be looking for more iOS games to play and review in the coming months. Leave a comment, or hit me up on Twitter @CAricHanley