We're spoiled for choice when it comes to games nowadays; new apps come out every week, and there are hundreds of development companies working around the clock to create the most addicting, entrancing, and entertaining distractions possible. Games are as old as humanity itself, but we haven't always had such a wide variety of them; for thousands of years, we made do with just a handful of brain-teasing puzzles. These games were challenging enough to carry on down through the generations, and their influence is still occasionally seen today. Zengrams ($0.99), by Gameblyr, is one such example; it takes inspiration from ancient Chinese tangram puzzles. Translating to “seven boards of skill,” tangrams consisted of seven flat geometric shapes; the goal was to use all of the pieces to completely fill a larger outline. Tangrams are some of the most famous dissection puzzles on earth; from the seven standard shapes, there are over 6500 configurations currently known.
After all this time I still don’t get the Flappy Bird phenomenon. Not only was the game a mess, but most of the clones have been even worse. Thankfully every now and again one of the progeny not only rises above the pack but is actually quite playable, and such is the case with C.H.O.P.S. (Free with IAP) This game takes the simple “touch to fly, let go to fall” mechanism and adds some depth with power ups, level ups, and unlockables. It even sports one of the best examples I’ve ever seen on how to implement IAP in a game. This gets my ultimate stamp of approval in the “Thanks For Not Being Flappy Bird” category.In
The following dozen games are either ports of popular console titles, or iOS games that shine in their own right as being console quality. To be included on this list, a game must either be a new release as of this year, or it must have been updated recently to support iOS 8 and Apple's advanced new programming interface known as Metal. With the introduction of iOS 8 and Metal, alongside the powerful A8 and A8X processors that are inside the latest iDevices, Apple has leveled the virtual playing field. It would be ignoring the facts for a core console gamer to say that iOS can't support video games that are on par with console or PC titles, especially if you indulge in iOS' streaming capabilities that allow us to play these great games on a large screened TV. With the graphic capabilities of iOS 8 and the exciting titles currently available for the platform, it's easy to see how Apple's iOS is leading the way in a mobile eSport industry that is on track to bring in a revenue of over 24 billion dollars this year, and set to overtake PC and console gaming's revenue in 2015. As the holidays are upon us again, don't forget that you can gift any of these apps to your favorite gamer via the App Store.
Video games on iOS are huge right now. In acknowledgement and celebration of this fact, Apple's newest iPhone 6 commercial is all about gaming, specifically a new game entitled Vainglory(free). Vainglory debuted alongside the introduction of the iPhone 6 series of iPhones and was used at the unveiling to demonstrate the prowess of the new iPhone's gaming capabilities, and with good reason! Vainglory has absolutely gorgeous graphics as well as intense and fast-paced, strategic multiplayer gameplay, built from the ground up for iOS.
I have seen the future of online mobile gaming, and it is MOBA. Multiplayer Online Battle Arenas is a term familiar to any core, hardcore, or professional gamer. If it's not already a common term in your vocabulary, popular iOS MOBA titles like Fates Forever (free), Vainglory (free), and Heroes of Order and Chaos (free) plan to change that, as they help usher in the new renaissance of mobile gaming.
I try not to generalize, but when folks besides Big Fish Games or G5 put out hidden object games they tend to be not much more in-depth than moving from scene to scene to find a list of objects. Lost Civilization($4.99) fits right in with the best titles from the two aforementioned companies, with a strong storyline, interesting characters, and game play that goes far beyond simply uncovering a bunch of items in a few panoramic scenes. Phoenix Online Studios already made a strong stand in the iOS adventure game world with the Cognition series, and now they’ve shown that they know a good hidden object game when they see it as well.
If you know about Tilt to Live ($2.99), well then I need not describe the pulse-raising pleasure of endlessly dodging morphing blobs and armies of dots. The name says it all. If you don't know, then by all means go check out these original and popular games from One Man Left Studios (we have reviewed both here at iPhoneLife). If you think you are ready to take on toughest Tilter yet, then Gauntlet's Revenge ($2.99) is waiting in the app store (with an attitude) for you to try.
As I was preparing for an article on the future of iOS gaming (for the current issue of iPhone Life magazine), I had the pleasure of interviewing Tino Soelberg, Chief Technology Officer of gaming peripheral manufacturer SteelSeries.