iPhone Life magazine

5 Top Fun Games

You'll lose track of time with these compelling, addictive games!

Osmos for iPad

$4.99, app2.me/2728; iPhone version: $2.99, app2.me/2729

OsmosForIPadIt's easy to lose yourself in this absorbing strategy game. It challenges you to patiently move a shimmering "mote" of life across the screen to consume everything around it. As you tap the screen and move your mote, it ejects matter and becomes smaller; when you swallow the smaller motes around it, it gets larger. You have to reach a balance between the two and need to be patient to win!

Osmos, a great iPad game is especially suited for the casual, on the go gamer.

The game's Odyssey mode has 27 levels divided into three different game styles. In the first, you must survive as the surrounding motes get bigger. In the second, the surrounding motes are actively trying to absorb you. In the third, you must absorb motes that are either attracted to or repulsed by you. Arcade mode lets you repeat Odyssey mode at different difficulty levels. You can't unlock levels in Arcade until you have completed those levels in Odyssey.

The graphics are gorgeous on the iPad; the beautiful glowing art of the motes comes out in fine detail. Finally, this game needs to be played with a decent set of headphones so you can fully enjoy the music of Gas, High Skies, Biosphere, and Julian Neto (as well as some custom music from the developer).

Plants vs. Zombies HD

$9.99, app2.me/2419; iPhone version: $2.99, app2.me/2730

PlantsZombiesHDRe-engineered from previous versions on a variety of platforms, Plants vs. Zombies became a smash hit as soon as it was released. In this fast-paced game, the player must defend his home from invading zombies by using plants to attack them or to prevent them from getting into the house. The touchscreen interface makes it easy to tap to select a plant and tap again to place it. Better yet, the iPad version of the game is multi-touch; you can use more than one finger to make things happen.

Great music, gorgeous graphics, and addictive gameplay make Plants Vs. Zombies the perfect game for an evening of fun!

It's highly doubtful that you'll ever be bored with this game due to the variety of zombies, game levels, and themes in the game's Adventure mode. You can even place restrictions on that mode and run through it again for more strategic fun. Quick Play mode lets you play mini-games; Survival mode includes Buttered Popcorn, a mini-game designed for the iPad's multi-touch environment.

Babo Crash HD

$1.99, app2.me/2731

BaboCrashHDYou can think of Babo Crash as Bejeweled on acid. This version of the popular gem-matching, puzzle genre is enhanced with arcade-style action that includes enemies to destroy, heroes with powers to attack your enemies, and the ability to tilt your screen to alter the gravity acting on the gems. You must collect your quota of gems within a given amount of time in each of the game's 21 levels. You create a hero every time you match four or more gems. Their various powers are triggered when you include them in a match or destroy them with the powers of another hero. "Chompiis" show up and prevent you from making matches, so splat them in a nearby match or with a hero power as soon as possible. Once you hit your gem quota, you hit overtime and get the chance to get rack up points quickly.

Because of their smaller screens, playing the game on the iPhone/iTouch was an exercise in trying to distinguish gem colors and shapes and tapping as fast as I could. The visual issues were solved with the iPad's larger screen, and I actually started to get strategic. Tilt control was also better on the iPad; it was easier to direct my heroes to many more gems and splat the chompiis.

Orbital (for iPhone)

$2.99, app2.me/136; iPad version, app2.me/2732; Free "Lite" version, app2.me/2733

OrbitalI downloaded this game as I was heading into a restaurant, thinking I'd get a few minutes of play before my order arrived. Halfway through dinner I was still playing! Your goal is to destroy the "orbs" to score points. To start, you shoot an orb into space and watch it expand. To destroy it, you have to shoot five additional orbs into it. Sounds simple, right?

Orbital is a retro arcade style game that is highly addictive—you'll want to play just one more game!

As it turns out, playing Orbital is not as simple as it sounds. You cannot aim the shooter; it wanders back and forth while you determine the best time to tap the screen to release another orb. Each additional orb you shoot also starts to expand. In Gravity mode, each orb exerts a certain amount of gravitational attraction on the other orbs. A supernova removes the effects of gravity and lets you aim your shots. The destruction of an orb creates a shockwave that reduces by one the number of shots required to destroy the remaining orbs. Finally, and most importantly, if any part of an expanding orb crosses the death line at the bottom of the screen, the game is over.

Orbital's graphics are stark retro 1980's arcade style, and the music in the background is an ambient techno style sound, with a robotic voice that you can switch off when it gets annoying. Orbital is an addictive game in both single-player and multiplayer modes. You just know you can beat that score if you play one more short game…no, really, just one more!

Doodle Jump

$0.99, app2.me/134

DoodlejumpThis addictive app has been on the App Store's top ten games list for months. Doodle Jump challenges you to move a four-legged "doodler" up an unending series of platforms. You mus t tilt your iPhone from side to side in order to hit those platforms correctly. Some platforms have power-ups to help your doodler move up or protect him against enemies along the way. Tapping the screen causes your doodler to shoot the enemies above him. Fall below the lowest platform on the screen and the game ends. There isn't a skill ceiling to hit or time limit to push against. You simply keep going until you make a slip and then try again to see if you can do better.

Doodle Jump has a unique feature that lets you compare yourself to other players around the world. As you jump, you see marks on the side of the screen showing how far you and others have gone.

The developer updates this game frequently with new backgrounds that increase your visual enjoyment, up the difficulty level, and increase Doodle Jump's replay value.