iPhone Life Bloggers' Choice Awards: Best Gaming Apps of 2013

On Monday we published the iPhone Life Bloggers' Awards: Best Apps of 2013. You may have noticed a very important category was missing—gaming apps! That's because they're so important that they needed their own roundup. Bloggers voted for their favorite gaming apps in six different categories. Here are their favorite three gaming apps of 2013 for each category! 


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Compiled by Siva Om

Action games bring the adrenaline rush and strategic planning of live combat to our iDevices. From the battlefield to the hunting grounds to whimsical side-scrollers and fantasy filled dungeon-crawlers, action-packed video games continue to be some of the most popular in the App Store, and these are our favorites.

Modern Combat 4: Zero Hour ($6.99)


This graphic military combat game creates an all too plausible scenario of a homegrown terrorist attack on American soil. Your elite Special Forces team is tasked with bringing justice and restoring safety in this harrowing tale.

Bastion ($4.99)


With totally original graphics and gameplay, this psychedelic game unfolds in a world torn asunder by The Calamity. A fantastic atmosphere and entrancing soundtrack help make Bastion a must-play.

Sky Gamblers: Cold War ($4.99)


The most realistic flight-sim for iOS, with a wide range of planes and settings, Sky Gamblers: Cold War keeps you hooked with stunning graphics and gravity defying action.



Compiled by Eric Pankoke

This category has become quite vague and often abused over the years, but a true adventure game requires the user to wander around a world collecting items, solving puzzles, and quite often, interacting with other characters. In the old days one might have referenced Zork or the King’s Quest series, while modern audiences look to the catalogs of companies like TellTale Games and G5 Entertainment for this style of game play.

Abyss: The Wraiths of Eden HD (Full) ($6.99) 


Abyss has well-balanced game play, an intriguing story, a Hollywood-movie-style ending, and slick audio and visual elements to hold it all together. There is even a decent prequel adventure unlocked when you beat the main game.

Lost Treasures of Infocom (free with IAP)


It’s hard to beat a collection of titles that helped define the genre in the first place. Just don’t expect fancy 3D visuals.

Fighting Fantasy: The Forest of Doom ($5.99)


Take the gamebook engine Tin Man Games has perfected over the years and drop in one of the adventures that pioneered the “choose your own adventure” movement and how can you go wrong?



Compiled by Eric Pankoke

One might describe this category as “action games for casual gamers,” and it tends to include platform games like Super Mario Bros, infinite runners like Temple Run, and quick reaction games like Fruit Ninja. Over the last decade the genre has also started to drift toward the adventure game market with puzzles and even somewhat of a storyline.

LIMBO Game ($4.99)


Great graphics, challenging puzzles that force you to think outside of the box, and the ability to tell a story without a single word make this an incredible platforming journey.

Type Rider ($2.99)


Learn about fonts while having fun in this game that has slick visuals, great level design, and solid controls.

Tilt To Live 2: Redonkulous ($2.99)


Intense action, cool weapons, fun music, and a sense of humor make Tilt To Live 2 a superior sequel and an absolute delight.



Compiled by Eric Pankoke

This genre tends to focus on the logic side of game playing.  Of course that’s often too slow for modern gamers so developers tend to wrap a pretty little action oriented bow around such games these days.

Cavemania (free)


This match 3 hybrid has a little bit of everything, including constructing buildings, fighting dinosaurs, and upgrading characters RPG style.

Color Zen (free with IAP)


The perfect game for those that want to think but relax while doing itit’s a brain trip without the side effects.

Sprinkle Islands ($1.99)


A physics game with cute characters, awesome water-based puzzles, and no slingshots deserves iOS gamers’ attention.



Compiled by Siva Om

Games that thrust us into the role of a story’s character can deliver the most immersive gameplay on iOS. Some RPGS are very action-based, some more story-oriented, others predominantly strategy or puzzle solving, and some a mixed bag of all four elements. Our Bloggers voted and these are our top three RPGs of the year.

Infinity Blade ($6.99)


There's good reason Apple called on Infinity Blade III to demo iOS’s capabilities as a serious gaming platform at their recent product launch. With phenomenal storyline, graphics and gameplay IB3 takes our top spot in this category.

Walking Dead: The Game (free first episode)


A choose your own adventure set in the aftermath of a Zombie apocalypse, Walking Dead: The Game offers a viscerally terrifying glimpse into a world teeming with flesh eating corpses.

Oceanhorn: Monster of Uncharted Seas ($8.99)


Oceanhorn is the closest thing I've seen to an iOS-port of the hit Nintendo game series, Zelda. With its Zelda-esque puzzles, riddles and combat Oceanhorn is an instant modern-classic.


Compiled by Siva Om

Looking for a little adrenaline rush, or to hone your reflexes and competitive drive? Well, there’s an app for that! With over 2,000 sports games in the App Store there’s a sporting game to fit anyone’s tastes. Our Bloggers weighed in, scorecards were tallied, and these are our picks for best of the best.

Asphalt 8: Airborne (free)


The latest installment of this popular iOS racing series is nothing short of spectacular. Amazing graphics, high-flying aerial maneuvers and realistic courses make this our number one sports game.

Ridiculous Fishing: A Tale of Redemption ($2.99)


Classic 8-bit graphics combine with irresistible gameplay to create this twisted tale of atonement that will have you fishing with everything from guns, to chainsaws and toasters in an infinite arcade world.

Real Racing 3 (free)


This racing simulator has the best graphics and most authentic, realistic gameplay of any racing game. For the thrill of professional racing, Real Racing 3 can't be beat.


Compiled by Siva Om

Board games have been popular social pastimes from time immemorial. Now with our handy, ever-present iDevices we’re able to enjoy all the puzzles and strategic challenges of board games wherever we are. Of all the games in this category, including classic favorites and contemporary hits, these are our top picks.

Words with Friends (free)


This social word-building game is already an enduring favorite and one that should be on every board game fan’s iDevice. WWF is our pick as this year’s best in category.

Letterpress (free)


Letterpress is a game that will test your vocabulary and strategic skill while you focus on finding words, stealing tiles and taking over the board.

Scramble with Friends (free)


Zynga’s take on the popular timed word-find game Boggle will indeed have you frantically scrambling to spot words to beat your opponent in this addictive social game.



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Sarah Kingsbury's picture

Sarah Kingsbury is the Senior Web Editor of iPhone Life magazine. Previously she wrote for savvyvegetarian.com and was the Associate Editor of the Iowa Source for many years.