Mobile gaming as really exploded over the past few years, and now you're not forced to buy a handheld console if you want to enjoy a bit of casual gaming outside the comfort of your own home. We've come a long way since the days of Snake II, and now there are hundreds, if not thousands, of games available to download for the iPhone. Plus, it's not going to cost you an absolute fortune to get started.
It can be a little bit tricky to find something good amongst all those App Store listings, but lucky for you we've done all the hard work by picking out the best of them. So pull out your phone, make sure you've got a good Wi-Fi connection, plenty of free space, and get downloading.
If you're sick of games focussing on things like complicated graphics and expansive 3D environments, then Rex Rocket is a game to try. It's a classic-style pixelated 2D sidescrolling action adventure packed with secrets and challenges to keep you occupied. You choose between playing Captains Rexford and Rexanna, and you have to survive when your ship's AI goes rogue and releases genetically engineered creatures hell-bent on killing you while you try and regain control. There's also a very catchy soundtrack to go with it, and plenty of random references.
£1.49 | Download Rex Rocket
Does Not Commute
The morning commute doesn't have any fans, mostly because it sucks. Thankfully you can make it a little bit more interesting by playing Does not Commute along the way. It's a driving game where you have to guide various townsfolk between locations while avoiding obstacles and beating the clock. It's one of those games that starts easy, but slowly gets more and more challenging as your progress. The game is free, but you can pay £1.49 to ditch the ads and actiate the ability to play from checkpoints.
Did you know Amazon made games? Me neither, but they do and they're no longer exclusive to its own devices. This one is a first-person psychological horror, and you play a policeman investigating the weird goings-on. It's made from the developers of Prey, so you know this isn't going to be a walk in the park. You have to explore the asylum scavenging for weapons and supplies, trying to avoid its monsterous residents and eventually confronting a legendary serial killer.
Needless to say you shouldn't play this before bedtime.
£4.99 | Download Lost Within
Tales From The Borderlands
This one is an episodic adventure set in the same universe as the Borderland series, and made the same people who made The Walking Dead and The Wolf Among Us.This is a very story driven game, and helps you explore the world of Pandora in greater detail. You can play through as two characters, Rhys or Fiona, in their quest to make it in the harsh world.
£3.99 Per Episode | Download Tales from the Borderlands
Another platformer, but this time with some great 3D-like graphics and beautifully rendered environments. You play as moustachioed fuzzball Leo who is out venturing into the world to reclaim his stolen treasure. Luckily the thief has dropped coins like a trail of breadcrumbs, and all you have to do is follow and pick up each coin. It's not that simple, though, and over the course of 24 levels you have to escape traps, solve puzzles, and try not to die.
£3.99 | Download Leo's Fortune
This has a fairly unique gameplay style, and rather than playing like a traditional game it's laid out as a comic. Your task is to drag around and rearrange the comic panels so that the story makes coherent sense. What really makes it great is the jazz soundtrack that sets the mood for you to figure out what's going on.
MOBA's are a big thing in the world of gaming nowadays, but if you want to enjoy them on the go you should check out Vainglory. It works by letting you enjoy 3 vs 3 multiplayer battles that last 20 minutes each. It's a fairly typical MOBA affair, so if you've played one before you know what the deal is. It's also free to play, but there are bundles of in-game currency to buy yourself items and skins.
Touchscreens don't offer the same level of control as more traditional games controllers, which can cause problems. Luckily Republique isn't one of them, using onscreen swipes and gestures to help you get around. Republique is an episodic game, and you play as a hacker aiding Hope, a woman trapped within a totalitarian state. Your job is to guide her to safety, hacking into surveillance systems and taking control so that she makes it out in one piece.
£3.99 Per Episode | Download Republique
GTA: San Andreas
Grand Theft Auto is a franchise that has no chance of dying down anytime soon, but rather than playing through the latest installment you might want to head back to one of the classics. Specifically the classic that's set in Los Santos, the same city that appears in GTA V. It's a direct port of the classic crime simulator, so if you remember doing something on your PC/Playstation/Xbox back in the day, you'll be able to do it right here on your iPhone.
This one is a text-based adventure inspired by classic spy mysteries, told over a number of chapters, and filled with a whole host of mind-bending puzzles that uncover the story. Device 6 follows Anna, a woman who has mysteriously found herself in a castle on a remote island. All she remembers is a strange doll, and through the game you have to work out why she's there being out through tests as well as answering wuestions about the second identical castle, and the mysterious man in a bowler hat.
£2.99 | Download Device 6
You can't beat a classic, and with the new Tomb Raider hitting our gaming systems in the next few months you should definitely head back to the beginning and play the game that set everything in motion. It's the full game that you know and love from the days of the Playstation 1, and you have to control Lara through different ruins and locations including Egyption pyramids and the lost city of Atlantis. Plus, it's 99p which is an absolute bargain.
99p | Download Tomb Raider 1
Oceanhorn really shows how far mobile gaming has come as it packs a fully featured RPG with excellent visuals, a strong storyline and deep gameplay all into an app you can play on the train home. Master swords & magic and explore around the open world, all with intuitive controls that fit the touchscreen perfectly.
£6.99 | Download Oceanhorn
It's unlikley that there's a person in the world who doesn't love Tetris, but sometimes the basic falling blocks is a little blade for today's casual gamer. That's where Tetris Blitz comes in, creating a new spin on the classic. You have two minutes to try and blast through as many lines as you can, and to help you along the way are a variety of power ups that you can activate.
Free (With In-App Purchases) | Download Tetris Blitz
This one is nice and simple, all you have to do is connect dots of the same colour vertically and horizontally to earn points. There are a bunch of different modes (some of which you have to pay extra for), but the main two limit you on time or moves so that you can keep working towards that high score. It's basic, but it's bound to make the hours fly by.
Free (With In-App Purchases) | Download Dots
At first glance Terraria seems like a 2D version of Minecraft, but there's so much more to it than that. It's true that a lot of the game focuses on mining blocks and building all sorts of fancy creations, but there's a lot of other great things too. There's a big emphasis on exploration, and you can traverse multiple environments across the surface, the sky, and deep underground into the depths of a Hell-like space. There are enemies and boses to fight, and plenty of items to craft.
£3.99 | Download Terraria
The protagonist of this game is a tiny Robin Hood-like character, who is sick of the corruption and hardship in the medieval world he calls home. So he's decided to use his cunning and some trickery to outsmart the baddies and steal as much as he can. It's a point-and-click game with an offbeat sense of humour, and six different worlds for you to work your way through, stealing swag and solving puzzles along the way.
Free | Download Tiny Thief
Who says small-scale indie games can't be an incredible visual experience? Not the people who've played Limbo. The game is a 2D platformer, set within a shadowy world filled with unseen dangers. You play as a young boy searching for his sister, and have been forced to enter Limbo to discover her fate for yourself.
£3.99 | Download Limbo
The side-scroller reminds us of Chillingo's Contre Jour with its dark visuals and not only does it look the part it plays brilliantly as well. Leading bird-like creatures through the levels avoiding the many obstacle on the way it's a game of sacrifice where you only need one member of your flock to survive and get through some complex but satisfying levels.
£2.99 | Download Badland
Ridiculous Fishing - A Tale of Redemption
This sounds like an utterly ridiculous premise, but as it turns out trying to catch fish with things like guns, chainsaws, and toasters is incredibly fun. It starts off by letting you catch your fish the regular way, but on the way up your catches und up flying through the air where you have to shoot them down. There are dozens of unlockable weapons and items to get through, and some of the fish can also be used as hats. That's right, fish hats.
Minecraft - Pocket Edition
Minecraft has been one heck of a popular game since it launched, and now you don't need to sit at a computer or console to get your block-mining fix. Think of it as what Lego would have been if the famous bricks had been developed half a century later. In the app you can explore randomly generated worlds, fight the local wildlife, and build your own amazing creations out of blocks just like you can in the full game. There's even cross platform play with people using the Windows 10 Beta edition of the game.
The quintessential, rock-hard arcade shooter and coin-thief returns to an iOS device near you. Undoubtedly one of the toughest games ever made, the remake for iOS is no different and may have you wanting to chuck your precious iPhone at a wall (don't, by the way), in part due to the slightly smushy touch-screen controls. Despite that, it's still a faithful recreation and well worth a look if you're nostalgic for the 80s.
£1.49 | Download R-Type
Ex-Bioware developer Henry Smith serves up this co-op play gem where the only way you can save your ship from going down is by flicking the right switches or sliders on a control panel. If you can't see the buttons, you'll need to bark orders to find out who has and by working as a team you can savour the 80s sci-fi film-style ending.
Free | Download Spaceteam
Beat Sneak Bandit
This one is part rhythm game, and part stealth platformer. To play Beat Sneak Bandit you have to sneak past the guards, but doing so requires you to utilise rhythm based controls. The game itself has you collecting the clocks that have been stolen by the evil Duck Clockface, and it's up to you to sneak around and steal them back to protect the world from utter chaos. Everything in this game moves rhythmically, and if you want to get very far you're going to have to master them quite quickly.
This role-playing classic from Square Enix was popular back in the day, and you can relive the glory days thanks to this iOS port. It's a turn based game with a heavy emphasis on time travel, so get ready to battle your way through the long-forgotten past, the far future, as well as the present day. There's even some extra content thrown in here that wasn't included in the recent DS remake.
If you like mobile gaming with serious 8-bit styling, this side-scrolling gem comprises of frantically running through levels upper-cutting and jabbing your way through hordes of enemies and defeating bosses with plenty of content to unlock on the way. What sort of unlocks? Well there's a dinosaur that shoots lasers from its mouth, an egg that turns into a magical gnome when you punch it, and fancy hats.
Free | Download Punch Quest
For those who have little time for cut-scenes and complex narratives, this straight-laced shooter is one of the best of its kind on the App Store and looks the part too. Controlling a robot soldier to take on hordes of droids to find out the truth about his human owner, Epoch runs on the Unreal graphics engine which ensures it's a visual feast on the eyes and takes full advantage of the iPhone's processor power..
Chaos Rings II
This is the newest edition in Square Enix's Chaos series, and you play as Darwin, the chosen one, on a journey to prevent the world from being destroyed by 'The Destroyer'. The only way the world can be saved is by slaughtering the designated sacrifices and offering their souls in exchange for the planet. The problem? One of the sacrifces is Darwin's childhood friend. Will he fulfil his destiny? It's up to you. Literally, this game has multiple endings that are affected by the choices you make during your playthrough.
Crow is an adventure game that mixes RPG elements and on the rails battling all set against stunning looking backdrop. Playing as the main character 'crow', you task is to seek out and destroy spiritual guardians. If you don’t fancy a fight though, you can happily soar around the sky and soak up the beautiful scenery instead.
£3.99 | Download Crow
Batman Arkham City Lockdown
The official tie-in and prequel to Batman: Arkham City, this game has you re-enter the cowl of the Caped Crusader as he hunts the streets of Gotham for criminals that have been broken out of Arkham Asylum by the Joker. The game is played as a series of battles with members of Batman's infamous Rogues Gallery, but there's also a decent amount of exploration through Gotham's seedy underbelly. Plus, like the main game, there are numerous upgrades and skins you can acquire to personalise and enhance your gameplay experience.
£4.49 (With In-App Purchases] | Download Batman Arkham City Lockdown
Bring me Sandwiches
As a poor fast food drone your job is simple, feed the famished aliens that have invaded your planet. This 2D side on platformer takes you to five different locations where you'll be required to make sarnies without spillages. It's got great graphics and all the casual appeal that makes it perfect for playing on the way to work.
Geometry Wars 3
The well loved Xbox Live Arcade game seems like the perfect choice for mobile devices, so it's a good thing it's available on iPhone. If you've never heard of Geometry Wars before, the best way to think of it is like a geometry themed hybrid of Asteroids and Space Invaders. You control your ship, and you have to navigate and shoot your way through levels and challeneges filled with enemies shaped like, well, shapes. Each shape is different, and shooting it isn't always going to ensure that it goes away right away.There are over 40 levels and five grids to play with, so this should keep you entertained for ages.
Infinity Blade III
The first two Infinity Blade games proved that mobile gaming doesn't need to be limited to cartoony or pixelated graphics, and now the sword-fighting game is back for a third installment. Here Sirisi and Isa have joined forces with the God-King Raidriar in a desperate attempt to defeat the Worker of Secrets and his tireless army of undead soldiers. Along the way you must unlock the mysteries of the Infinity Blade in order to wield its power and save the worlds from ruin.
Free (With In-App Purchases) | Download Infinity Blade II
Sonic the Hedgehog 2
Sega's spikey blue mascot has starred in some fine (and not-so fine) games over the years, and Sonic 2 is definitely one of the best. In this installment, you have the help of your loyal companion Tails and his flying ability. As ever, the evil Dr Robotnik/Eggman is doing his best to cause trouble, and it's up to Sonic and Tails to put a stop to it before it's too late. All the original levels are here, coupled with a fine set of touchscreen controls. Sonic 2 is gaming nostalgia at its finest.
£2.29 | Download Sonic the Hedgehog 2
We're all for originality and Papa Sangre has that in an abundance.With the soul of a loved one is danger, you must learn to navigate by sound, following a trail of musical notes past the perils of the afterlife to rescue your loved one’s soul. It's got amazing audio, and shows us what is capable if you don't just go and copy Angry Birds.
£3.99 | Download Papa Sangre
The classic original Worms game was loved by many, so it's hardly surprising that it ended up on mobiles ready for a new audience. Everything you loved about the original is here, with the added addition of Bluetooth-powered multiplayer. The same cartoon graphics and humour are here, all to help you blow up the oppossing team with a selection of hilarious weaponry. Worms also includes action replays, 50 challenges and unlockable items, plus six different environments to spread mayhem through.
Sadly this is not a mobile port of iD Software's recent post apocalyptic shooter, but this is a tie-in that has all the best bits. It's a rail-based first person shooter set within the fictional TV show 'Mutant Bash TV', and it's your job to survive the onslaught of mutants that seem hell bent on killing (and probably eating) you. There's also a scoring system so you can keep going back to beat your past self.
Your eyes are not decieving you, this really is an impressive looking shooter with 3D graphics. It just happens to be on your phone rather than your TV. Shadowgun clearly takes some visual inspiration from Gears of War, but you shouldn't hold that against it. You take on the role of bounty hunter John Slade, and it's your job to hunt down mad scientist and mutant army leader Dr. Edgar Simmons. It's got some impressive tactical enemy AI, a hacking-based mini game, and a rather immersive story with multiple endings that are affected by your in-game choices. It's only around six hours long, but it should make the morning train far more interesting.
A modern reinvention of Geoff Crammond’s 80s classic The Sentinel, you job is to disarm the laser armed CCTV camera before it burns you to a crisp. It's smartly designed with a range of obstacles such as toxic slime to contend with, which makes up for just the ten levels to sneak your way through.
Street Fighter IV
Capcom’s classic beat-em up was a welcome addition to the iPhone game fraternity. While the graphics were nothing to write home about, the most important features such as gameplay and an intuitive virtual control system, meant launching a tirade of hadoukens took you back to a time when a Game Center didn't even exist.
Beneath a Steel Sky: Remastered
Another classic game ported over to iOS, and this one just happens to be considered one of the best adventure games ever written. It's set in a dystopian future, and you play as the orphaned Robert Foster who's abducted from his peaceful village and flown to a city thousands of miles away. He eventually escapes his captors into the city, and vows revenge for his murdered family and to get to the bottom of why he was taken in the first place.This one has over 10 hours of puzzle-solving gameplay, animated movies created by Watchmen's Dave Gibbons, and a bunch of new content exclusive to iOS.
This one is nice and simple, but also incredibly addictive. Flight Control is exactly what it sounds like, you have to control these planes as they land using nothing more than your finger. Drag it across the screen and make sure that these planes land safley on the runway and don't crash into each other.
Super Monkey Ball Bounce
Super Monkey Ball was one of the must-play games on the Gamecube, and you can relive all the classic rolling-primate fun on your phone. Sort of. So it's not a direct port of the original, but it is a great mobile equivalent. You take control of your monkey ball and roll it around each level solving puzzles and battling bosses.
Sky Gamblers: Air Supremacy
There aren't enough good aerial combat games out there, but it just so happens that iPhone users get access to this one.There are a whole bunch of different game modes to play, online and off, ranging from dogfighting, survival, capture the flag, and more. If you want something with some fantastic visuals and a smooth control scheme, you can't go wrong here.
This one is a fun twist on the side-scroller, because instead of running around the screen you're using a jetpack instead. You take control of Barry who has broken into a scientific research stattion to take the eponymous jetpacks away from evil scientists. You can use your jet pack to take off and rain fire onto the baddies littering the floor below. The game also has you collecting coins, which you can use to buy new jet packs and upgrade your weapons. THis being a mobile game, you can skip all the collecting and just pay real money for them if you want.
Free (With In-App Purchases) | Download Jetpack Joyride
Organ Trail: Director's Cut
Anyone who played games back in the 70s will have played Oregan Trail, the game that oph so often saw you fail due to that pesky disease known as dysentery. Organ Trail is a sucessor of sorts, but rather than acting as a direct port it makes a few changes. Noticebly, Organ Trail puts you in control of survivors of a zombie apocalypse, not frontiersmen hoping to start a new life in West Coast USA. The gameplay is almost exactly the same, with your group of survivors traversing the USA in a rundown old car seeking safety from the undead. You need to ensure that everyone stays alive, and that your car doesn't completly die on you. There are also a few mini games that let you earn money and supplies.
Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery
This one is an exploration-based action adventure game, but with a heavy emphasis on the audio visual style. You have to travel though a mystical realm using a combination of swordplay and magic to complete your journey. The sword is for battling, and the magic is there to help you solve the puzzles you'll find throughout your journey. This isn't your typical game, because the soundtrack plays such an important role in the worldbuilding. In fact, you could say that the game is the counterpart to the music, rather than the other way around. It's also affected by the real life lunar cycle, which should keep things interesting for you.
This is a gorgeous and richly textured, non-violent adventure laden with mini-games that gets progressively challenging the further you get -- as any decent game should. In Lili a botanist and ‘veggie magician’ teen travels across the island of Geos, collecting flowers to defend herself against the cursed spritis that inhabit this beautiful environment.
£2.29 | Download Lili iPhone app