The Greatest iPhone Games You Have Probably Never Heard Of
You know the score. Touchscreen games are crap. Well, they maybe OK for a quick spell on Angry Birds or Peggle, but for proper, real gaming, there really isn’t much out there, aside from the occasional treat like Infinity Blade.
We can’t play Street Fighter without buttons, it just isn’t…natural. Forget trying to smudge your way around an FPS game, which always seem like they might work after the first five minutes but then come unstuck when you try to actually move and shoot at the same time. Even strategy and arcade games are ruined by the evil of the IAP.
Well, that isn’t strictly true, as there are games out there for gamers like you and I. Games that actually play really, truly well.
Luckily, I have been the editor of a smartphone site for several years, and I am happy to share five truly hidden gems with all of the miserable old gamers here at VoxelArcade.
The Last Rocket
The Last Rocket is a brilliant, retro themed arcade puzzler with gorgeous visuals, delicious sonics and inventive, fun gameplay. You play the last rocket of an intergalactic war, out to escape the giant factory you find yourself in. It is a strangely heartfelt, if minimal tale, but the quality of the levels, obstacles and puzzles is higher than almost anything else on the platform. Addictive, fun and full of character.
Want Advance Wars on your iPhone? You got it. Fear not, there are no IAP’s to be found here, no ‘gems’ or ‘coins’ to unlock stuff. Just level after level of gorgeous strategy, with 2 full campaigns, an online vs mode, challenge maps, and even a day/night cycle. The game strikes the balance between difficulty and approachability perfectly. This plays like Advance Wars, has similar animations on each turn, with the same strategic depth, and is an absolute treat.
Final Freeway 2R
This stellar 2.5D racer is a clever clone of OutRun, only with a developer that has taken care to get those potentially tricky controls down to a tee. They are also completely customisable, and the whole package is a beauty. Select your music track, jump in your Ferrari and zoom off to the next checkpoint where you can choose your route. It really does look and play very well, and please don’t be put off by some of the horrible racing games on iOS; this isn’t one of them.
Puzzle of the Dead
This is an extremely difficult, yet entirely rewarding, puzzle game where you must attempt to find the key to each level, moving blocks, avoiding enemies and trying to survive constantly. You get 80 tricky levels, a look somewhere between a NES and SNES game and an ever rising difficulty level. This is a genuine ‘hidden gem’ that any old school gamer should have in his collection. When this list is the first thing written about this game in years, and your humble writer has supplied one of the few quotes the game has on iTunes, you know it’s a true unknown.
Mobigame are perhaps best known for the controversy surrounding their hit game, Edge. When they sent me a copy of Perfect Cell, I knew they were onto something special, and this is actually the most well-known of my selection of games here. It is a stonking action adventure/puzzler, with you controlling an alien attempting to escape an underground bunker, full of scientists and guards, with a growing repertoire of skills. Gory, intelligent and captivating, Perfect Cell is a little stunner.
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Editor and founder of VoxelArcade and The Smartphone App Review. Favourite games: Uridium 2, Frontier: Elite II, Sensible World of Soccer, Far Cry 3, Zelda: Ocarina, Metroid Prime, Solar Quest, F-Zero GX, Monkey Island 2 and Tetris.