iPhone has come a long way since its appearance in 2007. Back then we loved it as a phone with the best display, a desktop-class browser (how funny after what Safari has become in iPadOS!) and a great audio player. Now it’s a top gaming device, and Apple demonstrates new generation gaming facilities with each new model. With Apple Arcade many of those neglecting mobile games have a chance to reconsider.
But the games we are looking at here aren’t available in Arcade. Even more: most of them are paid. But that means they offer great support, better quality, and generally no microtransactions that annoy free-to-players. These ones aren’t chart-breakers either; just because few bothered to share them.
But they are worth at least a look. Here we have collected RPGs and arcades, casual games and universes you need to learn for hours and hours to enjoy them later. And the most beautiful thing is that they look great on the small display. Neither do they take the most powerful 11 Pro: even on iPhone 8, or on 2018 superhit iPhone XR, they will run smoothly.
Into the Dead 2
Let’s start with a free one; that’s how we may interest you in another zombie survival adventure. The idea of a zombie attack is so popular among developers, probably because no zombie will ever feel insulted and sue the authors. This one, though, is really worth it (even though franchises like The Walking Dead have made it into gaming too).
You will certainly recall TWD as you play Into the Dead, due to its comic-styled visuals and dialogues, with even names partly coinciding. The gameplay, though, is easy and run-based. Your character runs the distance, trying to kill as many zombies as possible and not get bitten. There are obstacles to avoid, hordes of zombies to run through, and ammo you’re often running out of. Quite a great time-killer with simplest controls and fantastic (for the genre) visuals.
Power is all about choices, that’s the motto. With great power of the ruler comes great responsibility for anything you choose to do (or not to do). But this time you are no Spider-Man; spiders are all around you, trying to web you down. So, you are the king; what would you do?
In fact, the entire game is all about the choices you make. Just enthroned, you start to master the game of thrones… or of thorns, if you are not wise. It’s made in Tinder-like manner; you need to swipe right or left ideas and options, accepting or denying each one. Of course, choices impact further events, and you encounter unexpected problems, like potential lycanthrope monk, or a cholera epidemic in the capital, or beggars’ riot. Not as much about visuals, this is the game to warm up your brain.
Old Man’s Journey
It’s an interactive adventure, drawn like it’s a cartoon or an animated comic book. The protagonist seems to have come from folk fairytales, and his age does him a good service, as it takes some wisdom to solve the puzzles he gets into. For example, one indeed has to move the mountains (okay, they are hills) to get to the next point or to make the wind rock boats.
It’s a long story with hours of gameplay and meditative pace. The music contributes to that experience. And there are some nostalgic flashbacks that turn the game into a heartful story.
If you are into JRPG as a genre, you know what the first Battleheart installment made for JRPG’s: reinvention is the word. The sequel may be not so revolutionary, but it’s still a high-quality JRPG with touch-based controls. It’s still a tactical team-based adventure through the world full of magic, strange creatures, and crucial missions.
Even if you have never played a JPRG in your life, it will be easy to get in, due to a long, detailed tutorial. Yet there will still be much to learn after you’re involved. It’s designed in quite a modern way and incorporates the best elements of the genre classics, like turn-based combats or long unleashed fantasy narratives.
It’s a bit of nostalgic sweet Madeleine for those who remember the era of Tetris and Arkanoid. It’s made for modern devices, but it somehow resurrects the spirit of the era when limited graphic powers made the gameplay abstract and inventive. The field reminds that very Tetris, and the ball destroying the blocks is borrowed from Arkanoid, but the combination is quite unique. This is the perfect game to kill a minute or two of boredom.
Here comes the most intellectual of the games reviewed. It’s full of puzzles you are to solve in a greatly drawn environment. The puzzles in The Witness may seem familiar, but some of them have more than one solution, and it impacts further gameplay. Like Reigns, it’s still a game of choices in its own way. As for visuals, it’s a rare example of combining a puzzle game and a first-person adventure.
Meet & Greet the Outsiders
Here are the games you might have missed, but they are worth a closer look. Of course, it’s a matter of taste whether you will like it. And none of them (except maybe for Battleheart 2) has a legendary backstory like that of Super Mario Cart or Call of Duty Mobile, the superhits of this fall. But still, they are great in their way.