The App Store can be a profitable home to games from other consoles. Retro classics that have been reborn, ports of handheld games that didn't sell that well, and Flash games that might make a quick buck as an app.
But, this month, almost every game we're going to feature was born on iOS. Massive adventures like Waking Mars, big developer diversions like Fibble, and hidden gems like Swordigo.
The iPhone and iPad certainly have their fair share of borrowed games. But, they also have plenty of essential exclusives, too. As you're about to find out.
Angry Birds Space
By Rovio - buy on iPhone or buy on iPad
After churning out 400 almost-identical Angry Birds levels, Rovio near enough reinvents the wheel with Angry Birds Space by swapping earthly gravity for cosmic astrophysics.
This opens up wholly new strategies, as birds borrow the gravity of nearby planetoids to twist their trajectory, and pigs get squished by orbiting debris. The core thrill is as primal as ever, but the new ideas bring something very fresh to the Angry Birds table.
By Tiger Style - buy on iPhone and iPad
In this game, Tiger Style's follow-up to Spider: The Secret of Bryce Manor, Chinese astronaut Liang Qi investigates the subterranean life in the belly of the red planet. Along the way, he'll need to boost the biomass of each cave to delve deeper.
To do so, you'll need to carefully study the habits of each lifeform, then use and abuse that knowledge to build self-sufficient ecosystems. It's heady science fiction, but always grounded in some real-world science.
By Crytek - buy on iPhone or buy on iPad
After nanosuits and super soldiers, this cartoon puzzler is not the most obvious departure for the Crysis developer. But, those luscious 3D visuals are all Crytek.
Fibble has got brains to back up its looks, too. Before flicking the springy hero through each level, you'll need to choose the best placement for each pal so that they can help bounce, propel, and hurl Fibble into collectible doodads.
Tobe & Friends Hookshot Escape
By Secret Base - buy on iPhone
Tobe straddles the line between old skool and modern. It's got all the trappings of an up-to-date social game, with in-app purchases, addictive mini-missions, and the ability to tweet your score.
At the same time, however, it's decidedly retro. As you bound from platform to platform using your hookshot, you'll need to land with pixel-perfect precision. The mercilessly steep difficulty curve feels nostalgic, too.
The Hunger Games: Girl on Fire
By Lionsgate - download free on iPhone and iPad
No one expects movie tie-in apps to be any cop, but a dream team of indie devs - including the stars behind Canabalt, Meat Boy, and Super Crate Box - have definitely made The Hunger Games's iPhone companion game worth playing.
It's essentially Canabalt, but you switch between tiers rather than leap between skyscrapers. You've also got a bow to do away with nuisance wasps. It's a little more involved than Saltsman's seminal endless-runner, but it's still streamlined and sharp.
By Touch Foo - buy on iPhone and iPad
Zelda 2 is not the most obvious source of influence. It's usually considered the black sheep of Link's adventures, and is often brushed aside like Zelda's CD-i adventures. But, Touch Foo has somehow found inspiration in this forgotten NES sequel.
So, Swordigo is a side-scrolling monster basher, with a light RPG backbone. You'll get XP and rise to new levels for every enemy of do in, and you'll explore caves, dungeons, towns, and fields on your quest.
AaaaaAAaaaAAAaaAAAAaAAAAA!!! (Force = Mass x Acceleration)
By Dejobaan Games and Owlchemy Labs - buy on iPhone and iPad
Aaaaa (for short) offers a potent adrenaline thrill ride in every level, as you throw yourself off a building, plummet towards the ground, and put yourself in as much danger as humanly possible along the way.
The tilt controls work wonders, as you twist and bank away from buildings and through plate-glass windows. Everything from the music to the screen size is tweaked to make the game feel as fast as possible.
Chaos Rings II
By Square Enix - buy on iPhone or buy on iPad
Chaos Rings II goes to great lengths to warrant its inflated price tag. It's got full Japanese voice acting, a lengthy storyline, and a huge chunk of content that will take hours to slog through.
It's a turn-based strategy game, with a deep combat system that involves pairing up with a party member. Outside of the battlefield, the story is darker than its predecessors' tales, as floppy-haired urchin Darwin has to make human sacrifices to save the world.
By Rodeo Games - buy on iPhone and iPad
A good sequel gives a developer a chance to look back at a game and fix what didn't work. So, while we bashed the "odd mission structure" in Hunters: Episode One, Hunters 2 addresses that with a proper story-based campaign.
Almost everything else has been tweaked with an eye to gameplay improvement, too. The turn-based combat has been refined; new weapons and enemies have been added; and new environments have been introduced.
By Fluttermind - buy on iPad
Incoboto is a dark game. Which is pretty surprising when a blazing sun follows your every move. But, the starless cosmos, the lost souls, and the echoes of a long-dead corporation make for one grim, lonely experience.
The game is about collecting bits of stars by waltzing around the circumference of planets and solving light puzzles. It's a little fiddly, but the burnt-out universe of Incoboto is fun to toy with, and a joy to explore.
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