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Independents' Day: 10 indie games we want on iPhone and iPad

It's indie-pendence time again
Product: Top 10 iPhone charts | Format: iPhone, iPad
Top 10 iPhone charts Multiformat, thumbnail 1
Being from the United Kingdom, whenever I hear someone talking about 'Independence Day', my mind immediately shifts to Will Smith punching aliens in the face, rather than the US holiday for commemorating all things independent.

Indie developers, on the other hand, go into promotion mode around July 4th, using the holiday as an excuse to flog their wares.

Last year, we discussed which indie games on iOS were the best. This year, we've decided to go down a different path, and think about which indie games we'd love to see on iOS.

Join us as we celebrate "indie-pendence", then - or whatever the hipster indie developers are calling it these days.

Atom Zombie Smasher

By Blendo Games

Are you sick of zombie games yet? No, we neither. Atom Zombie Smasher isn't your typical zombie game, however, as it offers top-down city-cleansing action in a world that has become overrun with the walking dead - an experience we think would work wonders on, say, the iPad.

Your job is to select the right units and tools, place them into the city, and then hit go and watch as zombies swarm the place. Will your tactical placements help save the remaining humans and wipe out the zombie threat? Probably not, but it's still great fun.

Jamestown: Legend of the Lost Colony
By Final Form Games

Shmups, or shoot-'em-ups, aren't often for the faint of heart, especially those shooters carrying the prefix 'bullet-hell'.

Jamestown: Legend of the Lost Colony proved to be a great introduction title for those on Windows, Mac, or Linux-based computers looking to get into shmups, while it also provided enough depth to keep veterans on their toes.

With its gorgeous pixel-art visual style, its exciting story mode, its numerous challenges, and its glorious multiplayer co-op, Jamestown: Legend of the Lost Colony is one game in need of a mobile version.

Dungeons of Dredmor
By Gaslamp Games

There are already multiple dungeon-crawlers available for mobile devices - there's even a game called Dungeon Crawlers - but that doesn't mean we couldn't do with some more.

Dungeons of Dredmor was easily one of the best indie dungeon-crawlers of 2011, offering hours of gloomy battling for its main course, with plenty of wit and parody on the side.

From looting chests to battling skeletons, Dungeons of Dredmor is always a new experience thanks to randomly generated levels. It's classic roguelike gameplay, with turn-based fighting and permanent death.

By Nicalis

NightSky is a gorgeous ball-based puzzler for PC from 2011, with a 3DS version on the way. Why not craft an iOS version for us while you're there, eh, Nicalis, just for good measure?

In case you missed it last year, NightSky throws dozens of silhouetted levels your way as you roll a ball around obstacles, using special abilities to make it boost and jump all over the place.

Really Big Sky
By Boss Baddie

Coming to the PS Vita in the guise of Big Sky Infinity, Really Big Sky is probably unlike any side-scrolling shooter you've ever played before.

Games can last anywhere between 60 seconds and a dozen minutes, as you blast through randomly generated space with instadeath your fate if you touch anything.

As you play, you'll pick up credits that you can use to upgrade your ship - hence, over time you'll get further and further through the game and hopefully reach the end. Another indie title that's perfect for mobile.

By Krystian Majewski

Are you ready for some interactive fiction? Think a regular point-and-click adventure game but with less item-collecting and more story: that's essentially the elevator pitch for Krystian Majewski's gorgeous game Trauma.

You're in the mind of a woman who has suffered an unknown trauma. You wander around her subconscious, using gestures to interact with the dream. Wonderfully slow paced and satisfyingly deep, Trauma is perfect for playing through while sat in bed, methinks.

The Binding of Isaac
By Edmund McMillen

Edmund McMillen of Super Meat Boy fame went all semi-roguelike on us last year with The Binding of Isaac, the story of a boy who dives into the basement to escape his nasty mother.

As you'd expect from McMillen, it's all very silly, with hilarious enemies, boss battles, and power-ups the order of the day here. Because the controls are so simple, McMillen couldn't go wrong porting this to an iOS device. Do it. Now!

Rock of Ages
By Ace Team

No, no, not the awful-looking Tom Cruise movie. This is Rock of Ages, a hilarious rock-rolling extravaganza that takes you sailing through the ages on a mission to smash down doors with angry-looking boulders.

There's a bit of tower defence in there, too, as you place down obstacles to stop your opponent's boulder. We can just imagine tilting the iPhone / iPad (making use of its gyroscope and accelerometer) to roll the rock on its way. Lovely.

By Mossmouth

Spelunky was an indie phenomenon on PC, with randomly generated caves that were riddled with nasty monsters and lovely treasure. The game launches today - Independence Day, don't forget - for Xbox 360, making it the perfect time for us to plead for a mobile adaptation.

What makes Spelunky perfect for smartphones and tablets is its in-and-out nature - games can last from a few seconds to 15 minutes, so we'd love to throw a few rounds in while riding the bus to work each morning.

Gemini Rue
By Wadjet Eye Games

The likes of Monkey Island and Broken Sword have shown us that adventure games work wonderfully on mobile. Which is why Gemini Rue, a sublime sci-fi adventure, needs to get the touchscreen treatment.

The story follows two different characters in two different places that you can switch between. The game also features brilliantly realised shooting sections during which you can actually die - a neat twist on the age-old formula.

Reviewer photo
Mike Rose 4 July 2012
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