Every month, we like to look back at all the iPhone and iPad games that have come out in the past four weeks and pick out the very best of the bunch.
For those of us in the UK, July's weather has been unbelievably varied. Scorching sunshine turns into torrential downpours, which turns into muggy heat, and into thunderous hailstorms. All in one afternoon.
Same goes for iOS games in July.
This month, you see, we've played some enormous games and some tiny indie productions. We've had a crack at recycled console ports, and found brand-new experiences.
We now present to you the best of the iOS bunch for July 2013. Enjoy.Deus Ex: The Fall
By N-Fusion and Eidos-Montréal - buy on iPhone and iPad
Like big-boy console cousin Deus Ex: Human Revolution
, The Fall
is all about choice.
You can play the game loud with grenades and brutal melee executions. Or you can play quietly and crawl through the millions of vents in future Panama.
There's also choice involved in how you explore the world, talk to characters, take on missions, and augment your body with bionic enhancements. The only decision you don't need to make is whether or not to pick up this game. Do it now.Tiny Thief
By 5 Ants - buy on iPhone and iPad
With Tiny Thief
, 5 Ants takes the illogical puzzle-solving brilliance of a retro point-and-click adventure and jams it - triumphantly - into a cute side-scroller.
So, you get all the fun of using things on things which they shouldn't be used on, but in short, sharp mobile-friendly bursts.
The best bit? The detailed cross-section backdrops that fill up the iPad screen. Glancing up at these scenes as you plan to steal a cake, pinch a wig, or pilfer a treasure map is always an absolute treat.Breach & Clear
By Mighty Rabbit - buy on iPhone and iPad
In Breach & Clear
, Mighty Rabbit offers tense turn-based 5-minute mini-missions. Four expert operatives bust down doors in some Afghan office, then assassinate all the terrorists inside.
Here's the catch: you often have no knowledge of how many baddies are inside, where they're standing, and in what direction they're facing. As you carefully plan each soldier's path, then, you need to mind every corner, cover every blind spot, and use flanking manoeuvres.
It's tricky stuff, but nothing beats the thrill of orchestrating a raid on a Chinese cargo ship and seeing your plan play out with textbook efficiency. Tango down.Limbo
By Playdead - buy on iPhone and iPad
XBLA import Limbo
is a very dark game. Over the course of this adventure, your young hero will be murdered, mutilated, crushed, drowned, chewed up in gears, and speared by a giant spider.
It's got a twisted sense of humour, and a moody atmosphere. But behind that gruesome façade lies a truly ingenious puzzle-platformer chock-full of imaginative ideas.
From pushing boxes to wrestling with anti-gravity machines - and lots more in between - you'll never experience a dull moment here.Gentlemen!
By Lucky Frame - buy on iPad
Modern technology has driven multiplayer opponents farther and farther away from one another. So, people at opposite ends of the globe can now compete in real time.
Look out, though: iPad devs are finding ways to smash human opponents back together like hydrogen atoms in a supercollider.
The results of this atomic crash? Lucky Frame's Gentlemen!
, an expertly tuned game in which you try to assassinate your noble pal with knives, bombs, electric shocks, and deadly homing pigeons. While your bud sits no more than three feet from you. Great stuff.A Ride Into The Mountains
By Chia-Yu Chen & Lee-Kuo Chen - buy on iPhone and iPadA Ride Into The Mountains
is far from perfect. It's woefully short, the wooly tilt controls are a constant source of frustration, and the translation is, well, off.
But this beautiful indie game, about a young horseback archer who must single-handedly dispatch armfuls of cunning demons, is also imaginative and full of surprises.
Plus, executing a succession of perfect shots is always a satisfying thrill.Sky Tourist
By Three Legged Egg - buy on iPhone and iPad
The disarmingly cute Sky Tourist
comes with a completely original control scheme.
In this game, pioneering astro-explorer Petey is hooked onto a rope, which is tied between a pair of spaceships. You can move those rockets up and down to tilt the rope and guide Petey through traps and puzzles.
Playing Sky Tourist
on a touchscreen feels great, while the different level layouts and challenges are perfect for the platform. Throw in a bouncy piano score and some colourful Fez
-like visuals, and you've got one top-notch iOS game.Riptide GP 2
By Vector Unit - buy on iPhone and iPad
In Riptide GP 2
, the tracks are as unpredictable as your opponents. That's probably because the courses are sloshing, shifting great bodies of water. They turn into damp mush in the wake of other riders, and form ramps in odd locations.
That's what makes flying around Riptide GP 2
's various tracks so much fun. Not to mention performing a series of audacious gravity-defying stunts to earn more boost juice.Sine Mora
By Digital Reality and Grasshopper Manufacture - buy on iPhone and iPad
Bullet-hell blaster Sine Mora
is all about the spectacle. From the dieselpunk art style to the sprawling backdrops to the enormously detailed boss monsters, this is one very pretty game.
Digital Reality and Grasshopper Manufacture also throw some interesting spins on this niche genre in here. Your health bar is now a timer that tick-tocks down to your death, and taking damage just expedites that process.
Most importantly of all, though, Sine Mora
works perfectly well on a touchscreen. It shouldn't, but it does.Expander
By All Civilized Planets - buy on iPhone and iPad
We need a name for this new genre of maddeningly difficult mobile games. Ruthless ball-busters like Impossible Road
and Super Hexagon
My vote goes to 'swearware'.Expander
is the latest entry in this newly contrived genre. It's a practically impossible but utterly addictive time sink in which you collect cubes, avoid obstacles, and swap between colours while trying not to smush your iPhone into a small puddle of aluminium dust.