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The best free iPhone games - part 1

Let Pocket Gamer Lite the way to the App Store
Product: Free iPhone Games | Format: iPhone
Free iPhone Games iPhone, thumbnail 1
It’s funny how a new games system can actually alter our speech patterns. As I hunt through the App Store now looking for free games, I come to realise how many new words I’ve been taught since it launched.

'App' seems to have been accepted as a preferable alternative to 'software', while fiddling with capitalisation is now perfectly acceptable as long as the capital letter is preceded with a lower case ‘i’.

And even though my spell checker still doesn’t like it, ‘Lite’ is undeniably the buzz word of the iGeneration (you see! Even I’m doing iT now). Even though it’s not actually a word, its meaning is understood by every iPhone and iPod touch user across the world.

If something’s ‘Lite’, it’s free, but has reduced functionality and, for the most part, has a full version counterpart that you can pay for.

Of course, we could just say ‘demo’, but that’s not yet been approved or copyrighted by Apple, so for the time being we’re going to have to stick with Lite.

'Free' is a word that’s not going to be so easily put aside, of course. ‘Free iPhone games’ is the phrase that brings a lot of budding iPhoners directly to Pocket Gamer, so I’ve spent the afternoon sifting through an iSea of Lite games to dig out some freebie gems just for you. I mean, iYou. Whatever.

The best free iPhone games - part 1

Spaceballs, Bryan Mitchell

No, Spaceballs sadly isn’t linked to Mel Brooks’s classic spoof sci-fi movie, but it’s still well worth a look.

It’s a free version of the match-three chain style of game, in which you’re required to shoot coloured balls into a long and winding line of other balls. Once you punch together a row of three or more same coloured spheres, they evaporate, and the chain is shortened.

It’s relatively new, but it’s going down a storm over on the App Store thanks to several different game modes and an online high score leaderboard, so check it out if you like a good Zuma-clone.

Live Poker, Zynga

Live Poker has managed to retain a pretty high rating on its App Store listing after almost 10,000 votes, which, considering the fickleness of the average iPhone gamer, is pretty good going.

It’s the iPhone counterpart of the Facebook and MySpace online poker game, and allows you to compete against well over a million online players at Texas hold ‘em. You’re given 1000 free chips each day and the game works over either wi-fi or 3G.

It also now includes Facebook Connect, so if you’re looking to set up a remote game with just your buddies, you can now arrange a game with people just from your friends list.

iKnights Online, Addmired

We’re big fans of the online Mafia games here, with a particular affinity for Addmired’s iMob Online. Recently, however, the developer has been rebranding its popular crime family game in a variety of different ways, and iKnights Online really stands out among them.

It's exactly the same game as iMob, but if you’ve hit that point in the Mafioso game where money no longer matters and you’re just working your way through the levels, iKnights is a great way to start afresh without going through the exact same motions.

It’s a subtle tweak, but a valuable one if you’re looking to rediscover those early levels.

Tap Tap Revenge 2, Tapulous

Chances are you’ve already bagged Tap Tap Revenge 2, but we can’t update our free iPhone games feature without mentioning it. To be brutally honest, this free sequel beats the costly themed versions of the same game hands down (so to speak), and is building a massive catalogue of great music for you to drum along to.

It’s not changed a great deal from the first game, but the revamped graphics and brand new gaming engine really slicken the rhythm tapping action. And with over 150 free tracks to accompany it, there’s plenty for everyone to get excited about.

Guess 4, Vitalist Solutions LLC

We’ll finish this selection with a casual, slightly more cerebral game that’s surprisingly addictive (and has stolen several hours from me this week), Guess 4. You’ve probably seen this kind of code-breaking game before, in one form or another, but it never hurts to test it out again.

All you’ve to do is break a four digit code as quickly as possible, and within eight guesses. You’re given an initial clue after your first guess that tells you how many numbers are in the correct position, while the second hint tells you how many correct numbers you guessed (regardless as to their position).

It gathers stats as you’re going, making it quite a decent little brain trainer.

So there we have it - plenty of iFree apps to keep you going until the Lite fades.

If you’re looking for a few Lite games, by the way, you should go and take a look at the Lite Games section on the Pocket Gamer forums, where you can hear about and discuss iPhone demos directly with the developers.

While you’re there, you might as well check out the Updates section, too, to learn about what’s coming to improve your current iPhone games catalogue.

Reviewer photo
Spanner Spencer 21 May 2009
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