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 IPHONE FEATURE

Top 10 best one-button games on iPhone

Can you dig-it?
 
Top 10 iPhone charts iPhone, thumbnail 1
iPhone gaming appeals to a far broader crowd than the traditional consoles do. And that's largely down to accessibility.

While 12-button control pads tend to put off the uninitiated, anyone with a working finger can use a touchscreen.

Even within the field of iOS games, though, there are degrees of complexity. Put simply, they don't get any easier than the one-button game.

To many, one-button games represent the purest form of gaming. You don't have to worry about virtual D-pads; handset orientation; or even assorted swipes and prods. All you have is a single virtual command and some ingenious gameplay designed around that binary control system.

Here are ten of our favourite one-button games on iPhone, then. What are your favourites, mind?

Badland
By Frogmind - buy on iPhone and iPad



The new boy on this list, Badland manages to rival Whale Trail for sheer gorgeousness.

But what really make Frogmind's platformer special are the sheer physicality of its world and the gameplay nuances. Two things Frogmind pulls off through a single virtual button.

Tiny Wings
By Andreas Illiger - buy on iPhone or buy on iPad



One of iOS gaming's recent classics, Tiny Wings is remarkable for one major reason. Here is something fresh in the endless-runner genre without a complicated control system.

In a neat twist on the Canabalt formula, pressing the screen forces your character down, while releasing it lets him soar into the sky.

Slingshot Racing
By Snowbolt Interactive - buy on iPhone and iPad



While this list is largely populated by platformers and endless-runners, Slingshot Racing is noteworthy for hailing from the school of notoriously tricky racing sims.

It's an incredibly delicate one-button game in which you are rewarded handsomely for taking the racing line. Impressive.

Relic Rush
By Jason Pickering - buy on iPhone and iPad



Relic Rush might seem a little out of place among all these polished iOS gaming greats, but the application of the one-button philosophy here is second to none.

As your little adventurer runs and jumps to the level exit automatically, it's left to you to hold him up at key moments by touching the screen. Very clever, indeed.

Whale Trail
By ustwo - buy on iPhone and iPad



An iOS classic in every which way but sales figures, Whale Trail encourages you to swoop, collect, and initiate graceful loop the loops through the skilful manipulation of a single digit.

It's not the most original game on this list, but it's certainly one of the most lovable.

Jetpack Joyride
By Halfbrick - buy on iPhone and iPad



Halfbrick just knows how to make games that feel right. We can't adequately explain why Jetpack Joyride is so much more compelling than so many other endless-runners.

It just is.

Whether you're hovering, blasting, riding a robotic dragon, or trying to steal an extra few yards at the end of a run, it's some of the most (legal) fun you can have with a single finger.

One Tap Hero
By Coconut Island Studio - buy on iPhone and iPad



Let's face it: traditional platformers don't really work on iPhone. Not perfectly, anyway.

Games like One Tap Hero show that there is a better way to deal with platform games on touchscreens than just tacking on a clunky virtual D-pad.

Through smart level design and a simple one-button control system, One Tap Hero has become an iOS platformer that anyone can enjoy.

Skipping Stone
By Gamevil - buy on iPhone



Skipping Stone is a bit of a mobile classic, though the clarity of its creator's one-button concept - and reworked visuals - ensure that it still feels fresh on iPhone today.

You must keep your titular skimming stone bouncing across a body of water through nothing more than some well-timed button presses.

Simple, but you just try putting it down. See.

Canabalt
By Semi Secret Software - buy on iPhone and iPad



In truth, Canabalt could qualify for all kinds of top ten lists, including top endless-runner, top art style, and top trendsetting games.

Right now, however, we'd like to highlight and pay tribute to its simple one-button gameplay, which set the pattern for so many other games (including some on this list).

It's still so much fun to play today, despite the game's familiarity.

One Button Bob
By Manomio - buy on iPhone



One Button Bob is far from the best game on this list. In fact, it's quite rough about the edges.

But, like Relic Rush, it wins a place on this rundown due to its creator's admirable dedication to the one-button philosophy.

Manomio presents a fresh spin on things here, with the onus on figuring out exactly what your single-button press will result in on each new screen - whether that be lobbing a boomerang at a bat or jumping over a perilous chasm.
 

Reviewer photo
Jon Mundy 30 April 2013
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Joined:
Nov 2011
Post count:
372
mr_bez | 13:43 - 2 May 2013
Food Run left me cold, but you're right - Beat Sneak Bandit is a startling omission. I can only assume that they forgot about it (as did I). I'd personally rate it as on a par with or better than every other game in this list.
Joined:
Apr 2013
Post count:
10
Craig Grannell | 12:43 - 2 May 2013
Also, now I think about it, Food Run HD is also a fantastic one-thumb game. Simple graphics, but little chunks of Mario and Sonic in the bit. (It's a bit Rat on the Run, but much faster and a lot more fun.)
Joined:
Apr 2013
Post count:
10
Craig Grannell | 09:55 - 2 May 2013
From a purely objective standpoint, I'm amazed Beat Sneak Bandit didn't make your list, given its ambition, charm and clever design. On general endless runners, I'd also personally give the nod to the amusingly oddball Grim Joggers over the admittedly trend-setting but now tired Canabalt.
Joined:
Dec 2012
Post count:
90
Eriatarka | 20:58 - 30 April 2013
I know its subjective but most of those game (except Tiny Wings) are depressingly mediocre which kind of suggests that more than one button is needed in practice
Joined:
Nov 2011
Post count:
372
mr_bez | 17:25 - 30 April 2013
Always find it odd when people praise Relic Rush for its clever idea. Isn't it just a 2D "This Could Hurt"?

(Also, I dread to think what the implied illegal fun you can have with one finger is!)
Joined:
Jul 2012
Post count:
490
Contest Chris | 16:21 - 30 April 2013
badland = badass!!
Joined:
Feb 2013
Post count:
68
bhavukjain1 | 15:19 - 30 April 2013
Oops not Fish Out of Water? I think you missed it by chance.
 
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