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 IPHONE FEATURE

The 21 best iPhone and iPad games of 2014... so far

Zombies! Valleys! Cards! Threes! Vs!
Product: Top 10 iPhone charts | Format: iPhone, iPad
 
Top 10 iPhone charts iPhone, thumbnail 1
This week marks the middle point of the year.

So, to celebrate the occasion, we're going to take a look at Pocket Gamer's top-rated games (the ones that got Platinum and Gold awards at review) of 2014… so far.

We start with iOS. It's been another stellar six months for the App Store with more Gold than a high street pawnbrokers during austerity measures and the only Platinum Award of the year.

This enormous list has cerebral puzzlers and brainless shooters. Free games and expensive games. Realistic games and abstract games. Something for everyone, basically.

Wayward Souls
By Rocketcat Games - buy on iPhone and iPad

Wayward Souls

Rocketcat Games is constantly surprising us with epic iOS greats like Hook Champ and Punch Quest, but this randomly generated action RPG roguelike hat collector is the studio's best game yet.

We said, "One of the finest action-adventure experiences you can have on any device, let alone mobile, Wayward Souls is an essential purchase".

Card City Nights
By Ludosity - buy on iPhone and iPad

Card City Nights

Ittle Dew developer Ludosity combines absurd humour with a smart new card battling mechanic for this funny game.

We said, "Fun, funny, and fundamentally unputdownable, Card City Nights is a fantastic mix of casual strategy and collectible card coolness".

Kiwanuka
By CMA Megacorp - buy on iPhone and iPad

Kiwanuka

A weird physics puzzler about building human bridges from your band of survivors, so you can hop between floating rocks and reach safety. Weird, but oh so good.

We said, "Enigmatic and inviting, challenging and intuitive, Kiwanuka truly is a game of alchemy".

Botanicula
By Amanita Design - buy on iPad

Botanicula

This follow-up to Machinarium trades in robots and machinery for feather and bits of twig. But it's still an engrossing adventure with character and intrigue.

We said, "A bold, bright, and brilliant point-and-click adventure, Botanicula is an experience to be savoured".

VVVVVV
By Terry Cavanagh - buy on iPhone and iPad

VVVVVV

Super Hexagon creator Terry Cavanagh took his time when porting his nutso-hard, retro-styled, gravity-flip platformer VVVVVV to touchscreens. It was worth the wait.

We said, "A brilliant port of a brilliant game. VVVVVV on iOS is well worth a first, second, or third download".

Tank Domination
By Game Insight - download for free on iPhone and iPad

Tank Domination

It was one of thousands of tank battlers that filled the vast nothingness before World of Tanks Blitz came into our life, but Tank Domination stood out from the crowd.

We said, "It's not as community focused as it could be, but Tank Domination is nonetheless a superb-looking tank combat game with oceans of tactical depth to explore".

Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft
By Blizzard Entertainment - download for free on iPad

Hearthstone

This iPad port proved that free-to-play isn't evil, that card battlers can have absurdly high production values, and that Hearthstone is best played on the throne.

We said, "A compelling distillation of everything that's great and good in collectible card gaming, brought to your iPad, for free".

LYNE
By Thomas Bowker - buy on iPhone and iPad

LYNE

This elegant puzzler has you tracing your finger to link up nodes of the same shape. A graceful difficulty curve will gradually ramp up the challenge and introduce new concepts without overwhelming you.

We said, "LYNE is a slick, contemplative puzzler that you'd be a fool to miss".

Monument Valley
By ustwo - buy on iPhone and iPad

Monument Valley

We knew this atmospheric puzzler was destined for greatness ever since we first laid eyes on it at Eurogamer Expo last year.

We said, "A brilliant, breathtaking, and brief adventure, Monument Valley is every bit as good as it looks".

Shadow Blade
By Crescent Moon Games - buy on iPhone and iPad

Shadow Blade

Shadow Blade was a surprise. It's a little rough around the edges, and it's trying to be a speed-run platformer on a device that's really not suited to such a thing. But it works, and it works really well.

We said, "A vibrant, fast-paced, special platformer that works perfectly on touchscreen, Shadow Blade is well worth as much of your time as you have to spare".

Lionheart Tactics
By Kongregate - download for free on iPhone and iPad

Lionheart Tactics

Peter fell in love with this free-to-play turn-based tactics game from Kongregate. He said, "If you even remotely enjoy Final Fantasy Tactics or Disgaea, you owe it to yourself to play this beautiful, welcoming SRPG".

Table Tennis Touch
By Yakuto - buy on iPhone and iPad

Table Tennis Touch

This slick ping pong sim is utterly beautiful, and eminently playable. We said, "A wonderfully well put together table tennis sim that deserves to be played by as many people as possible".

Threes!
By Sirvo - buy on iPhone and iPad

Threes

No game this year has sapped as much time and productivity as Sirvo's compulsive number-crunching time-sink. It's still my go-to game when I need to kill a few minutes or hours or days.

We said, "Despite some frustrating chaotic elements, Threes! is a dashing, intelligent, and deceptively simple treat. This is your next essential puzzler".

Walking Dead: Season 2 (Episode 2: A House Divided)
By Telltale - buy on iPhone and iPad

Walking Dead

Telltale took a huge risk in The Walking Dead's second season, by breaking up the relationship that made season one so deeply engrossing. But it worked, albeit briefly, when episode two won a Gold Award.

We said, "A House Divided picks up the threads of the previous Walking Dead chapter and weaves them into a rich, satisfying, and suspenseful follow-up".

Doug dug.
By The Electric Toy Company - buy on iPhone and iPad

Doug dug

A charming, retro-inspired mining game that I honestly haven't played. Maybe now's the time to rectify things. Spanner said, "We deeply dig Doug dug. Dig Dug, meanwhile, is downright dung".

Only One
By Ernest Szoka - download free on iPhone and iPad

Only One

A feisty fighting game, inspired by the final scene in Jet Li movie, The One. Knocking little pixelated people off a giant tower is a pure delight. We said, "A brilliantly paced, sharp-edged brawler that isn't afraid of a bit of silliness. Only One is well worth a play".

Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed
By SEGA - download free on iPhone and iPad

Sonic Transformed

We don't get Mario Kart on iOS, and Angry Birds Go! isn't an appropriate stand-in. But Sega's mascot racer does an admirable job of giving us a goofy cartoon kart racer on mobile.

We said, "An incredibly slick kart racer that marks a new high point for iOS kart racers and stands as another exemplary console conversion".

Joe Dever's Lone Wolf (Act 2: Forest Hunt)
By Bulkypix - buy on iPhone and iPad

Lone Wolf

This swish gamebook turns into an impressive 3D role-playing game when you enter into battles. The debut act was brilliant, and Act 2 doesn't falter.

We said, "Forest Hunt continues the gripping and well-presented tale which began in Act 1, and while it doesn't bring any groundbreakingly new features, fans will find that it's just as entertaining and action-packed".

Fighting Fantasy: Starship Traveller
By Tin Man Games - buy on iPhone and iPad

Starship Traveller

More gamebook love, now. This one, re-created by Tin Man Games from the 1984 book of the same name, takes us into space with a Star Trek-inspired romp through the cosmos.

We said, "The original gamebook has been beautifully revived, and now stands shoulder-to-shoulder with its sci-fi peers across all entertainment media".

Out There
By Mi Clos Studio - buy on iPhone and iPad

Out There

A feisty little space survival game, that has you managing resources and yapping to aliens, and then getting your finger lopped off in some dodgy machinery.

We said, "A vast, lonely game about space and time and death, Out There is by turns funny, exciting, and fresh".

FTL: Faster Than Light
By Subset Games - buy on iPad

FTL

And if Out There wasn't enough, try FTL: a more full-bodied attempt to simulate a doomed, unpredictable, and thrilling race through the galaxies.

We said, "An incredibly rich, challenging and varied sci-fi experience that seamlessly and creatively blends genres into a brilliant whole".
 

Reviewer photo
Mark Brown 30 June 2014
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