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 IPHONE FEATURE

Top 10 best multiplayer iPhone games

Better with friends
 
Top 10 iPhone charts iPhone, thumbnail 1
There's no need to be a no-friends Norman (or Nancy) on the iPhone.

Thanks to interstellar satellite arrays, undersea ethernet cables, blue teeth, and hijacking a few wavelengths of the invisible light spectrum, you can easily go head to head with pals across the room or across the world.

Here's a treasure trove of multiplayer games you can play with your mates, whether you want to have a quick race around a circuit or a month-long asynchronous battle of the brains.

Words with Friends (Zynga)

multiplayer-iphone-words-with-friends

Zynga's vocab-swapping Scrabble clone has one killer feature that makes it stand above EA's officially licensed digital boardgame. Because it stores your latest move in the cloud, you don't need to hang around while your buddy plays his move.

When you lay down your excellent triple-letter score game-changer, it's sent off into the ether and stored on Zynga's server. A message will pop up on your opponent's device (be it another iPhone, an iPad or even an Android), and they can uhm and ah about their reply until the cows come home.

The best bit is you can have up to 20 games on the go at once. Sure, juggling your matrix of lexicon word-fights can become a second job once you pass ten simultaneous Scrabble scraps, but it lets you take on your entire family, Twitter fanbase, or country's population at once.

Download Words with Friends.

Real Racing 2 (Firemint)

multiplayer-iphone-real-racing-2

There are plenty of multiplayer racers on the iPhone, from EA's traffic-dodging cops and robbers sim Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit to top-down mud-churner Reckless Racing. But Firemint's prim and proper motorsports sim bests them all.

Take the race online and you can burn rubber alongside 15 other petrolheads. This gorgeous driving game definitely boasts a more packed starting grid than any other racer on the iPhone. If you're relying on local wi-fi to host the tourney, you can still expect eight players to cross the checkered flag.

That's not to mention that Real Racing 2 is the best looking and feeling racer on the App Store, with meticulously detailed real-world motors, a huge selection of tracks, and responsive tilt-steering through the device's accurate gyroscope. It's a racing fan's dream.

Download Real Racing 2.

We Doodle (ngmoco)

multiplayer-iphone-we-doodle

It's a cat! Or a dog! Or maybe some kind of marsupial. ngmoco's freemium re-release of Pictionary favourite Charadium let's you take the vague scribble-guesser online, either with a group of pals or a handful of strangers.

Unlike the valiant effort Depict, which uses a small selection of pre-set options for the guessers, We Doodle makes you type the whole word in yourself. It makes it the purest representation of the highly competitive sport on any mobile device.

The game's even great for cack-handed doodlers who can't draw toffee for toffee. Thanks to a bucket of filters and the handy Doodle Assist, even the most jumbled spaghetti of lines and colours can be transformed into a Picasso.

Download We Doodle.

Archetype (Villain)



This well-loved first person shooter has no barriers to entry if you want to leap online and kick some tail. If you don't have a wi-fi hotspot handy, you can still take part over 3G, or even - gasp! - EDGE. I wouldn't recommend it, though.

The game offers up five vs five battles, over 13 maps, and seven different weapons. You'll also go up in level as you progress, and the automated matchmaking service will find you someone on your level to play with - so you're not picking on newbies, or being trounced by veterans.

Archetype developer Villain LLC is always adding new modes and maps, either as free updates or premium DLC. To keep the matches "stocked with lots of players", the studio has made previously-paid updates available for free. Fair play measures keep cheaters blocked, too.

Download Archetype.

Carcassonne (TheCodingMonkeys)



More asynchronous strategy, this time in austere German boardgame Carcassonne. If you've never played it, it's all about constructing a medieval landscapes, and dropping your little wooden people (called 'Meeples', fact fans) to take over maximum amounts of territory.

It's considered a perfect gateway game for newbs because the rules are simple, no-one is ever eliminated, and the play is fast. Even better, you can play over the web or locally, with pals on other iPhones or iPads.

The excellent iPhone version only features the base tileset, and not the boardgame's ten years of expansions and tilesets. They're coming, alongside Game Center support, in future updates, developer TheCodingMonkeys promises.

Download Carcassone.

N.O.V.A. 2 (Gameloft)



Gameloft's sci-fi space shooter features an in-depth and feature-filled multiplayer mode alongside its lengthy, ambitious Story campaign.

If you know ten people with iPhones (which, according to Apple's impressive sales numbers, is more than likely), you can play frantic deathmatch battles locally. If not, you can take the game online with worldwide multiplayer.

The game offers up five different modes (Free for All, Team Deathmatch, Capture the Flag, Freeze Tag, and InstaGib) across ten different maps.

You also level-up through the ranks as you win more matches, giving you special perks and unlockable goodies. All this good stuff makes it one of the best multiplayer shooters on iPhone.

Download N.O.V.A. 2.

X2 Soccer 10/11 (Exient)



Want something a little less hectic than blasting ray guns at bunny-hopping super-soldiers but more intense than stodgy German boardgames? How about the beautiful game, with a nice friendly kickabout online.

X2 Soccer 10/11, the undisputed champion of mobile footy, has both Bluetooth and wi-fi multiplayer for local, and one-on-one matches online.

You can even use your Dream Team - an initially rubbish rag-tag bunch of football failures, who you swap out and train up to make an unbeatable force of soccer champions - when playing with friends.

Download X2 Soccer 10/11.

Uniwar

multiplayer-iphone-uniwar

This compulsive strategy game - which sees you building armies, nabbing territories and taking over the world - has a raft of multiplayer options.

You can of course play online, with unwieldy asynchronous strategy battles that let you pit four friends against four foes. Just like Words with Friends, you can play 20 games at once and there's text chat. Even better, you can make the game email you, rather than blast your phone with a notification, when it's your go.

If you want to play locally, you're stuck with pass-and-play, hot seat-style battles. Proper, multiple-device multiplayer would be nice in an update, but at least you only need on copy of the app to start a battle.

Download Uniwar.

Worms 2: Armageddon (Team17)

multiplayer-iphone-worms-2

Invertebrate warfare has never been this connected. Bournemouth-born Team17 has stuffed this app with multiple ways to play - including local, online, and hotseat - so it's easier than ever to do battle with your earthworms.

You can use Bluetooth to do local battle with four players. Take the fight online, and you can go head-to-head with another worm commander. If you've only got one iPhone you can do your move and pass the device over to a buddy, in a hotseat-style game.

Just to make things more interesting, there's a sophisticated game style-creator so you can make your own personal way to play (by tweaking loads of options and stats) and try it with friends - online or off.

Download Worms 2: Armageddon.

Flight Control (Firemint)

multiplayer-iphone-flight-control

In a recent update to Firemint's addictive line-drawing game Flight Control, you can now choose to fly solo or share landing duties with a friend over Apple Game Centre.

You can even use voice chat to shout things like, "the red plane! Move the red plane! It's about to crash into my ruddy blue helicopter you nutter!"

You can also be pally with another flight conductor locally, with wi-fi and Bluetooth. Smashing your Boeing jet into their rickety sea plan is probably the fastest way, sober, to end a friendship. Brilliant.

Download Flight Control.
 

Reviewer photo
Mark Brown 8 April 2011
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