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 IPHONE FEATURE

The best games to play on an old, hand-me-down iPhone this Christmas

Second hand gaming
Product: iPhone 5 | Publisher: Apple | Format: iPhone, iPad
 
So, your friend / brother / mum / postman / vice president elect got a new iPhone for Christmas. Lucky them.

So they handed you their old mobile. Lucky you!

Sadly, iPhones become outdated faster than a loaf of bread in a damp pantry. But all is not lost: here are 20 brilliant games that should all run fine on a creaky old blower.

Ridiculous Fishing
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Catch fish, shoot fish, buy a better gun. There's never been such a compulsive loop, and this drives you to get every fish, buy every upgrade, and sink your lure to the bottom of the deepest ocean.

Year Walk
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This creepy adventure game is based on a folklorish Swedish tradition that i'm still not sure exists. Come for the Halloween vibe, stay for the smart logic puzzles.

Rayman Fiesta Run
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The premiere auto-runner: a fast, frenetic, elasticated game about bouncing and biffing your way through colourful levels. It looks drop dead gorgeous and nailing the levels is uber satisfying.

Icebreaker: A Viking Voyage
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Nitrome's entire back catalogue is worth pillaging. If you want something a bit more meaty, though, check out this nordic adventure which has you slicing up glaciers to solve conundrums.

Threes
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The most addictive puzzler since Tetris - seriously. Jam tiles together on a claustrophobic grid to make big numbers, and high scores. Don't settle for the scummy clones: go for the real deal.

Blackbar
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Blackbar

A game about deciphering censored letters - which might be useful in our upcoming global dystopia. Blackbar is clever and thought provoking in equal doses.

Monument Valley
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Monument Valley is capable of taking your breath away one moment, and then breaking your brain in two the next. To traverse these impossible worlds you'll need to suspend your usual way of thinking altogether.

Traps n Gemstones
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A full on Metroidvania adventure (a game with a sprawling, interconnected world, for those not au fait with the language) set inside a pyramid. Chockablock with secrets and fun upgrades, Traps is easy to fall in love with.

Hitman GO
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Square Enix has a whole host of these apps: smart turn-based puzzlers featuring heroes from console games. Hitman GO, which turns Agent 47's murderous shenanigans into a classy tabletop game, should run well on your new phone.

80 Days
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An interactive story with way more than 80 ways for it to turn out. You're constantly making choices that might have a tiny impact on the narrative, or might lead you to be kidnapped by pirates. Who knows?

Framed
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The cleverest game we've seen in a while: this is about rearranging the panels in a comic book so our noir hero gets away (instead of getting gunned down by the cops). Stylish and inventive.

Blek
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Draw a squiggle on the screen. Watch it endlessly repeat itself as it wriggles across the screen. Now use this to score through coloured dots, and avoid the black ones. Every solution is utterly personal.

Super Hexagon
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For some, it will be a headache simulator. Those who get into Super Hexagon's rhythm, though, will find a brutally brilliant arcade gem about spinning in circles and dodging danger. All to a catchy chiptune beat.

Eliss Infinity
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It's the game that proved the multi-touch display as a legitimate input device. Use two fingers (or more!) to separate stars, flick around planetoids, and feed worlds into black holes.

Waking Mars
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The first man on Mars won't be a super soldier with a flamethrower: it will be a scientist. Follow his journey in Waking Mars: an organic puzzle adventure about managing ecosystems (and uncovering secrets).

Jetpack Joyride
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One tap is all you need. Hold the screen to rocket up, let go to drop back down to earth. A simple input system for a fast and challenging game filled with unlockable stuff and bonus challenges.

League of Evil
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Conventional wisdom says platformers don't work on a touchscreen. Conventional wisdom can eat my shorts: this lightning-fast jumper works wonderfully with fake buttons.

Where's My Water?
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Chew through dirt so you can redirect water to a cartoon crocodile's shower. Just look out for poison, balloons, fire, ice, explosive mines, and dozens more unique obstacles.

Trainyard
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This game is all about iteration. You're trying to make a train system to deliver a bunch of carriages to the right station, but your first attempt will likely fail. Time to tweak, bug fix, and iterate until you get it right.

Sword & Sworcery
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A weird, trippy, and laconic adventure. It's got some of the most glorious pixel art around, and the best soundtrack on iOS - forget the iffy puzzles and so-so combat and just enjoy the vibe.
 

Reviewer photo
Mark Brown 4 December 2016
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