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[Update] Angry Birds: Star Wars, Badland, Dead Space, Peggle and more go free to celebrate 5 years of the App Store

Updated with some cosplaying Birds

Product: iPhone and iPad game sales | Developer: N/A
iPhone and iPad game sales iPhone, thumbnail 1
Updated on July 11th at 09:11: Angry Birds Star Wars is the latest game to go free for the anniversary. The sales might be petering out but we'll still keep an eye out for any gems.

This week, the App Store will turn five years old. And to celebrate, a number of top shelf iOS games have dropped their price tag to that oh-so magical number: zero.

We'll keep this post updated with more sales and freebies as the big day approaches. Plus, we'll be picking out some essential downloads in our expertly curated "Pocket Gamer picks" section.

Let us know what you pick up, or what you want to see on sale, or what your favourite colour is, in the comments below.

Pocket Gamer picks…

Our hand selected batch of sales and freebies you simply cannot afford to miss:

Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP - Universal, Free

Superbrothers Sword and Sworcery

Sworcery is a weird and wonderful indie opus from Canada. You'll explore a twisted pixel art world, fight naked boars, and dive into parallel dream universes. In one memorable chapter, the game world changes in accordance to the real world lunar cycle.

At review, we said, "a unique adventure game with an incredible sense of style, Superbrothers: Sword & Sworcery EP captivates despite of its abstract approach".

Where's My Water? - Universal, Free

Wheres My Water

Disney's aqua-powered puzzler is one of the finest head scratchers on the App Store. The basic premise is simple - use your finger to dig tunnels, which will carry water to a bathing crocodile. But then, armfuls of inventive new concepts are introduced every few levels, radically reinventing that initial concept.

Back in the day, we were known to say things like, "Where’s My Water’s brilliant visuals, simple controls, and balanced difficulty ensure that its well-executed ideas should appeal to a wide audience."

Infinity Blade II - Universal, Free

Infinity Blade II

The Unreal Engine-powered Infinity Blade games are truly stunning. But they're not just pretty faces - they're also terrific gesture-driven brawlers (which spawned an entire App Store genre), and feature a very a clever conceit.

You see, when you die, you'll then play as your offspring who is seeking vengeance for his pop. A neat twist on the idea of death in games.

In our critique, we said, "a brutal, cyclical action-RPG that builds on the foundations of its predecessor, Infinity Blade II is a showcase for everything that's right about sequels".

Tiny Wings - iPhone, Free / iPad, Free

Tiny Wings

This one-button arcade game will either entangle you in its addictive snare, or drive you mad. It's all about diving into dips, and launching back out of valleys to build up speed and go the distance. If, like me, you have no rhythm or timing, you'll fail miserably.

For the rest of you, you should know that we once wrote, "thanks to charming presentation, tight rhythmic gameplay, and keen replayability, Tiny Wings is well worth flapping onto the App Store for".

Badland - Universal, Free


Badland is a crazy gorgeous game, and it largely defies typical genres. It's an auto-runner, I guess, but also with environmental physics puzzles. As such, you've got to solve these conundrums on the fly, before the ever-advancing screen catches up and kills you.

Here are some vaguely relevant words that we probably wrote once: "Badland is a stunning-looking game, but the mechanics underneath all the glitter are a little too shallow, and the connection between you and the action a little too thin, to wholeheartedly recommend it".

Chopper - Universal, Free

Here's one for you history buffs. Chopper was one of the first games to hit the App Store, which means it has a special place on this list, as well as in our wizened old hearts. It's all about piloting a helicopter laden with bombs and rockets.

In the long forgotten past we described the game as "an all round success, with no detail overlooked and unerringly simple gameplay refined to new levels of quality". And this is the first time it's been free since 2008.

Peggle - iPhone, Free / iPad, Free

Yes, it might be a port of a classic that's found success on whatever platform its landed on, but that doesn't make the iOS version of Peggle any less special. It's still a gloriously ridiculous puzzler full of rainbow colours and hilarious characters.

This is PopCap at the peak of its powers, creating an ambitious and entertaining mash-up of pachinko and Breakout. As we said in our review, Peggle "is a resounding success because it delivers the definitive version of a modern classic".

Dead Space - iPhone, Free / iPad, Free

Dead Space is a perfect example of how to capture the essence of console gaming, and transport it to a mobile device. Chilling, creepy, and throughly captivating, Dead Space is a must have for any true pocket gamer. 

Don't just take my word for it though. Upon review Dead Space picked up a coveted Pocket Gamer Silver Award, and was described as experience that won't fail to entertain "with its action-packed gameplay and phenomenal presentation".

Mirror's Edge - iPhone, Free / iPad, Free

A brilliant side scrolling platformer inspired by the entertaining but ultimately flawed console game, Mirror's Edge is fast, fluent, and features some lovely blue skies.

In our review we described it as "a sophisticated platformer with style", and while it might not have hours of content, it's still a polished and precise slice of classy entertainment.

Flight Control - iPhone, Free / iPad, Free

One of the seminal iOS games, Flight Control is all about guiding tiny planes onto landing strips. It's as simple as drawing a few lines, but it's all too easy to become utterly addicted.

Indeed, when we reviewed it we said that "if you could put Flight Control in a needle, it’d be considered a Class A drug. That’s how simple and addictive it is". It's a game that's as good as drugs, and it's free. You do the maths.

Angry Birds Star WarsiPad, Free / iPhone, Free

We all thought it was a crossover too far, a joining together of licenses that was never going to work. How wrong we were. Angry Birds Star Wars constitutes some of Rovio's finest work since the original, blending cheeky humour, classic characters, and brilliant, intelligent gameplay.

At review we went on at great length about how entertaining Angry Birds Star Wars is, saying "it's more imaginative than its predecessors, it's packed with content, and it is - by far - the best version of Angry Birds yet".

Reviewer photo
Pocket Gamer staff  11 July 2013
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Show: Latest | Oldest
Aug 2012
Post count:
RockinIt | 22:17 - 11 July 2013
I've bought every one of these games in the past, except Badland which from first impressions is excellent. Flight Control takes me back a few years, I used to love that when it came out, but they ruined it with those IAP Rewinds.

Oct 2012
Post count:
@britishgaming | 10:09 - 11 July 2013
Quite a while, if you want to see the whole story. A good four, five hours I'd say. It's been a while since I finished it, though!
Jul 2012
Post count:
Contest Chris | 09:47 - 11 July 2013
Got IB 2...how long it take to finish? Any idea?
Nov 2011
Post count:
mr_bez | 12:19 - 9 July 2013
I already had many of these but there are some fantastic games being added here. I agree with Funem that Mini Motor Racing deserves a place in the article (even if I disagree with his opinion on Where's My Water?) - it's all kinds of fun.

Had to delete about 4GB of photos from my iPhone last night to clear some space. Treasured family memories are one thing, but this is crazy.
Jul 2012
Post count:
Contest Chris | 12:11 - 9 July 2013
God bless Apple and Steve Jobs. This is by and large the greatest ever sale in the history of the human race. Dead Space? FTW!
Aug 2010
Post count:
Funem | 10:43 - 9 July 2013
Missed my post Mini Motor Racing is free as well for the 5 year event

Oct 2012
Post count:
@britishgaming | 10:23 - 9 July 2013
I have to agree with Mr Bez, here. Where's My Water has looooooads of levels for free (or 69p, normally). More than most of these three-star physics puzzlers. And they're all completely different and unique.

You can take exception to the gameplay if you like, but I don't think you can argue about the generosity of its content.
Aug 2010
Post count:
Funem | 09:02 - 9 July 2013
Not complaining, just saying that its not as good as some other games, its an opinion and one echoed in the review on here and by some other people who have played it. Just because its free (and thats only for a limited time) doesn't mean you have to like it or think its the best game, its an opinion based on how it is for me as a game. When it goes back to a paid version does this mean I can than make the same comments ?

Another game gone free only for 24hours - Mini Motor


Nov 2011
Post count:
mr_bez | 07:54 - 9 July 2013
Funem - it has over 270 levels before you have to make any IAP, more than almost any puzzler I could name, and new free levels every week, you got it for free and yet you're still complaining? Some people.
Aug 2010
Post count:
Funem | 23:22 - 8 July 2013
Where's my water would have been nice free if they would have thrown in one or more of the IAP levels, as it stands it make me feel like its a freemium version of the game looking for more devices to go on to entice you to buy.
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