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[iPhone/iPad] games: Ghost Trick out. First two chapters, free!

LunkerLunker Registered User regular
edited February 2012 in Games and Technology
The Brand-New All-Purpose Apple iThing Games Thread
(Financing Steve Jobs's private island retirement getaway, 99 cents at a time.)

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Welcome to the jungle! That iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad you just bought has a ridiculous number of great games available for it on the App Store, but for every great one, you're going to find 10 shitty ones. Separating the wheat from the chaff is a dirty job, but that's what you have us for. I'm going to attempt to wrangle the general PA forum consensus on our favorite games on the App Store, but this is also a general spot for us to talk about our current obsessions, upcoming games and penny-pinching debate about spending $1.99 or waiting for a price drop.

A Note to iPad Owners
You are completely free to buy and enjoy any iPhone games that you wish, but note that upscaling the games to the iPad's larger screen makes most games look pretty janky, unless they have a pixely, blocky art style (games like Space Invaders Infinity Gene and Eliss look awesome on iPad).

Basic iThing Games Protocol
For those of you new to the iThing scene, be aware that discovering and buying games with it has a different rhythm and flow than with a regular handheld or console. Here are some loose ground rules for sucking the marrow out of your Apple whoredom:
1. Help me help you! Note that new games come out every day, often with little to no fanfare, and outside of a handful of websites that I've found, word of mouth is generally the best method I've found to discover new obsessions and infect others with your current ones. So if you've found a great new game, please let us know about it!

2. Prices are moving targets. The App Store is a crazy bargain bin, and prices fluctuate all of the time. There's a general ceiling of $9.99 on games, although so far only one game (Square Enix's Chaos Rings RPG) has broken past that, but prices can and will drop and rise without warning. It's very common for a game to release at an "introductory" 99 cents and then rise up to $2.99 or so after a week.

3. Traditional gaming sites are useless. The regular kinds of sites you visit for gaming news will likely ignore all but the highest-profile iPhone releases. So far my favorite resources are Touch Arcade and Slide to Play, but more often than not I discover games and hear reviews from forums like this.

4. Think tapas, not entrees. There are definitely iPhone games that can suck away dozens of hours of your life, but generally games on these platforms lend themselves to quick, arcadey, pick-up-and-play kinds of experiences. So for the price of even a budget-conscious DS game ($20), you can get 10 to 15 really great iPhone games that give you a huge variety of gameplay.

5. Shilling and bribing are encouraged. If you're a game developer who wants to let us know about an iPhone/iPad project, also feel free to post—just please be upfront about your role in the project, and have a thick skin about any criticism people have toward your work. Some free trial codes or other tchotchkes can't hurt, either! :)

Friend Lists for Online Networks
Kind soul Xaviar has started a a master list of PAer handles for iPhone's various online networks (OpenFeint, Plus+, Agon and Crystal). If you want some leaderboard chasing or other online connections, add your info here!

iPhone Games that PAers Generally Like

Here's a loosely organized list of games that people here enjoy. Search YouTube for videos of the titles in question, and games often have demo or free versions (usually marked with "Lite" in the name, so "Angry Birds Lite" is the free demo version of "Angry Birds"). If you have any additions you'd like to make, please post and give us your opinions! Crowdsourcing is the best way to discover great iPhone games.

Arcade/Action
  • Bit Pilot: A twin-stick shooter without the shooting; a dodger? Great trackball-esque controls, badass chiptunes and neat little unlockables.
  • Tilt to Live: A great arcade pick-up-and-play game that uses tilt controls fantastically. Sort of plays like Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2's Pacifism mode.
  • Espgaluda II: A gorgeous, smooth port of the Cave shmup classic. A vertical bullet-hell shooter that will burn through your battery like crazy, but it's worth it.
  • Space Invaders Infinity Gene: Awesome reimagining of SI that plays more like a modern bullet-hell trance/electronic shoot-em-up. Tons of unlockables, killer soundtrack, great controls, the works.
  • Space Miner: Space Ore Bust: "Asteroids meets Diablo" is a fair description. Scratches the lootwhore itch with dozens of hours of play.
  • Minigore: This is a pretty by-the-books twin-stick shooter that's more than doubled in content due to free updates. Fun art style.
  • Real Racing: One of the first iPhone racing games to really make a splash; great graphics, perfect controls and AI all combined to make this one of the best iPhone racing games that still holds up today.
  • Pac-Man Championship Edition: A port of the sexcellent XBLA legend, the controls are a little finicky and some content is held behind paid DLC, but the core game is still worth a go and very addicting.
  • Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars: A full port of the DS/PSP game, plus you can use your iTunes library as a radio station!

Platformer
  • Edge: An embattled blocky puzzle-platformer that pops off and on the App Store due to bullshit legal disputes. If it's up, grab it, because it's great.
  • Spider: Secret of Bryce Manor: A low-stress puzzle-platformer with plenty of secrets and really subtle, mature storytelling elements. Made by some of the people behind the original Thief!
  • Canabalt: Play for free here to see what the deal is. I always think of this as a 99 cent game with two dollars' worth of polish.
  • Soosiz: Sort of a 2-D Mario Galaxy, plus the controls avoid any awkwardness by abolishing the D-pad.
  • Hook Champ

Puzzle/Casual
  • Peggle: It's freaking Peggle. Great as ever.
  • Bookworm: Another of PopCap's casual classics that makes the port to iPhone really well.
  • Angry Birds: A physics-based fling puzzler that has you knocking down enemy structures with ... angry birds.
  • Drop7: A clever mathy spin on the block-dropping motif
  • Eliss: Still one of my favorite uses of mulitouch; gets really hard midway through, but the BitGenerations-esque aesthetic never gets old.
  • Words with Friends: Asynchronous online multiplayer not-quite-Scrabble that can either be played for free with in-game ads or without for a couple bucks. Has Push notifications to tell you when it's your turn. Cheaper than the real Scrabble!
  • Unify: Kind of like playing two games of Tetris simultaneously, with the pieces falling into each other.
  • Flight Control: Trace lines and lead airplanes to their landing strips without crashing them. So simple and stupid, but yet it's perfect for the platform and spawned a whole genre of line-tracing games.
  • Word Ace / Card Ace / Card Ace Blackjack: Word Ace is a great mashup of Texas Hold 'Em and Scrabble, while Card Ace is straight Hold 'Em and Blackjack is, well, blackjack. These online multiplayer-focused games are 100 percent free, though you can make donations to the developers (Self Aware Games) for extra chips and plain ol' generosity.

Strategy
RPG/Roguelike
  • Chaos Rings: If you can stomach the $12.99 price, you'll uncover an excellent RPG that feels like a lost PS1 classic. Square-Enix's most impressive iPhone endeavor yet. An iPad version is expected to come down the pipeline.
  • Final Fantasy 1 & Final Fantasy 2: Well-done ports of the "updated" PSP ports of these ancient RPG classics.
  • Puzzle Quest: The ubiquitous Puzzle-RPG hybrid fares extremely well in the iPhone port.
  • 100 Rogues: A roguelike that I don't know too much about, but has been recommended by genre fans.
  • Sword of Fargoal: By far the most approachable roguelike, Sword of Fargoal is a classic dungeon crawler with randomly generated levels which provide nearly infinite replay value. Great as an "intro" to the genre.
  • Sword & Poker / Sword & Poker 2: Think Puzzle Quest, but replace the Bejeweled gem-swapping with creating hands of poker.
  • Zenonia / Zenonia 2: It's a grindfest, but Zenonia still seems to be the benchmark that most action-RPGs are compared to. The game will take you around 40 hours to complete, not including the multiple character classes.

Tower Defense
  • Plants vs. Zombies: Tower defense with the infamous PopCap style, polish and heroin injected in. Missing the minigames and endless modes from the PC/iPad versions, but still highly recommended.
  • Geodefense Swarm: A brutal tower-defense game with Geometry Wars-ish graphics and no mercy.

Adventure/Point-and-Click
Music/Rhythm
  • Beat It!: A true "music" game in the sense that you're tasked with listening to a beat and then replicating it using a simplified Pro Tools/Reason/Ableton Live-ish sequencer.

iPad Games that PAers Generally Like
  • Words with Friends HD : This excellent not-quite-Scrabble game plays exactly like the iPhone version, just with a big, gorgeous board in front of you. You can use the same login between the two versions.
  • Plants vs. Zombies HD : The flower-growing, zombie-killin' classic in all of its glory. Has the mini-games and extra content missing from the iPhone version.

Tweet my Face: @heyitslunker | Save money at CheapAssGamer (not an affiliate link)
Sterica on
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Posts

  • LunkerLunker Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Game Center Friend List
    (Forumer / Game Center handle)

    Lunker / HeyIt'sLunker
    Rorus Raz / Rorus Raz
    desc / desc
    NailbunnyPD / Nailbunny
    Vladimer / NMNFTU

    cloudeagle / Wordherder
    Lee Van Queef / Lee Van Queef
    DietarySupplement / pittfurg
    Ampix / Ampix
    Big Dookie / Big Dookie

    Mr Pink / Euphanism
    Elevature / Elevature
    Drunk_caterpillar / Drunk_Caterpillar

    Lunker on
    Tweet my Face: @heyitslunker | Save money at CheapAssGamer (not an affiliate link)
  • LunkerLunker Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Final Fantasy III coming in March!!! Though the obvious question is whether it's a port of the DS version (which would be cool, but I'm trying to remember how the screens worked) or some kind of high-res-sprite job like FF1/FF2.

    Also, this is completely random, but thanks to GAF I tried a tiny little game called Tiny Wings and I think it's fantastic. 99 cents right now. It's a neat spin on the Canabalt tunnel-runner by making it very timing-oriented, and the aesthetic and music just make it a very relaxing experience.

    mzl.mwbxgxzs.320x480-75.jpg
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    mzl.uomlrreq.320x480-75.jpg

    Lunker on
    Tweet my Face: @heyitslunker | Save money at CheapAssGamer (not an affiliate link)
  • InkSplatInkSplat 100%ed Bad Rats. Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    I love the early FF games. Something is just missing from 7+ in my opinion.

    InkSplat on
    Origin for Dragon Age: Inquisition Shenanigans: Inksplat776
  • wonderpugwonderpug Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Lunker wrote: »
    Also, this is completely random, but thanks to GAF I tried a tiny little game called Tiny Wings and I think it's fantastic. 99 cents right now. It's a neat spin on the Canabalt tunnel-runner by making it very timing-oriented, and the aesthetic and music just make it a very relaxing experience.

    What makes it more timing oriented or more relaxing? The visuals look really enticing but I'm generally not the biggest fan of these kinds of games.

    wonderpug on
  • AxonAxon Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    NBA Jam is an excellent iphone translation.

    Axon on
  • Squirrel RancherSquirrel Rancher Registered User
    edited February 2011
    I was going to make a post about Tiny Wings and was pleasantly surprised! It is indeed quite awesome. Here's a gameplay video.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VUnlE4cGgz0

    Squirrel Rancher on
  • elevatureelevature Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    I want to buy Tiny Wings just for those graphics, that's the most gorgeous iPhone game I've seen yet. How does it look in motion?

    Add me to the Game Center list, name is elevature. I've never tried iPhone multiplayer.

    edit: guess that answers my question. Looks fantastic. Seems like a mix between Mega Worm and Solipskier (which is fantastic, by the way.)

    Also Battleheart is fantastic and you should all be playing it.

    elevature on
  • LunkerLunker Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    wonderpug wrote: »
    Lunker wrote: »
    Also, this is completely random, but thanks to GAF I tried a tiny little game called Tiny Wings and I think it's fantastic. 99 cents right now. It's a neat spin on the Canabalt tunnel-runner by making it very timing-oriented, and the aesthetic and music just make it a very relaxing experience.

    What makes it more timing oriented or more relaxing? The visuals look really enticing but I'm generally not the biggest fan of these kinds of games.

    The comparisons to Solipskier are pretty apt, though I suppose it could be called "Solipswinger." The controls are simply tap to fold your wings in and dive down, release to spread wings and float. You build up speed by diving down into the valleys at the right angle/place, gaining speed, then releasing at the bottom to slide up the hills and launch yourself. It's got a very big emphasis on flow and momentum, and after a while you feel yourself in a groove. It's also a very smooth 60 FPS, and at least it claims to do so even on non-iPhone 4 devices.

    There's also apparently a low level of unlockables; it seems like every time you play, your points go to upgrading your nest, which increases your point multiplier a tiny bit each time. If you don't like endless "go till you can't go no more" games, this might not tickle you, but I dig it.

    Lunker on
    Tweet my Face: @heyitslunker | Save money at CheapAssGamer (not an affiliate link)
  • Mr PinkMr Pink I got cats for youRegistered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Hey can I get on that thar game name list?

    Euphanism

    And was FF3 one of the ones they released for the PSP a while back? I know they did 1 and 2 as updated ports, but I don't remember if they stopped there or not.

    Mr Pink on
  • BeltaineBeltaine BOO BOO DOO DE DOORegistered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Why oh why can't we have an updated port of FF6!?

    On ANYTHING

    Beltaine on
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    PSN: Beltaine-77 | Steam: beltane77 | Battle.net BadHaggis#1433
  • LouieLouie Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    I second battle heart and also for anyone just joining this thread - go buy dungeon raid (I'm sorry for your drop in productivity)

    Louie on
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  • Mei HikariMei Hikari Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Louie wrote: »
    I second battle heart and also for anyone just joining this thread - go buy dungeon raid (I'm sorry for your drop in productivity)

    God damn slimes killing my DPS :(

    Mei Hikari on
  • LouieLouie Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Slimes just need to be kited by their target or use taunt and burn cooldowns.

    Louie on
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    Twitter - discolouie PSN - Loupa Steam - Loupa
  • LunkerLunker Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    A few names added to the Game Center list; feel free to post or PM me if you want to be added as well. My free time is terribly dwindled down now, though, so I don't post/update nearly as often. :(

    I was also trying to have some kind of list in the OP but I'm way behind, and there are so many games it's tough to keep up. If you guys have any other suggestions, please post.
    elevature wrote:
    Also Battleheart is fantastic and you should all be playing it.

    Which one is Battleheart? Is that the beat-em-up Castle Crashers-ish game?

    Lunker on
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  • MachismoMachismo Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    I like the look of Tiny Wings.


    Anyone play Within a Deep Forest? I kinda like exploration based game. I have yet to see any for iOS. Anything out there?

    Machismo on
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  • DietarySupplementDietarySupplement Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    The lack of Dungeon Raid love in the OP is criminal.

    Criminal.

    DietarySupplement on
    Skull2185 wrote: »
    Basically, (PlayStation) Home is Second Life Ultra Light? Most of the cool stuff, none of the creepy blimp on blimp fucking.
  • elevatureelevature Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Louie wrote: »
    Slimes just need to be kited by their target or use taunt and burn cooldowns.

    Easy to say until you've got five or six of them on the screen at once and everyone is a target.
    Lunker wrote: »
    A few names added to the Game Center list; feel free to post or PM me if you want to be added as well. My free time is terribly dwindled down now, though, so I don't post/update nearly as often. :(

    I was also trying to have some kind of list in the OP but I'm way behind, and there are so many games it's tough to keep up. If you guys have any other suggestions, please post.
    elevature wrote:
    Also Battleheart is fantastic and you should all be playing it.

    Which one is Battleheart? Is that the beat-em-up Castle Crashers-ish game?

    it is. And the only iOS game that can compete with Dragon Quest VI for my mobile attention.

    elevature on
  • wonderpugwonderpug Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    I was going to make a post about Tiny Wings and was pleasantly surprised! It is indeed quite awesome. Here's a gameplay video.

    Sold! That's damn charming.

    wonderpug on
  • ArcturasArcturas Registered User
    edited February 2011
    Yeah, both Battleheart and Dungeon Raid need to be in the OP.

    I'd suggest that people should either give League of Evil a try, or toss it in the OP. It's an excellent platformer.

    :: My GameCenter ID is Arcturas00 if anyone wants to add me. (I think those are zeros)

    :: Speaking of crack, is Game Dev Story in the OP? It really should be given the lovefest in the last thread.

    Arcturas on
  • DietarySupplementDietarySupplement Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Arcturas wrote: »
    Yeah, both Battleheart and Dungeon Raid need to be in the OP.

    I'd suggest that people should either give League of Evil a try, or toss it in the OP. It's an excellent platformer.

    Along those lines, if you hadn't added me to game center, please do. I'm curious to see the scores you guys are getting in Dungeon Raid.

    DietarySupplement on
    Skull2185 wrote: »
    Basically, (PlayStation) Home is Second Life Ultra Light? Most of the cool stuff, none of the creepy blimp on blimp fucking.
  • AaronKIAaronKI Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Nice.. Jeff Minter is remaking Llamatron on iOS as Minotron... and this time it will have dual sticks. I loved that game as a kid after I found it on one a "100 DOS games!" compilation.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yj6Q2AqNqoE

    AaronKI on
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  • KalTorakKalTorak Way up inside your butthole, Morty. WAAAAY up inside there.Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Yeah, whoever first mentioned Dungeon Raid... I hate you.

    KalTorak on
  • Al BaronAl Baron Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    I'd like to put forth both Solomon's Keep and Solomon's Boneyard as excellent twin-stick shooters.

    Al Baron on
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  • AddaAdda Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Doh there I was recommending Tiny Wings in the old thread :)

    Also big recommendations to 'League Of Evil' and 'Dungeon Raid'

    Adda on
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    I want to know more PA people on Twitter.
  • VladimerVladimer Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    I just want Final Fantasy Tactics.


    I have been so patient. I've beaten it on two platforms numerous times. I WANT MY THIRD. IT'S MY PHONE. FFT will literally be with me everywhere I go.

    Vladimer on
  • descdesc bare man are locked in Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Hah. Vlad, I came in this thread explicitly to bitch about WHERE'S MAH FFT ALREADY.

    Seriously what's the hold up.

    desc on
  • GihgehlsGihgehls Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    I love iPhone.

    Gihgehls on
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  • Big Red TieBig Red Tie beautiful clydesdale style feet too hot to trotRegistered User regular
    edited February 2011
    seeing that tiny wings video makes me want a yoshi's story port

    Big Red Tie on
    3926 4292 8829
    Beasteh wrote: »
    *おなら*
  • DietarySupplementDietarySupplement Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    seeing that tiny wings video makes me want to hug someone

    DietarySupplement on
    Skull2185 wrote: »
    Basically, (PlayStation) Home is Second Life Ultra Light? Most of the cool stuff, none of the creepy blimp on blimp fucking.
  • VladimerVladimer Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    desc wrote: »
    Hah. Vlad, I came in this thread explicitly to bitch about WHERE'S MAH FFT ALREADY.

    Seriously what's the hold up.

    I bitched on the FB page and they said "at the end of feb, an update there will be"

    THE DAYS ARE COUNTING DOWN, SQUARE

    I just want to give you my money

    Vladimer on
  • WeedlumWeedlum Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    The lack of Dungeon Raid love in the OP is criminal.

    Criminal.
    This. Also, GameCenter name is redbeard.

    Weedlum on
  • cloudeaglecloudeagle Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    ...oh, that's why I've gotten unexpected Game Center requests. Groovy.

    cloudeagle on
    Switch: 3947-4890-9293
  • admanbadmanb the bored genie Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited February 2011
    I just added a bunch of people on GameCenter. I'm admanb.

    admanb on
  • VladimerVladimer Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    I welcome gamecenter invites, i'm in the OP, NMNFTU. I play dungeonraid.

    Vladimer on
  • TheDugglerTheDuggler Registered User
    edited February 2011
    Add me on that Gamecenter list

    BrofessorMD

    TheDuggler on
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  • DarlanDarlan Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    Is it known whether or not FFT will be a universal app? I'd love to give that a go on a big iPad screen too.

    Darlan on
  • Al BaronAl Baron Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    seeing that tiny wings video makes me want another Tribes game
    Granted, it's just the Skiing part of it, but still

    Al Baron on
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  • StericaSterica Wow! That was shit.Registered User, Moderator mod
    edited February 2011
    Downloading Dungeon Raid was a terrible mistake.

    Sterica on
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  • TommattTommatt Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    I can't bring myself to buy a square game at $10. They don't seem very pick up and put down after a short time games. FF6 would tempt me a lot more than 3.

    Tommatt on
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  • Jam WarriorJam Warrior Registered User regular
    edited February 2011
    New thread, new GameCentre friend push.

    Gamecentre ID : Jam Warrior

    Jam Warrior on
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