We all know the best platform to game on is PC, cuz #PCMasterRace, duh. But we’re not stupid, we’re willing to acknowledge our mobile gaming brethren, even if they’re lower on the hierarchy than us. Also, some of us like to keep ourselves occupied when we’re on the pot, and we’ve found that playing games on an iPhone during that time, is not so bad.
Speaking of the iPhone, as we head towards the Apple Special Event, the world’s waiting with baited breath for details on the new iPhones, and every other upcoming ‘i’ device for that matter. The phones in question of course, are the new iPhone 9, the iPhone XS and the iPhone XS Max. There’s also rumors about an iPhone XR but we don’t really know anything about that. Anyway, what we’re concerned about is how well games will run on them. Will an iPhone finally be able to run Crysis? Seems unlikely, but until that happens, here’s a list of the some of the best iOS games in 2018 we’ve played on the iPhone so far.
Monument Valley 2
Monument Valley 2 is very much similar to the first game with the added complexity of having to guide two characters instead of just one. Ro, our protagonist in Monument Valley 2 is a mother to a mischievous child who joins her for yet another adventure through the surreal world of Monument Valley 2. Just as we led princess Ida through a surreal isometric world laden with puzzles and artifacts, we are now tasked with the added complexity of manipulating two characters through a mesmerising farrago of even more intriguing puzzles.
Monument Valley 2 is a must play title in our books. It may be a bit too short and expensive compared to mindless skin-jobs but it’s definitely worth the money.
Inside is a spiritual successor of sorts to Limbo, a critically acclaimed side-scroller game.
The cinematography resides on selective colour, with your hero’s blazing red shirt often shining in the streaks of sunlight every now and then. What is marvellous is the acute attention to detail – from the movement of the hero’s hair due to the inertia of a jump to the dust he kicks up as he runs, it is a perfectionist’s dream. The magic of Inside lies in its subtlety and timing. Cues and hints are not verbal or textual but rather, everything is hidden in what you see, through the rays of light, or a certain object, and so on.
Playdead’s Inside really makes you think, particularly with its open ended conclusion. You are free to form your own inferences about how the boy got in here, why he reaches the eventual conclusion, and what on earth was he doing here in the first place anyway?
It’s full of Sparks
It’s Full of Sparks! Is a beautiful looking puzzle platformer with frenzied gameplay. You play as a firecracker that has to navigate through obstacles and end up in the water, before the fuse runs out and you blow up. There are over eighty handcrafted levels, each offering a unique challenge.
There are some platforms that are coloured. These can include launchpads that make you jump, walls with spikes on them or bridges across gaps. Pressing on a button of the corresponding colour makes them appear or disappear. You have to toggle up to three of these colour buttons to successfully complete a level. Crossing each level takes only a few seconds, so this is a perfect game for short breaks.
Read Only Memories: Type-M
Read Only Memories: Type-M is a cyberpunk themed, point-and-click style adventure game that finally made its way onto mobile. The game is set in the future, in the year 2064 in the city of Neo-San Francisco and follows the adventures of a tech journalist and an AI to find a missing friend by solving a series of puzzles. The first chapter of the game, or rather, a demo version of the game is free to try out.
One of the things ROM Type-M does really well is world building. Things like gene-splicing and hybridisation are the talk of town; human revolutionists are against any kind of mutation. It’s familiar, yet not so. The game features old-school graphics, which might be a turn-off to some, but developer MidBoss have done a really good job with the visuals, AND the audio.
Sdorica -sunset- is an ARPG with gorgeous visuals that is a mash-up of different mobile game genres. For that very reason, it may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it does what it set out to do extremely well. Combat plays out like a match-three game, with two rows of orbs at the bottom of the screen. However, you don’t *need* to match-three orbs, you can consume a single orb, match two orbs, or match four orbs in a square pattern to take action.
Of the many mobile RPGs we’ve played, Sdorica -sunset- had a story that we were actually invested in. That plus the gorgeous visuals and character design make Sdorica -sunset- worth checking out.
Oddmar is a refreshing puzzle platformer, that will draw you in for multiple playthroughs, even after you have finished the game. The story follows the titular character, Oddmar, who is a strange little viking.
There are 2D graphics, and a lot of the story is told like a motion comic. There are small tiny animations all over the place, which really make the levels look like living environments. Everything about the game is just perfect. The only real problem is how short the game is.
Returner 77 by ‘Fantastic, yes’, is a fantastic puzzler. You play as 77, an astronaut who wakes up on an alien spaceship after the Earth was decimated by alien invaders. 77 is one of the last two survivors, along with his partner Colonel Ling or 76. Together, they embark on a mission to fight the alien invasion and return to Earth.
The game doesn’t just have visuals going for it though, it also has a stellar storyline. Returner 77 doesn’t feel like a simple puzzler, it feels like something far more elaborate, because it is.
Space Pioneer: Alien Shooter
Space Pioneer is a refreshing single player RPG. It has a retro feel to it, like a more refined version of the 16 bit titles you played in your childhood. You have to explore a series of exoplanets, and tackle the aliens on the surface.
You can upgrade your character for various traits as and when you progress through the game, and acquire new weapons. All of this stuff is not too complicated, there is very little room for min-maxing, you just pick up the most fun weapons and go. Despite the relative simplicity of the setup, the actual maps require skill and technique to complete. This is a very pleasurable title to play.
The beautiful yet simple polygonal visuals and the serene audio combined with a simple gameplay experience made Alto’s Adventure an instant hit and cemented its place among the mobile gaming classics. Now, about three years since its launch, developer Snowman have released the sequel.
There are quite a few changes that keep the game fresh. Alto’s Odyssey is a sequel done right, but more than that, it is a game done right. It wouldn’t be a far stretch to say that Alto’s Odyssey stands right up there with the original and will be one of our favourite endless runners for a long time.
SHIN MEGAMI TENSEI D×２
Shin Megami Tensei is an old school JRPG. Gameplay wise, it’s not too different from say a Pokemon game, where you go into battle with a team of demons, and battle other demons. The game has something called a Demon Compendium, think of it as a darker and edgier version of the pokedex, and the goal is to capture, or rather, win over more demons to your side.
Overall Shin Megami Tensei Dx2 is a really good mobile JRPG, and we recommend you give it a try. Mind you, it’s a pretty large download though, and it doesn’t work on all devices.
Manish "Trigger-Happy" Rajesh
If he's not gaming, he's... no wait he's always gaming.