Released November 2009
Monopoly is surely one of the greatest board games ever made. Ever. And EA has converted it almost perfectly to iPhone. Surprisingly, this “vanilla” take on the classic wasn’t the first conversion to hit iOS – Monopoly Here and Now: World Edition was released almost a year earlier in December 2009. This is the definitive edition though. It includes multiplayer over Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or good old pass ‘n’ play.
Released March 2009
Popcap is a master of taking a simple gaming premise and absolutely nailing it. With Bookworm, Popcap nailed the word search game. Aside from the eponymous wormy character, Bookworm is a pure word game, but it has enough bonuses and score-multiplying elements to keep the sense of reward riding high – along with your motivation to keep playing. This is one of the best iPhone games for "non-gamers".
28. Puzzle Quest 2
Released December 2010
The Puzzle Quest series merged RPG-style adventuring with match-3 puzzling better than any other. The result is a game that’s involving, but still has that pick up and play edge. Each match-3 round is a battle between your own character and a monster, or is representative of a task like breaking through a door. To help you to succeed, you have spells cast using the mana attained from the symbol matches. The original Puzzle Quest suffered from some significant control issues to begin with, but these niggles were all solved for its successor.
27. Let’s Golf 2
Released January 2011
EA owns the serious side of golf on iPhone, with the Tiger Woods series, but on the casual, arcadey end, it’s Gameloft’s territory. It’s all down to the wonderful Let’s Golf series. Featuring courses with over saturated colours and golfers with over-sized heads, there’s no stuffiness here. It’s almost enough to convince you golf isn’t a game just for old fogeys. It includes a mammoth 108 holes.
26. Asphalt 6: Adrenaline
Released December 2010
There are sides in the race of iPhone driving game supremacy – the arcade racer and the realistic racer. Asphalt 6 plants its tires in the arcade lane. The series is forever pitching its games against the best efforts from EA and its Need for Speed, but Asphalt 6 pips the most recent Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit to the finish. It lets you race cars and bikes, tears along at blistering speed and features 42 vehicles, including fully-licensed models.
25. Galaxy on Fire 2
Released October 2010
Games don’t come much more massive than Galaxy on Fire 2. It’s a space shooter and trading sim that encompasses more than 20 solar systems, each full of planets and space stations to discover. It’s not an aimless free-for-all though – Galaxy on Fire 2 also offers a full story mode held together by structured, scripted missions. You can head off the beaten path if you’d prefer, make your millions and buy the biggest ship in the galaxy.
24. Flight Control
Before Angry Birds came and won its position as the iPhone game on everyone’s lips, Flight Control was the iPhone gaming scene darling. It was Firemint’s first game, initially intended to be a side project to release some pressure while they beavered away on their magnum opus Real Racing. Four million downloads later, it has been revealed to be a bit more than that. You take on the role of air traffic controller, directing planes and helicopters to their landing spots with your finger. Simple, addictive and infuriating – in the best possible way.
23. Fruit Ninja
By Halfbrick Studios
Released April 2010
If you were to simply tell someone Fruit Ninja’s premise, we doubt whether your patter would sound very convincing. “It’s a game where you chop up fruit, as fast as you can”, you’d say, then look dismayed as they raised an unconvinced eyebrow and went off to play Angry Birds once again. Many of the best casual games have bizarre concepts, and a few minutes of playing Fruit Ninja was enough to convince us it’s an insta-classic. Perfect gaming timing, giving those fruit-chopping combo awards such weight, is what earned Fruit Ninja its six million plus downloads.
22. Spider: The Secret of Bryce Manor
By Tiger Style
Released August 2009
Not many games let you take control of a spider. Fewer still weave a human story, while letting you get about the daily fly catchin’, web slingin’ life of an arachnid. The odd combination won Spider an unusual amount of coverage in the wider games press, even though it’s not the typical casual 59p (sorry, 69p) smash that usually cracks through the shell of the iOS gaming scene. The levels chart the spider’s progress through a grand old house, full of family artefacts telling the story of the Bryce family. More importantly though, zooming about as a spider is fun in its own right.
By Subatomic Studios
Released October 2008
Through a mixture of fortuitous timing and rock-solid gameplay, Fieldrunners quickly became “the” iPhone tower defence game, and the one to incite curiosity about the genre in the wider iPhone gaming masses. In some ways though, it’s curiously generic. There’s no pre-made path – just a blank field of war with entrances and exits. You have to dam the flow of oncoming enemies with careful tower placement. It’s an excellent primer for tower defence fans in waiting, and for iPhone gaming in general.
We're nearly at the end of our iPhone games quest with just twenty more games to go. Will your favourite take top prize? Stay tuned tomorrow to find out.