Roll, roll up. The iPhone 5’s just around the corner, but before it arrives we’re here to whet your appetite with our list of not 10, not 40 but 100 of the best iPhone games ever! Spanning the three years since the iPhone arrived, we’ll cover every genre from physics puzzlers to guts and gore shooters. To keep you on your toes, we’ve split the list up into five parts which will be coming to you throughout this week. So, as you may have guessed, in this first piece we’ll be running down numbers 100 to 80.
We’ve done our best to give you the widest spread of games, so only one game per series has been included, and if a game is completely eclipsed by a rival, it won’t make the cut.
Don’t forget to check out the other parts as well –
100 Best iPhone games 100-81
100 Best iPhone games 80-61
100 Best iPhone games 60-41
100 Best iPhone games 40-21
100 Best iPhone games 20-1
100. Pinball HD
By OOO Gameprom
Released August 2010
OOO Gameprom makes the most realistic pinball games on iPhone, and Pinball HD compiles its early efforts – Wild West Pinball, The Deep Pinball and Jungle Style Pinball – into one download. It doesn’t have some of the over-the-top mini games and stylising loaded into some iPhone pinball “sims” but does offer realistic physics (the most important factor of all), great 3D visuals and convincing sound effects. For the feel of the arcade pinball table in your palm, this is it.
99. Super Mega Worm
By Deceased Pixel
Released August 2010
iPhone gaming has helped popularise a number of different gaming genres. Super Mega Worm is representative of a fairly recent trend we’ll call the Giant Worm Disasterfest. You control a giant, many-toothed worm that’s out to wreak havoc, after pesky humans polluted your natural environment. You leap through the air, sailing on pure momentum, and chomp through anything in your way. With 16bit-style retro visuals this game is instantly charming. Other highlights from this side-on action sub-genre include Mini Squadron and Death Worm.
Released June 2009
DrawRace does something that, as a cartoony casual game, you wouldn’t expect. It makes you think about how driving physics works – perhaps as much as that £40 ultra-realistic racer on your home console. Why? Because you draw the path of your car before the race, moving your finger quickly to tell the car to accelerate, and slow down your finger to ease off the pedal a bit. When the race starts you simply watch. Sure, there’s no ultra-involved physics at work here – it’s not modelling each bit of grit stuck between the tire tread – but if you’re the kind of gaming racer that refuses to put a foot on the brake pedal DrawRace will get you thinking.
97. Gangstar: West Coast Hustle
Released August 2009
Gameloft’s often accused of nicking the style of popular console games. We wouldn’t dream of such a thing, of course, but if we did, we might say that Gangstar: West Coast Hustle is a Grand Theft Auto rip-off. At release back in 2009, it impressed hugely because it offered a proper open 3D world, not the top-down 2D we saw before in games like Car Jack Streets. The script’s cringe-worthy and Gameloft has since made better-looking games, but if Rockstar’s own Chinatown Wars won’t satisfy, this is the game to get.
96. Bumpy Road
Released May 2011
In most games featuring a car, you control the car. In Bumpy Road, you control the ground underneath the car. You raise it with a ringer to alter the car’s speed, or give it a sharp flick to make the car jump over a gap. It sounds bizarre, but it works. It’s packed full of charm too – in the car are an old couple, and you collect the memories of their life together as you drive along. How sweet is that?
95. Transformers G1: Awakening
Released Febraury 2010
Although Transformers G1: Awakening was released after Michael Bay had resurrected the Transformers series with his big-budget movie LaBeouf-fests, it’s not based on the new movies. Instead, it’s based on the classic TV series. And it’s not an action game either, but a turn-based strategy game in the vein of Advance Wars. The result? It’s bags of fun to play. More proof that movie games are a bad idea. As if we needed any more…
94. Siege Hero
By Armor Games
Released May 2011
Every smash hit iPhone game will spawn an array of copycats. It might be argued that Siege Hero is an Angry Birds wannabe, but it is – at least a little bit – different. Instead of flinging birds, you fire rocks and bombs. And it’s not the trajectory that’s important (you don’t fling here, just pick a target) but what block you choose to hit. You have to dispatch all the enemy soldiers in each level, by causing their defences to crumble down on top of them. More of a thinking person’s game than Angry Birds, some even prefer it.
93. Perfect Balance: Harmony
Released April 2009
A pure, plain and simple puzzler, Perfect Balance: Harmony was overlooked by some at its release, but if you’re out for a relaxing-but-challenging game, it’s… well, perfect. In each of the 100 levels you have a selection of objects you have to balance within a few immovable obstacles, using the laws of physics as your guide. The series branched out and became even more challenging in the sequels Inferno and Lost Trials, but it’s the soothing original that wins our 69p vote.
92. Enigmo 2
By Pangea Software
Released September 2009
The original Enigmo was one of the early puzzle classics of iPhone gaming. It has since largely been forgotten, but the gameplay of it and its successor Enigmo 2 stand up well to this day. You have to deliver water, plasma or laser beams from one end of a level to another, using various types of bouncy, reflective and absorbing blocks. It’s challenging, but in a way that’s (eventually) very satisfying.
91. Nick Chase: A Detective Story
By Big Fish Games
Released Oct 2009
There are plenty of hidden object games, but most of them only lay a very thin veneer of story on top of the basic mechanics. Not so here. You are Nick Chase, a Chandler-esque PI with a shabby office and too much time on his hands. The game is still packed with hidden object gameplay, but at each juncture you feel hooked into the plot. With a film noir style and hand-drawn graphics, this is our top pick from a very crowded genre.