100 Best iPhone Games Ever – Part One: 100-81
90. Archibald’s Adventures
By Rake in Grass
Released January 2009
Adventures won’t lure you in and get you salivating from its
screenshots alone, but from just a few minutes of playing you can tell this is a
quality title. It’s a clever platform puzzler that’ll challenge your
cranium much more than your fingers. The full game offers a massive 191
levels, fit for hours and hours of gameplay.
89. Alive 4-Ever RETURNS
By Meridian Entertainment
Released April 2010
The Alive 4-Ever games are a progression of the twin-stick shooter craze that infected the App Store in 2009. They’re packed full of zombie-blasting action, but add a bit of depth too, letting you buy new weapons and upgrade your character with experience earned in the field. The sequel, Alive 4-Ever Returns doesn’t add a great deal to the original formula, so feel free to purchase whichever of the two games is cheaper on the day you head over to the App Store.
88. The Heist
By Tap Tap Tap
Released March 2011
A puzzle compendium with a difference, The Heist features 60 levels based around four different kinds of puzzle, and completing them gets you closer to opening a safe. Solve a certain number of each and you’ll break through another layer of security. Its story is largely a device to keep propelling you through the levels, but it works remarkably well. If you dislike the wire-swapping, log-sliding puzzles within the game the story won’t convince you otherwise, but for puzzle fans it’s a must-download.
Released September 2010
Although a new title, roleplaying game fans who were doing the rounds back in the 90s won’t fail to recognise its style. Before full 3D games took over the world, grid-based roleplaying games like Undercroft were extremely popular, and very common. Eye of the Beholder, Ishtar, Lands of Lore and the Might and Magic games captured the imaginations of geeks worldwide. And now a new generation (or perhaps just the old one again) can discover this kind of game on iOS. Undercroft claims to offer 20 hours of gameplay, but if that’s not enough check out the equally-good The Quest series from Chillingo – which also has a handful of expansion packs.
By The Coding Monkeys
Released June 2010
The most famous German boardgame of them all, Carcassonne lets you create a world out of tiles. The more successful you are at creating this world, the more followers you’ll have. And followers are what you need to win. It’s not quite as simple as just randomly plonking down tile “cards” though. You have to continue road tiles with other road tiles, and city tiles with other city tiles and so on. A bit like dominos, with a side order of megalomania chucked in for good measure.
85. Zenonia 2
Released March 2010
The Zenonia series was alive and well for more than six months before it launched on iPhone, but it was iOS that won it popularity in the West. The Koreans loved it from the start though. Taking cues from 90s 16-bit roleplaying games, Zenonia 2 is a top-down cartoony adventure with visuals influenced by anime. The dialogue is cheesy, many of the quests are a bit banal, but there’s still something enduringly charming about this series.
84. Zombie Gunship
By Limbic Software
Released July 2011
Over the past few years, zombies have become one of the top gaming themes, to the extent that we’re now pretty bored of rotting flesh and hideous gore. Whoudda thunk it? Thankfully, Zombie Gunship takes a very different approach to the walking dead. You blast them from an airborne gunship with guns and rockets – making sure not to accidentally vaporise any nearby humans – ensuring they never reach your base. Its novel approach to a tired theme wins it a place here.
83. Super Quickhook
By Rocketcat Games
Released June 2010
Few games maintain a sense of momentum better than Super Quickhook. Here’s it’s supplied by a grappling hook, wielded by our little blocky protagonist. Part platformer, part race game, you tear through levels doing your best not to bump into anything to slow you down. Hold a finger on-screen and he fires out the grappling hook, take your finger off and it’s pulled back in. There’s a fearsome difficulty curve at work, but it’s worth scaling.
82. Castle of Magic
Released June 2009
Several genres required several killer games before we were convinced they could “work” on iPhone. The first-person shooter was one, and the humble traditional platformer was another. Castle of Magic wasn’t the first great platformer to come to iPhone, but it is one that sticks in the memory. Painted in dazzling colours and packed with enough nods to old 8bit and 16bit games to make us go misty-eyed, this is one to check out if it flew under your radar back in ’09.
By Cyan Worlds
Released May 2009
Myst was one of the key games to prove the potential of CD-ROM technology, back in the old days. Making use of all the extra storage offered by the medium, it featured (for the time) sumptuous graphics that caused many a jaw to drop. They even look pretty good today, thanks to the small size of the iPhone’s screen. The iPhone edition of Myst is a straight port of the original 1991 adventure. Its sequel, Riven, is also available. We suggest buying whichever stokes your nostalgia flames the most.
Come back tomorrow for part two, in which we’ll run down from position 80 to 61.