Best iPad & iPhone Games — Summer 2014
With summer in full swing in the Northern Hemisphere, it’s time to break out the sunglasses and lemonade and ditch the winter clothes. But you won’t want to leave your iPhone or iPad at home – no matter where you go, it’ll provide endless hours of gaming fun. Let’s look at at some of the top iOS games of May 2014 – this bunch covers a pretty wide range, from free-to-play farm simulators (almost a classic genre by now) to mind-bending, M. C. Escher-inspired puzzlers.
If Dark Souls is any indication, it seems like any game with “souls” in its title is bound to be really difficult. On this count, Wayward Souls doesn’t disappoint. This roguelike Action Game is tough, requiring you to navigate through a series of dungeons that recall 16-bit classics such as The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past.
But Wayward Souls is difficult in a way that’s still fun. You get to mix and match a lot of classes and discover storylines for each character. The amazing, easy-to-grasp touch controls make it a breeze to at least try your luck against Wayward Souls’ wide range of baddies – although, as you’ll quickly find out, succeeding is a different matter entirely!
“Feeding this sense of challenge is the Wayward Souls‘ surprisingly thoughtful enemy design,” wrote GameZebo’s Jim Squires. “All too often games provide you with lunkheaded enemies that require little more than a quick stab to bypass. Wayward Souls is a game where each and every enemy type is unique.”
Perspective is everything, the old cliche goes. Monument Valley puts these words into action with a delightful set of puzzles that test your ability to rotate and manipulate objects. Your goal is to help the mysterious Ida find her way to the end of each stage, past the ominous Crow People and up quite a few impossible staircases along the way.
Monument Valley doesn’t provide many hits or much backstory, so you and Ida are basically on your own. This ends up being pretty fun, though, since you can sink hours into this game trying to get a handle on its mechanics and find a way through some truly intricate puzzles. As they say – easy to learn, hard to master.
Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft
It’s Warcraft! Kind of. Just don’t expect a Massive Multiplayer Online game or Real Time Strategy Game. Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft is, as TouchArcade reviewer Chris Carter put it, “a card game where you can summon an angry chicken and peck your enemies to death.” Are you in?
The game is a bit like trading card franchises such as Magic: The Gathering. You’ll play in one-on-one battles against other players and their decks. There’s a mana system to keep track, and a lot of different card types to collect. You can square off against the computer or other humans (via a matchmaking service), and with such a wide variety of skill levels and collectibles, every match is unique.
Kero Blaster is, well, a blast from the past, or at least it wants to be. Boasting pixelated graphics, a chiptune soundtrack and 2-D side-scrolling run-and-gun action, Kero Blaster may bring to mind Cave Story or even ancient games such as Contra and the NES versions of Mega Man. It even has tricky precision jumps that may bring back memories for any gamers who struggled with the incredibly difficult arcade and console games of yesteryear.
Instead of a commando or robot, though, you play as a frog with a knack for custodial services. You start off with just a peashooter, but it doesn’t take long to acquire new weapons and upgrades. Each stage has its own boss, and gameplay is very linear. Once you finish the first playthrough, you get the option to play again with a single lifepoint – good luck making it past all the obstacles and through the crossfire! At just $4.99 for iPhone, Kero Blaster provides a rich and challenging bang for your buck.
“[T]he worst thing I can say about the game is that it ends,” observed TouchArcade’s Shaun Musgrave. “Even then, the game almost immediately encourages you to pick up and start playing again, and makes it worth your while to do so.”
FarmVille 2: Country Escape
Most of you have probably heard of FarmVille, the massively popular Facebook game that became famous for filling up Newsfeeds with requests for help on the virtual farm. FarmVille 2: Country Escape doesn’t stray far from the original formula, although this time it’s a mobile-only experience, meaning better-looking graphics and performance.
The goal is the same, but now it’s possible to visit other players’ farms without spamming your entire friends list. The 3-D visuals and new resource trading system are also nice touches for anyone who is still eager to grow vegetables, raise animals and build barns on their iPhone or iPad.