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Best Free iPhone Games

Published on: at 2:55 PM | Posted By:

Dropship

This wonderful ngmoco title used to cost a few quid, but Dropship is now free and is one of the App Store's biggest bargains. The game is a modern take on Gravitar or Thrust, with your ship battling gravity and shooting gun emplacements while searching complex vector-based cave formations for marooned allies. The 'touch anywhere' dual-thumb controls take some getting used to, but the game feels fluid and exciting once they're mastered.

Dropship


Dr. Awesome Plus

Another ngmoco game, Dr. Awesome uses a hateful forced Plus+ account sign-up, but get past that and you find a compulsive title that smashes together ancient arcade classic Qix and surgery game Trauma Centre. Dr. Awesome's gameplay centres around removing viruses by tilting your device to 'cut out' infections. Gameplay is fast and furious and, oddly, your Address Book contacts are used for patient names, so you can always choose to sacrifice your high score and off your boss in the virtual world.

Dr awesome


Flood-It! 2

Flood-It! 2 meets the rules of great puzzlers: keep things simple, but make the game so challenging that your brains start to dribble out of your ears. In Flood-It!, you tap colours to 'flood' the board from the top-left, aiming to make the entire board one colour using a limited number of taps. This release offers additional modes over the original Flood-It! (timers, obstacles, finishing with a defined colour), and offers schemes for colour-blind players.

Flood it


Sol Free Solitaire

Although it's essentially a chunk of Solebon Solitaire (£1.19), Sol Free Solitaire is nonetheless a stunning example of a standalone solitaire game. From the moment you first launch the game, the level of polish and attention to detail is obvious. In all of the six included games, the graphics are clean and clear, the controls are intuitive and responsive, and the built-in help is informative.

Sol free solitaire


Cube Runner

The accelerometers in Apple handhelds have driven development of myriad tilt-based racing games, but tilt controls can be finicky. Cube Runner, however, feels just right as you pilot your craft left and right through cube-littered landscapes, aiming to survive for as long as possible. The game doesn't look like much, but it plays well, and longevity is extended by Cube Runner enabling you to create and download new levels.

Cube runner


Spider: Hornet Smash

Tiger Style's Spider: The Secret of Bryce Manor is an App Store classic, combining arcade adventuring and platforming action, with you playing the role of a roaming arachnid. Hornet Smash includes a level from that game, but its main draw is the frenetic arcade minigame. Still controlling our eight-legged hero, the aim is to fend off attacks by swarms of angry hornets, while weaving webs and munching tasty lacewings for health boosts. Three environments are included in this compelling and innovative title.

Hornet smash


Real Racing GTi

Firemint's Real Racing is one of the best racing games for Apple handhelds, but it's also demanding, requiring a lot of time investment. Real Racing GTi dispenses with much of the depth, but retains its parent's fun gameplay, user-friendly controls and great graphics. Three modes are on offer - time trial, quick race, and a cup championship over three tracks—ensuring this game is the best free arcade racer on the App Store.

Real racing gti


MazeFinger Plus

Again, the forced Plus+ account sign-up is hateful, but it's worth persevering to get to this addictive game, where you "unleash the awesome power of your finger," according to the App Store blurb. The aim is to drag your finger from the start to the finish of each simple maze. The problem is you're against the clock and obstacles litter your path. Great graphics and 200 levels of compelling gameplay ensure you'll be glued to your screen.

MazeFinger plus


Dactyl

Almost entirely lacking in depth, Dactyl is nonetheless one of the most furiously addictive games on the App Store. A gloriously demented Whack-A-Mole-style effort, Dactyl merely tasks you with tapping red bombs to stop them exploding. Almost immediately, though, red bombs arrive thick and fast, forcing you to keep track and tap them in order, to avoid the inevitable 'game over'.

Dactyl


Trace

Trace is a sweet, inventive platform game which has you navigating hand-drawn obstacles to reach the star-shaped exit. The twist is that you can draw and erase your own platforms, to assist your progress. With an emphasis on time-based scores rather than lives and the ability to skip levels, Trace is very much a 'casual' platform game, but it's none the worse because of it.

Trace


Solomon's Keep

Reminiscent of a twin-stick shooter mashed into an RPG with a really big wand. Solomon's Keep has your wizard battle endless hordes of supernatural foes, with the help of your thumbs and some in-game spells. It's a bit like an overhead Diablo, or, if you're getting on a bit, a powered-up Gauntlet.

Solomon's Keep


Buganoids

Buganoids resembles a NES game where the author decided to mash together random bits from various arcade classics. You patrol tiny planets, blasting 'across' them to kill nasty bugs. The gameplay's reminiscent of Gyruss and Tempest, and although the controls sometimes feel a little off, the game's always fun for a quick blast.

Buganoids Screenshot


You Cruise by Mazda MX-5

This game has no right to be any good. You Cruise is essentially an advert for Mazda, and ad-oriented games are usually rubbish and play it safe. But here you get to hurtle round eight courses in a sports car, with the gameplay resembling a mini Sega Rally. It also helps that the controls—auto-acceleration, steering at each edge, and a brake pedal at each corner - are some of the best of any iOS racer.

You cruise by mazda mx-5 screenshot


Bankshot

One for pool sharks, Bankshot tasks you with sending your orb to a goal by bouncing it off of at least one wall. A few different modes are on offer in this attractive neon-style game, but the best is Blitz, a high-octane time-attack affair.

Bankshot screenshot


10 Pin Shuffle (Bowling) Lite

A curious mix of ten-pin bowling, shuffleboard and poker, 10 Pin Shuffle proves surprisingly addictive. You get two cards for each strike and one for each spare, and whoever has the best hand at the end of the tenth frame wins.

Pin shuffle Bowling Lite Screenshot


Lux Touch

Quickfire Risk clone Lux Touch isn't exactly a champion in the smarts department - the AI's pretty easy to outfox - but it's perfect ten-minute fodder for Risk fanatics. The graphics are clear, the board is responsive, and the game's also universal, for if you want to install it on your iPad.

Lux touch


iCopter Classic

There are loads of one-thumb copter games on the App Store, and while this isn't the best (Super Turbo Action Pig and Pudge fight for that honour), iCopter Classic is without doubt the finest free variant. It's also fast and responsive as you go about helping your helicopter (or—in the unlockable themes—bee, submarine, spaceship or football) survive for as long as possible without smashing into something.

iCopter classic Screenshot


Cell Splat

So you think you're observant? Cell Splat will test that claim to the limit. The game distills 'match' games to their purest form. You get a target shape or colour, and, against the clock, must tap all matching items in the well. Quite why this frantic, great-looking, fun, addictive game is free, we don't know; we just suggest you download it immediately.

Cell splat Screenshot


InvaderR

Like Cell Splat, InvaderR streamlines and hones a popular game, but this time it's Space Invaders. Like Taito's original, aliens are out to get you, but in InvaderR you have it tough. While the invaders are content to stay out of reach, it's 'game over' the second you're hit by a projectile. This turns InvaderR into a compelling and exciting score-attack game.

InvaderR Screenshot


Whacksy Taxi

Although it looks like a 1980s racer, Whacksy Taxi also has much in common with platform games. You belt along absurdly straight highways, avoiding traffic by dodging or leaping it. Variety's added by power-ups, new background graphics when you reach a stage's end, and several bonus zones that also provide extra challenge.

Whacksy Taxi Screenshot

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