Not all iOS games are business ventures; some strive to bring awareness, educate, or do some good by supporting charitable causes.
Here are five of the nicest iOS games ever created.
The Game: Frog Minutes
The Cause: Earthquake relief
Developer Grasshopper Manufacture is best known for its ridiculous and ultraviolent action games for consoles like Shadows of the Damned and No More Heroes. So it was a bit of a surprise in 2011 when it released Frog Minutes, a calm, soothing experience about going out and learning about nature.
The game is as slowly paced as can be; pretty much all you do is tap on and learn about frogs, insects, and other residents of the virtual woods. It has no ending, no goals, and a portion of its proceeds went to benefit Japan’s aid efforts in the aftermath of the 2011 earthquake.
It’s a little hard to fit the studio’s other work alongside Nature Hike: The Game, but, hey. Who doesn’t love a little frog time?
The Game: Quingo
The Cause: Whatever you want.
Quingo is a free-to-play game for which a portion of the money raised from in-app purchases goes to benefit charities of the players’ choosing. It’s a combination of quizzes and bingo — hence the slightly awkward name — and it’s a pretty cool idea. Unlike projects like Humble Bundle, which pick the charities for you, Quingo gives you the flexibility to send your money wherever you want.
Although it is a little curious why you don’t just make a donation to that charity to begin with. But still, it’s a cool idea.
The Game: Crashbat
The Cause: Whatever the winner wants.
Here’s an interesting variant of Quingo‘s idea: A competitive title in which the loser must make a donation to a charity of the winner’s choice. The game plays like the classic brick-smashing game Breakout in which players control a paddle bouncing a ball to destroy block formations.
The twist here is that the game will include (it isn’t finished yet) a creator system in which anyone can make his or her own levels, and anyone who fails to clear it has to pony up some bucks for the powers of good. It’s an interesting concept, essentially asking people to dare their friends to support charity, but hey, whatever works.
The Game: HuaXu Game Space 02
The Cause: Various.
Taiwanese developer HuaXu wasn’t content to just make one title to do good; it went ahead and built a whole platform for it. HuaXu Game Space 02 is free to download, but you pay for individual games in the collection. The developer pledges to donate 80 percent of its income to “reliable charity organizations or social vulnerable groups”. Past beneficiaries include relief for the Boston Marathon attacks and last April’s earthquake in Lushan, China.
HuaXu aims to have 101 games on its platform soon, and in the past, it’s made all of the titles free to drive awareness and grow its user base.
The Game: Sidekick Cycle
The Cause: World Bicycle Relief.
In a slightly meta move, developer Global Gaming Initiative’s Sidekick Cycle, a downhill-racing bicycle title, is using the money it raises to give children in Africa the opportunity to hurtle dangerously down steep hills on bikes of their own.
Alright, they probably prefer that the kids don’t do that, but it is certainly an option available to them.
The charity is dedicating half of its sales to the project, and it costs about $134 to build and deliver a single bike. This means that at its current price, the app generates one bicycle per 209 downloads.