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5 new iOS games you should play right now

You'll want to take a break from work with these amazing iOS games. Photo: Stephen Smith

You’ll want to take a break from work with these amazing iOS games. Photo: Stephen Smith

There are tons of new games out every week, and it’s hard to decide which ones to purchase, let alone which free games to download. We’re here to take some of the guesswork out of your decision, though, as we’ve scoured the best games that have come out so far this year.

From time wasters to deep strategic gems, this list will have you gaming in no time. Grab your copy of these five great –and brand-spankin’ new — gaming experiences today and you can thank us later.

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3 kiddie games that grown-ups will love

LittleBigPlanet 3 is made of smiles. Photo: Sony

LittleBigPlanet 3 is made of smiles. Photo: Sony

Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker (read our review) isn’t the only adorable game we’ve had our eye on this month. An assortment of recently released and equally endearing titles are available on every platform you might own. And the best news is that they’re so good you don’t have to worry about anyone catching you playing them.

Here are three fun ways to get your cute on without anyone laughing at you.

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Craft adventures with new Minecraft: Story mode

This open-ended world just got its first scripted story game. Photo: Mojang

This open-ended world just got its first scripted story game. Photo: Mojang

Grab your diamond pickaxe and get ready to delve once more into massively successful indie-hit Minecraft, only this time, it’ll be within an episodic, story-based game from Telltale Games, purveyor of such fine episodic video game content as The Walking Dead, The Wolf Among Us, and Game of Thrones.

Titled Minecraft: Story mode, the game will launch on iOS, Android, PC, Mac, Xbox and PlayStation in 2015 and will release episodically, with new characters and typical Minecraft themes, which we assume will be “mining,” and “crafting,” two major components of the in-game world.

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Spoiler Alert is the first game you’ll beat backwards

Un-save the princess and un-battle the epic boss in Spoiler Alert. Photo: Tiny Build Games

Un-save the princess and un-battle the epic boss in Spoiler Alert. Photo: Tiny Build Games

You’ve collected all the coins, you’ve beaten all the enemies, and you’ve finally gotten to the right castle and saved the princess.

Now, in order to avoid a nasty time paradox, you’ll have to do it all again. In reverse.

Spoiler Alert, from developer MegaFuzz and publisher tinyBuild Games, is the first platforming game you’ll play backwards, un-collecting every coin and un-killing every monster to make it back to the beginning. This is the first time the game is on iOS, as well.

Check out the trailer below for a quick taste of gameplay.

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You’ll love playing The Impossible Room but you will never beat it

The Impossible Room is so hard, no one has beaten it yet. Photo: Maruf Nebil

The Impossible Room is so hard, no one has beaten it yet. Photo: Maruf Nebil

Though he’s toyed with escape games for years, Turkish developer Maruf Nebil didn’t get hooked on the genre until 100 Floors hit the App Store in 2012. When The Room Two upped the ante with gorgeous 3-D environments a year later, Nebil set himself a devilish task: To create an unbeatable game that was also undeniably beautiful.

“I decided to make my game the hardest of all of them,” the 25-year-old developer said, with perhaps an evil laugh. “It’s like all 100 floors in a single room.”

While some games in this genre are about as fun and fulfilling as one of those “spot the hidden object” puzzles from a Highlights magazine, others prove truly challenging.

Some might say this type of game is purely for masochists, but others get lost in the obtuse challenge of finding hidden objects and solving maddening puzzles, all while trapped within a virtual room.

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Legendary game Grim Fandango gets a glorious makeover

Now we can all play this classic adventure game on our Macs. Photo: DoubleFine Productions

Now we can all play this classic adventure game on our Macs. Photo: DoubleFine Productions

Classic adventure game Grim Fandango is getting a brand new coat of paint, with a newly restored version of the noir/Day of the Dead mashup coming to Mac and other gaming platforms in January.

The game will have all-new advanced lighting effects, high-resolution textures, and remastered audio for today’s high-end gaming devices. It wall also have all the charm and cleverness of Tim Schafer, the designer who created many other classics of the genre first at LucasArts, and later at his own company, DoubleFine Productions.

Grim Fandango is one of the more influential games of the late 1990s, with 3D environments and a high quality level of writing and plotting that is rarely seen in video games. This new version will bring the legendary title to a whole new generation of gamers, letting them experience the genius alongside those who just want to re-live the joy of the original game on a machine that they currently own.

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Cyberpunk iPad game brings back golden age of role-playing

Drek hot, for sure, the confident and complex writing will have you immersed in no time. Photo: Harebrained Schemes

Drek hot, for sure, the confident and complex writing will have you immersed in no time. Photo: Harebrained Schemes

My team slid in under cover of night over at Harfeld Manor, an easy run into a low-security data vault that my old shadowrunner pal Monica promised would be an easy in and out.

It wasn’t, of course, but it took the death of our mutual friend, the mage Deitrich, to really wake us up to that fact.

Sure, we hit that place hard, but there was a ton of security both on the ‘Net and in the premises themselves, and we paid dearly for our hubris.

It would take us another several runs to really figure out what was going on in the dark shadows that we came across in our shadowy dealings, but I think we’re getting somewhere. If only we knew where this will finally lead.

This, then, is Shadowrun: Dragonfall in the special Director’s Cut edition, out now from Harebrained Schemes for your iPad. Check out the game trailer below to get a sense of how it all plays out.

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Ultimate guide to dominating your enemies in Vainglory

vaingloryfire

You really need to download Vainglory and get your fingers into battle. Photo: Superevil Megacorp

Chances are, the first time you try your hand at Vainglory you’ll get ganked almost immediately by a crystal-toting Glaive.

If you’d rather avoid that ignominious end, you’ll want to read our guide to all things Vainglory. It’s loaded with tips and tricks on how to kick ass in this excellent iOS game, an Apple favorite that showcases the awesome fun possible in the multiplayer online battle arena genre.

You’ll find basic and advanced gameplay tips, plus a special top 10 list for every hero in the game, right from the developers themselves.

Pretty soon you’ll be the one pwning your enemies with nonchalant ease, just like Scarf Guy.

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Glorious gifts for the gamer in your life

Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Gamers need gifts! Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Shopping for the gamer in your life can be more difficult than beating your way to the end of Battletoads or collecting all 121 stars in Super Mario Galaxy.

To make the holiday shopping season a little simpler, Cult of Mac searched far and wide for the best gaming gear, trying out all the major platforms and accessories.

What follows is our roundup of the finest gamer gifts, from consoles and handhelds to peripherals. And we’ve even tossed in a few must-play game recommendations.

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This addictive iOS game is made entirely of emoji

What it says on the tin. Photo: Ivan Grachyov

What it says on the tin. Photo: Ivan Grachyov

Many would-be game designers never make their games a reality because they don’t possess the artistic chops to create the graphics their game depends upon. But not being able to draw didn’t stop Ivan Grachyov, a computer science student at Moscow State University, and the resulting game might just be the next Flappy Bird.

The Russian designer’s creation? Emoji Cosmos, a game made of nothing but emoji!

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