Don’t worry — we’ll resolve all this next week. Photo: Capcom
You don’t always have to sit down to an epic, 100-hour slog to get your gaming in. Developers are delivering plenty of great bite-size, episodic games that (usually) release one part at a time.
If you’re looking for something you can play in installments, here are four great places to start. These games are all fully released, so you won’t have to wait for the next episode if you can’t stand the suspense. This is great if you’re like me; I watched all of Breaking Bad in a week once it was all up on Netflix. That’s just how I roll.
I can play this anywhere? Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac
Hearthstoneaddicts players rejoice! Blizzard’s incredibly compelling digital card game is now optimized for your iPhone or iPod touch.
We’ve heard rumors that some folks even use their iPhone while in the bathroom. Gross! If you’re one of those people, though, get ready to never stop playing Hearthstone again.
Sure, the video game company behind mega-hits World of Warcraft, Starcraft II, and Diablo III has had a version of this easy-to-learn, hard-to-master two-player collectible card game on the Mac and iPad since 2013, but this is the first time you’re able to play it on the small screen without any jailbreaking or hacking needed.
“Hearthstone is now officially supported on iPhone and iPod touch,” says the App Store description. “…Featuring an all-new intuitive interface hand-crafted for the mobile experience, it’s never been easier to take Hearthstone with you anywhere you want to play.”
Sonic the Hedgehog lives on in iOS, thanks to Stealth and Taxman. Photo: SEGA
In the summer of 1991, Sonic the Hedgehog was, quite simply, the greatest thing Simon Thomley had ever seen.
At the age of 11, Thomley had graduated to the SEGA Genesis gaming console after years as a Nintendo Entertainment System player. Sonic had lured him to SEGA’s system, and he wasn’t alone: The spiny blue speedster captured the hearts of gamers everywhere. By the end of the year, SEGA had sped past Nintendo on console sales.
A series of sequels followed. While many people remember the Sonic games primarily as a relic of the ’90s, they become an unlikely career for Thomley and his developer friend Christian Whitehead. Better known as Stealth and Taxman, they brought remastered versions of classic Sonic games to iOS for a new generation of gamers to enjoy.
“This has always been my hobby, but I’m lucky enough that this has now become my full-time job,” Thomley tells Cult of Mac. The pair brought finely tuned official versions of Sonic games to iOS — although recent turmoil at SEGA has thrown the future of their highly regarded work into doubt.
This guy really wants his game to do well. Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac
SAN FRANCISCO — After his best friend deemed it impossible to make a fun game using the oversaturated staples of mobile gaming — match three, tower defense and zombies — indie developer Jake Sones made a bet.
Now Sones and his three-person team at Shovelware Games are ready to win that bet with upcoming game Zombie Match Defense, which makes players defend a row of scientists against an attacking horde of zombies by matching three or more brains of the same type. It’s as if Plants vs. Zombies and Candy Crush had a goofy baby and invaded your iPad.
There’s money to be made in them there App Stores. Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac
John Hayward-Mayhew is one of the most prolific iOS developers ever to peddle a blackjack game. Over the past four years, the 25-year-old entrepreneur flooded the App Store with an astonishing 600 separate apps — everything from endless runners such as Dangerous Caveman Bum Runner to dentistry games like Emergency Dentist Race — raking in close to $1 million in the process.
The most miraculous part of all? He can’t even code.
But by taking advantage of one of the App Store’s great weaknesses, and borrowing a game plan from one of Hollywood’s most unusual impresarios, he’s built a one-man gaming empire.
This bread has legs. No, not really. It’s a metaphor. Photo: Bossa Studios
Yeah, you read that right – this is a video game where you play as a piece of bread on an epic journey to become an actual piece of toast.
I Am Bread has been out on Steam Early Access since December of last year, and now the developers at Bossa Studios have let it slip that the game will indeed come out on iOS, as soon as they finish up the PC/Mac version.
If you’ve seen the massively viral hit game Goat Simulator, you’ll immediately have a sense of how this one plays out. You’ll hit various keys on your keyboard or buttons on your controller, and move a slice of oddly movable bread around, trying to find some way to toast yourself. Here’s a quick video to visualize it.
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.
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.
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.