10 October iOS games that will shock you with delight

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10 best ios games October 2015
Spooky month; awesome games.
Photo: Evan Killham/Cult of Mac

Every month, the App Store fills up with countless iOS games of varying quality. You want to have something to do on your iPhone or iPad while you’re on the bus or enjoying the quiet solitude of your bathroom. But who has time to figure out which titles are worth your valuable time?

Apparently, we do. So if you’re searching for the best iOS gaming treats from the past month, look no further than Cult of Mac as we find the 10 best that you should be playing right now — no tricks.

Here they are, in no particular order.

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Don’t Starve brings hunger game to iPhone

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Those beefalo look pretty worried.
Those beefalo look pretty worried.
Photo: Klei Entertainment

Seriously, try not to starve. That’s the entire point of Klei Entertainment’s runaway hit game Don’t Starve, a test of survival set in a darkly humorous, Edward Gorey-esque world filled with vicious hounds, creeping spiders, herds of stampeding Beefalo and slimy fish men.

Now you can get in on the action on iPhone, as the desktop game just became a universal app called Don’t Starve: Pocket Edition.

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Lara Croft Go puts exciting tomb raiding at your fingertips

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Lara Croft Go screenshot
You're about to murder so many snakes, you have no idea.
Screenshot: Evan Killham/Cult of Mac

I’m anxiously awaiting Lara Croft’s next outing on consoles this fall with Rise of the Tomb Raider, but in the meantime, developer Square Enix is tiding us over with Lara Croft Go, a miniaturized adventure starring the iconic graverobber and dinosaur fighter. It’s out now for iPhone and iPad (reviewed version), and like its predecessor, Hitman Go, it’s more about strategy than all-out action.

This game diverts slightly from Hitman, however, doing away with the board game/diorama theme and just sticking our hero into an ancient, turn-based ruin. But that doesn’t diminish its charm or fun at all.

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Picorama puts a cute face on tricky strategy gaming

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Picorama for iPad
Picorama's cute, but it will also mess you up.
Photo: MicroCosmos

I like strategy games as much as the next person, but they’re all missing something. Like maybe they could use a pink bunny that tickles opposing pieces to death, or a little, blue, tentacled … thing that can distract enemies with its soothing singing voice. And for good measure, maybe they could throw in a green guy who can fire deadly shots out of his head and an orange monster that eats lightning and fireballs.

Picorama has all those things, and it’s as weird, silly and fun as it sounds. But the iOS game’s innocent art and adorable characters belie a title that will quickly test your strategic and problem-solving skills and have you staring at your iPhone or iPad trying to plan your next move.

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Angry Birds 2 flings itself onto your screens July 30

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They're back, bigger and angrier than ever.
They're back, bigger and angrier than ever.
Photo: Rovio Entertainment

The disgruntled avians are headed your way yet again in a new game, cleverly titled Angry Birds 2, according to a fairly vague website and trailer from Finnish developer Rovio.

Details are scant, but here’s hoping we see more of the compelling gameplay of the first title in the series — and way less of the karting and endless running of recent releases.

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Smartphones blow away traditional handheld gaming devices

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These are looking pretty outdated lately.
These are looking pretty outdated lately.
Photo: Daveynin/FlickrCC

Mobile games — especially those with a multiplayer component — are making more money than traditional handheld games, says a new report by mobile analytics agency, App Annie. The company partnered with the International Data Corporation to show the growth in mobile gaming over the past year, and how it’s skews toward mobile and multiplayer gaming.

Poor console makers; they hardly knew what hit them. While they still have life in them, and the games tend to be deeper and of a higher quality, it seems as if most gamers would rather just play on the device they already have with them; their iPhone or iPad.

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Party Hard: a retro, stealth game about stabbing your neighbors

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Party Hard
Prepare for a fun night out of stabbing.
Gif: Evan Killham/Cult of Mac

We’ve all had terrible neighbors who throw loud parties that last all night, even on Mondays. Party Hard, an upcoming game for iOS, is about bringing those annoying gatherings to a halt. With a knife.

Developer Pinokl Games has released a new trailer for its “third-person urban conflict simulator” ahead of the Electronics Entertainment Expo trade show next week, and you can check it out below.

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Battle over the Empire’s ragged remains in Star Wars: Uprising

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Star Wars Uprising
You just can't make a Star Wars game without putting Hoth in there.
Photo: Kabam

An upcoming mobile game will throw players into the struggle immediately following the death of the Emperor in Return of the Jedi.

Star Wars: Uprising, which is due out later this year for iOS and Android, is a real-time strategy game that picks up after the destruction of the second Death Star at the end of the third film as the decapitated Empire struggles to maintain control over the galaxy.

Check out the announcement trailer below.

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4 amazing speedruns that put your gaming accomplishments to shame

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You don't have to look like this to be really good at video games. Luckily.
You don't have to look like this to be really good at video games. Luckily.
Photo: South Park

If you’re a gamer, odds are you have a perfect run, high score or really impressive combo that you list among the highlights of your “career.” Personally, I TKO’d Mike Tyson in Punch-Out!! when I was 10 or 12, and I did it when everyone else was out of the room. But I swear it happened, you guys.

Unless you have enough free time and determination to play one thing until you can beat it with your monitor turned off and your keyboard flipped around, however, your greatest moments can’t hope to compete with the four amazing speedruns shown in the videos below. These players have left “good” far behind them, passing through “really good,” across “crazy good” and over “suspiciously good” to enter a realm of pure skill in which merely beating a game is considered “a start.”

These people play a bunch of difficult titles pretty well, is what I’m getting at.

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Game devs keep it casual as they jump from console to mobile

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Bad Dinos is the fourth casual mobile game from the veteran development company.
Bad Dinos is the fourth mobile game from veteran development company Insomniac Games.
Photo: Insomniac Games

Console game developers are trying to break into mobile, and they’re using casual genres to break into the scene.

For instance, when gamers hear about Insomniac Games, they might think of classic platform games like Ratchet and Clank, first-person shooters like Resistance: Fall of Man or next-gen console title Sunset Overdrive. What those hypothetical gamers might not think of is a match-three or endless runner iPhone game. But game makers can’t afford to ignore the mobile scene these days and Insomniac is no different, as evidenced by the company’s new tower-defense game, Bad Dinos.

“It’s obviously a huge market,” Brian Hastings, chief creative officer at Insomniac Games, told Cult of Mac, “and we’re seeing an entire generation of players who are getting into mobile first, before anything else.”

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