There are hundreds, maybe even thousands, of games available in the App Store. I’ve played tons of them over the years. Some of those games eventually ended up getting deleted, or moved to the last few pages of my games folder, where they remain for long car or plane rides.
However, there are a few games that have remained on my iPhone or iPad’s Home screen for literally years now. Even long after their launch, I still launch these games regularly, play them, and thoroughly enjoy them.
We’ve argued on many occasions before that 2014 was a superlative year for iOS games. But it was also a fantastic twelve months for video games in general, as the last generation’s consoles were pushed to their max, and the PS4 and Xbox 360 hit their stride.
So now that the dust has settled what are our picks for games of the year? Check out our choice of the ten titles you must play after the jump.
One of the great things Starbucks does for its customers is its Pick of the Week promotion. By just wandering into your local coffee shop and ordering a cup of joe, you can pick up a killer app or iBook, all for free. And it’s been going strong since 2011.
The Pick of the Week has given out some great apps in its time, but this week’s giveaway is a real winner: Starbucks is giving away Threes!, the killer side-swiping game that Apple declared one of the best-designed apps of 2014.
All the game and math nerds love Threes, and it's easy to see why. This sudoku-meets-sliding-puzzle game requires just the right combination of zenlike concentration and sharp addition skills to keep you playing long into the night.
If you're looking for classic gaming nirvana, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City has it all: an open world full of social parody and a style that's straight outta the '80s. You can't get a better glimpse into the early potential of video games than this.
Like exploring a more colorful version of an M.C. Escher illustration, Monument Valley
proves that mind-bending spatial puzzles can go hand in hand with minimalist story telling quite easily. It's another iPad game that begs to be explored and treasured long after all the levels have been beaten.
Sonic The Hedgehog 2 is the cult classic 16-bit speed-platforming game that most fans point to as the ultimate Sonic experience. With lovingly recreated graphics, sounds and controls, this remastered version hits all the right notes to make it the best Sonic game on the iOS platform.
Tetris is the old-school Game Boy craze from Alexey Pajitnov brought to the modern era of touchscreen devices. It's every bit as addictive and delightful as the original with a few new modes and flashy graphical updates to interest non-purists.
Device 6 is quite easily the most innovative game we've seen on the mobile platform, making you tilt and turn your device around to follow the text and audio clues that pull you through a pretty fantastic dystopian sci-fi tale.
Smooth pop-up book animated storytelling at its finest, Temgami will turn your iPad into a lush world ripe for exploration and environmental puzzle-solving. The delicious, soothing soundtrack is a fine addition to the gorgeous Eastern-influenced level design.
The Room 2 pulls creepy and puzzle-y off with equal abandon, letting you dig deep into a horror story without any actual jump-scares. Spend some time with this one in a darkened room, headphones on and iPad in lap. You can thank us later.
Mobile gaming is an ephemeral thing.
The unending stream of iOS games runs too fast and too fat for any individual to figure out which ones are worthy of your time and/or money. Freemium games? Check. Casual games? Sure. Hardcore games ported to your iOS device of choice? Plenty.
But which ones should you sit down and play right now? Our crack team of reviewers took a moment to call up the games they return to, day after day, when they feel like experiencing the finest the mobile gaming world has to offer. Above are the eight best iOS games you should download at this very moment.
Popular numerical puzzle game Threes! has received its first ever update, adding several player-requested features.
For those who haven’t played Threes!, it’s a game which challengers players to come up with multiples of 3 by sliding and matching pairs of cards. The object is to gain the highest score possible by combining numbers to first make 3s, then 6s, then putting those together to get 12s, and so on.
It’s surprisingly fun and addictive, and has been met with a number of positive reviews since its release earlier this month.