There’s nothing better than kicking back and playing an iOS game that respects your time, money and energy. Games that keep you entertained without costing you too much (especially at first) can be a great way to spend your time, whether you’re chilling on the couch at home, on the subway home after a long day at work, or waiting at the dentist’s office.
Here are all the hot new iOS games we found ourselves playing this month.
Bloody Finger Jump
Bloody Finger Jump is one of those games that your brain tells you just can’t be a thing even when you’re looking right at it. It’s bizarre, highly skill-based, and it stars a huge cast of severed fingers, some of which wear hats.
Our thrill-seeking digital heroes are jumping on a trampoline (obviously), and your job is to bounce them as high as possible while making them do daring tricks. Basically, that means that you can hold the left side of the screen to make them flip counterclockwise and the right side to make them flip clockwise, and you can throw in some free-falling and combos as you’re able, but the whole point is to make sure that they land right-side up at the bottom, or they’ll go flipping onto the deadly, thorny vines that inexplicably border their bouncy pad.
Developer Sleepless Clinic has two sequels already in the pipe: Bloody Finger Run and Bloody Finger Lift. And I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that those two titles will also be completely flipping bizarre. –Evan Killham
Download Bloody Finger Jump for free.
Super Arc Light
Developer All 4 Games bills its minimalist arcade shooter Super Arc Light as “Super Hexagon meets Geometry Wars,” which is a less direct way of saying that it is as beautiful as it is phone-flingingly difficult.
This one puts your happy little ship on a ring with strict orders not to let any enemies through. The first enemy that touches your precious circle ends the game, and the solution to that is to blow them away. The hook is that your ship is constantly moving, and it changes direction every time you stop firing. So you might end up squeezing off a shot just to send yourself back around to where the enemies are, and then you’ll swing back the way you came after you take care of them. It’s one of those experiences that sounds hard until you try it, and then it’s way tougher than you’d imagined. And that’s a good thing. –Evan Killham
Download Super Arc Light for $0.99.
Ookujira – Giant Whale Rampage
I’m a sucker for any game that lets you play as a whale and destroy a lot of crap, so Ookujira – Giant Whale Rampage was an easy sell for me.
But while that earlier title was more or less a knockoff of the understandably knockoffable Jetpack Joyride, Ookujira manages to do its own thing by having its cetacean star flinging itself across dry land, flopping onto buildings, and destroying evil robots with its mighty tail and general bulk. And why is it up to a whale to do this? Because that’s the last thing those metal bastards would expect.
Ookujira is completely charming. And I’m not just saying that because the whale’s animations and physics really convey the idea that he is doing some stuff that whales just shouldn’t be doing. You feel for the guy; he’s literally out of his element, and he’s doing the best he can to save Earth. For some reason. I don’t know, the game doesn’t really get into that. –Evan Killham
Download Ookujira – Giant Whale Rampage for free.
Good lord, where has all my time gone? Oh, yeah — straight into Supercell’s addictive new arena battler, Clash Royale. It uses the same characters and art style as the developer’s other super-hit, Clash of Clans, as well as the “battle other real people” concept, but from there, the two games are very different. In Clash Royale, you build up a deck of cards containing troops like archers, barbarians, giants, and skeletons, and send them across a tiny battlefield to destroy your opponent’s towers. Of course, your opponent sends the same toward your towers, and you’ll have to engage in a delicate dance that swings between total destruction and defense in order to take out one, two or three of his towers and win the match. Every match you come out on top of gives you Trophies (or “cups,” in the parlance of the many YouTube videos around the game), which then let you match with even better players. The troop cards also can level up via chests and donations from clan members, as well. If you don’t initially “get” it, try again: It took me playing it through a few times, deleting the app, and then re-installing it at the urging of several of my iOS gamer friends to really find my way to the core of the game. Now, I can’t seem to stop playing. —Rob LeFebvre
Download Clash Royale for free
Train Conductor World: European Railway
The childlike joy of playing with trains informs every lush corner of this lovely mobile game from The Voxel Agents. As the third game in the series, Train Conductor World has gotten it all right, from the delightful, whimsical and colorful art style to the old-timey music to the severely satisfying gameplay. It seems simple on paper: all you do is drag different colored trains to the correct track. Drag the blue train from the yellow track to the blue one, and you’ll create a magical new route for the blue train to travel on to get to its destination. Of course, red and yellow trains are also trying to get to the station on time, so you’ll have to route those, as well, and make sure they don’t crash into each other. It’s time-management at its finest, and it all plays out in real time. You’ll earn new tracks with every star you earn, letting you connect new cities with various train-ified levels in each one for continuous challenges, and you’ll be able to remove ads for a one-time $4.99 purchase. Get back to the simple pleasures of trains with this utterly charming mobile title. —Rob LeFebvre