The best shooters on iOS

Posted by Campbell Bird on March 19th, 2019

In case you missed it yesterday, Tencent and Activision announced they are putting out a new Call of Duty game for mobile. While details are pretty scant, they did put out a trailer (see above) and have a page where you can pre-register for the game, which might give you in-game rewards when the game actually launches.

Based on what's shown in the trailer, it looks to be a no-nonsense attempt to shoehorn every facet of mainline CoD games into a mobile package, which could be good. Though personally, I have my doubts. There are already precious few first-person shooters on mobile that are any good at all. Many of the best ones, like Call of Duty: Strike Force, have disappeared off the App Store completely. Meanwhile, things like Modern Combat 5 persist, which is a prime example of how to faithfully recreate the feeling of a big budget shooter on mobile while also leaning heavily into every worst tendency of free-to-play mobile design.

In light of all this news and speculation, I decided to dig back into our archives here and pull up a list of the best shooters on mobile. Many of these are not first-person shooters, mind you (as most of the good ones of those are gone), but they can still scratch your shooter fix while we all wait and see if Call of Duty Mobile is any good or not.

The Bug Butcher - download for iOS

The Bug Butcher is a fast-paced 2-D shooter that resembles a mix of Alien Hominid and Super Buster Bros. Between its fantastic animations, crazy challenge, and variety, The Bug Butcher offers up a lot to like.”

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Paladins Strike - download for iOS

“Despite being a mobile version of an Overwatch derivative, Paladins Strike actually feels like it offers a unique and compelling experience on mobile. It strikes an interesting balance between hero shooter and MOBA that makes it feel at once like light arcade fun and a deep tactics game without really feeling too watered down in either category. This achievement alone makes it worth checking out, and the slick presentation of Paladins Strike makes it all the more compelling.”

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Time Recoil - download for iOS

Time Recoil gets high marks purely because of how inventive its levels are and how well the game controls. The time-slowing mechanics here aren’t necessarily revolutionary, and the game’s story is pretty bland, but the way Time Recoil builds around these conceits while controlling like a dream makes it a fantastic follow up to Neon Chrome, and an amazing dual-stick shooter in its own right.”

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Space Marshals 2 - download for iOS

“If you haven't already played Space Marshals, you probably should. Its mix of stealth action with dual-stick shooting is downright awesome. With Space Marshals 2, it seems like Pixelbite decided they shouldn't really mess with their formula too much. Most of this new Space Marshals game looks and plays like its predecessor, but that's totally okay. Space Marshals 2 is a fantastic sequel.”

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Hitman: Sniper - download for iOS

“Aiming and shooting within a single environment avoids being bland because Hitman: Sniper has a lot of variety packed into its details. The leaderboard system, unlock tree, and mission structure all keep things interesting. Though the single level could be a sticking point, having one environment allows players to get better at the game, which makes the leaderboards more interesting and - more importantly - lets players feel more like Agent 47 each time they play.”

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