There's no escaping the fact that everyone loves Dark Souls. If you've not heard of it, it's a super tough action RPG that punished your every mistake with swift retribution. It's the sort of game where you die a lot, and it can be pretty intimidating trying to get on board with the systems it throws at you.
But you can't play it on your iPhone. Well, there's Slashy Souls, but to be honest the less said about that the better. If you're looking to get some Souls-style action on the go though, there are plenty of options waiting for you on the App Store.
Rather than leaving you to find all of them for yourself though, we thought we'd do a list and round-up what we think are the five best games like Dark Souls for iOS. If you think we're wrong, or you've got your own suggestions to chuck into the mix, let us know in the comments at the bottom of the article.
And while we're at it, why not click here and check out all the other awesome lists we've created for your viewing pleasure. Right then, on with the games.
The clue's in the name with this one. Wayward Souls sees you ploughing your way through a series of massive dungeons. Every room is filled with traps, monsters, and other challenges that you need to get past. And you won't get past them. You will die. A lot.
Unlike Dark Souls, Wayward Souls generates a different dungeon every time you play, so it's less a case of figuring out what's where and how to defeat it, than trying to be ready for anything the game spits out at you. If you've not played this one yet, then you really should grab it ASAP.
Another dungeon crawler, but this time with a different take on the genre. It's fast and fluid, owing as much to Bayonetta and its ilk as it does to the more cumbersome and measured combat that the Souls games has to offer.
But it looks amazing, and there's a depth here that simpler action games never manage to reach. It's brighter and more welcoming than Dark Souls, but if you want to become a master of all the moves and combos, you're going to have to put a lot of work in.
10Birds as a developer has really gone after bringing Dark Souls to mobile. For me, Animus - Harbinger Unpacked is their best crack at it. This is a third-person action game with a focus on boss encounters, and it’s completely unencumbered by microtransactions or other free-to-play mechanics.
It also happens to have controller support, which can bring you pretty close to feeling like you’re playing a fully-fledged Souls game on your phone or tablet. I wouldn’t say it’s a terribly complicated game, but it gets the basics of what makes a game like Dark Souls work (i.e. deliberate combat, poise mechanics, high difficulty, lots of dying, inscrutible narrative, etc.).
Grimvalor ($6.99) (NEW)
If you’re only going to try one game from this list, make it Grimvalor. Although it strays from the Souls blueprint considerably, the ways in which it does solidify its status as one of the best action games on iOS.
This side-scroller finds success by cribbing the deliberate combat model that has been hallmark of FromSoftware’s celebrated series and giving it a speed boost. To help keep up with the action, Grimvalor touts ultra-responsive controls that work well both using touch and a controller. This formula gels really well with the exploration-based structure to make for a game that feels like Souls-meets-Castlevania.
For the Apple Arcade subscriber, the best Souls-like experience you can have is with Bleak Sword. This monochromatic arena combat game looks like it shouldn't work--with its portrait-only display and tap/swipe-based controls--but it does.
In fact, it probably has some of the best touch controls for a combat-oriented game ever. What's also great about this title is that each of its levels are small, self-contained dioramas of enemies that you can cut down in a minute or two. This makes Bleak Sword an excellent pick if you want quick bursts of Dark Souls action as opposed to a longer, more involved experience.