There’s a lot going on right now, and I don’t really feel like trying to write some kind of pithy intro for it. All I’ll say is lots of people have been coming together and helping each other in small ways, and I’m choosing to focus on that as I try to stay safe myself.
One of the ways folks are trying to help are by making their games more affordable, or even free, during this time. Check out my top picks below of some great mobile titles that have gone on sale recently:
Games marked with an asterisk(*) denote that the entire developer/publisher’s catalog is discounted, despite the fact that all of their games may not be listed here.
Oh hi there, and welcome to another edition of our round-up of the very best games that have come out for iPhone and iPad this week. I reckon there might be something for everyone this week, so long as you enjoy dungeons, dragons, hardcore platformers, and making fake people who can't speak kiss.
As ever I've included download links so you can swoop over to the App Store and grab the games lickety split. And if you think we've missed anything, feel free to let us know in the comments section. Make sure you come back next week to see what new treats iOS gaming has to offer too.
Well, The Sims is still a thing. Who knew? This mobile version (which is by no-means the first time The Sims have fit in your pocket) lets you build a house, get a job, buy new furniture, and engage in all the things that you do in real-life. Except without the crushing misery and ennui. Maybe that's just me?
A super-tough platformer that's going to make you want to crush your phone or tablet into dust. But, you know, in a good way. It's super fast, super sharp, and there's a whole bunch of hardcore content here to mash your face up against. It's not for the faint of heart, but if you're looking for a challenge this week, you need look no further.
An auto-runner with a floor-flipping twist. You're not just jumping through a series of minimalist obstacles, you need to change your gravitational orientation too. Make the floor the ceiling and vice-versa, and try and get as far as possible. A simple but pretty darn clever high-score chaser that could be dangerously addictive.
A strategy survival game that sees you building up your own settlement. There's a day-night cycle, horrible weather, and monsters too. A mixture of genres, all presented in a lovely art-style, this one is probably the dark horse of the week. And since we love dark horses here at 148Apps, we're going to say you should pick it up immediately.
A game about adorable monsters. In fact, it's not just about adorable monsters, it's about squishing them together in adorable ways. Imagine a cross between a classic arcade game, a gacha machine, and Pokemon, and you're sort of in the right area. It won't be for everyone, but casual gamers are going to lap this one up.
A soothing puzzler with a pastel art-style that's going to tax your brain more than it taxes your digits. There's a lot going on here, and if you like Sudoku then there's a good chance you're going to like this one. Plus alongside the puzzling there are some amazing landscapes, and it's designed to be played in bus-journey-length snippets.
Another in the increasingly long line of real-time interactive fiction games on the App Store. This one is set in a dystopian world and sees you trying to guide the heroine through a series of tricky situations. It's a super clever way of telling a story, and it's going to have you hooked from the first notification to the last.
A quite frankly wonderful game that involves throwing an enchanted, neon-pink spear into the faces of a barrage of enemies. There are frost giants, pirates, vikings, zombies, and all manner of other ridiculous things to slaughter. On top of all of that, the game is really challenging, and a super fit for mobile.
An RPG that mixes up time periods and styles with aplomb. It's more coherent than the original game, and it throws in a whole bunch of interesting ideas that are going to keep you on your toes. This is clearly a love letter to the JRPG, and while it does have some tongue-in-cheek-humor, everything is created with a lot of heart.
Sliding down the slopes has never been this simple. There are jumps to pull off, trees and rocks to avoid, and coins to collect. It's stylish, it's quick, and while it might not have the complexity of the console games that have clearly inspired it, that makes it all the easier to pick up and play on your mobile phone or tablet.
A game about potatoes. Who are in space. The sort of sequel to Holy Potatoes! A Weapon Shop, this one sees you guiding a spaceship through the universe. It's a strategy management game, but there's a good dollop of laughter here as well. Plus it's full of potatoes, and quite frankly who doesn't love potatoes?
A gorgeous looking side-on brawler with RPG elements. It might not be the most original game on this list, but you can grab it for free, and it's going to make you feel like a legitimate badass when you do. Smash, slash, and bash your way through enormous bosses, toughening up your own unique character as you do.
This one's a platformer that wears its Spelunky inspiration on its sleeve. It might not be as clever as that game, but there's still an awful lot here to like. Jump through a huge series of levels, avoiding dangerous traps and enemies, in order to grab some treasure and get out of the titular temple alive.
You're a UFO. Well, you're a part time UFO. This one's from the developers behind the excellent Kirby games, and sees you completing a variety of different tasks. It's sort of like a crane game you might play in an arcade, but there's an awful lot going on here besides. It's fun, it looks lovely, and it's got a good deal of pedigree behind it.
The big release of the week. This super-slick sequel sees you racing down the side of a mountain. Except this time you're in the desert. There are challenges to complete, tricks to pull off, and plenty more besides. And it looks absolutely incredible.
A fast-paced PvP board game that sees you competing with a bunch of pirates. Build a deck of cards, and battle it out to make your way up the league. It's not super deep, but if you're looking for a casual distraction with a bit of bite then it's well worth checking out.
A slick match-stuff puzzler that plays around with the genre. You're sliding colored blocks around in order to clear them for a grid. Things start off simple, but after a while new mechanics and ideas are dropped in. A really well put together mix of head-scratching and fun.
This one's a choose-your-own-adventure game with a unique and wonderfully miserable art style. Apparently it's a philosophical horror thriller, but I don't want to go into too much detail because the story is definitely the thing here. Macabre and strange, it's not like anything else you've played before.
Another minimalist puzzler, this one's all about cleaning up pucks. With hooks. It might sound simple, but there are some fiendish ideas here that are going to leave you stumped. But stumped in the best possible way.
A super fast endless runner with a garish color scheme and plenty more besides. It's as challenging as it is fun, but if you're a big fan of twitchy classics like Super Hexagon then you're going to love every second you spend with this one.
An SRPG that mixes in elements from roguelikes and other scrappy genres to create something pretty unique. It's deep, it's challenging, and there's a whole heap of game to get your face into here. Face off against the dangers of the world and use your wits and skills to come out victorious.
A story about twentysomething life and love. It's sweet, it's endearing, and while it's short, and you don't really do much in it, it's the sort of game you're going to want to experience. Thoughtful and thought-provoking in all the right ways, don't let the slightly twee aesthetic put you off.
A game about cubes. And death. And moving those cubes. And those cubes dying. From lasers. You can play with a friend or on your own, and the aim of the game is to get through a series of increasingly difficult test chambers. It's far from by-the-numbers, and isn't afraid to play around with the foundations of the genre.
A super-fast arcade game that's all about avoiding a terrifying wave of death. In a way it's a bit like a super-devolved Tiny Wings, albeit with a flipping mechanic that sees you bouncing around both sides of the line that makes up the endless levels. It's fun, and while it's a little forgettable, it'll put a smile on your face.
A gorgeous-looking game about the battle between the light and the dark. Think Badland crossed with Limbo and you're part of the way there. There's a great story, plenty to do, and neat controls that help you guide your little beam of light safely through the encroaching gloom.
A quick-fire space shooter that sees you blasting through bricks. The twist is that those bricks have numbers on them. You need to shoot them the right amount of times in order to destroy them. Hit a brick, or one of the other obstacles in your path, and it's game over.
This one's a completely barmy take on Flappy Bird. There are a lot of flashing lights, an quite often it feels like the game is shouting at you for no reason. Collect things, avoid other things, wonder what on earth is going on. It might not be the most original game, but it's worth playing for a glimpse into something like madness.
What would happen if you mashed together a racer and an idle clicker? Nitro Racing GO would happen. Tapping the screen speeds up your vehicle, and you need to upgrade your parts to win races. It's a little over complicated in places, but it's a neat twist on the genre all the same.
This one doesn't really need an introduction. It's a squished down version of the latest main canon Final Fantasy story. And it works surprisingly well. There are a few tweaks here and there to make things more mobile-shape, but if you've not played the game before this is a brilliant place to start.
A super slick arcade metroidvania adventure with a control scheme that's brilliant for mobile. Bounce around levels solving simple puzzles, taking down monsters, and generally having a lovely old time. Oh, and it looks ruddy marvellous as well.
Dogs love bones and dogs love digging. In this intriguing platformer you're a dog that's digging for bones. And when you get a bone you turn into some sort of super dog and fly through the level. It's silly, but there's a decent level of challenge here when you get to the tougher sections.
What happens to all the weapon shop owners when the RPG adventurers are off on their quests? Well, this game sort of answers that question. You're running an emporium, and you need to make sure your customers are well stocked. Craft weapons, steal things from monsters, and try and make enough money to pay your staff.
A dystopian text adventure that sees you trying to solve a murder. Read through the clues, solve puzzles, and try and figure out whodunnit. Probably more importantly though, try and figure out why they've done it. If you like your games to have a strong narrative drive, then this is going to be right up your street.
An endless tapper that sees you trying to bring light back to a fantasy world. You've got a bunch of fairies at your beck and call, as well as a host of animals that join you're crusade once you've freed them. It's sort of twee, but tapper fans are going to love the surprising depth that Light A Way offers.
A two-thumb tapper that sees you guiding a squid through a series of underwater obstacles. It's the sort of short, sharp experience you're going to load up on the bus to work. It might not have the depth or staying power of some of the other games on this list, but as a brief distraction it's pretty hard to beat.
A sort of tie-in with the multiplayer console rumbler. This one's much more of a traditional Final Fantasy game. Turn-based battles, summons to find, and plenty more. Plus it's full to the brim with characters from the series. If you're in to that sort of thing.
The sequel to a sharp getaway racer. This one feels more like Crazy Taxi. You're driving from A to B, trying to get away from the cops on your tail. The more robberies and drop offs you make, the more money gets into your bank account. A lot of fun in small bursts.
A third-person cover based shooter that takes a good deal of its cues from that super popular game known as Overwatch. It looks great, there's plenty of blasting to do, and you're going to have a ball mowing down your foes.
This one's all about finding your little dog creature. It's been kidnapped. To get it back you need to change levels by sliding the scenery up and down. You might need to chop down a tree, but you're going to want an axe for that. Fun, and so full of heart it's almost a donor organ delivery van.
A game set in Africa that sees you trying to get water for your family. It's a really interesting idea, and there's a lot of enjoyment to be had here. It's also the sort of game that's going to make you think, and it often feels like we need more of those.
I like this one just for the pun. You're a giant alien space caterpillar and you need to devour planets in order to sate your hunger. It's a simple game of eating and not dying, but there are jokes galore and a simple rhythm of play that makes things more fun than they maybe should be.
A sports game. But instead of jumping around, you're firing guns. Guns that are attached to your feet. It's super ridiculous in the best sort of way, and while it's not as challenging as some of the other physics-based people flingers, there's still a lot here to get your teeth into. If you haven't shot them out.
The fourth game in The Room series is a brilliant return to the gothic world of the first three. It's dark, it's mysterious, it filled to the brim with incredible puzzles, and it looks absolutely astounding. Play with a doll's house, find out the mysteries that lie within, and have an amazing time doing it.
A roguelike in card form. It's sort of like Tinder meets Card Crawl with a few extra bits and bobs thrown in for good measure. The art style is awesome, and there's a chunky replayability that can turn a quick go into a bleary-eyed four hour session. If you like cards and battling funny monsters, it's well worth a look.
I'm not sure what sort of crazed minds made Thumper, but it's a spectacular dash and smash auto-runner that feels like what might have happened if Rez was developed by a group of people with even less regard for the safety of your eyes. Searingly bright, wonderfully esoteric, and thumping in all the right ways.
Pants. Adventures. Fanciness. This game has all of those things and more. It's a fast-paced platformer that doesn't mess around. The physics are intriguingly floaty, and there's a breathlessness to the whole thing that sets it apart from the clunky retro leapers we've been seeing a lot of lately.
The second episode of this choose-your-own-adventure series is just as smart and good looking as the first. Stepping into the Out There world is always an entertainingly odd time, and this is no exception. Make choices, gawp at the incredible art, and see what an uncaring universe has in store for you.
This one's a puzzle game about four different cubes. They can only move in set ways, so you need to combine them, and use the panels on the grid that change their behaviour, in order to get them to the exit. It's not the sort of thing you should be playing when you're sleep deprived, but it's definitely going to get you thinking.
I love both slime and pizza, so it's fair to say that this game is relevant to my interests. The fact that it's a Nitrome game is just the vegan pepperoni on top of the slimy pizza. Twang around levels, dodge spikes, and try and make sure an angry cat police officer doesn't manage to get its fangs into you. Yes, it's just as bonkers as all of that sounds.
A surprisingly fast-paced tactical battler. Build up a team of monsters then take part in sharp little strategic fights. It's bright, it's fun, and there's enough going on here that you can look past that frankly terrible name.
Well, it's that time of the week. You know what I mean. You know exactly what I mean. It's the time of the week when we take a look at the best games that have landed on the App Store over the past seven days. And there are some real doozies here.
After a slightly barren start to the year, the App Store is filling up nicely with new adventures for us to embark on. Quite frankly, that can only be a good thing if you ask me. We've included links to download the games below, because we're good like that.
A hardcore, top-down, cyberpunk shooter that sees you stomping around a neon city, blasting all the criminal scum. You're essentially playing as a super robot cop, and you can enhance your abilities as you go.
The sequel to a brilliant rhythm action game. It's wonderfully well put together, and it plays like a dream. Throw in a cool art-style and more than your average dollop of swagger, and you've got the sort of thing you're going to have stuck on your homescreen for a good long while.
Remember World of Tanks Blitz? Well this is sort of like that, except rather than tanks you're controlling boats. Take to the high seas, unlock new battleships, and try and blast the other team out of the water. About as fun and slick as multiplayer shooters get on iOS.
A wonderful game of cards, tactics, and gorgeous cartoon graphics. Build up your squad of characters, spells, and weapons, then head online and take down anyone standing in your way. It's sharp, it's fun, and it's dangerously addictive.
I don't think I've ever seen a game about a firecracker before. Certainly not one that's a gorgeous looking platformer. Wander around amazing-looking environments, all the while slightly terrified that you're going to explode.
Cats and Game Boy-style graphics are really just a recipe for overwhelming cuteness. This one owes a lot to classic RPGs, and sees you controlling a pudgy feline who's working his way through 129 levels to make his master happy again. No, I'm not crying, you're crying.
This one already came out, but the developer has now taken over the publishing rights and re-released the game. It's a super slick 2D fighter that's probably going to make your eyeballs fall out. But, you know, in a good way.
PAKO 2’s stylish crime action can get really overwhelming really quickly, so much so that it can be hard to understand what you need to do to get better. Don’t fret though, we have some tips to help you be a more effective wheelman:
Spend your money right
Between rounds of PAKO 2, you’ll be banking cash that you can then spend to unlock new cars and levels. Although you might be tempted to spend this cash on whatever the next thing you can afford is, you’d be better off not doing so. You can earn a lot more cash more quickly in PAKO 2 if you save to buy the Misty Fields level and a fast car as your first purchases. Misty Fields is an easy level with no cliffs, and cruising around that level as fast as possible will let you earn tons of cash really quickly.
Once you’ve banked a bunch of cash and want to start buying other vehicles in PAKO 2, it’s important to know what you’re buying. Each car comes with its own weapon with it, and they operate pretty differently. Here’s how the guns compare to each other:
Pistol: Your standard weapon. Shoots at a standard semi-auto rate. Consistent, but not particularly fast.
Heavy Pistol: Shoots like the regular pistol, though a little slower, but a lot more powerful. Is prone to miss. Not recommended.
Shotgun: Shoots slightly slower than the pistol, but in a spread. Most shots from the shotgun take out cars in one hit.
Submachine Gun: Shoots very quickly. Takes down cars extremely easily. Probably the most powerful gun in the game.
Grenades: These only come on the Roadking, the most expensive car in the game. Grenades can do splash damage and take out cars in one hit. They can be really slow sometimes though and doesn’t feel as consistent at the submachine gun.
Speed is key
In PAKO 2, your effectiveness is rated solely by your ability to get people from one point to another quickly. Don’t worry about using roads or bumping into things occasionally, as long as none of those things slow you down. Speedy deliveries grant you a higher score and additional cash to spend at the end of a round, whereas taking a slow and steady approach may get you a longer play session, but very little to show for it.
Don’t get stuck
Once you get a hang of PAKO 2’s controls, there are very few situations where the police will be able to end your run by themselves. As long as you are staying ahead of them and not hitting other vehicles, they might tail you, but rarely will they be able to knock you too off course. If you don’t do this though, it’s very easy for the cops to take you out. Getting stuck in corners, or even just running into too many things and losing speed are the real dangers in PAKO 2. A lack of momentum lets the police pile up and overwhelm your vehicle, so as long as you’re a smooth operator, you can usually prolong your run for quite a while.