iPhone apps to turn you into a gaming junkie

Jan 6, 2010
Games

Like most casual gamers, I tend to purchase iPhone games that are cheap, simple, and have replay value. Here is a list of the most addictive games you will find as iPhone apps. Well, at least the ones I couldn’t stop playing before writing this.  Picks for most addictive casual game of the year One […]

Like most casual gamers, I tend to purchase iPhone games that are cheap, simple, and have replay value. Here is a list of the most addictive games you will find as iPhone apps. Well, at least the ones I couldn’t stop playing before writing this. 

Picks for most addictive casual game of the year

One of my roommates is addicted to the Xbox 360 version of the puzzle game Peggle ($1.99 – on sale until January 8, 2010) and he plays it often. I almost staged an intervention until I downloaded it onto my iPhone. This game is so addicting it should be illegal. Seriously, Peggle Prohibition might be the only way to stop me from being entirely dependent on the app’s excellent gameplay and delicious sounds. With the guidance of 10 mentors, a gun that shoots marble balls, and a mix of unique power-ups, your objective is to gun down the orange-colored pegs and rack up as many points as possible. Once you meet the goal you are rewarded with fireworks, slow-motion, and a rendition of “Ode to Joy.” 

MiniSquadron (99 cents) by MrFungFung is yet another iPhone app that uses background music of the classical persuasion (Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, Mozart, and others) for each level. In this airborne plane-shooter, you dogfight with waves of fighter planes above jungles, oceans, and cityscapes. At first the plane selection is limited, but you unlock more by reaching predetermined point totals. This game also boasts wonderful gameplay and the easy controls that make maneuvering your aircraft around enemy fire, missiles, cluster bombs, and laser beams, less frustrating than traditional flying games. Side note: I made it my ultimate goal to unlock every fighter plane and did so in one week. MiniSquadron was updated on December 30, which included OpenFeint Leaderboard support.

Honorable Mention: Ragdoll Blaster – A Physics Puzzler

iPhone games that I can put down whenever I want…

Continuing our flying theme is Airport Mania: First Flight (99 cents), a great multitasking game in which you handle cartoon airplanes, managing all of the airport’s duties: take-offs and landings, fueling and repairs, paint jobs, and of course loading and unloading passengers. This game is great for road trips, commuting (by train or bus), or just for the sheer fun of winning in-game trophies for your airport’s excellent service. Speaking of which, when Air Force One needs to land at your airport, I recommend making it your first priority. You wouldn’t want to make the President mad, would you?

Bloons (99 cents), from Digital Goldfish Ltd., is a challenging skill game that requires accuracy, quick reflexes, and at times a decent amount of patience. It is based on the popular online Flash game of the same name. In Bloons, you are a dart-wielding monkey that must pop a specific number of balloons to move on to the next level. As the set-ups become more elaborate and difficult, so will your addiction. Another great installment to the Bloons franchise is Bloons Tower Defense ($2.99). In this game, you set up towers, operated by monkeys, that fire specialty weapons at balloons as they pass along the track. Like most tower defense games, the goal is to stop the creeps (in this case, balloons) from making it to end of the track, so place your towers wisely! Bloons TD’s use of style, design, unique weaponry, and a kid-friendly approach sets it apart from other games in this genre.

Honorable Mention: Wild West Pinball, Globall

Best gaming experience of the year

I was completely blown away by Spider: The Secret of Bryce Manor ($2.99), developed by Tiger Style, because it is the total package. This game boasts intuitive controls, authentic gameplay, a riveting background story, and great utilization of the iPhone as a gaming platform. At no point does it come off as a game limited by touch controls; it rather thrives on them. In this game, you are a spider, and your goal is spin webs and catch bugs for sustenance. This game’s cool factor increased as I unraveled the mysteries that envelop Bryce Manor by discovering secret areas and subtle clues. If you want to test out a portion of this game before purchasing, check out Spider: Hornet Smash (Free). As the spider in this promotional game you have to tackle as many hornets as you can while avoiding their stingers. However, it isn’t as fulfilling as the full version.

Honorable Mention: Flight ControlStar Defense

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Stephen Danos

Stephen Danos is the Associate Editor for appoLearning.com, AndroidApps.com, and Appolicious. He has contributed to articles published on TechCrunchThe Chicago Sun TimesThe Chicago Tribune, and elsewhere.

He received his BA in English from the University of Iowa and MFA in Creative Writing from Columbia College Chicago. He is the author of two poetry chapbooks, Playhouse State (H_NGM_N Books, 2012) and Gravitational (The New Megaphone, forthcoming).

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