The Apple App Store is known for its quality selection of games. If you have an iPhone or iPad, it’s pretty much the only place you would download games from.
There are hundreds of thousands of game listings on the App Store, which grows big every day. In the process, many older and newer games go under the radar as they don’t show up in the App Store’s featured list of games.
We do our best to showcase five of such underrated titles every month so that you don’t miss out on the hidden gems of the App Store. The following list covers our selections of the best iOS games for January 2021. You will the App Store links below every game that we have discussed in detail.
1. Death Road to Canada
Death Road to Canada is a rogue-like zombie survival game where you must manage a dysfunctional squad of random characters on a hazardous journey to the safe nation of Canada. Along the way, you explore cities for supplies, stumble upon weird people, and make your way through hundreds of zombies to safety.
From the locations to the events to the survivor’s characteristics and personalities, everything in Death Road to Canada is randomly generated. It makes up for a unique experience in every playthrough. You can either randomly generate your character and squad members or manually create the starting characters with different perks to increase their chances of staying alive. Apart from that, you can recruit special characters during your playthrough.
The events of the story change depending on your survival team and their personalities. Your choices throughout the playthrough also have a major impact on how the story ends. The randomly generated locations are filled with secret events, rare encounters, and unique recruits. You can equip a variety of weapons to wipe out several zombie hordes in seconds, including battleaxe, flamethrower, boomerang, hockey stick, wizard staff, Mjolnir, and more.
Since its release in 2017, Death Road to Canada has received numerous updates and content expansions. It has a co-op multiplayer mode, and you can play the game with supported MFi controllers. The on-screen touch controls take some time to get used to, but it’s all right. Additionally, you get to unlock ten different game modes.
2. Sword of Xolan
Similar to most platformers from the 80s and 90s, Sword of Xolan has a story that adds nothing but a bare minimum cohesion to the experience. The action-platformer puts you in the shoes of a young and brave man named Xolan, who has dedicated his life to fighting for justice against the darkness. It’s upon him to bring back the peace that once was.
With 30 story levels, three boss fights, and nine time-based challenge zones, Sword of Xolan proves to be a solid time-killer. It has all the familiar tropes you would expect from a platformer, including a variety of patrolling mobs and dangerous spikes. You can fight off the zombies, giants, and flying creatures with the sword and spell-casting. As you go through the levels, you unlock ten game cards to upgrade Xolan’s abilities.
One of the best parts about Sword of Xolan is the intuitive on-screen touch controls. Every jump and sword swings feel responsive, so do the tighter movements. You can customize the touch controls to your preference or play the game with a controller. The retro pixel art makes use of vibrant colors, which look great on iPhone and iPad screens.
3. GWENT: The Witcher Card Game
If you have The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt on PC or console before, you probably are familiar with Gwent, a turn-based card mini-game inspired by Condottiere. After receiving an incredible amount of positive feedback from the fanbase, CD Projekt Red eventually released Gwent as a standalone game for mobile devices, with mesmerizing visuals and competitive online matchmaking.
Like most other card games, Gwent involves a lot of strategies. You have to pay attention to your cards, the spells and abilities, and the placements of the cards. Not to mention, the game always requires your utmost attention to track your opponent’s moves.
In a Gwent match, each player gets to play one card each turn from a chosen deck of at least 25 cards. You can redraw up to three cards. A round is concluded when you get the highest score, which is added by the value of the cards you choose to play. Select cards come with unique abilities that you can use to gain an advantage over your opponent. Whoever wins two out of three rounds is declared the winner of the match. Of course, you will have to try the game yourself to learn more about card play and turn-based mechanics.
Gwent: The Witcher Card Game is one of the best free-to-play digital card games. It does rely on microtransactions like every other F2P game, but you can enjoy the game without spending real money on it. The iOS version of Gwent supports cross-play with Android and PC players, which is excellent considering its competitive PvP nature.
4. Windy Slider
Windy Slider is a physics-based racing game that plays like a racing game, but it can’t simply be put into just one genre. The physics on the in-game characters applies similarly to how it’s on Fall Guys, making it more challenging for the players to win the races.
The gameplay mechanics of Windy Slider is straightforward. All you have to do is hold the screen to accelerate and let go to jump. However, you will have to line up the trajectory with slopes to build up your momentum and carefully land on the track. Obstructions like boxes, spinners, and rails on the way will stop you from making progress. The camera view is intentionally set up in a particular way so that you can’t see the obstacles.
Windy Slider doesn’t have any multiplayer. Despite that, you can still enjoy playing with the AI. By finishing the races, you get points as rewards that you can use to unlock new paint trails.
Surprisingly, Windy Slider is one of the very few free-to-play games that doesn’t bombard players with advertisements and in-app purchases. The game is meant to be played on the iPad’s bigger screen, but it’s equally enjoyable on an iPhone.
5. Super Dangerous Dungeons
Super Dangerous Dungeons is a remake of a flash game of the same name, except the “Super” part added to indicate how it resembles a Super NES platformer. The pixelated art style and solid color sprites are something you would see on 16-bit retro consoles. The same can be said for the soundtrack, inspired by the games from the SNES era.
You play as Timmy, the best treasure hunter in the world, on a journey to discover a huge treasure underground. You have to make your way through the dungeons full of puzzles and traps, as well as avoid pits, spikes, and other deadly dangers lurking in the shadow.
The game has over 60 unique levels, with challenging boss fights and secret zones. It also has a time trial mode with leaderboards. Furthermore, there are dozens of achievements to unlock. The on-screen touch controls are easy to use. In addition, the game is compatible with MFi controllers.
If you are a fan of mobile platformers, Super Dangerous Dungeons is a must-play. It’s free to install on the App Store. You can remove the in-game advertisements with a one-time payment of $1.99 only.