In the season of social distancing, there’s nothing better than staying at home and playing games, assuming that you have some time to spare from your work. However, not everyone owns a PC or game console. But we all own a smartphone these days, and it can run games as well.
For those using an iPhone or iPad, the Apple App Store offers thousands of playable titles. In fact, the number goes far beyond thousands, given that there are 2.2 million apps on the App Store, according to recent reports.
Although these numbers speak volumes, it’s not that easy to find the best games for iOS. Considering that only a couple of hundreds of games ever hit the App Store’s featured page, there are plenty of underrated options that everyone should give a try.
Every month, we cover some of the best iOS games to save you from the burden of scrolling through the vast list of titles on the App Store. September is no exception in that regard, and you should take a look at our picks for the top five best iOS games below.
1. Thumper: Pocket Edition
Initially released for PC and game consoles back in 2016, action rhythm game Thumper made its way to iOS and Android devices last year. Its psychedelic visuals are mesmerizing, and it has an epic soundtrack that hooks players up for hours.
It’s a fast-paced rhythm game, where you control a silver space beetle. You travel down a narrow pathway at a blistering speed, which is colorful and hypnotic. All you have to do is tap or swipe the screen to avoid obstacles and use attack moves to defeat the powerful creatures in boss battles. You can also speed up by collecting power-ups on the way.
Thumper: Pocket Edition has nine levels, each having unique boss battles, obstacles, pathways, and pounding soundtracks. The game keeps you engaged during the whole playthrough, and you have no time to make decisions. It doesn’t matter whether you have godlike reflexes or fast fingers; achieving a flawless level completion is quite tricky. The game also features a Play+ mode, with increases the travel speed and toughens the challenges.
Thumper: Pocket Edition offers a smooth 60 FPS gameplay on iPhones, and you can play it in either portrait or landscape mode. On the iPad Pro models, you can play the game in up to 120 FPS. It has iCloud integration, meaning that you can play Thumper across your Apple devices without losing progress.
ChatMasters is a casual arcade-style game for iPhone devices. It lets you challenge other players to a word-battle league. The game will let you select a character that closely resembles real-world influentials and iconic characters from popular culture. You can then choose a league where you have to fight against your opponents to a battle of words.
The gameplay is straightforward to understand. The chat bubbles on the left side have your messages, whereas the chat bubbles on the right have your opponent’s messages. The messages can be either text or stickers, and you can exchange both positive and negative words. All you have to do is delay the fall of Emoticon, which stops for a while on your positive messages (labeled as green) and your opponent’s negative messages (marked as red). While the Emoticon is rolling on a positive chat bubble on your side, you can tap it to farm likes. Make sure to avoid touching the negative ones on your side or positive ones on your opponent’s side. Otherwise, you will lose your likes, and they will be given to your opponent.
As you make progress, the conversation speed will increase, and you will have less time to collect likes and outrun your opponent. When you win the argument, you get the option to upgrade your character and add the defeated characters to your collection. It includes Blogger Girl, Fan Warrior, Nuclear Guy, Plush Shark, Fashion Granny, Mad Cook, etc.
You also have to make sure that the Emoticon doesn’t stay at the top of the conversation screen for a long time, and keep it from falling to the bottom of the chat bubbles. Else, the game round will end.
ChatMasters has several leagues to offer, each having a unique theme and set of characters. The examples include the BadGuy League, Comics League, Chicken League, Unicorn League, etc. You also can compete against your friends and family members for the top rank on the leaderboard.
You can unlock all the characters in the game just by making progress. ChatMasters is a $3.99 game, but it doesn’t have in-game microtransactions. The devs have planned to make the game free-to-play in the near future as well.
With over 40 million players across all platforms, Brawlhalla is a free-to-play platform fighting game that has recently made its way to iOS devices. Thanks to its superior cross-platform compatibility, you can play with your friends on any platform, whether it’s PlayStation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch, PC, or Android.
You can play against other others in 1v1 and 2v2 Ranked matches or 4-player Free-for-All casual games. When you play on Ranked matches, you are matchmade with players similar to your skill level. You can reach Platinum and beyond once you get good with your combo skills and character movements.
You and up to seven of your friends can join custom rooms, and get to choose from a huge variety of game modes and team divisions. Game modes like Brawlball, Kung-Foot, Bombsketball, Dodgebomb, Beachbrawl, Snowbrawl, Switchcraft, Water Balloon Fight, KO Mania, Ghostbrawl, Capture the Flag, etc. In fact, the game has several unique maps to offer.
Brawlhalla has over 50 unique characters, with unique fight combos and weapon choices. Since there are so many characters, you can go to the Training Room and practice the combos and fight-chains inside. You also get an extensive view of the hitboxes and frame data.
In case you are not interested in multiplayer, you can always play the single-play tournament mode. You may also join brawl-of-the-week games and make your way to the top of the leaderboards. Since Brawlhalla has regional game servers, you can have low ping and participate in competitive brawls.
Since Brawlhalla is a cross-platform game, you can connect a Bluetooth keyboard or a controller to your iPhone or iPad for a better experience. The touch controls are decent, but you may not keep up with players on other platforms.
You can download Brawlhalla from the App Store for free. You can grind for gold by playing any of the online modes and unlock the characters. They give you zero pay-to-win advantages, and you can play with eight characters every week in case you choose not to spend real money on the “All Legends Pack” to unlock every in-game character.
4. Retro Highway
Retro Highway is an old-school homage to one of the best-selling SEGA games, OutRun. The game shares the same pixel-art aesthetics and a nostalgic chiptune soundtrack. It’s a classic arcade-style racing game that lets players race for as long as possible, as well as collect coins on the way. All you have to do is avoid collision with oncoming cars and trucks, hit the ramps on time, fly over vehicles, and land on their roofs for bonus coins.
In every run, you will be given three objectives to complete. As you complete those objectives, new race locations will be unlocked. You can also use the coins to unlock 10+ new bikes and upgrade your special power-ups.
Similar to most other free mobile games, Retro Highway has in-game advertisements. However, you can disable them with a one-time payment of $1.99. Furthermore, there are in-game coin bundles that you can purchase with real money.
5. Flight Simulator 0
Although you can’t play the newest Flight Simulator from Microsoft on your iOS device anytime soon, perhaps give Flight Simulator 0 a try. It’s all about giving you the feeling of flying, letting you steer a paper plane over a low-poly 3D abstract landscape.
You will discover runways in 26 different locations, some on the lake shores, and others behind the sharp mountains. The game also has a continuous day-night cycle, alongside dynamic weather that may change your flight path.
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