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Because I'm a genuinely nice guy who loves to save other peoples' hard-earned time and money (yeah, right), I've decided to compile a list of the "best" games on the iTunes marketplace. Keep in mind, most of these games AREN'T free. They'll set you back at least a couple of bucks each. That said, if you're looking for some fun on the go, and you don't have a handheld system, these are the go-to games. I'm leaving out the most obvious choices: Peggle, Plants Vs. Zombies, and Angry Birds, in favor of a few lesser-known but equally good games. I also left off games like N.O.V.A. and Modern Combat, for being ripoffs of far better games, and for the sweatshop conditions employees of Gameloft allegedly endure.
Infinity Blade 1 and 2
Look, if you haven't heard of Infinity Blade by now, you're missing out. If you mash fantasy, rpg, exploration, a hint of puzzle-solving, a touch of fighting game, and Fruit Ninja together with the graphics of the Witcher 2, you'll end up with Infinity Blade. This game is epic. I put EASILY 40+ hours into the first one alone. Just buy it, at least the original. You won't regret it.
Ascenscion: Chronicle of the Godslayer
I've never been big into trading card games, or even card games in general. All the same, Ascenscion dragged me in. It's fast-paced--a game only lasts about five to ten minutes--easy to learn--if I can grasp it, anyone can--and pretty dang fun. From what I know of card games, I'd call Ascenscion a combination of Yu-Gi-Oh, Pokemon, and Magic, but without the flaws of each. Easily the best card game on the iTunes store.
So, umm... You steal a jetpack and fly it through a never-ending (I think) labratory. Yeah. That's the plot. But Jetpack Joyride is FUN. You know the bike section of Battletoads? Think that, only marginally easier, with better graphics, and less cursing. And, Jetpack Joyride is FREE! You have no excuse.
I'm not sure how to describe Mage Gauntlet. I think the proper term is "roguelike" but I'm not certain. Oh well. It's fun. The graphics are good, in a retro pixelley sort of way, the controls are as good as you're going to find on the iPhone, and, well... You run around, smashing things with magic and your staff (no, that's not a euphemism. Your character is female.). Sometimes, you smash BIGGER things with magic. Yup. That's about it.
Does anybody miss DOS? Personally, I hate it, but for some reason, Hack's use of DOS-like hacking commands is really addictive. There's a lot of trial and error (and some memorization) involved, but something keeps dragging me back. The best part? Most of the Hack games are free!
Shift 1 and 2
Shift is the Portal of the iPhone. Until such time as Valve almighty releases a handheld version of Portal, this will do. Shift, as a sidescroller, focuses more on platforming, but many of its puzzles were just as challenging as anything in Portal. Shift is stark black and white, but that's awesome. The only place I feel Shift stumbles is in its attempts to mimic GlaDOS. Such blasphemy cannot be tolerated. Other than that, awesome game. Worth the 99 cents.
As of right now, this is iPhone Legend of Zelda. Top-down view, puzzles, combat...all of it could be plucked straight from LoZ. The main difference? Two characters, who you can swap at will, and who have different powers--one magical, one military. The graphics in Across Age are amazing. I feel like I'm playing a lost Super Nintendo game that was resurrected in iOS form. Oh, yeah, and the conversation images for some of the characters would make Dead or Alive: Paradise characters blush.
Do you like Warhammer 40K? Did you play Squad Command and come away disappointed, longing for what might have been? Well, Hunters is for you. A top-down, squad-sized, turn-based strategy game, without the flaws plagueing Squad Command, Hunters is another game that sucked in hours that I should have spent sleeping. Hunters isn't for everyone, though. If you like constant action, dislike strategy, and get annoyed by the occasional cheap shot, steer clear.
Did I miss something? (No. I'm the avatar of Chaos. I cannot make mistakes...) Let me know! If I missed a game, I'll be glad to add it to the list, and give you credit for telling me about it. Anyway, happy playing, and remember to draw your Elder Signs!