And this month's best new iOS games are...
It'd be an understatement to say that the Apple App Store is a big place - there are thousands of new titles hitting its digital shelves each and every week.
It's an unprecedented situation that often results in great games being overlooked, buried under a mountain of soulless endless runners, tepid Candy Crush clones, and uninspired MMOs.
With that in mind, we want to shine a spotlight on those games fighting the good fight. Here are this month's most interesting new releases.
Deus Ex Go (£3.99)
As you'd expect, Deus Ex Go is just as gorgeous as its forebears, with the series' augmented, angular cyberpunk world proving the perfect partner for Go's signature isometric trappings.
The game isn't just a pretty face, mind. Square has packed in a lot of bang for not much buck, and for £3.99 you'll get your mitts on over 50 narrative-driven levels, with more added every weekday as part of a live content program. Win-win.
Riptide GP: Renegade (£2.29)
If you like your racers filled with obscene amounts of stunts, jumps, and gravity defying vehicles, then I think we're in business.
The tale of an outcast hydrojet racer — think jet ski racing on steroids — framed and kicked out of the Riptide GP league, the story is, well, it's not what you care about, is it?
What you want is a deep career mode, lightning fast gameplay, responsive controls, online multiplayer, arcade-style tracks, and spectacular visuals. As luck would have it, Riptide delivers all of that, and then some.
Space Marshals 2 (£4.49)
Space crime doesn't pay. At least, not when the Space Marshals are about, so it's a good thing they're back for a sequel.
While it might deliver more of the same high-calibre, top-down gunslingin' action, Space Marshals 2 isn't just a carbon copy of the original with reworked missions.
Instead, developer Pixelbite has made a true sequel, bringing new stealth mechanics, improved graphics, ragdoll physics, fresh environments, and all-new enemies to the sci-fi frontier you already know and love.
Enyo might be a adventure game centred around an ancient war goddess tasked with recovering three legendary artefacts, but God of War this ain't.
Rather than thrusting you into the shoes - erm, sandals - of a Greek god and asking you to stab, chop, and gouge your way to victory, in Enyo you'll triumph through indirect combat, which is to say you'll have to outwit and outmanoeuvre your enemies to win the day.
That's not to say the game's titular goddess of war doesn't have a mean streak. Just ask the centaur I sent for a bath in that lava pit.
Nightgate is a sensory buffet that feels like it belongs in an classic '80s sci-fi movie, not on our mobile screens.
Best described as 'the complete package,' Nightgate isn't just a visual treat. It's also an accomplished, pitch-perfect puzzler, a neon-soaked art installation, and a synth-driven audio showpiece that'll prick the ears of anyone who's just polished off Stranger Things.
Magic Mansion (Free+IAP)
Retro-gaming gurus Nitrome are at it again, and this time they're turning back the platforming clock with Magic Manson.
A Gameboy classic for the modern age, Magic Mansion is a stripped back one-touch platformer with simple objectives; time your taps, collect coins, and beat your high score.
Sure, it might not be the deepest game on the App Store, but it isn't trying to be. It's something else entirely; an experience that delivers simple, honest fun. And sometimes, that's precisely what you need.
Swipe left. Swipe right. Do your best to keep everyone happy. Get butchered by a horde of ungrateful peasants anyway.
It's a story those familiar with card-swiping monarchy simulator Reigns will know all too well, and for those who've yet to stumble upon Nerial's charming hit, it's one you'll want to experience first hand.
Mind you, making sure your "loyal" citizens are fed, managing an army, keeping the church onside, and shoring up the treasury isn't even the hard part. No, there are greater, more mysterious challenges at the heart of Reigns.
I'm not going to ruin that surprise here, but just remember; the devil's in the details.
Mr. Robot:1.51exfiltrati0n.ipa (£2.29)
This one's a little bit of a left field choice, but given publisher Telltale's pedigree, I'd be a fool to exclude it.
Created by Oxenfree developer NightSchoolStudio, Mr. Robot is a narrative-driven offering that takes place during the first season of Amazon's hit show of the same name and asks players to do some hacking of their own.
If you haven't seen the show, this one probably isn't for you. But, if you are one of Mr. Robot's fervent viewers, and you also happen to appreciate intelligent, sharp writing and tightly woven interactive narratives, then you, my friend, are in for a treat.
Dots & Co (£free + IAP)
From developer Playdots, the studio that brought you hit puzzlers Twodots and Dots, comes another game about - you guessed it - dots!
Taking the mantra "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" and running with it, Playdots has stuck to what it does best. That's not a complaint though, because what it does best is polished, glossy puzzlers steeped in sweet, sticky charm. I would say Dots & Co's glorious interactive menu is worth the price of admission alone, but seeing as this ride is absolutely free, that'd be a barefaced lie.
BBTAN (£free + IAP)
A neon drenched mash-up of Tetris and block-busting arcade classic Arkanoid, BBTAN is a damn-near-perfect slice of mobile gaming pie. The challenge is simple: hurl balls at an advancing army of shapes to stem the tide for as long as possible.
Power-ups and angles are your allies, but as the pressure ramps up so does the need for strategic placement and forward planning. More a game of eclectic chess than a platform for random acts of brick-breaking violence, you won't survive long if you rely on dumb luck.
The latest release from Guacamelee! creator DrinkBox Studios, Severed is the tale of a one-armed warrior named Sasha, who, with the help of a living sword, must make her way through a nightmare world to find her missing family.
Severed has been crying out for an iOS port since it launched on PS Vita earlier this year, with the game's touch-based combat mechanics and crisp vivid visuals a natural fit for mobile screens. DrinkBox has even chucked in a new 'casual' difficulty mode for those of you who want to polish off the gorgeous RPG-lite action title without breaking too much of a sweat.
Road Not Taken (£3.99)
Road Not Taken might look like an adorable children's book or early morning cartoon, but don't be fooled: this isn't a heartwarming tale of success against all odds starring valiant heroes who fend off the darkness. This is a game about that darkness, and one that's unafraid to acknowledge that, sometimes, terrible things happen and the bad people win.
Thankfully, Road Not Taken's undeniable charm helps sugarcoat its harsh lessons, which are brought to life through randomly generated puzzle-based levels and tough decision making. As is the case in real life, the choices you make will lead you down different roads, forging new narratives with every playthrough. Well kind of; you don't get different playthroughs in real life.
Will your decisions lead to prosperity or disaster? The fate of an entire village is in your hands, so choose wisely.
Dunkers (£free + IAP)
Dunkers is a preposterous game on almost every level, and deep down I know I shouldn't like it. The premise is simple; score more slam dunks than your opponents - who could be human, skeleton, or perhaps a frog - in one of three game modes; arcade, campaign, and local multiplayer.
Controls are deliberately unpredictable, and winning games relies as much on skill as it does on blink luck. Yet, just like me, you won't be able to tear yourself away. Just one more go, you'll think on the train journey home, or before you feed your braying cat. Just one more go.
Part Monument Valley and part Rubik's Cube, Klocki is a meditative isometric puzzler designed by Maciej Targoni to relax and beguile in equal measure. The game is as much about discovery as it is about actually solving puzzles. There are no menus, scores, or timers of any kind, meaning you'll have time to unravel Klocki's mysteries at your own pace while Wojciech Targoni's ambient soundtrack serenades you from upon high.
Snakebird (£free + IAP)
Find fruit. Chomp fruit. Grow. And for the love of all that's holy, don't get your snakebird wedged in-between a rock and a stump. They're an endangered species, don't you know?
That's the long and short of Snakebird, a surprisingly complex physics puzzle-platformer that isn't half as easy as its buoyant art-style might suggest. Indeed, Snakebird's sole purpose - to gobble up fruit and hightail it to the nearest portal - might sound like a relatively conservative life-goal, but making sure your serpentine sidekick actually gets to live out its dream is easier said than done.
Remember that scene in Interstellar where Matthew McConaughey plunges into a wormhole and all sorts of psychedelic transdimensional madness ensues? Yeah, well, that's basically Orbyss, but instead of following McConaughey you'll follow a meandering ribbon into the radiant unknown.
Words really don't do this game justice, so just know that even though you'll have no idea what's going on most of the time , Orbyss is so uniquely beautiful it won't ever matter.
From July's list: Rodeo Stampede (£Free + IAP)
Following your dreams isn't easy. Especially when they involve building a floating sky zoo and filling it with armour-clad ostriches and unicorns masquerading as zebras.
The only way to catch such fantastical beasts is by leaping from creature to blocky creature as they stampede around the globe using nothing but your razor-sharp reactions and trusty lasso.
Difficult as that might sound, it’s not impossible, and thanks to Rodeo Stampede’s ultra-responsive one-touch controls you’ll soon have a menagerie worthy of song.
Redungeon (£Free + IAP)
Pixelated dungeon crawler, Redungeon, is more fun than it has any right to be — although that won’t surprise those of you who’ve been following developer Nitrome’s illustrious mobile career.
There’s practically no swordplay, spells, archery, or combat of any kind, and you can forget about running around castles, caves, and keeps with reckless abandon.
That's because Redunegon is a more modest affair, bending the rules by serving up endless grid-based levels that ask players to use brains rather than brawn to survive the trials ahead.
Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens (£Free + IAP)
There has been an awakening. Have you felt it? That’s right, after little more than a nap Lego Star Wars is back, and this time it’s The Force Awakens that’s been given the Lego treatment.
Much like The Force Awakens itself, you’ll soon realise that the formula here hasn’t changed much, and the series’ signature gameplay is still as gleefully addictive as you remember — if, perhaps, a little too familiar.
Still, the addition of new fan favourites like Kylo Ren, Rey, BB8, Poe, and Finn helps freshen things up, while the inclusion of never-before-told stories that flesh out The Force Awakens’ story make this blocky adventure unmissable.
Crypt of the NecroDancer Pocket Edition (£3.99)
Dungeon crawling can be a frightful business, so why not put on your dancing shoes, crank up the music, and adventure to your own sweet beats?
That’s the idea behind hardcore roguelike rhythm title, Crypt of the NecroDancer, which thrusts players into groove-infused dungeons and gives them one choice: dance to victory, or die trying.
Whether you’re tapping to the beat of your own tracks, or jiving to Danny Baranowsky’s stylish score, the music never stops, and neither will you.
Teeter - Endless Arcade Balancer (£1.49)
A high-stakes balancing act quite unlike anything else on the App Store, Teeter is a unique physics puzzler with a deceptively simple aim: get the ball in the hole.
It might sound like a walk in the park, but as the difficulty ramps up you’ll need to keep your cool as well as your balance if you want to get your spherical companion back home.
Another puzzler that’s all about shepherding circular objects through increasingly complex puzzles, Perchang is an exercise in mental strength and quick reflexes that emphasises coordination above all else.
To burn through all 60 beautifully realised 3D levels you’ll need to beat the clock and hit the targets by helping those pesky metal orbs survive a series of intricate Rube Goldberg machines that frustrate and beguile in equal measure.
Combo Quest 2 (£Free + IAP)
Tap, tap, and them tap some more, because it’s the only way you're going to save this pixelated kingdom from its winged overlords.
That’s right, Combo Quest is back, and so are those pesky dragons. Luckily for you, that also means the charming RPG’s furiously addictive one-touch gameplay makes a glorious return.
You see, in Combo Quest battles will be won and lost on your ability to swiftly assess your opponent’s strengths and weaknesses, and then systematically demolish them through a seres of block-busting taps.
What seems easy at first can quickly turn into a nightmare if you aren’t prepared, but that’s where the fun really begins.
I’ve seen things you people wouldn't believe. Attack ships rifling through the New Sol Tradelane. I watched light streams glitter in the dark across the LLF7 Freeway. All those moments will be lost in time — well actually, now that I think about it, they won’t.
In fact, you can relive all of those spectacular moments and more by picking up Patrick Cook’s high-speed sci-fi flier, Hyperburner.
Set in a solar system far, far away, Hyperburner is a mobile mirage, a near-perfect, well-oiled slice of portable gaming that at times feels too good to be true.
From its smooth, free-steering controls to its wonderfully realised intergalactic worlds, every aspect of Hyperburner is a joy to behold. So get beholding.
From June's list: VOEZ (£free + IAP)
The developers behind manic rhythm game VOEZ assure me that, hidden somewhere behind the kaleidoscopic orgy of J-pop, is the remarkable tale of a group of high-schoolers pursuing their dreams of becoming the greatest band on the planet. Although I'd take that claim with a pinch of salt, because School If Rock this isn't.
What VOEZ is, however, is a buffet of trippy rhythmic heaven. It might not make sense at the best of times - and at the worst of times it'll have you wondering why cats would ever wear leather jackets - but it'll keep anyone with a passion for hitting notes in a satisfying sequence entertained all day long.
Warp Shift (£2.29)
Fishlab's quirky transdimensional puzzler is a bite-sized effort with a whole lot of heart. Despite being a decent enough chin-scratcher, Warp Shift isn't designed to leave you reeling with frustration, but rather to take you on a serene audio-visual voyage through time and space.
Perfect then, if you're after something a little more laid-back for your ride to the office.
Goat Simulator Waste of Space (£3.99)
The original Goat Simulator put us into the shoes - or rather hooves - of everyone's favourite mountain-dwelling mammal. It was a poignant, eye-opening glimpse inside the day-to-day lives of goats, and, I don't know about you, but I had no idea they wielded jetpacks with such grace.
It answered so many questions, but yet one remained: what would it be like to be a goat in space? Well, wonder no more, because Coffee Stain Studios knew our thirst for scientifically accurate goat trivia wouldn't be quenched that easily, which is why they've developed Goat Simulator Waste of Space.
Waste of Space answers the above question, and so much more, giving goat fanatics the chance to take to the stars and go where no bovidae - that's posh for goat - has gone before. Build colonies, helm starships, or float away into the abyss. The universe is your oyster.
Hatoful Boyfriend (£3.99)
Hatoful Boyfriend is a pigeon-dating simulator, that asks you, the newest (and only) human student at the prestigious St PigeoNation's Institute, to look for love in-between classes. Really, what more is there to say?
This is a dating simulator that demands you test out your best chat-up lines on actual birds. At this point, you're either in or you're out, but I've got a feeling curiosity might already be getting the better of you.
Battleplans (£free + IAP)
If I could, I'd include Battleplans on this month's list based on presentation alone. This strategy title is a joy to behold, and everything from the game's minute colour-coded troops to the cel-shaded world they inhabit pops with grin-inducing charm.
Alas, I can't actually include a game based on looks alone - that would be incredibly shallow - but fortunately, I don't have to. That's because C4M Prod's stylish battler is also a delight to play, and delivers a challenge that blends squad tactics with classic strategy gameplay to deliver an experience that'll test even the most seasoned veterans.
From Threes! to twofold inc. there have been a spate of clean-cut minimalist puzzlers on mobile recently, and all of them have trained us to crunch shapes, numbers, and colours together as if it's our day job. If only.
Unmatch, the newest kid on the block, wants you to forget everything you thought you knew, because this time around you'll be breaking down seemingly pre-solved puzzles to creating chaos out of order.
It's a fresh, subversive take on a genre that was becoming over-saturated, and that's exactly why it's deserving of your undying attention. Dare we say it, we think you'll be a match made in heaven.
Remember when I said I wouldn't feature a game just because it looks gorgeous? Well, I also won't neglect one purely because it doesn't conform to our modern beauty standards.
I'm hoping you'll do the same, because in spite of its rustic trappings - which, if you ask me, are actually rather charming - Imbroglio is a terrific deck-building, tactically-leaning, vintage dungeon crawler where the dungeon is the deck and the deck is the dungeon.
That last sentence might've confused you, so all you really need to know is that Michael Brough's moreish effort received an honourable mention for Excellence in Design at this year's Independent Games Festival. All of those indies surely can't be wrong.
MMX Hill Climb (£Free + IAP)
I won't beat around the bush here; MMX Hill Climb takes the best bits of RedLynx's score-chasing, physics-based racing series Trials, polishes them up, and slaps them on to our mobile screens.
Riffing on a classic might not be the most inspired creative decision, but boy does it pay off, and much like Trials, MMX Hill Climb is an addicting, punishing, and tense rollercoaster of vehicular carnage that proves there's no point in fixing something that 'aint broke.
From May's list: illi (£free + IAP)
A short, snappy, and undeniably beautiful one-touch platformer, illi proves once again that, when it comes to mobile gaming, sometimes less really is more.
Mind you, that's not to say illi is lacking in depth, and the steady addition of new traps, challenges, and mechanics ensures things stay interesting until the very end.
War Tortoise (£free + IAP)
War. War never changes. Actually, that’s not strictly speaking true, because you probably never imagined there’d come a time when tortoise riding mice decided to suit up and take on the rest of the animal kingdom, but here we are.
A tower defence title with a twist, War Tortoise asks you to stand your ground and protect your furry rodents in arms by taking down endless waves of enemies and upgrading your lumbering reptilian tank.
It’s a silly premise, but one that’s strangely compelling thanks to the inclusion of a tactical upgrade system and a rich roster of enemies that stamp out even the faintest hint of complacency.
Cube Escape: Theatre (£free + IAP)
A surreal point-and-click puzzler, Cube Escape: Theatre is the eighth entry in Loyalty Game’s unusual series, and one that proves there’s life in the old box yet.
The idea is simple; you're trapped in a cube - in this case, one that takes the shape of a theatre - and you need to escape by solving its many mysteries. As you might imagine, that’s easier said than done, with each decoded riddle simply leading to another, more complex conundrum.
For all of its peculiar twists and turns, however, Cube Escape is never unfair, and if you can't find the answer, it just means you aren't looking hard enough.
Star Knight (£0.79)
The first thing you’ll notice about Star Knight is that it looks out of this world, and while it’s obvious that developer JungSang You took more than a few cues from fellow platformer BadLand, who can honestly blame them?
The second thing you’ll pick up on is that every aspect of Star Knight, from the game's expansive 2D worlds to its clean cut, minimalist user interface and loading screens, has been polished to near-perfection, and then polished some more. Those of you looking for a mobile game with a bit more bite will also be pleased to hear that it isn’t afraid to serve up a challenge. Sure, it’s not quite Dark Souls, but you’ll need to have your wits about you if you want to save the world.
Slither.io (£free + IAP)
Slither.io is a strange reimagining of Game Of Thrones where all of the characters have been replaced by googly eyed serpents. Just like Game Of Thrones, you’ll need to become king of the castle by taking down your fellow players, and feasting on their remains to grow in size. OK, so maybe it’s not exactly the same.
As you grow, the stakes get higher, and while it’ll be easier for you to entrap and devour your competitors, you’ll also have to deal with the ever-expanding target on your back. The real question then, isn’t whether you can climb to the top, but rather, how long you can stay there. And that bit's just like Game Of Thrones.
No Thing (£1.49)
Described as a “surreal arcade trip” by developer Evil Indie Games, No Thing is a minimalist action-runner set in a surreal dystopian universe.
It’s a fitting backdrop for a game that’s prepared to punish players for the slightest slip up, and one that provides the perfect environment for an offbeat storyline that’s as mind-boggling as it is brilliant.
Angry Birds Action! (£free + IAP)
It might be a movie tie-in, but there's nothing shameless about Angry Birds Action!, which puts a new spin on Rovio's tried-and-tested bird slinging formula.
This time around you'll be hurling Rovio's multicoloured flock around pinball stages - inspired by the movie version of Bird Island - to retrieve their stolen eggs and defeat the pigs. Story-wise, that's all there is, but this is Angry Birds, not a Shakespearian masterpiece.
The only thing you really need to know is that chucking birds around elaborate, explosive stages to collect stars and climb leaderboards is still as gratifying as ever, while the new 3D paint job is the icing on an already mouthwatering cake.
LEGO Jurassic World (£3.99)
If you’ve played any of the countless other Lego games, you’ll already know what to expect from the latest, dino-stuffed offering; and that's a bucketload of assembly-required platforming mayhem.
That’s no bad thing, mind, and even though the long-running build-em-up series is content to simply fit the mould, rather than break it, there’s still something immensely satisfying about the way Warner Bros. reimagines iconic franchises using the power of digital plastic. Oh, and did we mention there are dinosaurs? Lots and lots of dinosaurs.
From April's list: Telepaint (£2.29)
Stuffed with all manner of matter-bending, space-hopping puzzles, each more devilish than the last, Telepaint's prime objective is simple: play cupid and help buckets of paint find their long lost paintbrush partners.
It'd be easy, if it wasn't for all the portals, traps, and perplexing machinations turning your screen into a smorgasbord of paint-splattered, polychromatic torment. So, don't go in blinded by Acid Nerve's Portal-riffing puzzler's quirky trappings, because it's as brilliant as it is deceptive. Oh, and bring your overalls, because it's gonna get messy.
Clash Royale (£free + IAP)
Mix the skill and strategy of chess with the unpredictability and excitement of a high-stakes blackjack table and you'll have a good idea of why players are flocking to Supercell's new card battler, Clash Royale.
Unsurprisingly, given the millions of dollars and mountains of experience Supercell has at its disposal, Clash Royale has been polished to perfection. More important than its looks though, is the game's finely balanced gameplay, which dishes out brutal punishment and blissful gratification by the bucketload.
The cherry on the top takes the form of an IAP system that encourages competition. This isn't a pay-to-win title by any stretch of the imagination, and I've managed to amass more than my fair share of glorious victories without spending a penny.
Miitomo (£free + IAP)
Miitomo is Nintendo's first stab at mobile gaming, and brings the company's now iconic Mii characters to our small-screen devices.
Less of a traditional game and more of a strange, often unintentionally hilarious social app, Miitomo is deceptively simple on the surface: simply create a Mii, chat with your friends, play mini-games, unlock clothing, and repeat.
If it had been created by anyone else, it might've gone unnoticed, but Miitomo is as polished an offering as you'd expect from Nintendo, and the company's signature charm will leave you grinning at the most preposterous things.
Retro City Rampage DX (£3.99)
Old school cool, or old school cruel? Retro City Rampage DX is probably both, but, honestly, that's why we love it. A throwback to the unapologetically excessive games of yesteryear, Retro City Rampage DX is an open world, shoot-em-up that'll arm you to the teeth, chuck you into a retro city, and, you guessed it, politely enquire as to whether or not you fancy a rampage or two. Only two?! Well, for the low low price of £2.99, you can frolic around retro city to your hearts content. Just try not to forget where you parked that tank.
Beat Stomper (£1.49)
Hold. Jump. Stomp. Rave. That might sound like your average night out on the town - c'mon, I know you throw some pretty intense shapes - but it's actually the perfect description of Rocky Hong's new game, Beat Stomper.
If you really want to know what Beat Stomper plays like, think back to Lima Sky's Doodle Jump, but replace the hand-drawn, cutesy visuals with relentless bass drops and a light show that wouldn't look out of place in a hazy Berlin nightclub. Think that sounds good? You'd be right.
Exploding Kittens (£1.49)
Don't let the name put you off: Exploding Kittens isn't a game about making tiny felines fulminate like furry atomic bombs. In fact, it's about the exact opposite - avoiding said detonating kitties like your life depends on it.
Like a cat-powered version of Russian roulette, Exploding Kittens is a strategic digital card game that can be played online, or in a group of friends. Betrayals, treachery, and deceit are the name of the game, but before you get mad, just remember, those poor kittens have it worse than you.
Total War Battles: Kingdom
Total War Battles: Kingdoms is a condensed, slightly refocused version of SEGA's history-spanning strategy franchise that places the emphasis on managing and expanding your kingdom rather than the epic battles themselves.
Given that on PC those battles would sometimes take hours, I'm well aware that the tail end of that sentence might put a few of you off. But don't let it: if you're a Total War fan looking for an engaging mobile reimagining of your favourite franchise, it should be music to your ears.
Besides, the battles are still there - stripped back, sure, but as richly detailed as ever - and by refocusing on the kingdoms, and the citizens and politics within, SEGA has turned a potentially pale imitation into a layered, absorbing experience that lives up to its forefather's name.
Super Arc Light (£0.79)
Super Arc Light is an arcade shooter that takes a splash of Super Hexagon, a shot of Geometry Wars and a whole bucketload of adrenaline, and calls it a cocktail.
It's a potent beverage, but, thanks to its relentless high-score chasing gameplay, simple one-touch control scheme, and incisive design, it's hardly an acquired taste. After your first round, you'll be downing it by the gallon.
From March's list: The Swords (£2.29)
A fusion of Chinese calligraphy and ancient martial arts, The Swords is basically what would happen if you took Fruit Ninja, bundled it into a time machine, and transported it back to ancient China.
While not quite as frivolous as Halfbrick's classic melon-slasher, The Swords is appealing for all of the same reasons, and will test your reactions, but never your patience, as it tells the unexpectedly immersive tale of a sword master's quest for control and understanding.
Prism is a tactile box of tricks perhaps best described as a clean cut, neo-futuristic take on The Room.
Like that game, Prism asks players to manipulate a series of increasingly complex objects in a bid to unlock the curious secrets within.
It's a simple concept that works superbly on mobile thanks to the precise touch-screens that inhabit our pockets, and one that truly shines as a result of Prism's captivating, twisting visuals and terrific ambient sound design.
As clichéd as it might sound, Dreii is less of a video game and more of an art-house experiment brought to life through our ever-expanding digital medium.
On the surface, the puzzler is a bright, bubbly, and infinitely gorgeous gravity-suspending physics conundrum, but the idea at the heart of Dreii's collaborative, globe-spanning universe is infinitely more beautiful than any of the game's other features.
Saying any more would be selfish of me, as Dreii's secret is something that should unravelled on your own terms. Rest assured, though, you won't be disappointed.
Tomb Of The Mask (£free with IAP)
Think fast, collect pills, grab power-ups, and escape a retro-inspired labyrinth filled with traps and treacherous foes. If that description sounds vaguely familiar, it's probably because it's reminded you of a little game called Pac-Man.
I wasn't talking about everyone's favourite yellow pill-popper, though. I was referring to Tomb Of The Mask, an endless high-score chasing arcade-em-up that harkens back to the classics of days gone by.
This isn't a simple copy-and-paste job, however, and although Tomb Of The Mask uses its retro-stylings to great effect, it never becomes dependent on them. Instead the focus is on razor-sharp, hyper-elastic gameplay that's more fun than a slip 'n' slide made out of strawberry jelly.
Final Fantasy IX (£15.99)
The latest entry in Square Enix's sacred RPG series to make its small-screen debut, Final Fantasy IX is finally available on mobile 16 years after making its console debut. Yes, it's really been that long.
For the most part, this is the same game you know and love, and Square Enix has, quite rightly, been hesitant to tamper with its beloved classic.
Of course, some tweaks have been made, and the addition of achievements, high-definition movies and character models, and a handy autosave feature serve to make the mobile version of IX absolutely definitive.
The Walking Dead: Michonne - Episode One (£3.99)
Anyone who's already invested in TellTale's zombie-infested episodic series won't need me to tell them to pick up the first episode of The Walking Dead: Michonne - a new three part miniseries that explains Michonne's absence between issues #126 and #139 of the comic book.
If you haven't sampled TellTale's genre defining post-apocalyptic storytelling, however, then Michonne, a standalone tale filed with The Walking Dead's signature horror, action, and painfully tough-choices, might just be the perfect place to start.
Circles (£free with IAP)
Defend your dot. Fail your dot. Sob in a corner and tell yourself that your dot deserves better. Cast your doubts to one side as your realise that this time, you're going to become the dot protector you were born to be.
That's Circles in a nutshell, and although you might not create the same warped narrative that I have, I've no doubt that once you pick up Cherrypick's minimalist score-chaser you'll become enchanted by its delightfully intoxicating gameplay.
The real challenge isn't in beating your own high-scores, but in convincing yourself that it's time to put down your phone and do something - anything - else.
Rayman Classic (£3.99)
Rayman's recent adventures have gone down very well on mobile, and now Ubisoft are giving us the chance to turn back the clock and play through the platformer that started it all with Rayman Classic.
A different beast to its contemporary counterparts, Rayman Classic - which is now 20 years old, by the way - has nonetheless aged very well, proving that, sometimes, you don't need to teach an old dog new tricks.
Even though the unforgiving vintage gameplay and pixel-perfect visuals still hold an undeniable charm, the same can't be said for the touch-screen controls. Still, it pays to take the good with the bad this time around, and unless you've got the original game sitting in a cupboard somewhere back home, there's no reason to let this one pass you by.
From February's list: Pocket Mortys (£free with IAP)
Relentless meta-comedy Rick And Morty might not be back on our screens until March 2017, but that doesn't mean you need to wait another year and a half to join Rick and his schwifty side-kick on another misadventure.
Thanks to the good folks at Adult Swim you can pick up the aptly named Rick and Morty-themed RPG Pocket Mortys right now and squanch your way through the multiverse on a quest to round-up all the Mortys known to (bird)man.
There are over 70 bizarre Mortys, including Mustache Morty, Wizard Morty, and Cronenberg Morty, to recruit and train, and you'll need to assemble a legendary team to prove your Rick is the greatest Morty trainer of all time. If it sounds a lot like Pokemon, that's because it is. But, hey, it's more Rick and Morty, so who really cares? Wubalubadubdub!
Surfingers (£free with IAP)
Simple, fun, and more entertaining than Kanye West's twitter feed - so basically, everything that makes a mobile game worth downloading - Surfingers is a quirky score-chaser that manages to stand out from the crowd thanks to a unique art style and a penchant for ramping up the action at just the right time.
Asking players to manipulate the very waves themselves to keep their surfer's hot streak going, Surfingers offers as much entertainment, and frustration, as you can handle, and also features a number of unlockable characters to give you even more reasons to keep riding those waves.
Sky Chasers (£free with IAP)
Retro-inspired platformers have found a new lease of life on the App Store, and Sky Chasers is one of the best we've seen in quite some time. You see, when it comes to side-scrollers, controls really are king.
Fortunately, Sky Chasers hits it out of the park in that department while also serving up a truckload of fancy environments, perplexing puzzles, and more collectibles than you can shake a stick at. As if that wasn't enough, the storyline - the tale of a young dreamer called Max who vows to explore the world in his flying cardboard box - is as charming as they come.
The Westport Independent (£3.99)
The best way to describe The Westport Independent is "Papers, Please, but with actual papers". That's not to say the game is a carbon copy of Lucas Pope's bleak border control sim, but the similarities, from its washed out pixel-art design to its dystopian post-war setting, are remarkable.
In this harrowing reality, however, you'll take charge of the titular Westport Independent, an independent broadsheet waging a war against censorship. Will you bend the truth and manipulate the populace, or report the cold hard facts no matter what? Either way, you'd better be prepared to face the consequences.
Step into the shoes of Flux Dabes, intergalactic…space trucker? Yeah, if you thought Crashlands was going to be the gritty tale of a group of stranded space marines struggling to survive on a hostile world, think again.
After getting tangled up with the nefarious evil alien, Hewgodooko, our unassuming purple lorry driver finds himself left for dead on an alien planet. Luckily, he's the main character in one of the most well-rounded mobile RPGs we've come across, so he'll be able to craft, quest, customise, build, and explore his way out of the god-awful mess he's found himself in. Think The Martian, but with less Matt Damon and more psychedelics.
Punch Club (£3.99)
When he wasn't taking on Russian heavyweights and working out to Eye Of The Tiger, what was Rocky Balboa doing? Punch Club, a fighting sim/RPG from TinyBuild, answers that question by giving players the chance to write their own rags to riches story and become the best boxer the world's ever seen.
Unlike Rocky, on your way to the top you'll have to work dead end jobs, manage your stats, level up, avoid being mugged, juggle your social life, and drink in as many '80s references as you can manage. It won't be easy, but becoming the best never is.
Twofold inc (£2.99)
Twofold inc, the latest release from grapefrukt games, the studio that cemented its place in the App Store annals with minimalist RTS rymdkapsel, has the potential to become one of this year's most memorable releases.
You see, twofold inc isn't merely a puzzler, it's a digital jazz bar. A smoky, mellow experience that'll beguile and charm in equal measure. Unlike your favourite jazz bar, however, twofold inc is open all hours, with the game's endless challenges - each more mesmerising than the last - ensuring the only time you'll be able to stop playing is when your phone runs out of power.
Circa Infinity (£2.29)
Good platformers iterate on what's come before, refining the basics and polishing up the finest details to serve up something truly wonderful. Great platformers, however, throw out the rule book, trading in those familiar tried and tested mechanics in favour of something bold, something fresh.
Circa Infinity is that next great platformer, asking players to navigate though 50 retro-inspired levels, not by overcoming a series of linear obstacles, but, instead, by leaping inwards, hurling themselves and their sanity into a perplexing pit of circular mayhem. Like a never-ending game of Inception, Circa Infinity will turn your brain into a smouldering pool of jelly and leave you questioning the essence of reality itself.
From January's list: Rayman Adventures (£free)
Ubisoft's most recent Rayman games have been nothing short of magical, taking the franchise back to its glorious 2D platforming roots using a combination of finely honed rhythmic gameplay and vibrant visuals that imbue each second of gameplay with a sense of wonderment you'll struggle to find anywhere else on the App Store.
We're happy to report that Rayman Adventures continues that trend, taking players on another wonderfully whimsical frolic, this time through the mythical worlds of Olympus, as Rayman looks to rescue the Incrediballs, save the enchanted forest, and - if you're any good - set a few high scores along the way.
Scribblenauts Unlimited (£3.99)
We could say that you should pick up the latest entry in the award-winning Scribblenauts series to go on more whirlwind adventures in an all-new open universe, filled with eccentric puzzles and adorable characters.
That, though, would only be a half-truth, because we all know the real reason you'll be picking up Scribblenauts Unlimited is so that you can solve puzzles in the most preposterous, nonsensical, and downright absurd ways you can possibly imagine.
By harnessing the unbridled power of adjectives and nouns you'll be able to solve Scribblenaut's many mysteries with the help of corporate werewolves, robo-Einstein, hipster Abraham Lincoln and - quite literally - anything else you can dream up.
No doubt a slight departure from your usual iOS gaming fare, and all the better for it, Grayout is a text adventure game set in a totalitarian medical dystopia simply called The Neighborhood.
Players take on the role of Alaine, a rebellious Neighborhood resident who wakes up in hospital following an accident. It's up to Alaine - that's you - to make sense of the world around her by talking with hospital staff. The only rub is that her post-traumatic aphasia - a condition that affects her ability to process speech - makes choosing the right things to say increasingly difficult.
I know it might sound strange on paper (or screen), and, somewhat ironically, it really is hard to put Grayout's experimental gameplay into words - but trust me when I say that this is one of the most fascinating gaming experiences you'll ever have.