10. Bejeweled (iPhone)/Bejeweled HD (iPad)
PopCap’s gem-swapper is one of the most famous games around, and it feels perfectly at home on the touchscreen. Along with the standard mode, you get several unique variations on the theme: in Butterflies, you must carefully consider every move, to ensure your winged creatures aren’t eaten by a deadly spider; and in Diamond Mine, you battle against the clock to dig ever deeper into the ground, blasting away at the rock with explosive special gems.
9. Trainyard Express (iPhone/iPad)
Technically speaking, Trainyard Express is a demo for Trainyard, a game that comes with a (not exactly hefty) US$3.99 (RM13.03) price-tag. In both games, the aim is to draw tracks to lead trains to stations of the same colour. At first, this is dead easy, but soon you’re juggling multiple stations, rocks, colour-switching and train-merging, all on a tiny playfield. Our advice: devour this freebie and then immerse yourself in its commercial sibling.
More after the break...
8. Darkside (iPhone/iPad)
This twin-stick shooter updates Asteroids and wraps it around planetoids. The visuals are a treat, from the organic, spinning space rocks to the pyrotechnics on display as your powered-up ship seeks to obliterate everything around it. The free version of the game gives you the arcade mode, but for US$1.99 (RM6.50) you unlock missions, survival mode and smart bombs.
7. Halcyon (iPad only)
A unique take on match games, Halcyon also borrows heavily from sound toys. You match colour currents, guiding pairs by drawing paths between strings. As you do so, the strings play and colliding currents chime, resulting in a beautiful accompanying generative soundtrack. Make no mistake, though: this is no noodly puzzler, and some of the later levels are ferocious.
6. Smash Hit (iPhone/iPad)
Oddly cathartic, surprisingly atmospheric, and very compelling, Smash Hit is an abstract and semi-ambient smash ’em up. You float through the void, lobbing metal balls at crystals, which rewards you with yet more balls; all the while, you must judge which glass forms are about to collide with you and smash them to pieces. Each new level brings surprises, from power-ups through to lurching camera angles and intriguing new obstacles.