25 of the best games apps
Smartphone games have gone from terrible-looking, impossible to control abominations (N-Gage, we're looking at you) to triple-A fun generators. Here are some of our favourite ways to waste time on a smartphone (or tablet).
Angry Birds Space
iOS (£1.99), Android (Free)
It’s Angry Birds, Jim, but not as we know it. Rovio’s latest avian-themed physics outing takes place outside the confines of the Earth, and it means more than a few stars in the background: gravity, or rather a lack of it in certain areas, plays a huge role, adding a welcome bit of variety to the classic “smash stuff up” gameplay.
Shogun: Rise of the Renegade
iOS (Free), Android (£1.99)
Old school “bullet hell” shoot ‘em ups may not be de rigueur on consoles these days, but they’ve found a good home on mobiles – and Shogun: Rise of the Renegade is one of the finest examples. Loads of weapons, loads of baddies and missiles on-screen at any one time, ace 16-bit music and even a decent plot – it ticks all the boxes.
Cut the Rope
iOS (69p), Android (62p), Symbian (£3), BlackBerry Playbook (£3)
As with Angry Birds, this puzzler is based on a simple physics model and basic controls: you swipe your finger to slice ropes in order to get sweets into the mouth of Om Nom, a hungry green monster; objects on the screen, like bubbles, trampolines and air blowers, need to be used in order to do this, and you’re awarded bonus points depending on how quickly you solve each level and by touching on-screen stars with the sweets.
Arguably the most graphically impressive game on iOS (or just on mobile devices full stop), Epic Games’ Infinity Blade is a fantasy fighting game that sees you using simple swipe controls and combos to despatch armoured foes on your way to avenging your slain ancestors. Add in the RPG elements of levelling up and collecting sweet loot and you’ve got a total winner. An equally beautiful sequel is also available.
Plants vs. Zombies
iOS (£1.99), Android (£2.37)
“Tower defence” games don’t come much more polished than this. Zombies are trying to invade your house, and they’re coming through the garden; good job you’re a green-fingered son of a gun with a greenhouse full of carnivorous plants, fungi and other gear able to slow down and destroy the increasingly fiendish waves of undead. Turns out gardening can be addictive as crack.