Swipe to unlock: 5 incredible games that you can only play on your smartphone

Cast aside your controller – these mobile games give you a unique experience you won't get on a console or PC

Mobile gaming isn't all Angry Birds and tilt-to-steer racing games.

These titles make use of your smartphone or tablet's array of sensors – and portability – to give you an experience you can't get on any other games machine. So chuck your controller, pick up your phone and get gaming.

The Nightjar (iOS, $5.98)

This sci-fi adventure finds you abandoned on a crashing spaceship, with only the voice of Benedict Cumberbatch for company (realising the fantasies of countless Sherlock fans). 

It's a first-person survival horror game, with a twist – there are no visuals, so you have to navigate by sound alone, avoiding traps and alien beasties using your ears. Papa Sangre, from the same developer, uses much the same game mechanics – albeit with a voodoo twist.

App Store

Zombies, Run! (Android/iOS/Windows Phone, from $4.98)

Dodge zombies and shed the pounds at the same time with Zombies, Run! – it's a fitness trainer cunningly masquerading as a survival game. Your daily jog becomes a desperate dash for supplies as you struggle to outrun the flesh-eating hordes – and once you're back home, you can level up your base and build up your stats, MMORPG style. 

Is it a game, or a fitness tracker with a veneer of gamification? Whatever the case, if it gets you off your couch, it's a good thing.

Google Play

App Store

Windows Phone Store

More after the break...

Device 6 (iOS, $4.98)

Part novel, part text adventure, part puzzle game, this might just be the future of the written word. It follows the story of amnesiac Anna, who wakes up to find herself trapped in a strange building. As you swipe your way through the story, it'll change layout, typography and orientation depending on where the heroine's going and what she's doing – and you'll need to scroll back through the text for clues to solve the game's intricate puzzles and unpack its overarching mystery.

App Store

Ingress (Android, $Free)

Google's massively multiplayer AR adventure turns your walk to work into an epic struggle for the future of the human race. In the game's fiction, a team of scientists have discovered a new form of energy that increases human intellect and creativity; the Enlightened faction backs its use, while the Resistance, er, resists it.

In the real world, you're tasked with tagging and modding portals – locations like public artworks and landmarks – in order to advance the cause of your chosen faction. Of course, sometimes the real world intruded on Google's JJ Abrams-style conspiracy narrative; the bitter rivalry between the Enlightened and the Resistance hasn't stopped the two sides periodically teaming up to create AR artworks by doodling on the game's map.

An iOS version is due in 2014 – but just wait until it hits Google Glass.

Google Play

The Room (Android/iOS, $2.49)

There's a box in a room. And you have to open it. Sounds simple enough, but this puzzler will draw you in with its addictive challenges. You'll have to tap at the safe to reveal hidden panels, explore the room to uncover clues, and fiddle around with keys, cogs and gears to proceed. And it's a tactile experience, one that relies on your iPad or Android phone's touchscreen (sorry iPhone users, it's iPad only) to immerse you in its intricate puzzles. 

Google Play

App Store

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