The 40 best iPhone and iPad games right now

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Shooting games

Interloper

Fancy seeing the sights of the universe? Want to blow up lots of nasty alien scumbags while doing so? Got a strong stomach when you find yourself in a ship whirling about the heavens, making you feel as if you’re in a washing machine being attacked by elite fighter squadrons? Congratulations: you’re hired!

In Interloper, you get a full six degrees of freedom as you whirl about asteroids, dog-fighting for your life, going PEW PEW PEW like you’re a combination of Han Solo and Starbuck. It’s exhilarating stuff, with plenty of customisation options and a smart interface that adapts for landscape, portrait and different screen sizes.

Download Interloper (£5.99)

Holedown

This one should never have worked. It’s a premium take on that game where you spang a bunch of balls about, gradually depleting the numbers on bricks, until they explode and let you dig even deeper. But whereas most such games are after your wallet, Holedown merely eats away at your time.

Like its IAP-happy chums, Holedown is grindy and repetitive – but in a manner that’s compelling and hypnotic rather than annoying. This is down to its mix of polished visuals, amusing sound effects, and a smartly conceived upgrade cycle. Plus you’ll feel like a pool wizard on nailing tough shots that take down really high-numbered bricks with a dozen balls bouncing around like angry wasps.

Download Holedown (£3.99)

Backfire

In this freaky game, you’re on a mission to cleanse an ancient curse. This means your tiny green ship must survive arenas surrounded by goop that knackers you should you touch it, but from which vicious horrors emerge.

As they dart towards you, growling like dogs possessed by demons, your instinct – rightly – will be to run away. This is a good tactic, given that – for some reason – your ship only shoots out of its bottom.

This unconventional set-up wrongfoots at first, but rapidly becomes compelling. And even though the first boss will tear your face off several times before you have a chance of giving it a thorough kicking, you’ll keep coming back until you beat the game – short of it leaving you a gibbering wreck in the corner.

Download Backfire (99p)

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