The best sports game for iPhone and iPad: Super Stickman Golf 3
Super Stickman Golf 3’s ancestor is the same Apple II Artillery game Angry Birds has at its core, but Noodlecake’s title is a lot more fun than catapulting birds around.
It’s a larger-than-life side-on mini-golf extravaganza, with you thwacking balls about giant forests, space stations distinctly lacking in gravity, and strange fortresses with a suspiciously high deadly laser count.
The single-player game’s fun, but SSMG 3 comes into its own in multiplayer, whether you’re taking the more sedate turn-by-turn route or ball-smacking at speed in the frenetic race mode. Note that the free version has some restrictions (limited courses; fewer simultaneous turn-based games), but there’s still plenty of genuinely crazy golf here to take a swing at.
Touchgrind Skate 2
This one takes a rather literal stance regarding controlling a sports game with your fingers. The board appears on the screen and your fingers become tiny legs, enabling you to perform gnarly and rad tricks, man! Irksome lingo aside, this is a fantastic title that’s initially demanding but hugely rewarding once mastered.
You can also upload videos of your best moves and show off to your friends, and there’s fortunately no way you can skin your knees, unless you trip over while obsessively performing ollies, powerslides and heelflips while walking down the street.
Motorsport Manager Mobile 2
Football management’s fine, but do you really want to spend your time micro-managing entitled pig-skin hoofers? How about delving into motor racing instead, watching nutcases blaze around circuits at breakneck speed? That’s more like it!
In Motorsport Manager Mobile 2, you run a team, juggling drivers, sponsors, cash, and kit, before heading to the track for race days. Despite depicting discs zipping about a top-down circuit, races are tense and exciting – unless you lose, in which case they’re of course rubbish.
Put in the hours, and you’ll gradually improve your lot, take pole positions, and end up rolling around in a cash pile you’ll wish you could extract from your device’s Lightning port.
Active Soccer 2 DX
Forget your FIFAs and Pro Evos – on mobile, they either desperately miss a gamepad, or get stripped back to the point the game’s almost playing itself. Active Soccer 2 DX, though, skirts right on the edge of controllable, with high-octane footie that marries the beautiful game with an absurdist pinball.
There are echoes of the wonderful Sensible Soccer, and although Active doesn’t quite hit the dizzy heights of that Amiga classic, it comes close. And beyond the arcade smarts, there’s loads to dig into – over 1000 teams, several camera views, and various competitions.
Just expect a few 5-nil drubbings while you figure out how to control that ball the with your sausage thumbs swiping on glass.
World Tour Golf
With EA having deserted ‘proper’ golf games on mobile for the arcadey nonsense of King of the Course, WGT thwacks a ball and gets a realism hole-in-one. This really is a quite astonishing game, from the delicate controls through to the eye-popping photo-realistic courses you play on.
A word of warning: it also takes no prisoners. There’s no nonchalantly spinning a ball in mid-air when you fluff a shot. Here, you’ll end up in the bunker, then overshoot the green, before multiple putts leave you embarrassingly over par. But put in the practice and you’ll be a virtual golfing superstar before long.