While many of us enjoy the more “mature” types of games, we have to admit that gallons of blood and violent battlefields aren’t for everyone. Thankfully, the App Store offers all kinds of quality games that don’t feature bullets flying all over the place. We’ve come up with a list of games that offer full-fledged, engrossing experiences, while still being appropriate for gamers of all ages.
I’ve played and loved quite a few of the Zelda games in my time, and I’ve been hoping for something similiar to hit iOS. Horn is the closest we’ve gotten so far. In Horn you play as a young blacksmith who awakens one day to find that his village (and all of the animals) have been turned into giant creatures. Running through the world, you have to solve puzzles, free the souls of your fellow villagers, and get to the bottom of the mystery of just what happened. It’s easy to pick up and play, has some of the best visuals for the platform, and also has a wicked, goofy sense of humor.
Bottom Line: Horn is an amazing adventure that gamers of all ages can really enjoy.
9. Scribblenauts Remix
Ever since grade school, I tended to dislike games that tried to“educate” in some way. They’re usually boring and barely even games in the first place. But Scribblenauts Remix is a game where your vocabulary is your main tool, and it’s up to your wits and creativity to progress. The game’s mantra of “Think it, create it, solve it” really is the only way to approach the many, many challenges you’ve got to overcome, and the sheer amount of fun you can have is only limited by your own imagination. As long as you’re able to come up with a solution to the puzzle, the sky’s the limit as to how you solve it.
Bottom Line: You can make a “giant angry plaid iguana.” Honestly, who wouldn’t want to do that?
8. Helsing’s Fire
Helsing’s Fire is one one of those games that just kind of sneaks up on you. The gameplay is deceptively simple at the start (you use different colored rays of light to defeat creatures of the night), but as you progress the game the mechanics become more and more involved and you get more and more addicted. It has a charming storyline, lots of levels, and some of the most imaginative gameplay I’ve ever seen. It’s easy to learn and challenging at the same time, and the fun characters and amusing plot can be entertaining for just about everyone.
Bottom Line: Helsing’s Fire is still one of the most original and fun games you can find for your iPhone.
7. iBlast Moki 2
What are Mokis, you ask? Apparently they’re little balls of cuteness whose main mode of transportation is blasting through the air. Mixing aspects of Angry Birds with the puzzle solving of Casey’s Contraptions, iBlast Moki 2 has you trying to get your little critters safely to the exits at the end of each level. The level design is brilliant, and it even has a level editor so you can make puzzles to share with your friends.
Bottom Line: iBlast Moki 2 is cute, fun and creative. It’s an adorable way to spend your time.
I absolutely love strategy games, but even I have to admit that they tend to have rather steep learning curves. And for younger or inexperienced gamers, lots of strategy games can seem downright impenetrable. Which is why a game like Outwitters is such a fresh experience. It strips strategy gameplay down to the genre’s bare essentials and in doing so manages to create an easy and fun game to learn and play. It features a bunch of oddball characters battling for supremacy, and since it’s multiplayer only, you have no choice but to play against other people, either online or in the room next to you. Also appealing to newbies is that most matches are over really quickly.
Bottom Line: Outwitters is a great game to share and play with friends, and an awesome way to introduce someone to the world of strategy games.
5. Sonic All-Stars Racing
This one is kind of a no-brainer. Practically everyone of all ages has at least a passing familiarity with Sonic and his friends, and the multiplayer nature of the game means that people can have fun racing against others. All of your favorite Sonic characters are here, and they all have their own special vehicles and abilities. The controls are fantastic, the graphics great, and even if you don’t want to play against others, the single-player option is still an enormous amount of fun.
Bottom Line: Sonic All-Stars is one of the very best “kart” type racing games available.
Continuing the idea of cute and adorable main characters, Soosiz features a protagonist that kind of looks like a googly eyed orange with big feet. You guide little Soosiz around as he tries to rescue his friends and family from an evil that’s taken over the world. The gameplay is very reminiscent of the adventures of a certain plumber we all know and love, and the gravity-defying mechanics bring a unique and fun challenge to iOS. And it’s also just really delightful to play.
Bottom Line: Soosiz is probably the most “Mario” type game on the iOS, but manages to create it’s own charming identity in a really fun game.
3. Minecraft – Pocket Edition
When I was a kid I used to play with Erector sets and Lincoln Logs for hours on end. Minecraft is kind of a digital version of the ideas that made those things so memorable. While the idea of creating something out of nothing with no real purpose or “goal” can be rather daunting, Minecraft is one of those games that once you start is kind of hard to put down. Like Scribblenauts in a way, the only limit is your own imagination.
Bottom Line: While it’s definitely for the slightly more advanced gamer, Minecraft is game that virtually everyone can enjoy. Just be sure to not ignore the important “real world” things like sleep, school and work.
The granddaddy of first-person graphical adventure genre is still one of the best, and Myst recently got an fantastic upgrade for iOS by way of realMyst. This is another one that might not be for the very young crowd (it’s iTunes page says 12+) because of the complicated nature of the puzzles, but even just wandering around the gorgeous and strange world make this one worth playing. If you have a love for adventure gaming and want to share that obsession with someone, or just want to revisit it yourself, then realMyst is a real gem.
Bottom Line: Myst isn’t just a classic because it was one of the first to do what it does, it’s a classic because it does it so well.
Female characters in videogames tend to get the short end of the stick. They’ve traditionally been depicted as either damsels in distress or buxom eye-candy, and rarely much else. And that’s one of the reasons that Lili is such a great change of pace. Lili is an intelligent, independent, free-spirited and adventurous young woman who ventures into the strange and wonderful island of Geos to do research for a school project. During her travels she gets to meet an eclectic group of fantastical characters, and the land of Geos is one of the most breathtaking and imaginative gaming worlds we’ve ever seen.
Bottom Line: Lili is one of the most magical, funny and engrossing adventures you can find on iOS, and is a great time for casual or the hardcore, young or old, gamers alike.