This month, a dizzying number of new iPhone and iPad games hit the App Store. Since even the best games can be forgotten a week or two after they launch, we’ve put together this list of our favorite Must Have titles from September. Any of these games is easily worth your time and money, but check back tomorrow to see which one gets our highest honor: Game of the Month.
Monsters Ate My Condo
Adult Swim has released some whacked-out games before, like the bloody Amateur Surgeon 2 and magical Robot Unicorn Attack. In Monsters Ate My Condo, you have to feed floors of a condo to a gang of adorable, 100-foot tall monsters. You can keep them happy by feeding them floors of the same color, upset them by feeding them the wrong floors, or just make matches of three and rack up points. Not only does this game look great, but it’s fast-paced and a lot of fun.
Our Bottom Line: Monsters Ate My Condo is a satisfying slice of lunacy.
The Sims Medieval
We’re still waiting on an iPad version, but the Sims 3 games on iPhone have gotten better over time. The Sims Medieval transports your Sim to the era of knights and royalty, where you can be anything from a vampire to the village fool. New quests and goals for your Sim can also make this simulation feel more like a fantasy RPG.
Our Bottom Line: A good option for any Sims fan who wants to put a little sparkle in their digital friends’ lives.
From Backflip, the company that made the freemium hits Ninjump and Paper Toss, comes a virtual village filled with cartoon dragons. Your goal is to breed and house dragons, so that visitors leave you plenty of gold. As a free download, payment is optional, but be prepared to spend a lot of time waiting for your dragon eggs to hatch.
Our Bottom Line: DragonVale is a glimmer of hope in freemium-filled App Store.
Where’s My Water?
The team at Disney that brought you the Jelly Car series now has a new physics puzzler on the App Store that is just as addictive as Cut The Rope. Your goal is to connect an alligator in the sewer with a supply of fresh water, so he can take a shower. By swiping on the screen, you’ll clear aside dirt so that the water can flow naturally. Once you start to add in obstacles like contaminated water and fast-growing grass, it’s easy to get caught up in this addictive and challenging game.
Our Bottom Line: Where’s My Water is a highly polished and appealing physics puzzler that nearly everyone can enjoy.
Remember Dungeon Keeper, the PC game where you got to play as the evil overlord of a trap-filled dungeon? Tiny Heroes takes that concept and applies it to the tower defense genre, letting you punish waves of good guys with springing platforms, spikes that come out of the walls, and auto-firing crossbows. With lots of levels, and more available through in-app purchase, Tiny Heroes will keep you indulging your evil side for a long time.
Our Bottom Line: Though it has a few quirks, Tiny Heroes provides one of the best experiences in dungeon crawling this side of a Game Master’s screen.
Another World – 20th Anniversary
One night, Lester is working late in his lab when a freak electrical storm shorts out his equipment. Next thing he knows, he’s stranded on an alien planet filled with massive beasts, poison slugs, and a hostile race of intelligent humanoids. This landmark action/adventure game seamlessly melds laser-gun battles and environmental puzzles, and updates the graphics and controls for the iPad. Even if you didn’t play this one back in the 90s, it’s still worth downloading today.
Our Bottom Line: After 20 years, Another World still shines as a singular and creative action-adventure game.
King of Dragon Pass
In this startlingly deep text-based adventure, you play as the chief of a small village in a Tolkienesque fantasy world. After you define your tribe’s mythology, down to which gods and attributes to worship, you’ll be able to lead your people down the paths of peace or war, whichever you decide. Your neighbors might not be happy about your choices, but in Dragon Pass, your clan’s survival is the ultimate goal.
Our Bottom Line: If you want a deep, ponderous, text-heavy world-building game for your iPhone, this is the one. Otherwise, pass on King of Dragon Pass.
In feudal Japan, warlords fought for power on the battlefield. According to Samurai Bloodshow, each general would draw cards, place them on a grid, and watch as fiercely determined warriors would suddenly appear and advance to the other side. Though it may not be historically accurate, Samurai Bloodshow has a beautiful scrollwork aesthetic, combined with some interesting strategy elements and online multiplayer through Game Center.
Our Bottom Line: Be there, or be beheaded.
Machinarium is a beautiful-looking adventure game that’s so advanced, you have to have an iPad 2 just to run it. If you’re lucky enough to own one, you’ll love Machinarium’s hand-drawn appearance, wordless dialogue, and complex puzzles. Apple knew what they were doing when they named Machinarium their iPad Game of the Week.
Our Bottom Line: An absolutely brilliant take on the classic point and click adventure plot, with enchanting visuals and sounds, and a plethora of unique challenges that are sure to bend your mind.
Racing games don’t always have to be about split-second decisions at 100 mph. DrawRace 2 is unique in that you get to plot out your turns and acceleration ahead of time, drawing your route on the screen before the flag drops. With gorgeous graphics and tons of unlockable events, DrawRace 2 is one of the best unconventional racing games on the App Store.
Our Bottom Line: DrawRace 2 is a challenging racer that improves on its predecessor in every way.
Nick Chase and the Deadly Diamond
When we last left Nick Chase, he was hunting through detailed scenes for clues, puzzles, and bullet casings. In this sequel, he’s doing more of the same, uncovering the mystery of a diamond that falls into his lap. We’ve always enjoyed this series for its comic book-style graphics and multi-step puzzles, and Deadly Diamond doesn’t disappoint.
Our Bottom Line: Nick Chase & the Deadly Diamond is another diamond from the phenomenal studio, Big Fish Games.
The Secret of Chateau de Moreau
Everything about Chateau de Moreau says high class, from the tasteful music to the lush surroundings and intriguing storyline. You play as the adopted son of a recently-deceased aristocrat, who perished under unusual circumstances. As you meet your upper-crust family, you’ll begin to piece together the motivations they had for eliminating him. This fancy adventure is about as classy as it gets on the iPhone.
Our Bottom Line: An adventure game that delivers intrigue in an innovative and artistic way, The Secret of Chateau de Moreau is wholly worthwhile.
Edge might be famous for attracting a lawsuit over its name, but it should also be famous for being a great platformer. In this expanded version of the original game, you’ll get 44 new levels, plus the ability to race against your own best times. Each level is a complicated, three-dimensional maze that you have to traverse using nothing but a cube that rolls end-over-end. If you’ve played the original Edge, you already know why this fun concept was extended even further.
Our Bottom Line: The most fun you’ll have with a square.
Crimson: Steam Pirates
The good news is that Crimson: Steam Pirates is a free download, which gives you lots of great turn-based gameplay for no fees up-front. The bad news is that it’s only on the iPad, so iPhone owners are missing out. With an unusual emphasis on storytelling, this turn-based strategy game has you rallying your pirate crew around the Jolly Roger as you fight enemy ships both at sea and in the air.
Our Bottom Line: Crimson: Steam Pirates is like a good book and a game of chess rolled into one Must Have download.
Where’s My Water? isn’t the only great water-themed puzzle game this month. In Sprinkle, you play as a firefighting alien who has to douse the flames on his home planet. You can control a high-pressure hose to blast away rocks and wood, and extinguish every bit of flame using some creative physics. Sprinkle can be a little tricky, but it’s worth the effort.
Our Bottom Line: Sprinkle is a solid puzzle game in a similar vein as Crush the Castle or Angry Birds, yet carries gameplay and an identity distinct from either.
Bug Heroes Quest
The first Bug Heroes was a tower defense game that also had a lot of exploration and one-on-one combat. For this spin-off, Foursaken Media ditched the defense and sent these heroic bugs on an epic quest. As an action-RPG, Bug Heroes Quest is full of interesting characters, hidden loot, and deadly insect enemies, all in environments as familiar as your kitchen table.
Our Bottom Line: A captivating spin-off of the original Bug Heroes game that’s sure to appeal to both new and old players of all ages and skill levels.