If you’re picky about which iOS games you buy or download, you’re in good company. We’re also very particular about which games we cover, because we know there’s a lot of junk in the App Store. Here are our picks for five of the best new indie iOS games that clearly stand out from the rest.
Appy Entertainment, who previously made Trucks and Skulls and SpellCraft School of Magic, are back with a new freemium game called Animal Legends. You control a team of animal warriors as they try to reclaim their kingdom. Since it’s a freemium game, your energy and resources are very limited, forcing you to collect coins from your village or pay extra to advance quickly. But with outstanding graphics and animation, plus a rich combination of RPGs and city-building sims, you’ll probably find yourself hooked by this colorful game.
Smokey the Dragon has a secret shame– he doesn’t have a full set of teeth. Your job is to help him aim his fireballs so that he can blast through piles of furniture and find a pair of dentures. The destructive physics are fun and reminiscent of Angry Birds, but debris can also fall onto Smokey and injure him, requiring you to equip him with football helmets and other special headgear.
Dream of Pixels
This reverse-Tetris game from Dawn of Play (makers of the retro LCD app Monkey Labour) can be both soothing and intense. As clouds roll by, you have to cut out tetrominos to clear lines and earn points. The use of negative space might be confusing at first, but soon you’ll get caught up in the peaceful atmosphere. There’s also a puzzle mode, where you can take as much time as you like to put each piece in exactly the right place.
Super Tiny Leap
This high-score climbing game has an interesting mechanic to it. You don’t directly control the tiny, leaping robot as he climbs higher and higher, but you can place blocks for him to grab onto and bounce off of. You have a limited number of blocks, so you’ll have to collect more along the way, all while avoiding bug-zapper style electrodes. Super Tiny Leap is a free download to start, but you’ll have to pay a dollar to play beyond the trial, or to unlock two extra modes.
Interlocked is a perplexing puzzle game where you have to tease apart 3D objects by sliding them in different directions. You can rotate the objects however you like, and then move them to end up with separate components. The objects themselves are like challenging wooden block puzzles, and if we had a 3D printer, we’d love to make physical versions of these brain-teasers.