The best of the iPhone: 2.50 GBP and under
Since the launch of Apple's App Store, we've seen a veritable plethora of applications and games released, all vying for your pennies and your attention. In April of this year, only nine months after its launch, Apple announced its one billionth App Store sale. Since then sales figures have doubled with the announcement from Apple at the end of September that two billion downloads had been achieved, a huge accomplishment and surely a sign that digital downloads could be the future. With 85,000 different apps available, over 21,000 of those being games at time of writing, just how are you expected to know what games are actually worth your time and money? Enter this round-up of some of the best games that money can buy on the App Store, starting with the games that are cheaper than a pint, all under 2.50 GBP each.
Bejewelled 2 (1.79 GBP)
There are many, many Match 3 games on the App Store, puzzle games that involve matching up items with each other to clear the board, but none are as addictive as Bejewelled 2. To call it the father of Match 3 games would be entirely appropriate as it really hasn't been bettered. You've no doubt played it before on the PC, possibly even on the Xbox 360 or PS3, but this really is a great conversion to the iPhone. The touch based controls are perfect with Bejewelled 2 as a simple swipe across the screen moves the gems just where you want them. It might be a ridiculously simple concept, but it truly is addictive and for the bargain price of 1.79 GBP, it will certainly keep you hooked while sitting idly on your daily commute.
Flight Control (0.59 GBP)
It's a game that's even caught the hearts of various celebrities such as Stephen Fry and the ever-secretly cool Philip Schofield, and there are good reasons for it. Like so many of the greats, Flight Control is incredibly simple. You play an air traffic controller: your job is to direct jets, small planes and helicopters to the relevant runways and helipads, while ensuring that none of them collide. It starts out nice and slow, but the pace picks up fast and becomes challenging, frustrating but ultimately brilliant fun. Much of its success has to be put down to the perfect pricing, at 59 pence it is cheaper than pretty much any other form of entertainment you could think of. No self respecting iPhone/iPod Touch owner can be without this gem.
Paper Toss (free)
Some games sound distinctly pointless when described despite being compelling fun in action, and Paper Toss is one such game. The purpose behind it? You are sitting in an office and have to flick a piece of paper into a bin. Yes it is as simple as that. Luckily, to make things a little more interesting, there is a fan in the office which means wind direction and speed has to be taken into account. To keep things competitive you are scored on how many times you manage to toss the paper into the bin without missing and there is an online leaderboard. It might sound a little pointless but it really is strangely compelling, and for free, it is well worth a look.
Pocket God (0.59 GBP)
From tossing paper to playing God, yes the App Store can really be that versatile. Pocket God involves taking the role of a God who rules over some primitive islanders. It enables you to use the accelerometer to simulate earthquakes and affect the gravity of the island. One of the best things about Pocket God is the regular stream of updates which just keep adding more and more features to the game. Past updates have provided such features as the ability to fire lightning bolts at the islanders and extra mini games which are homages to iPhone games such as Flight Control and Doodle Jump. With the 28th update on its way, Pocket God is astonishingly well supported especially for such an inexpensive title. Miss it at your peril.
Spider: The Secret of Bryce Manor (1.79 GBP)
Arachnophobes need not apply; Spider puts you in the role of a spider investigating an abandoned mansion. A unique premise indeed and it truly is beautifully made. Throughout the game you must spin webs in order to capture food so that you can make it to the next level. Spider is simply beautiful to look at with 28 hand-drawn levels to traverse as well as a distinctly memorable soundtrack. It's the sort of game that, like Braid on the Xbox 360 and PC, really shows just how clever indie games can be.
Tap Tap Revenge (free)
Music rhythm games are a huge craze, as we all know, so it makes perfect sense that the App Store has one too. Tap Tap Revenge is modelled after Dance Dance Revolution rather than the likes of Guitar Hero when it comes to how to play. Players tap coloured balls when they reach the bottom of the screen in time with the music. Songs included with the game range from the likes of the Kaiser Chiefs, Nine Inch Nails and a whole host of independent artists. Ultimately, Tap Tap Revenge is a terrifically fun title and for free, it really can't be resisted.
Toy Bot Diaries Compilation (2.39 GBP)
The Toy Bot Diaries series of games is a harsh reminder to many of us that games can be surprisingly tough. They also happen to demonstrate just how clever iPhone games can be. Using the accelerometer to wonderful extents, you are Toy Bot; a little cute robot who is trying to regain his memory. He has to traverse various levels through the use of his magnetic boots and grappling hook. All the controls are centred on the accelerometer with swinging being conducted by moving the device itself. Accurate movements are essential to succeed in this game and be warned, it's not for the faint hearted. This game will infuriate, but it is also tremendous value offering all three Toy Bot instalments in one easy package.
Wolfenstein 3D (1.19 GBP)
Wolfenstein 3D has been hailed as the first game to popularise the first-person shooter genre, and rightly so. It was a very enjoyable FPS with you playing BJ Blazkowicz as he escapes Castle Wolfenstein and overthrows the Nazi regime all by himself. Gameplay was very simple by today's standards with basic weapons and a simple aim to shoot anything that moves but it was, and still is, tremendous fun. The iPhone adaptation is a perfect conversion of this classic and the touch controls work extremely effectively throughout.
Wolfenstein RPG (1.79 GBP)
In a similar vein to the previous title, Wolfenstein RPG is very much like Wolfenstein 3D albeit in RPG form and with a graphical update. Long gone are the days of the sprite, instead everything looks a bit prettier here. As well as that, combat has changed to turn-based action with numerous items to collect and notes to read. It's a surprisingly in-depth first person RPG and is ideal for dropping in and out of during commutes.
Zenonia (1.79 GBP)
For those of you who have many happy memories of playing The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, Zenonia truly is a must buy. Just looking at the screenshots demonstrates just how familiar this will be to many of you. It features the tale of Regret, a young man trying to figure out the reason behind his father's death and to stop an evil demon. Featuring real-time combat and many, many sidequests Zenonia feels distinctly like a Zelda game, luckily it also has the quality of the series. It even has a class-based skill tree and a choice of three different class types. Zenonia will last the average player 30-40 hours with plenty to do, so for 1.79 GBP it really is a bargain.