iPhone Christmas Guide
Perhaps you've been fortunate enough to have been given an iPhone or iPod Touch for Christmas, or maybe you're just interested in acquiring some new games for your much loved mobile device this festive season. Whatever the reason, sit back and read through our selection of the best iPhone games that money can buy.
Bejeweled 2 (1.79 GBP)
It's a classic puzzle title that many know and love, but if you've yet to experience the addictive nature of Bejeweled 2 this really is a game that can't be missed. As so many great games are, the concept is simple: you're faced with a screen full of gems, swap one gem with another of the same colour to form a chain. When the chain is created, the gems disappear causing more gems to fall from the top of the screen. For the majority of the game's different game modes, the objective is to carry on for as long as possible. Simple yet oh so compelling. Its casual nature also makes it an ideal candidate for a great iPhone title, as it's a great game to drop in and out of in short bursts such as while on your daily commute. Avoid this at your peril, and don't be surprised if at some point it causes you to miss a bus, meeting or your wedding, all because you just want 'one last go'.
Flight Control (0.59 GBP)
Who would have thought that playing the stressful role of air traffic controller could be so much fun? Flight Control made controlling air traffic ridiculously addictive fun back in April this year, and even eight months later, it's still compelling enough to be worthy of a place in this list. As with Bejeweled 2, its simple nature is what makes Flight Control so much fun. All the action takes place on one screen which features a number of different coloured runways. The player's role is to direct the frequently appearing planes and helicopters to the relevant runway or helipad. The further you progress, the more frantic the action gets with the game ending once two aircrafts collide. Flight Control harks back to a simpler time when the true reward of the game is beating your friend's high score making online leaderboards a fantastic addition to the already compelling action. The fact it's a mere 59p makes it all the more tantalising.
Peggle (2.99 GBP)
Yes it's another simple yet addictive title but it's here for a very good reason: Peggle is possibly the most enjoyable of them all. Playing much like a game of Bagatelle, each level of Peggle requires the player to shoot balls at a field of coloured pegs to clear them, thus moving onto the next level. It's not as simple as that of course with only a limited supply of balls and the need for accurate propelling becoming quickly crucial for success. Fortunately Peggle has the perfect learning curve ensuring that nothing is too hard, but nor is it too easy. The main Adventure mode offers 55 levels, with 40 challenge levels also available making Peggle a competitively priced game and an ideal addition to any iPhone owner's collection.
QuizQuizQuiz (1.19 GBP, Christmas version free)
Remembering random pieces of trivia is one of those things that we all seem to be good at in one way or another. Most of all many of us love to show off just what we know making QuizQuizQuiz a great game to play. It offers a feature unique to many quiz games: region specific questions. This is a fantastic feature and makes QuizQuizQuiz much more accessible than many other games, especially when there are 5,000 questions aimed at the UK as well as up to 23,000 others depending on what region you set the game to. The trivia is always varied thanks to there being both conventional categories and more eclectic ones such as questions about bearded people. Throw in online leaderboards and multiplayer modes, there are even more reasons to get QuizQuizQuiz. Currently there's a Christmas related free version of QuizQuizQuiz making now the perfect time to give this game a shot.
Real Racing (2.99 GBP)
When I first started playing games on my iPhone I really didn't expect to one day be playing a game like Real Racing. It's a truly fantastic example of the potential that the iPhone hardware has. It offers an impressive graphics engine and fantastic driving physics. To be able to drift so accurately in an iPhone racing game is a particularly impressive accomplishment as well as the fact that the career mode offers an astounding 76 events. Real Racing truly is a well-rounded racing title. It puts games on 'proper' gaming systems to shame thanks to its wealth of options and intuitive controls, making it an essential purchase for the petrol head in you.
Rolando 2 (2.99 GBP)
It's a game that has won countless awards and for good reason, Rolando 2 is a vibrant and adorable platformer. It's another game, much like Real Racing, where it's impressive just how much can be fitted in to one game especially for such a low price. There are 46 different levels spread across six different chapters offering plenty of longevity. Gameplay is relatively simple while offering plenty of puzzles to tax the old grey matter. The objective in each level is to use the accelerometer and touch based controls to guide the small Rolando creatures to the exit of each level while avoiding numerous traps and pitfalls, a bit like the classic puzzler Lemmings. There are multiple paths to take making the game particularly interesting to traverse, as well as various items which can aid the Rolandos in their plight. Rolando 2 truly is a charming little adventure and great for those looking for a little more depth to their games.
The Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition (4.99 GBP)
The most expensive title in our selection, The Secret of Monkey Island is here for good reason: it's a phenomenal example of the point and click adventure genre. The Secret of Monkey Island was originally released nearly 20 years ago for the PC and Atari ST and instantly stole our hearts. Much of this is down to the storyline; its script is funnier than many 'real world' comedies. You play Guybrush Threepwood, a young lad desperate to become a pirate. While embarking on his quest, he must defeat a sword master through insult sword fighting as well as the more conventional method: finding buried treasure. Along the way Guybrush meets the likes of Stan the used boat salesman and the 'Three Men of Low Moral Fibre', as you can guess any game with characters like this has a great sense of humour. With a graphical reboot being introduced to the iPhone adaptation, The Secret of Monkey Island is a brilliant way of spending a few hours and it's great to see such a great classic game be given a new lease of life.
Space Invaders Infinity Gene (2.99 GBP)
Talking of new leases of life, Taito has done a fantastic job of reviving Space Invaders for the iPhone, making Infinity Gene an essential purchase for shoot 'em up fans. Infinity Gene is a true evolution of the classic shoot 'em up, in every sense of the word. The game starts out looking like conventional Space Invaders but as each level progresses, more new features are unlocked. The combat is no longer restricted to one screen and the weapon types are wide and varied with the likes of the search laser (a homing missile basically) and the self explanatory wave attack swiftly becoming available. Infinity Gene may not be the prettiest of games, but its longevity is unbeaten in the genre with tons of unlockables available. A very worthy successor to the Space Invaders crown.
Wolfenstein 3D (1.19 GBP)
It's another classic game resurrected for the iPhone, and while Wolfenstein 3D might look rather dated, its gameplay is as relevant as ever. Wolfenstein 3D was once the King of FPS genre and it still shows now. Offering 60 levels spread across 6 different chapters, there's plenty to keep you busy here as you help the hero, BJ Blazkowicz, escape Castle Wolfenstein while killing anything that moves. You'll even come across Hitler in a robotic suit eventually. It's furious, mindless action but Wolfenstein 3D has never really aged thanks to the good old fashioned action it offers.
Zenonia (1.79 GBP)
Finally we come to a bit of a surprise hit: Zenonia. It's the type of game that fans of the 16bit era, and in particular the Zelda series, will adore. Sure it might feature a rather generic plotline but its the gameplay that really counts. Zenonia offers an impressive 40 hours worth of game time with plenty of side quests to complete as well as the main quest. As well as that there's even a basic class system allowing players to choose from three different class types, extending longevity even further. Oh and did I mention the choice of good or evil storylines to pursue? Or the customisation options? Zenonia is the best RPG on the iPhone and RPG fans would be mad to not download it right this second.