Although it is still overlooked in favor of the Nintendo DS and PSP when it comes to portable games, the Apple iPhone has been building up a lot of momentum in the gaming industry as the mobile platform amasses an impressive growing library of titles.
From bite-size puzzle games to old-school arcade remakes and even epically long RPGs, we've watched the iPhone morph into a legitimate portable gaming system. With most prices ranging between $9.99 all the way down to a single dollar, there can be a tremendous amount of gaming value to be found on the iPhone.
AskMen.com singles out 10 essential picks that absolutely have to be on every guy’s iPhone. So, fire up the App Store and get ready to load up your iPhone with the very best gaming Apple has to offer.
When you think of the type of games that would play well on a 3.5-inch touch screen phone, first-person shooters are probably the last genre to come to mind. For the times when you are away from your Xbox 360 or PLAYSTATION 3, and are just craving some Halo-like FPS action, theiPhone has you covered with N.O.V.A. If you compare Gameloft’s N.O.V.A.to other shooters offered on the iPhone today, there really is no contest. From the excellent pacing to the epic set pieces, and most importantly the quality controls, N.O.V.A. is a graphically impressive, fully competent mobile FPS title. Like any good FPS, there is even some measure of multiplayer here, with N.O.V.A. taking advantage of the iPhone’s 3G network to link you up to other players for online death-match action.
4. Beneath A Steel Sky - Remastered
One of the best gaming trends on the iPhone has been the conversion of classic point-and-click adventure games. While we have seen more famous titles such as The Secret Of Monkey Island and Myst make the transition over to iPhone games, the best of the bunch so far has been a long-lost cult favorite from the early ‘90s. Beneath A Steel Sky takes the term retro remix to a whole new level, offering up a load of impressive new polished features, none of which are as obvious or appreciated as the updated cut scenes that were animated by Dave Gibbons of Watchmenfame. For just $4.99 you can score a slick adventure title that manages to not only conjure up nostalgic bliss, but also make perfect use of the iPhone’s cutting-edge control schemes.
3. Star Defense
It's pretty much impossible these days to open up the App Store and not stumble across about two dozen tower defense games in the span of a few seconds. Sure, this strategy genre has been milked to death, but the truth is, the tower defense gameplay does lend itself quite well to the iPhone, and no developer has taken more advantage of this natural fit like ngmocco. Star Defense puts a science fiction spin on the mundane tower defense game, thanks to its use of a 3-D plane of action.
Each level in Star Defense takes place planetside, and you rotate the on-screen globe as you carefully place your forces and amass a powerful arsenal to halt a relentless alien force. The controls are sublime, the tower and enemy balance is perfect and the classy presentation is the cherry on top of what is an effort that is head and shoulders above all other tower defense games. Star Defense is a great title to pop in and pop out of, but don’t be surprised when you find yourself playing this for long feverish stretches on your iPhone.
A massive original role-playing game on the iPhone would have seemed like both an impractical and impossible achievement, that is until you playZenonia. Gamevil has crafted a world that is easy to get lost in, and with a sequel already on the way, Zenonia is looking to become the first name in iPhone RPGs. After just a few moments playing Zenonia, you will feel yourself being transported back to that genre’s 16-bit golden age on the Genesis and Super Nintendo as the game will remind many of a classicFinal Fantasy or Dragon Warrior title. Don’t be fooled into thinking this game is watered down on any level just because it lives on the iPhone.Zenonia features solid graphics, a detailed skill tree for customizing your hero and even a day-to-night system. A steal at $5.99, Zenonia will appeal to retro gamers, RPG lovers and pretty much anybody who enjoys quality video games. With potentially 40 hours worth of gameplay, there is a lot to keep you busy here.
1. Spider: The Secret of Bryce Manor
Spider is a very easy game to fall in love with. From the stunning hand-drawn art to the iTunes-worthy musical score and even the surprisingly emotional story, this is a little game that would be a crime to overlook. On the surface, Spider: The Secret of Bryce Manor appears to be a standard puzzle game, albeit a creative one where you control a tiny arachnid as it weaves its web to catch flies and bugs. However, playing out in the backdrop of Spider is an impressive mystery that is easy to miss, but turns out to be the highlight of the game. The Secret of Bryce Manorconjures up more sensations of sadness, dread and uplifting spirit than that of games 50 times its size on much more powerful platforms. With 28 rooms to explore and re-explore as you try to unwind this brilliant story,Spider offers a lot of lasting appeal and a mega value.