Welcome to our brand new regular weekly column. Every Tuesday, we march through the mediocre multiplayers, sift through the sordid sporting titles, and pound through the petty platformers to find the best, most interesting iOS gaming gems.
iPhone / iPod touch / iPad
Just because we’re humans doesn’t mean we always want to defend our species in videogames. In fact, most of the time, aliens are way cooler than humans. If you’ve ever wanted to play as the baddest guy on the block, than download this app immediately. In Robert Rodriguez’s Predator (based off the summer blockbuster of the same name) you finally get to take control of the lethal alien assassin.
There are tons of combos and weapons to be unlocked, and it feels surprisingly fluid for something on a touch screen--almost as if it is a real game. However, this isn’t your grandmother’s hack and slash. Huge puddles of blood form after slaying clumsy humans, so if you’re the squeamish type, look elsewhere for your thrills.
For $2.99, you get the universal app for Predators on iPhone and iPad. It’s a killer deal.
Check it out if you: liked Hero of Sparta.
WarChess is now on the iPad flaunting circa-1994 aesthetics. The game is straightforward Chess despite the fantasy theme, and it utilizes a short advertisement at the beginning of the game to keep the cost at the low, low price of free.
Graphics are laughably polygonal and the animations are a joke, but it’s totally worth it for the price. It’s almost delightful how half-assed the animation rendering is.
Only you have the power to protect his polygonal kingdom.
When battle mode loses its novelty (almost immediately, it seemed) there are three different views to choose from, like a 3D board with more authentic pieces, and an uncomplicated flat view. The simpler the board, the less finicky the controls, but even though you're bound to make a few wrong moves in this game of chess, it might be worth it if you can beat the Orc army of Blacktile.
Which board will you choose?
You can play against friends on the same board, or compete against the computer. There are seven different difficulty levels to choose from, but unfortunately, even enchanted magical paladins can't help you play chess.
Check it out if you: Spent your high school years playing Chess and cosplaying.
iPhone / iPod touch / iPad
If flying through tunnels and shooting at random shapes with lasers doesn’t sound very appealing, allow Tunnel Shoot to make a believer out of you. Tunnel Shoot takes the tried and true formula and puts it on the iPhone and iPad, and what do you know, it works better than ever.
In order to move, players tilt the device from side to side. It feels wonderfully responsive, and a bit like holding a steering wheel. Everything is polished and fantastically addicting. In fact, the music, coupled with the neon colors, is more hypnotic than an Alakazam in a Pokemon battle.
The best part of the game is how easy it is to pick up and put down. A round can be played in a few minutes, and after you explode into a billion geometrical shapes, you can post your high scores to Twitter and Facebook to further clutter up your friends’ and enemies’ social networks.
By the way, Tunnel Shoot is this week’s Editor’s challenge. Just try to beat our score.
Editor’s High Score: 169,572.
Check it out if you: ever wondered what it would be like to play Geometry Wars in a vacuum.
JoyBits Co Ltd.
iPhone / iPod touch
First, a word of warning: For some baffling reason, we couldn’t get Doodle God to work on our iPhone. Once it would begin loading, it would abruptly quit. So, we let it sit. But the reviews kept pouring in, and people loved Doodle God. We wanted to play it so bad, we just fired it up on our iPad.
Doodle God is a quirky little app in which you combine elements to make new elements. That’s really all there is to it. The more you create, the more options there are. There’s really no rhyme or reason to it, but guessing at what might create a new element is a satisfactory experience.
She's a brick, ba dun dun, house.
After every new element is created, a quote about the new element is presented. If you get stuck, you can ask the game for a hint. It’s easy and enjoyable, though we have no idea why.
Check it out: if you need a time killer that makes you feel like a god… like Gravilux.
Streaming Colour Studios
iPhone / iPod touch
At first glance, LandFormer is a simple puzzle game with cutesy graphics. But upon second glance, well, it’s still a puzzle game with cutesy graphics but it’s got substance.
See? Look at all that substance.
Minutes after you start playing, you’ll find LandFormer is rewarding as all get out. It takes a remarkable amount of foresight, and if you make a single mistake, you’ll spend valuable moves patching it up. Certain levels are unbelievably difficult even when thoroughly pondered and when you solve the harder puzzles, you’ll feel like a total genius.
Because it’s free, even puzzle-haters should have no hesitation downloading LF.
Check it out if: your love for Puzzles is only exceeded by your love for elevation maps.
So there you have it. Think you can beat our high score? Know a game you’d like to see featured? Sound off in the comments.
Follow this article's author, Nic Vargus, on Twitter.