Last week brought a nice stack of impressive-looking iOS games, and this week is somehow even better. Online MOBA-style action game Vainglory and tower defense prequel Kingdom Rush Origins are the big ones, but small indies like Sunburn! and Crossy Road both seem super charming, and it’s hard to ignore a new Call of Duty experience. Will there be any notable games left for Thanksgiving week? (Who cares? Play these now.)
It's official: there are too many iOS games. It's harder than ever to spot the great ones among all the junk, so we've done the hard work for you and collected the classics for this list. Every game here is playable on both iPad and iPhone (plus iPod touch, naturally), although some are split into device-specific versions. Read on and enjoy!
Assuming that the old adage about imitation being the sincerest form of flattery still holds up in the App Store era, the makers of Kingdom Rush should feel downright exalted by Pirate Legends TD. Copycats are nothing new in the iOS space, but while subtler "tributes" might try to disguise their inspirations, Pirate Legends TD makes no such effort. From the tower selection to the upgrade paths, placement approach, and UI design – plus the between-mission upgrades, map screen design, and use of heroes – this tower defense affair barely diverges from the uniquely fantastic concoction of elements brewed for Kingdom Rush and Kingdom Rush Frontiers.
The original Kingdom Rush is one of the App Store's most enticing time sinks – an original tower defense affair that delivers countless hours of challenging entertainment and remains atop the crowded genre on iOS. Kingdom Rush Frontiers, available in separate iPhone (reviewed) and iPad releases, makes little effort to reinvent the formula. It's the same core strategic experience that we loved last year, albeit with fresh terrain and tower upgrades, plus a couple of light twists along the way. And considering the immense quality of the original, it's tough to argue with that approach.
Early iOS tower defense favorites like geoDefense and Fieldrunners proved that the strategy sub-genre could shine on a touch screen, and Kingdom Rush only continues that trend with a fantastically well-produced affair that's bursting with challenge, content, and excellent presentation. Following an iPad-exclusive release earlier this year, Kingdom Rush comes to iPhone and iPod touch with a standalone native version, which offers the full original experience albeit for smaller screens.