iOS gamers were truly spoiled for choice in 2015, with at least two or three excellent new games released every week. Independent developers were fizzing with ideas, even if they often struggled to make their fortune from them.
Narrowing down a huge longlist to reach the 25 games featured here involved squeezing out some impressive titles, from Skylanders Superchargers and Real Boxing 2 to Attack The Light, Letterpad and You Must Build a Boat.
Here is the final 25: the Guardian’s pick of 2015 in iOS gaming. Thiab, muaj, there is a separate Android games roundup that you can find here.
Ib tug kev ua si raws li ib tug ntawm lub ntiaj teb no lub feem ntau nrov YouTubers yuav zoo li zoo li ib daim ntawv qhia rau ib tug cov nyiaj ntsuab-nyob rau hauv, tab sis qhov no yog dab tsi tab sis. Lus dab neeg ntawm lub Brofist yog ib tug zoo-crafted platformer uas muaj ntau ntau ntawm kev paub txog ua tim khawv rau gaming keeb kwm. Nws kuj ua rau koj cia siab rau koj cov kev txawj es koj lub hnab tawv me (rau nyob rau hauv-app yuav) yuav vam meej.
Txhua lub hlis nyob rau hauv 2015 ciali mus coj ib tug tshiab Star Wars mobile ua si, tag nrho cov ntawm lawv zoo. Qhov no yog ib tug uas kiv cua yuav relish feem ntau: ib tug zoo-tsim txiav txim kev ua si nrog ib tug tseem ceeb nyob rau sau cim los ntawm ntau yam eras ntawm Star Wars, and then forming them into teams to battle it out in the universe.
23. tsaus Echo
We’ve seen audio-only games such as Papa Sangre on iOS before, tab sis qhov no yog sib txawv, siv "visualized suab" los qhia nws cov kev kawm raws li cov suab uas koj ua. Tsuas yog cov neeg suab kuj nyiam … zoo, peb yuav tsis lwj nws. Tab sis qhov no yog tsis yog ib tug kev ua si koj mam li xav mus ua si ib leeg lig thaum hmo ntuj - nws yuav muaj koj dhia tawm ntawm koj lub rooj zaum.
“We know. It doesn’t look like much. But we promise that it’s a very good puzzle game,” said developer Simogo – of Year Walk and Device 6 fame – and they were right. SPL-T seems very simple: you tap on the screen to divide it into halves (and then halves again, thiab lwm yam). But as you start developing your strategy, it sucks you in.
21. AirAttack 2
If you love a good shoot-‘em-up with bullets streaking everywhere, you’ll love AirAttack 2. Its second world war theme sees you flying through 22 levels shooting and bombing enemy forces, and while the spectacular graphics are the game’s main selling point, its gameplay is reassuringly challenging for fans of the genre.
Cov sequel rau 2009 tus (tseem tsim nyog mus xyuas) Kab laug sab: The Secret of Bryce Manor, qhov no yog ntau yim-legged puzzle-dlaws, raws li koj tshawb tus uas tsev loj cuab kab thiab uncovering ib supernatural zaj dabneeg. Ib feem ntawm ib tug qauv (nrog rau kev ua si zoo li cov prune thiab hauv qab lub Lighthouse) tsawg frenetic hlwb-ncab.
Nws yog ib tug heev txawv kev ua si, tab sis yog tias koj hlub Monument Valley nyob rau hauv 2014, ces hauv qab lub Lighthouse tej zaum yuav koj tom ntej no fix. Nws yog ib tug puzzle kev ua si teem hauv qab no ib tug lighthouse, qhov chaw uas koj yuav tsum tig cov neeg kho tshuab log mus nrhiav koj cov tub ntxhais hero txoj kev rau nws poob yawg. Nws yog kaj thiab cov yeeb yuj, thiab kuaj koj sab tib zoo xav.
Downwell looks like a Spectrum game, and plays quite like one too – complete with on-screen buttons to control its action. Yet the game has won plenty of people over to its charms, as you plunge down a well looking for treasure. The depth (pun partly intended) comes from the weapons and power-ups that you collect along the way.
Raws li ntau ib tug atherosclerosis kev ua si nkaus raws li ib tug kev ua si sim, Nrua Kab civliv 2 tau koj hoicking fours thiab sixes tiv thaiv ib tug ntau ntawm tw, nrog txig stripped-down ntawm lwm yam uas thiab ntaug-du animation. The best cricket game on iOS, but its mechanics should make it appeal to more casual fans as well as cricketing buffs.
16. Fallout Shelter
Los ntawm tus kawg ntawm 2015, Fallout fans were playing Fallout 4 on their consoles. But until its release, mobile game Fallout Shelter was their fill-in fix – but also a top-notch game in its own right. The game sees you running a post-apocalyptic shelter underground, like a radiation-dodging The Sims.
15. Cov Room Peb
Both previous The Room games remain excellent touchscreen puzzle games, and the third in the series was just as good. Like its predecessors, it focused on physical puzzles, as you spin, tap and zoom in on various artifacts to figure out their secrets. The perfect showcase for recent iOS devices’ visual grunt, but a great game too.
14. This War of Mine
Another game that will give your emotions a good going-over, this is a war game played from the perspective of civilians in a city under siege. You’ll split your time between building your hideout and foraging in the dangerous city streets, with some very hard decisions to be made about the people under your protection.
13. Shooty Skies
Otherwise known as one of the things the Crossy Road developers did next: besides reinventing Pac-Man, they made this rapidfire shoot-‘em-up. It uses similar dynamics to Crossy Road: you’ll die regularly, but will unlock new characters as you progress. Plenty of charm, and refreshingly unaggressive with its in-app purchases.
One of the hardest games in this list – in its early stages anyway – but one well worth persevering with. Don’t Starve sees you abandoned in a wilderness, having to find food, set up camp and avoid being scoffed by wild animals. An inventive and unsettling twist on the exploration-and-crafting genre.
Minecraft maker Mojang’s decision to team up with developer Telltale Games for a narrative adventure could have been a mistake, but instead it was a triumphant success. A game set in another game’s world may sound a bit meta, but the characters, voice acting and fan-focused references made this a treat.
Vintage console franchise Rayman has become one of the most trustworthy mobile gaming brands too, with a series of marvellous touchscreen titles. Rayman Adventures didn’t break the streak, even with its freemium structure: colourfully-cartoonish platform action with controls that never frustrate.
We’ve seen snowboarding and skiing games before on iOS, but never one as lovely-looking as Alto’s Adventure. Its zoomed-out camera puts the focus as much on the carefully-crafted backgrounds as on your snowboarder, with physics that feel just right as you zip (and jump) across the undulating landscapes.
The original PC and console version of this has won dozens of awards, and deservedly so. It puts you through the wringer with its tale of a pair of brothers trying to save their father’s life. Clever controls and lush visuals will draw you in, but it’s the story that will keep you playing.
The Five Nights at Freddy’s series has built a devoted fanbase, and this final game didn’t disappoint them. Ib zaug ntxiv, you’re doing battle with genuinely-creepy animatronic enemies, except this time round the action has shifted to your own home. The best game yet in mobile’s premier survival-horror series.
Nearly four years after its launch, Triple Town remains one of the best mobile puzzlers. Nyob rau hauv 2015, its developer made an equally-addictive word game, Alphabear, which sees you spelling words from Scrabble-like tiles to earn points – and build cartoon bears. The perfect dip-in dip-out mobile game.
It might star a famous game face, but this was no lacklustre spinoff. Lara Croft Go – like Hitman Go before it – is a familiar brand applied to a rock-solid puzzle-adventure engine. Lara Croft Go puts the focus squarely on your mental ingenuity, with six chapters of perfectly-formed visuals to explore.
A wonderful idea for anyone who’s ever loved the roleplaying game (RPG) ib hom ntawv nyeem. Evoland starts as a top-down, monochrome adventure but gradually works its way through the genre’s history, ending up with whizzy real-time 3D battling. A gimmick? Thankfully it was backed up by an absorbing game.
There have been excellent mobile versions of Football Manager for several years now, tab sis 2015 saw the gap between tablets and the desktop versions of the management sim narrow even further. Not least because of the cloud-save option to play your saved game on either.
Is this a game, or a gardening-themed meditation app? Tog twg los txoj kev, it was one of the best things to play on iOS this year. Described by its developer as “a love letter to trees”, it sees you nurturing yours with gentle touchscreen swipes. The game looks and sounds beautiful: the antidote to your mobile-inbox stress.
An engrossing game that allows you to play detective, going over footage of police interviews with a woman whose husband has gone missing, sniffing out clues as you search the database, and get deeper and deeper into, muaj, her story. Great enough to dispel decades of memories of awful “interactive video” games.
Yog li ntawd, dab tsi tau peb tu? Cov nqe lus qhib rau koj cov lus rau cov kev ua si saum toj no thiab koj cov lus pom zoo rau lwm yam npe - sawv daws yuav tso tawm rau thawj lub sij hawm nyob rau hauv 2015, Yog hais tias koj tsis mloog.
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