One of the best uses for an iPhone is killing time. There are so many great games available for your playing pleasure that there’s really no excuse to ever be bored again while waiting at the bus stop. The potential for wasting time is darn near limitless on an iPhone, and that’s why we buy them. Wasting time on an iPhone is just that much easier.
However, there are a select few games for iOS that stand head and shoulders above their comrades. These are games that I found myself playing not just to relieve boredom, but at all hours of the day.
These apps are so fun, so compulsive and so darn addictive that you’ll be hard-pressed to put them down. Download at your own risk.
Most Addictive iPhone Games
One of the best game developers around today is PopCap. Even if you don’t recognize the name, chances are you’ve played one of their games before. They specialize in creating small, casual games that are easy to learn but absurdly fun to play. Really, they made Bejeweled, Plants vs. Zombies, Zuma, and my personal favorite Peggle.
Peggle is an especially addictive mixture of luck and skill that will keep you playing for hours. You fire a ball at a group of pegs. Each peg you hit clears it from the board. The more pegs you clear, the more points you score. The skill part is aiming and setting up the perfect shot. The luck part is everything else that happens after your shot. Predicting where the ball will bounce after one or two hits is darn near impossible.
Still, the game is very polished and incredibly fun. PopCap games are always stylish and addictive, but Peggle is probably their greatest achievement yet. If you’re willing to drop $3, Peggle will provide you with some of the most purely fun, addictive gameplay available for the iPhone.
This game should be a little more familiar to you. Everybody knows Tetris. What makes it special is that Tetris is perhaps the best puzzle game ever created. Seriously, it’s been around for decades and is still just as addictive. Precisely placing falling blocks and clearing lines is such a simple concept, but the situations it creates are anything but.
The iPhone version of Tetris is impressively well made. The touch screen controls are smooth and easy to use. The game will even save your progress upon exit so that you can resume exactly where you left off next time. The core gameplay is basically unchanged, it’s just been skinned over with nice graphics that especially pop on the iPhone 4’s Retina display.
Tiny Wings is the epitome of app design philosophy. It uses simple controls (you touch and release the screen anywhere) and a unique concept (launching yourself into the air) to create a game that is as addictive as it is creative. In Tiny Wings, you control a bird with small wings (surprise, surprise) who cannot fly just yet.
However, he can change his relative weight by folding in his wings. The islands which the little bird traverses are composed entirely of rolling hills. With the right timing, you can use the bird’s weight changing trick to ramp off of the hills and fly through the air at incredible speeds. If that didn’t make sense, just play the game. You’ll understand it instantly.
Either way, the simple gameplay is bizarrely addictive. Tiny Wings is good for a quick session or extended play. Plus, with a steady stream of updates coming from the creator, there’s always something new to do.
Fruit Ninja is a lot like Tiny Wings in that it takes a weird concept and polishes it to seriously addictive levels with solid gameplay. It uses the touch screen superbly for cutting fruit, of all things.
The game tosses fruit into the air and you have to cut the pieces in half to score points. It would be nice to have some sort of persistent unlockable system of rewards, but that’s just me being picky. The game is still quite fun as it is.
It’s not the most original game in the world (see PapiJump), but DoodleJump is certainly up there for addictiveness. You control a little green alien who must navigate a world of doodled monsters while traveling ever upward. Like I said, the concept isn’t real original, but it’s the most polished form I’ve ever played. DoodleJump easily surpasses its predecessors.
DoodleJump excels by adding items and monsters. Where other games like PapiJump are content to give you an unobstructed path, DoodleJump adds monsters and power-ups. Spring shoes, trampolines, and the glorious jetpack all add some much needed variety to the classic formula upon which DoodleJump rests. If you want the most polished “jumping” game on the App Store, this is it.
All of the games on this list are pretty addictive, but Civ Rev surpasses every one by miles. I can’t even begin to count the amount of time I spent playing Civ Rev. I only know that it was probably too much. I actually caught myself playing this for five hours straight.
Fans of PC gaming will recognize the name Civilization. It’s an award-winning series of strategy titles known for their complexity and fun. You get to be the permanent president of your favorite country and lead it through time to greatness. Developing the economy, strengthening the military, and maintaining diplomatic relations with other nations are all tasks you have to juggle simultaneously.
That may not sound fun, but for some strange reason being in charge of an entire country is unbelievably addictive. It’s hard to stop playing because you have to know what happens next to your country. The phrase that gets thrown around Civ games a lot is “just one more turn.”
The only real problem with Civ Rev is that it’s bit difficult to control. The Civ games were made for PC, and controlling your cities with a touch screen is a little weird. The interface isn’t great. With that said, I couldn’t care less because I was having too much fun conquering the world with Germany’s overpowered military. Civilization Revolution is highly recommended for its overall quality and insanely addictive qualities.
That’s about it. What are some of your favorite iPhone games?