Angry Birds Star Wars II

This was the second Angry Birds game to be set in the Star Wars universe, with characters turned into birds and pigs, and 120 levels to fling them through. This time round, you could play as both sides, and there’s a range of Telepods toys that interact with the game too, Skylanders-style.
iPhone / iPad


Justifiably recognised by Apple in its Best of 2013 awards, Badland is the perfect game to get stuck into over Christmas: a platform-adventure set in an eerie forest, with beautiful visuals, slick physics and plenty of exploration. There was real imagination at work here, and iOS gamers responded.
iPhone / iPad

Call of Duty Strike Team

Activision’s latest Call of Duty game was made for mobile devices from the ground up. Some elements were familiar – ie all the shooting – but new twists included the ability to swap between first-person action and a more tactical third-person view to plot your squad’s tactics.
iPhone / iPad

Clumsy Ninja

Clumsy Ninja was first shown off at Apple’s iPhone 5 launch in 2012, but took a while to reach the App Store. It was worth the wait though: it sees you taking ownership of a ninja and training him up with a series of activities: a virtual pet game, almost, but with startlingly-good character animation. Utterly charming.
iPhone / iPad

Despicable Me: Minion Rush

This was publisher Gameloft’s official game for the Despicable Me movies, putting you in the shoes of a scampering minion for this Temple Rush-style endless runner. Leaping, sliding and dodging obstacles while earning or buying costumes and power-ups proved hugely popular among children and adults alike.
iPhone / iPad

Fish Out of Water!

This game from Halfbrick Studios – the developer behind Fruit Ninja and Jetpack Joyride – was an addictive treat this year. You skim colourful fish across the ocean, get rated by crabs, and unlock gems to build power-ups. Which may sound strange, but it plays marvellously.
iPhone / iPad

Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

Just in time for Christmas came this iOS version of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, originally released in 2004 for consoles. It’s nostalgia, yes, but the game still packs a mighty punch with its sandbox gameplay. It plays well with Bluetooth controllers too.
iPhone / iPad

Impossible Road

Yes, modern smartphones and tablets can deliver graphical bells and whistles by the ton. But it’s often the minimalist visuals that pack the greatest punch. Impossible Road was another example: a stylish ball-rolling racer that encourages you to bend the rules.
iPhone / iPad

Infinity Blade III

iOS’ epic trilogy reached its conclusion this year, with more eye-popping scenery, more characters (two) and many more enormous monsters to stick a sword through. There was also the usual levelling up, and “massively social” clashmob challenges to co-operate with players around the world.
iPhone / iPad

Limbo Game

Platformer Limbo was one of the creepiest, most atmospheric games currently available on any platform this year, let alone mobile. With stylish monochrome graphics and frequently fiendish puzzles, it’s a rewarding and original adventure.
iPhone / iPad

Nimble Quest

Having made its name with Tiny Tower and Pocket Planes, developer Nimblebit turned to the action genre, blending Snake gameplay with RPG-style characters and upgrades. You swiped your party of heroes to guide them through levels of increasing difficulty. It’s genuinely addictive.
iPhone / iPad

Rayman Fiesta Run

Rayman often gets underrated in the history of great game characters, but his mobile games have been top-notch in recent times. This was the latest one: a colourful platformer with more than 75 levels to scoot through, and bags of charm.
iPhone / iPad


Out in time for Christmas, Republique justified its pre-launch hype: a stealth-action adventure with startling graphics, properly challenging puzzles, and a storyline that draws you in. Calling it the Metal Gear Solid of iOS sounds like hyperbole, but the comparison wasn’t ridiculous.
iPhone / iPad

Ridiculous Fishing

Ridiculous Fishing IS ridiculous: you lower your bait down as far as possible while avoiding a variety of creatures, then haul it back up again catching as many as possible along the way, hurl them into the air, and blast them to bits with a shotgun. Bad in real life, but fun virtually.
iPhone / iPad

Sid Meier’s Ace Patrol: Pacific Skies

This second dogfighting game from industry veteran Sid Meier saw you patrolling the Pacific, re-enacting famous World War II battles. The basic action across 180 missions was really fun, but there’s some extra strategy in upgrading your pilots with new skills as you go. Multiplayer was the icing on the cake.


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