It's been a big last couple of days for iPhone 5 updates. Games of all kinds are now taking advantage of the taller screen. Some to great effect, some not so much. Since there's so many recently, we're going to do two round-ups this afternoon showing off these old games made new again via iPhone 5. This one focuses on portrait games. Our next round-up, which should hit later this afternoon, will focus on landscape games. Cool?

Awesome. Below, is a sampling of the best of the best portrait games that support the new phone's taller screen. You can click to enlarge the images.


Buster Spirits, $2.99 - Buster Spirits is one of those shoot-em-up games. You fly around in a little space ship that auto-fires and kill tons and tons of pixelated baddies as they creep down the screen, all the while avoiding patterns of return fire. As you play, you'll collect power-ups that bump up your damage as you seek higher and higher scores.

On iPhone 5, Buster Spirits' action feels a little easier to manage. For instance, you've got more room in the play area for your finger, which means less "oh god my appendage was covering that stray bullet or my rocket" scenarios. If only our high scores were reflected this.


Hatchi - A retro virtual pet, $1.99 - Hatchi is a Tamagotchi, basically, except on a device that can also browse the web, make phone calls, and can send Papa Johns text messsages. In the game, you're tasked with taking care of a blob through adulthood. You feed your blob, you play with your blob, you even bathe your blob. As it matures, it evolves based on how you've been taking care of it.

Hatchi on iPhone 5 sees the play area enlarged. And while it looks nice and neat on the new device, we can't find any practical benefits. This isn't exactly your normal game, though, as most protagonists don't suddenly die if they don't get fed at least once or twice a day.


One Epic Knight, Free - One Epic Knight is another behind-the-back endless runner that mixes things up with its tone, style, and lanes. In the game, you swipe to switch between three different lanes, as well as jump, in order to avoid over various obstacles. As you run, you'll pick up a few power-ups and weapons to protect yourself against hazards.

On iPhone 5, One Epic Knight feels mostly the same. It's still really easy to fall into pits, for example, but it also loads much faster. As you'll see, this version sees a new tighter angle on the knight, which for us, hasn't improved the experience.


TheEndApp, Free - The End App is one of our favorite runners not-named Temple Run, and it's pretty clear why: just look at it. The End App's colorful, it's-the-end-of-the-world-who-cares vibe is refreshing. It's running isn't so bad, either. Another cool element is the amount of updates this thing sees. New areas and characters are regularly added.

As far as The End App on iPhone 5 goes, we aren't noticing many differences. It just... looks good on the phone, which you know, is cool. We guess.


So, there you go. If you're a new user looking for a couple of games, we do recommend each one of these. Your experience on iPhone 5 might not differ tremendously from users who play these games on other devices, but they're still solid additions to your, presumably growing, app collection.

Our previous round-ups can be found under the iPhone 5 tag, by the way, or via this handy-dandy bullet-list:

We'll have more later today.

  • Metroview

    What about Super Hexagon? That was optimized for iPhone 5 yesterday.

    • bradnicholson

      landscape game.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/OBLVXVLQF5VMKDGGDR5MJW62W4 Carlos

        I can play DJ portrait on my 4s, don't know about 5.

  • http://twitter.com/mguniverse Danny Perski

    It wasn't mentioned in this post, but Exponential Invasion was also updated to support the tall screen on the iPhone 5.

  • GiHubb

    One Epic Knight also received many gameplay tweaks which made the game quite better. For an inexplicable reason, this is one of my favorite endless runners.

  • NoahDavid

    The hatchi game shows more info on the screen. It appears to be the best update of the bunch.

  • anthony7531

    Buster Spirits is the opposite of good. Save your money.

  • evilrt

    theendapp wasn't optimized. all they did was stretch the image. they took the lazy way out and now what was once a good game looks like ass. deleted.

    • László Késmárki

      I disagree with you. Can you show me an example for that? Eg take a look at on  the two screenshots posted here, the bitmaps (pause buttons/numbers) have the same size, they are not streched. Does it behave differently on your iPhone5?