Category Archives: Best iPhone Games

Nathan's Favorite iPhone and iPad Games of 2015: 'Capitals', 'The Executive' and Other Hits

Editor's Note: Distilling the ridiculous amount of iOS game releases down to a game of the year, a runner up, and 25 other "bests" takes a lot of hacking and slashing of titles off a massive list of games we considered. This year's initial list was among the biggest I can remember of all the years we've been doing this, so, like previous years, the TouchArcade staff weighs in with lists of their own personal favorites which might not have made the overall best list for one reason or another. We're going to drizzle these out over the next couple days while we wait for iTunes to thaw out.


As a very, very long-time reader of Touch Arcade, it was an absolute thrill to start writing reviews here this year. Not only has it been a blast getting to shove my brain-thoughts into the internet machine for your reading pleasure, it’s also been super interesting getting a peek behind the scenes of how the website is put together every day. (Basically, everyone sits around smoking cigars and giggling while trying to decide which free-to-play game to give 5 stars to -- all except Carter “3.5” Dotson, of course). We laughed, we cried, we got mad about Confederate flags. It’s been a great year! Without any further ado, here is my favorites for the year of 2015 (in order of release):



TouchArcade Game of the Year 'Land Sliders' and the Best iOS Games of 2015

Logo_on_whiteWell, it was another banner year in the world of iOS gaming, with so many great games released in 2015 that it made our head spin trying to whittle it down to the list you see before you. When it came to our Game of the Year pick, it really came down to the nitty gritty between two particular titles. In the end, one just barely inched out the other for reasons we'll get to in a second. Following the Game of the Year and Runner Up picks are 25 of what we feel were the best games of 2015. Of course this list doesn't include many other great games that came out this year, and to be honest it could have easily been three or four times the size. However, we thought this was a nice cross selection of genres and truly the best of the best of this year. If a game you adored this year isn't featured here, feel free to list it in the comments below, we love hearing about what games people enjoy playing on their iOS devices.

Now, without further ado…


Game of the Year 2015: 'Land Sliders'

Land Sliders, Free - [Review] - [Forum Thread] - It seems like the best mobile games latch onto a simple mechanic that feels natural on a touchscreen device and then builds an entire game around it. Slicing fruit in Fruit Ninja, drawing lines in Flight Control, even tilting back and forth in Doodle Jump are all great examples of this. Those simple actions spawned countless copycats and even entire genres in the mobile space over the years, but it's rare that a game can come along and create a mobile game that feels truly unique and native to the platform.

In 2015, I don't think any game accomplished that goal as well as Land Sliders, the first game from Australian developer Prettygreat, did. Land Sliders is a game that's built around inertial scrolling. What is inertial scrolling? Well, when you're scrolling through a list on your iOS device, say your list of emails or a list of songs in the Music app, inertial scrolling is the thing that allows you to scroll fast with a quick swipe and the screen will gradually slow down as it runs out of inertia.

It sounds like an incredibly boring concept for a game, but inertial scrolling is something that iOS devices have nailed since the beginning, and I believe it's one of the things that truly put the iPhone ahead of the pack in the early days of smartphones. Early iPhone rivals had pretty janky touchscreens which didn't have the smoothness of an iPhone. Scrolling around on iOS devices is fun and satisfying. Flicking a swipe fast and knowing you can stop the screen from scrolling on a dime if you want. It's really cool.

It's not a bad idea to try and capture that feeling and create a game around it, but how exactly does that work? I saw a very early prototype of Land Sliders at GDC this year and thought it was a clever concept and the sliding around the world felt great. But honestly I had no idea how they would craft a compelling game around it, and figured it would end up as one of those "hmmm, that's neat!" tech demo type of games and be fun for a few days before being forgotten.

That ended up not being the case at all, and besides its unique concept, I think that's shows the brilliance of Prettygreat. Not only have they created a full-fledged high-scoring game with endlessly replayable randomly-generated levels and a wide cast of neat characters to unlock, but they've created this is a way that's easy to add on to, and given the popularity of Land Sliders this seems like the kind of game that can continue living on for years and years with a constant flow of new content.

Besides the game itself, developer Prettygreat also created an insane real-life meta game that they incorporated into Land Sliders that has kept our forums on fire for months since the game's release. If you haven't read the lengthy thread in our forums, but if you like treasure hunts or ARGs, it's worth the read as the lengths Prettygreat went to to create this global game are pretty astounding. In fact, the ARG is still going and hasn't been completely solved yet.

Sliding your character around the world of Land Sliders just FEELS right, and developer Prettygreat did a wonderful job of building a whimsical world and cast of characters around that unique mechanic. There were other great games in 2015, but Land Sliders is a great mobile game through and through, and isn't the kind of game that could work on a platform other than mobile. For all these reasons it'll be something that I continue to play daily and will always have a home on my device, and it earns our nod for Game of the Year 2015



TouchArcade Game of the Week: 'Fallout Shelter'

The idea behind the TouchArcade Game of the Week is that every Friday afternoon we post the one game that came out this week that we think is worth giving a special nod to. Now, before anyone goes over-thinking this, it doesn't necessarily mean our Game of the Week pick is the highest scoring game in a review, the game with the best graphics, or really any other quantifiable "best" thing. Instead, it's more just us picking out the single game out of the week's releases that we think is the most noteworthy, surprising, interesting, or really any other hard to describe quality that makes it worth having if you were just going to pick up one...

Best iPhone and iPad Games - 6/5/15 - 'You Must Build a Boat', 'Vietnam '65' and 'Sproggiwood'

There were a lot of great games this week, but if you're not already well on your way of building a boat... What in the world are you doing? You must build a boat. You don't maybe need to build a boat, or could build a boat if you felt like it. No, you must build a boat, right now. Oh, and there's some other games you should be playing too, but not until you've built your boat- Or at least gotten a good start...

Best iPhone and iPad Games - 5/29/15 - 'Chaos Rings III', 'Geometry Wars 3', 'Grim Fandango Remastered' and TONS More

Anyone who called this week a weak week is a damn maniac, as this has turned out to be among the best iOS game release weeks of the year and we don't even have all the games reviewed yet. I'm busy having my nose buried in Desktop Dungeons, and everyone else is playing the rest of the rad releases. Here are the best games we did review this week, and there's a lot of them:..

Best iPhone and iPad Games - 5/22/15 - 'Capitals', 'Ire: Blood Memory', and 'Digit & Dash'

Some great games this week are included in this post that everyone really needs to have. NimbleBit is up to their old tricks of releasing really awesome games, particularly if you like getting beat by your friends in word games. Similarly, a free to play game actually succeeded in being a good hardcore game, meanwhile, console developer Insomniac has made a great transition to mobile with their latest release. Definitely give these all a look...

Best iPhone and iPad Games - 5/15/15 - 'Legend of Grimrock', 'The Enchanted Cave 2', 'Kindo', 'Seek: Find Your Friends' and 'Fearless Fantasy'

It's awesome when a game you've been looking forward to forever comes out and it's even better than you were hoping it'd be. That was the case with Legend of Grimrock, anyway. It's a supremely awesome game that you need to check out, but this week also had loads of rad stuff get released so next week's best games roundup is likely going to be even crazier...

Best iPhone and iPad Games - 5/8/15 - 'Test Chamber', 'Wedding Escape', 'Trulon' and 'Dungeon of Madness'

This was a cool week for game reviews, as Test Chamber sneaking up out of nowhere and being such an awesome game is one of my favorite things about the App Store. There's other great games in this list too, but if for some reason you passed on Test Chamber because of its sterile name or block pushing puzzler gameplay, it definitely deserves a second look...

Best iPhone and iPad Games - 5/1/15 - 'Does Not Commute', 'Hearthstone's Blackrock Mountain Expansion and More

Another great week for iOS gamers is now officially in the books. Our top rated reviews this week cover an incredible free to play game, the awesome conclusion of the Hearthstone expansion, a Metroidvania game... and an amazing port of a classic RPG. Weak week, it is not. Read on for our top scoring reviews we published this week...

Best iPhone and iPad Game - 4/24/15 - 'Sorcery! 3'

Apple Watch Release day! Maybe next week, we'll have some Apple Watch games in this roundup, maybe. Either way, this week was pretty dominated by Apple Watch news so we didn't publish as many reviews as we usually would... But that doesn't mean we skimped on one great game Sorcery! 3. It's our highest rated game of the week, and really, our only really highly rated game review that we published. But, hey, whatever, it's awesome...

Best iPhone and iPad Games - 4/18/15 - 'Implosion', 'Halo: Spartan Strike', 'Football Manager', 'Attack the Light' and More

This has been a crazy week of travel between attending various iPhone events, so we didn't post the best games last week, and this week's podcast is going to wait until Monday... But after that things should get back to normal, at least until the E3 and WWDC insanity in June. Anyway, here's the top rated game reviews we posted over the last two weeks:..

Best iPhone and iPad Games - 4/3/15 - 'Star Wars Rebels: Recon Missions', 'DuckTales: Remastered' and More

As mentioned last week, our new onslaught of fresh writers has really upped our review output. As such, these end of the week best games posts are just getting bigger and bigger. Here's the top reviews we posted this week, specifically, the highest scoring games of published reviews:..

Best iPhone and iPad Games - 3/27/15 - 'Final Fantasy: Record Keeper', 'Taichi Panda', 'Swap Quest' and More

I told you guys last week we had picked up some new team members, and if you haven't noticed, we've been on fire this week. Tons more content across the board ranging from more reviews, developer interviews, more guides, and way more news. I even had to change the front page to display more stories at a time just so we weren't bumping our daily load out off the front page. A good change overall, I'd say. Anyway, here's our top scoring reviews we published this week: ..

Best iPhone and iPad Games - 3/20/15 - 'To Be Or Not To Be', '. Decluster', and 'Imps in Tokyo'

It's been another great week in iOS gaming, and here's another bundle of high scoring game reviews we published this week. Speaking of publishing reviews, chances are you'll see review output amp up considerably in the not too distant figure as so far we've picked up six new writers this week with another two on the way next week. So, these posts might grow quite a bit in the future as we just review more stuff...

Best iPhone and iPad Games - 3/13/15 - 'Baldur's Gate 2', 'Blokshot Revolution', 'Flop Rocket', and 'Card Crawl'

Since we were busy with GDC last week, we didn't end up posting a best games roundup... But, to be fair, we didn't post many game reviews either. So, this week is a collection of the last two weeks worth of game reviews. Like an extra-value two-fer'. Again, these are games we reviewed in the last two weeks, not games that necessarily were released in the last two weeks. It trips people up every week, but until we've got a Maglor cat explaining it, I'm going to keep mentioning it. ..

Best of GDC 2015: 'Crashlands', 'Does Not Commute', 'Sorcery! 3' and 'Spider: Rite of the Shrouded Moon'

As you all know, last week was GDC 2015 and it was a week-long whirlwind of developer meetings, game demos, walking and Denny's. Everyone is in town all at once and we try to meet with as many people and see as many iOS games as possible. It's exhausting and overwhelming and fun all at the same time, and that's without ever even setting foot on the actual show floor. With all of our GDC coverage finally out there in the open (save for a couple of demos that are held up with embargo silliness) it's time to go back through and highlight the games we found to be our favorite. Here are four games from GDC that you can look forward to playing this year that stood out to us and why...

Best iPhone and iPad Games of the Week: 2/27/15 - 'Pinball Arcade: The Addams Family', 'AG Drive' and 'Planet Quest'

Another week of awesome games, including one kinda-sorta weird review where we focus on a specific IAP item inside of a game. But, to be fair, figuring out what to do with content-centric IAP is still a little weird for us... Bur, whatever, you need Pinball Arcade any way you slice it. Again, these are the highest scored reviews we published this week: ..

Best iPhone and iPad Games of the Week: 2/20/15 - 'Auro' and 'Alto's Adventure'

It was perhaps a slower-than-normal review week in the world of iOS, but there were definitely a couple of real gems. Here's the top scoring games of the reviews published this week, in case you missed any of them in the flurry of other news posts and videos in the last seven days:..

Best iPhone and iPad Games of the Week: 2/13/15 - 'Dark Echo', 'Radiation Island', and 'Pike and Shot'

We reviewed a lot of great games this week, but the three with the highest review scores this week I feel really confident in saying you need on your phone. 2015 is ramping up to be a hell of a year, and we're barely a month and a half in. I can't imagine what the rest of the year is going to bring us...

Best iPhone and iPad Games of the Week: 1/30/15 - 'Particle Mace' and 'Fahrenheit: Indigo Prophecy Remastered'

This week's top rated published game reviews represent a great spread of iOS gaming. On one hand we have the perfect iOS one-handed portrait mode game you can play on the toilet or while riding the subway... And on the other we have a great port of a fantastic "full" game experience. You can't go wrong picking up both...

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