A List of the Best iPhone Games That Will Die With iOS 11: Your Guide to the 32-Bit Appocalypse

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[UPDATE 09/20/17 – 14 games removed!] One of the big recent developments on the App Store has been the imminent removal of all 32-bit applications. If you’re a keen iPhone user, you may have read about what we have coined the ’32-Bit Appocalypse’ on TouchArcade over the past few weeks, or seen numerous posts about old classics being updated with 64-bit compatibility. However, all these terms can easily get confusing, and as such many members of our community and casual iPhone users around the internet have been asking questions as to what, when and why games and applications will stop working when iOS 11 rolls into town. In an attempt to combat any confusion, here is a complete guide to the ’32-Bit Appocalypse’, and a comprehensive list of virtually all of the major titles that will stop working on your iPhone and iPad in the next few months.

Before I go into great detail explaining the things you can do to prepare for the impending 32-bit Appocalypse, I’d like to outline what us at TouchArcade will be doing to bring awareness, to commemorate and to remember older classic iOS games that may be leaving us because of their status as abandonware. Leading up to the fall release of iOS 11, we will be publishing videos and articles providing a ’32-bit Farewell’ to our favorite titles from the early days of the App Store that we will be sad to see go, starting with the phenomenal Dungeon Raid ($0.99) this week. While it may seem strange to focus on titles that will essentially not exist in a matter of months, many of these games have had a formative impact on the iPhone gaming ecosystem, and a number of newer readers may end up permanently missing out on some of the best that the App Store has to offer because of the removal of releases that do not have 64-bit support. It goes without saying that all of the applications in the list at the end of this article and any we single out for particular praise in the next few weeks will, barring a last-minute developer update, not work on iOS 11 and so should be purchased with caution, but that also means now is a better time than any to experience soon to be defunct App Store classics.

Superficially, the difference between 32-bit and 64-bit applications is extremely hard to tell. In layman’s terms, 64-bit apps are able to process more data than 32-bit equivalents, and so run quicker on your iDevice. The iPhone 5S was the first Apple device that had a 64-bit processor, and ever since the release of the smartphone in 2013, Apple have been moving towards an App Store ecosystem exclusively filled with the quicker 64-bit applications. In 2015, Apple erected numerous requirements for new updates and releases that necessitated 64-bit support, and many have suggested that the upcoming 32-bit Appocalypse is a way for Apple to cull older apps that have not been patched since this watershed period for the App Store. For a more technical look at how Apple have moved to take more control over its software through the transition to 64-bit only applications, I’d recommend reading this insightful article on Ars Technica that sums up the nuances of 32 and 64-bit hardware in more detail.

Confusing technical aspects aside, what does Apple’s upcoming 64-bit requirement mean for iPhone users around the world? When iOS 11 finally releases out of beta this fall, any applications you may have on your phone that are only 32-bit compatible will cease to function on this new firmware, and will also not be downloadable from the App Store. There are no ways around this, aside from holding back on updating to the newest firmware when iOS 11 does release. However, if titles are updated after iOS 11 launches, they will be available again on the App Store, and even if they aren’t, they should be present within your iTunes purchase list as long as the developer keeps paying the App Store developer fee. For iPhone gaming enthusiasts, this means a large proportion of older games in your collection will be unplayable on an iOS 11 device, and this is something worth keeping in mind over the coming weeks.

If the benefits of iOS 11 are tempting you to update your device this fall, there are numerous ways to work out which iPhone applications you use may be vulnerable to the incoming cull. The most obvious way is receiving an alert upon opening an affected application such as ‘"TouchArcade" May Slow Down Your iPhone’. In an article last year detailing the future of the TouchArcade iOS application, Eli explained how this warning was poorly worded and won’t actually slow down your phone, however the pop-up serves as a warning that the specific game or app will not run on iOS 11. Another way of finding out which applications on your phone are affected is my going to Settings and choosing General/About/Applications, and a list of 32-bit titles will be displayed.

While these two methods are useful for finding out about compatibility of applications currently on your phone, it’s incredibly difficult to determine which titles on the App Store that you haven’t purchased or may have downloaded in the past will no longer be compatible. The biggest indicator is looking at the ‘Released’ information beneath the app icon in the iTunes web browser, or the date next to the ‘Updated’ line in the ‘Information’ section of an application’s iOS App Store page. Back in 2014, Apple required any new applications that launched past February 2015 to be 64-bit compatible, and any updates released after July 2015 to have the same support. This means any app or game that has been updated after July 2015 will still be downloadable in iOS 11, and any that has not been updated for over two years will be consigned to the iPhone scrap heap.

At the end of this article, I have painstakingly compiled a list of every noteworthy App Store game that will be removed when the 32-bit Appocalypse occurs. A large part of the basis of this list comes from the fantastic work of forum member FuZion on his ‘The Great 64-bit Culling’ thread, which will continued to be updated as more users in our community find old games that will depart the App Store. The rest of the list comes from a scouring of every five-star review that TouchArcade has written from 2009 to 2015, as well as forum favorites, noteworthy mobile franchises and specific titles suggested to me on our Discord server. If a developer has stated that they will update their game with 64-bit support – for example, Final Fantasy Tactics – I have not included it on the list. Likewise, if a game has been removed from the App Store, or if it already has a compatible HD or Universal equivalent, it will sadly be omitted.

With over 90 games listed, I’ve tried to make the list as comprehensive as possible, but I’ve almost certainly missed out some classic titles, and maybe included some that have been updated or are getting updated soon. If I have made a major oversight, please share your game in the comments below or on the aforementioned forum thread by FuZion and it will be included in some form. I have also provided App Store links for every game, but I can’t emphasise enough how these games will not work on iOS 11, and while I still recommend playing them (or at least the ones we highlight in upcoming individual articles), bear this in mind before sending me angry tweets. Without further ado, here is the comprehensive TouchArcade list of best games that do not have 64-bit compatibility support:

Update #2 09/20/2017 – 14 games removed.

Whew, that was exhausting. While it can be distressing seeing such a big list of games – many you may have paid for in the past – disappear in the coming months, in may cases it simply isn’t possible for a developer to update their application to be 64-bit compatible. In older games, it can take a complete rewrite of the code, and many creators of old favorites are simply not active in the industry anymore, let alone financially able to spend such time on the requisite updates. I’d definitely recommend contacting developers of the games above and finding out if an update is in the works, but please don’t let this descend into a witch hunt. For posterity, I will periodically edit the list as more titles are suggested and developers commit to updating their applications. Until then, be sure to let us know your fondest memories of any of the above titles in the comments, and on our forum thread.

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