Best games com­ing to iOS in 2016

This year is shap­ing up to be a bril­liant one for iOS gamers. Here are the games David Price is most look­ing for­ward to

iPad&iPhone user - - CONTENTS -

XCOM: En­emy Within

This is one of the very best games on the iPad: a su­perbly tense and tac­ti­cal turn-based strat­egy mas­ter­piece. Which makes us al­most in­de­cently keen for XCOM 2. It took about eight months for XCOM: En­emy Un­known, the first modern in­car­na­tion of the fran­chise, to launch on iOS after its PC launch. The PC edi­tion of XCOM 2 hit the shops in Fe­bru­ary 2016, so we’re hope­ful that it might come to iPad in au­tumn.

Su­per Meat Boy

Su­per Meat Boy is a wildly pop­u­lar but mur­der­ously dif­fi­cult plat­form game in which you con­trol a cube of an­i­mated meat; it started as a cult indie hit on Xbox but blew up and ended up mi­grat­ing to most of the main con­sole and desk­top plat­forms, but not to iPad or iPhone… so far. Yet Team Meat has talked about a new game, Su­per Meat Boy For­ever, which will ap­pear on mo­bile.

At one stage this was be­lieved to be an end­less run­ner, but the mak­ers have since stated that there will be end­less stages – hence the name – within a game that over­all has a sim­i­lar struc­ture to the orig­i­nal Su­per Meat Boy. Be­yond that, de­tails are thin on the ground, but this video show­ing snatches of game­play is enough to get us ex­cited about the launch – when­ever it fi­nally hap­pens.

Ban­ner Saga 2

The Ban­ner Saga is a unique and beau­ti­fully made tac­ti­cal RPG/ad­ven­ture game, and its mo­bile and desk­top ver­sions fea­ture promi­nently in our Best iOS games and Best Mac games ar­ti­cles. So the prospect of a se­quel is fan­tas­tic.

The PC ver­sion of Ban­ner Saga 2 is sched­uled to launch on 19th April 2016, and you can watch a video trailer here. But when will the game come to iPad? The iOS ver­sion of the orig­i­nal game ap­peared nine months after the PC launch, so our best guess is that BS2 will come to the App Store in early 2017, but we’re op­ti­mistic that Stoic might get it out there early and give iOS gamers a treat for Christ­mas 2016.

Leg­end of Grim­rock 2

This is our favourite role­play­ing game on the iOS plat­form. It is sim­ply won­der­ful: cruel, com­pelling, some­times very dif­fi­cult; a love let­ter to the grid­based first-per­son RPGs of the 1990s with the ad­di­tion of modern graph­i­cal pol­ish. And if by some quirk of cir­cum­stances you haven’t played it yet, you should go and down­load it, then close down your browser and not come back un­til it’s fin­ished.

LoG 2 came out on PC back in late 2014, and Rock Pa­per Shot­gun, whose rec­om­men­da­tion led us to try Grim­rock in the first place, de­scribed their ex­pe­ri­ence with the se­quel as be­ing “like a pig in a life­time’s sup­ply of the very finest qual­ity shit”.

So come on, Al­most Hu­man, let the iPad gamers have their turn. The first game came to the App Store last May, so we can only hope that the devel­op­ers have been too busy count­ing their money to bother port­ing the se­quel.

Don’t Starve: To­gether/ Ship­wrecked

Don’t Starve is a sur­vival game, drop­ping you into a hos­tile wilder­ness with al­most no in­struc­tions to see how long you can last – and when you do get dropped by wild animal, star­va­tion or men­tal col­lapse, you stay dropped, thanks to its cruel im­ple­men­ta­tion of per­madeath. It’s all a bit Minecrafty, but has a whim­si­cal, gothy, Tim Bur­tonesque flavour and hu­mour all of its own.

Hav­ing played this mas­ter­piece within an inch of its life we’re par­tic­u­larly keen to get our hands on two ex­pan­sions that the mak­ers have al­ready rolled out in early ac­cess form for PC gamers. Don’t Starve To­gether, which comes out of early ac­cess any day now, makes the game mul­ti­player; and Ship­wrecked adds a va­ri­ety of se­aborne and trop­i­cal haz­ards. Both have been re­ceived favourably, but at this point, any­thing which brings more Don’t Starve to our iPads is a good thing.

Walk­ing Dead Sea­son Three

Tell­tale’s trade­mark ad­ven­ture-game style – tense con­ver­sa­tions, di­a­logue choices with a timer and po­ten­tially lethal con­se­quences if you say the wrong thing, omi­nous warn­ings that ‘Char­ac­ter X will re­mem­ber that’ – works par­tic­u­larly well in the vi­o­lent, high-stakes world of The Walk­ing Dead. And it fore­grounds a some­times over­looked strength of the se­ries, par­tic­u­larly in comic book form: that in­ter­ac­tion be­tween hu­mans is more com­pelling than fights with zom­bies.

The com­pany has main­tained high stan­dards for two se­ries now, and the up­com­ing third sea­son – sched­uled for some time in 2016 – is al­ready pen­cilled in as one of the high­lights of our cal­en­dar.

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