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
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.