Lat­est iOS games

An­drew Hay­ward looks at this month’s best new re­leases

iPad&iPhone user - - CONTENTS -

If you’re out and about a lot this sum­mer, then you might be in need of some new games to play on your iPhone. Luck­ily, we’ve a nice bounty of big and en­ter­tain­ing iPhone and iPad games, head­lined by Gameloft’s glossy rac­ing of­fer­ing, As­phalt 9: Le­gends. Be­yond that freemium gem, there’s also al­lur­ing in­die game Hole­down, lo­ca­tion-based aug­mented re­al­ity blaster The Walk­ing Dead: Our World, pe­cu­liar Ja­panese role-play­ing game Shin Megami Ten­sei: Lib­er­a­tion Dx2, and quite a bit more worth check­ing out.

1. As­phalt 9: Le­gends Price: Free from

Af­ter five years, Gameloft’s long-awaited se­quel to As­phalt 8: Air­borne (free from is fi­nally here – and early on, As­phalt 9: Le­gends is ev­ery bit the fast, fun, and flashy se­quel we’ve been look­ing for. As­phalt 9 doesn’t break at all from the se­ries’ core ap­proach of send­ing speedy cars bar­relling across race tracks, all while grab­bing huge air and smash­ing up ri­vals. What’s new here is an op­tional, su­per­stream­lined TouchDrive con­trol mode that han­dles the steer­ing while you fo­cus on drift­ing and boost­ing, plus there are 70 new tracks, fresh play modes, and plenty of un­lock­ables. As­phalt 9 is also stun­ning: With fluid an­i­ma­tion and loads of de­tail and ef­fects, it’s eas­ily one of the best-look­ing games on iPhone and iPad.

2. Hole­down Price: £3.99 from

Hole­down re­calls brick-break­ing clas­sics like Break­out and Arkanoid, but in­stead of us­ing a pad­dle to slap a ball at float­ing blocks, you’re launch­ing balls deep be­low the sur­face of un­charted plan­ets and watch­ing them bounce freely. Each block re­quires a cer­tain num­ber of bounces to be cleared, so your goal is to fire the balls and hope they ping-pong around enough to keep the grad­u­ally-ris­ing blocks from go­ing over the line. A clever pro­gres­sion sys­tem keeps you inch­ing ahead with im­proved skills and new plan­ets to dis­cover, mak­ing Hole­down a tough game to put down.

3. The Walk­ing Dead: our World Price: Free from

We’re fi­nally see­ing lo­ca­tion-based Poké­mon Go clones emerge on the App Store, and fol­low­ing the ho-hum Juras­sic World Alive (free from, now The Walk­ing Dead: Our World is here to de­liver aug­mented re­al­ity zom­bie-blast­ing. And as we found out dur­ing our hands-on test­ing ear­lier this month, it’s ac­tu­ally sur­pris­ingly com­pelling. You won’t be cap­tur­ing the un­dead in­vaders, Poké­mon-style. In­stead, your real-world map is pop­u­lated by mis­sions, and when you run into zom­bies, they’re pro­jected onto your sur­round­ings via ARKit – and put in the line of sight of your favourite firearm. The ef­fect is some­times im­pres­sive and some­times awk­ward – that’s AR for you – but even if you turn AR off, Our World is an amus­ing out-and-about di­ver­sion.

4. Mo­tor­sport Man­ager 3 Mo­bile Price: £3.99 from

As­phalt 9 is all about white-knuckle, wreck-in­duc­ing rac­ing thrills, but as the ti­tle sug­gests, Mo­tor­sport Man­ager 3 Mo­bile puts you firmly on the side­lines. You’re not the driver be­hind the wheel, but rather the glue that keeps your rac­ing team to­gether – or per­haps the lu­bri­cant that en­sures that the or­ga­ni­za­tion fires on all cylin­ders. As with past games, MM3M is a com­pre­hen­sive sim­u­la­tion and a top-to-bot­tom ex­pe­ri­ence: it’s ev­ery­thing but the ac­tual rac­ing, re­ally. You’ll as­sem­ble the team, in­vest in new car tech­nol­ogy and fa­cil­ity up­grades, tin­ker with race strat­egy, and even di­rect driv­ers on the track. It’s a meaty, de­tail-ori­ented game that’s well-primed for arm­chair mo­tor sport gu­rus.

5. Shin Megami Ten­sei: Lib­er­a­tion Dx2 Price: Free from

The Shin Megami Ten­sei role-play­ing game fran­chise en­joys a de­voted fol­low­ing on con­soles and hand­helds, and now Lib­er­a­tion Dx2 brings the essence of the de­mon-bat­tling ex­pe­ri­ence to mo­bile. You play as a Devil Down­loader, some­one who is able to sum­mon demons via a smart­phone app – and the crea­tures them­selves are in­cred­i­bly var­ied. Bet­ter yet, they have unique per­son­al­i­ties, and you’ll have to ne­go­ti­ate with them in con­ver­sa­tion to add them to your party. Once done, how­ever, Dx2 lets you take them into turn­based fights ei­ther within the story mode or on­line against other play­ers. The game has fa­mil­iar freemium an­noy­ances along the way, but it’s packed with style.

6. Ab­so­lute Drift Price: £2.99 from

Here’s an­other driv­ing game that’s not fo­cused on rac­ing at all. Ab­so­lute Drift is all about you, your car, and your abil­ity to whip that ride around tight turns with­out bash­ing it into the near­est wall, or knock­ing over the stacks of tires that in­evitably line the trick­i­est curves. It’s called the ‘Zen Edi­tion’, but that prospec­tive level of med­i­ta­tive bliss seems far out of reach at first. Drift­ing is an ac­quired skill in Ab­so­lute Drift, and you’ll in­evitably prac­tice time and again in the early stages, train­ing mis­sions, and free-roam play­ground to get a hang of the me­chan­ics. But once you’re com­pe­tent enough, Ab­so­lute Drift’s beau­ti­fully min­i­mal stages re­ally draw you in with their de­vi­ous chal­lenges.

Rhythm games are ideal for touch de­vices, given the ease of tap­ping to songs and the im­me­di­acy of do­ing so on the screen, and Nis­han Shaman is an­other great ex­am­ple. De­vel­oped by univer­sity grad­u­ates from Chi­nese gam­ing gi­ant Ten­cent, Nis­han Shaman puts a folk­lore spin on the genre, telling the an­cient tale of a rein­deer shaman. As that shaman, you’ll roam the land ward­ing off evil spir­its by tap­ping your drum – and con­ve­niently, the fly­ing foes at­tack in time with the beat. Given that, each level takes on a mu­si­cal edge as you de­feat spir­its and sur­vive the gaunt­let. Nis­han Shaman is beau­ti­fully drawn, with rich il­lus­tra­tions and com­pelling cin­e­mat­ics, and while short it’s en­tirely free. You won’t find any sur­prise in-app pur­chases here.

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