Top 10 iOS Games of 2018
2018 is just another year for iOS games. Most releases were of the type and quality that we come to expect of the platform. This year we tracked 780 games for iPhone and iPad; 168 received their playscore and games presented below are the ten best.
From the same folks who created Old Man's Journey, Broken Rules Interactive”s newest puzzler dedicates itself fully to the chill relaxation. With 85 puzzling levels, getting stuck on one is never a problem. Other than the fact that there no limits to your thinking time, ELOH also goads you into experimental rhythm-making with their percussive gameplay. With each rearranged tiki head, it slowly teaches players to find their groove and eases them into a world of emergent music creation. Adding to it is the general charm of its visuals. Using colors that are easy on the eyes and adding clean cut design elements, it definitely melds with the game's overall chill atmosphere.
It's just a new perspective on puzzlemaking. Instead of rewarding you for solving puzzles, it makes every second of your experience worth it.
Released last March 2018, Shadowgun Legends has everything it takes to become the next mobile FPS sensation. In one of their latest ventures, Madfinger Games, the makers of Dead Trigger and Unkilled, levels up the quality in an attempt to bring the best parts of console shooters into the pocket friendly form. Running under the premise of mercenaries as superstars, it offers both co-op and online multiplayer for the futuristic action. In this case, there are a few reviews that cite some occasional hiccups that dampen connectivity and the overall the experience.
But, once players get into the groove, Shadowgun does indeed deliver. Where storyline, originality, and network servers come short, their array of customizations and gear system gladly satisfy, making you feel fully in control of the action. A balanced and often silly haven for multiplayer FPS fans on the mobile.
Well known for their lush cartoon simulators and fighting games, Vivid Games ventured in a new direction with this action-packed RPG. Set in an alien world, Space Pioneer is brimming with their signature lush cartoon visuals. But, it isn't just some vision trip, either. Space Pioneer, like the planets you traverse, is just packed with content. Casting you into the intergalactic frontier, players are presented with mindful activities like collecting crystals and gathering data in their beautiful worlds.
However, focused on colonizing the planets, it also has rewarding top-down shooting action. With these features, it has the feel of a fully formed PC title that's been intuitively optimized for the mobile. Bogged down by ads and in-app purchases, the game might need a little patience to enjoy. Stil, it's a literal out of this world adventure that certainly deserves the praise.
A name any self-respecting rhythm game fan will recognize. After bringing new and old titles to the Switch, and just before taking a quick detour to world of RPGs, Rayark Inc makes a return to their roots. Following up on the massive success of their first title, Cytus II follows the footsteps of their legendary predecessor. What is most striking about this latest title, though expected, is the stunning Japanese artstyle that will be a plus for anyone who loves anime and manga.
Vastly improved for the sequel, the game does a great job of drawing players into their futuristic story told in unique instant messaging fashion. Of course, what gave rise to Cytus' popularity is the challenge and variety of its rhythm gameplay, throwing players into a frenzied rush of swipes, slides, and taps. This is still especially true for this sequel. Like Rayark's other titles, Cytus II is a slick rhythm game interwoven with sensational tracks, captivating stories, and supervisuals.
If there's one important developer making videogames for the mobile, it's HAL Laboratory. More known for creative the beloved Box Boy series for the 3DS, and the Kirby Games, Rainbow Curse, Triple Deluxe, Planet Robobot, and the recent Star Allies, Hal Laboratory channels all the Nintendo charm of their previous titles into this self contained mobile game. Starting off from it premise, the game is adorable enough already, revolving around an alien finding odd jobs to survive Earth life.
And from there, you're carried into the day to day of farmlife, cheerleading, the runway and so much more. Garnering almost a near perfect score of 4.9 on the iOS, the one universal complaint is how short it is. With only 27 levels, it clocks in at about one hour of gameplay, and a bit more for completionist. Disappointing as it is, it just might be one of the best experiences on the mobile, with no ads, in-app purchases, or other diversions.
The Motorsport Manager series has been serving us with the best of mobile motorsport simulation since 2014. Over the years, they've continually improved on the minute details of management while staying true to the core of their formula. Staying in top form with 2017 reinventions, this third installment aims to propel their legacy further. What makes MM3 a particularly engaging game is how it manages to welcome new players into the complex world motorsport through their effective tutorials.
Built around developing a motorsport team from scratch, it takes you through the ropes of championships and car parts, giving each player enough expertise to do it all in their own. In the process, they're treated to an explosion of features and details. Playing on already established concepts, it's not the groundbreaking title that MM2 was. Given the strength of their previous titles, though, that isn't bad at all.
Fireproof Games have made such a name for themselves with their Room series, that their easily the most recognizable names on the mobile. From their debut in 2012, they've churned out consistently excellent installments of their tactile puzzler. Telling tall tales of mystery and magic in first person perspective, The Room dips players into a world of eerie investigation. Delving into steampunk, art deco styles, Old Sins is yet another one of their atmospheric marvels. And with that, it's also incredibly interactive, their stage seemingly egging you into exploring each object for a possible solution.
Though some riddles are more challenging and less intuitive than some, it only adds to the surprises of each installment. Still managing to keep us on our toes years after is proof of just how Fireproof Games has perfected their formula.
A bubble puzzle game on our Top 10 list? That's a huge achievement. Pine Street Codeworks' award-winning puzzler isn't unlike the other mobile games on the market. Packed with a completely mesmerizing color scheme, the main goal of the game is to fill bubbles with colorful air and push nearby bubbles around using the actual physics of bubbles.
Offering hours of amazing content, it not only continues to break conventional mobile game cliches, but also includes a myriad of unique surprises in store for players. Its over 170 handmade puzzles that require new strategies, especially when it is divided into three different game modes: Arcade, Puzzles, and Infinity.
It's the perfect game to pick up on a lazy Sunday morning. Its relaxing ambient music, adorable creatures and the satisfying popping of bubbles makes it most entrancing. Tiny Bubbles really spent most of their time designing the perfect physics and the molecular dynamics of a bubble, and it's game's best features so far. Not to mention it runs at a smooth 60 frames per second, depending on which phone that is.
The Tower Defense genre lives on as IronHide Studios’ latest iteration of their critically acclaimed work is back for more TD mayhem. Vengeance offers a flurry of new content where players stop Lord Vez’Nan from taking over the world once again.
Much like its predecessors, the best part about IronHide’s Kingdom Rush series is its high arsenal of destruction and monster variety. The game offers a selection of mighty towers to easily decimate an entire horde of Orcs, Goblins, Demons, Dark Knights, Zombies and so much more.
Additionally, its new maps and heroes bring about a fresh new take on the Kingdom Rush experience. From icy glaciers, desolate goldmines, or abandoned villages, Vengeance never stops to give players a relentless tower defense experience that goes increasingly challenging after every level. Picking the proper heroes and the right defenses is necessary to get that juicy 3 stars.
As far as mobile games go, Mobge’s action-adventure platformer is a league of its own. Struggling to find a place in Valhalla, Oddmar proves his worth by solving a myriad of hand-crafted, physics-based puzzles.
What makes this game so captivating is its creative use of Nordic mythology and incorporating a diversification of fun platformer mechanics that made Rayman Origins and other critically acclaimed platformers great. The use of the iOS’ touchscreen is at its most comfortable especially when this is a mobile platformer. Oddmar goes from eating magical mushrooms, to brandishing his axe, or taking down mythological creatures in pure viking awe. There are a few clever concepts, but we won’t spoil it for you.
Created with pure dedication and real effort, Oddmar is a wonderful action-adventure platformer that doesn’t necessarily break the boundaries of the genre, but exceeds in its simple and polished execution that makes Odin very proud.
To view our complete, up-to-date ranking of all iOS game releases this year on the Apple App Store, visit our list of the best iPhone & iPad games of 2018.